Creamy, cozy, and super comforting, this recipe for old-fashioned Rice Pudding is made in a jiffy using the Instant Pot. With fewer than 10 ingredients and just 5 minutes of prep time, you can have this deliciously rich and naturally gluten-free dessert. You also have the option of making it vegan, if needed!
About Instant Pot Rice Pudding Recipe
I have been making both rice pudding and the Indian rice pudding (Kheer) in the Instant Pot for awhile now, and I don’t ever want to go back to making it on the stovetop. It’s just so simple using this incredible appliance!
This Instant Pot rice pudding recipe just takes about 25 minutes to cook, and you can always adjust the consistency to your liking. I always add a bit more milk to avoid the “burn” warning, then use the sauté function to simmer the pudding until it reaches the desired consistency.
To make rice puddings, I always use the “porridge” setting which is automatically timed for 20 minutes. You just need to tip in all the ingredients, then press the porridge button, and let the Instant Pot do all the work.
Table of Contents
The other important piece of this recipe is the type of rice I use. While I prefer using basmati rice for kheer, old-fashioned American-style rice pudding is better with arborio rice.
The extra starchy arborio rice makes the pudding creamy and thick, so there is absolutely no need to add any cream or eggs. The combination of chewy grains with the creamy base is a delight!
Ingredients & Substitutions
As promised, you don’t need much to make this creamy, decadent, American-style rice pudding. Here’s your list:
- Arborio Rice – This short-grained Italian rice has a high starch content, which helps create a creamy texture. It is the same type of rice used to make the Italian specialty known as risotto. That said, you can use any rice variety like basmati or jasmine rice for this pudding recipe.
- Whole Milk – Feel free to swap in a creamy non-dairy alternative like oat milk for a vegan version.
- Sugar – I used unrefined cane sugar, but plain white granulated sugar or brown sugar can also be used.
- Salt – Just a pinch is all you need to wake up the rest of the flavors in this old-fashioned pudding recipe.
- Almonds – I love adding slivered or chopped nuts to add flavor and texture to my rice pudding. Feel free to swap in your favorite nut or seed, or omit them if needed.
- Golden Raisins (Sultanas) – These dried fruits add a pop of sweetness throughout the pudding. Feel free to use regular raisins or any other dried fruit that you prefer.
- Vanilla Extract – Use ½ to 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to add rich complexity to this dessert. You can also use vanilla paste or powder, or use almond extract in its place.
- Ground Cinnamon Powder & Ground Nutmeg Powder – These warming spices are traditional flavorings for rice pudding. If possible, use freshly grated nutmeg for a more intense flavor.
Why I Love The Instant Pot
I have been getting many requests to share Instant Pot recipes for the last several years, but I kept delaying buying it for some reason or other. One day after getting an email from a reader for sharing instant pot recipes, I decided to buy one.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that it has been one of my best buying decisions. It has really helped me in multi-cooking everyday food. What I like best about using the Instant Pot is how easy it is to intuit, and simple cleaning it is.
After spending several months learning the ins and outs of cooking with an Instant Pot, I have been using it like a pro. I do nearly all of my Indian cooking in this miraculous device. In fact, I make pasta and noodles, ferment idli batter, yogurt and even use the instant pot like a slow cooker.
Now that I’m on the Instant Pot bandwagon, I will be gradually adding more instant pot recipes to the blog.
How To Make Instant Pot Rice Pudding
1. Take ¼ cup arborio rice (65 grams) in the inner steel pot. Feel free to rinse the rice once or twice — I usually do.
2. Add ¼ cup unrefined cane sugar (75 grams) and 1 pinch salt. You can use white granulated sugar instead.
3. Pour in 3 cups of whole milk.
Note: If using basmati or jasmine rice, reduce the milk to 2.5 cups
4. Stir and mix with a spoon. Secure the Instant Pot lid and position the steam release handle to seal.
5. Set to the porridge function, which has an auto timing of 20 minutes.
6. After 20 minutes when you hear the beep sound, give a natural pressure release (NPR) of 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, lift the steam release handle and when the float valve falls down, open the lid.
7. The rice will have formed a few lumps in some places, so break most of them up with a spoon.
8. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon and ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg.
9. Add your choice of nuts. I added 10 almonds (slivered) and 1 tablespoon golden raisins.
10. Press the sauté button and set the time to 4 to 5 minutes on normal mode. Once the beep sound is heard and you see the pudding simmering, stir often so that the pudding does not burn or scorch from the bottom.
11. Break up any lumps you encounter while stirring. You can cancel the sauté mode before the set time of 4 to 5 minutes if the pudding reaches the desired consistency sooner.
12. Keep in mind that the pudding thickens as it cools. I keep a slight flowing consistency in the hot rice pudding.
13. Serve the creamy Instant Pot Rice Pudding hot, warm, or cold. Feel free to garnish with some sliced almonds and raisins or a dollop of whipped cream.
This old-fashioned Instant Pot Rice Pudding is pretty spectacular as is, but there is always room for customization. Here are a few variations to try:
- Vegan. Swap in your favorite creamy dairy-free milk. I suggest adding oat milk for the best consistency.
- Chocolate. Try adding about ¼ cup of cocoa powder to the pudding after the porridge setting step. If you go this route, try adding dried cherries instead of raisins.
- Basmati or Jasmine Rice. If you swap in long grain rice, reduce the amount of milk by ½ cup.
- Light & Fluffy. Whip about ¾ cup of heavy cream and a tablespoon or two of powdered sugar to stiff peaks. Chill the rice pudding, then fold in the whipped cream to make it cloud-like.
- Add slightly more milk than you think you need to prevent the “burn” warning from shutting the machine down. After the initial porridge setting, simmer the rice pudding using the sauté function until it reaches the desired consistency. The quantity of milk for the amount of arborio rice used in this recipe, works perfectly for a 6 quart Instant Pot.
- Use freshly grated nutmeg for the most potent flavor. But if out of hand, give it a skip. Alternatively, you could use about ½ teaspoon of ground green cardamom and skip the ground cinnamon and grated nutmeg.
- If you can’t find arborio rice, other short grain rice varieties will provide a similar level of starchiness. You can also swap in long grain rice varieties like basmati or jasmine, but you should cut the amount of milk down by about ½ cup.
- Add 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter if you like to the pudding.
- If the pudding has thickened more on cooling, add in a splash of hot milk or warm milk to loosen the consistency. You can also add some cold milk to the pudding and reheat in a pan until warm.
- Scale the recipe to halve, double or triple the portions.
I suggest using a starchy, short grain rice like arborio and simmering the pudding with the lid off the Instant Pot until it reaches your desired consistency. If needed, you can also use a cornstarch slurry by mixing about a teaspoon of cornstarch (corn flour) with about a tablespoon of milk, then pouring the mixture in and simmering until it thickens.
Since this Instant Pot recipe is egg-free, you’re not at risk for it curdling. That said, make sure you stir it often so that it doesn’t scorch or burn on the bottom of the pan, which can result in a bitter taste.
It will keep in a clean, airtight container in the fridge for about 4 to 5 days.
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Instant Pot Rice Pudding Recipe
- ¼ cup arborio rice – 65 grams. basmati rice or jasmine rice can be added instead
- 3 cups whole milk
- ¼ cup unrefined cane sugar or raw sugar – 75 grams. white sugar can be used instead
- 1 pinch salt
- 8 to 10 almonds – slivered or chopped
- 1 tablespoon golden raisins
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or ½ teaspoon vanilla essence
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon (cinnamon powder)
- ⅛ teaspoon grated nutmeg or ground nutmeg (nutmeg powder)
- Take the arborio rice in the inner steel pot. If you want you can rinse the rice once or twice in a small colander or strainer (which is what I do). You can also use basmati and jasmine rice. If using basmati or jasmine rice reduce the milk quantity to 2.5 cups.
- Add unrefined cane sugar, a pinch of salt and whole milk. You can use white sugar instead.
- Stir and mix with a spoon.
- Cover and secure the instant pot with its lid and position the steam release handle to sealing.
- Press the porridge setting button which has an auto timing of 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes when you hear the beep sound, give a natural pressure release (NPR) of 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes lift the steam release handle and when the float valve falls down, open the lid.
- The rice would have formed a few lumps in some places. So break most of these lumps with a spoon.
- Add vanilla extract, ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg.
- Add your choice of nuts. I added some and golden raisins.
- Press the sauté button and set time to 4 to 5 minutes on normal mode.
- Once the beep sound is heard and you see the pudding simmering, stir often so that the pudding does not burn or scorch from the bottom.
- Break any lumps if any while stirring. You can cancel the sauté mode before the set time of 4 to 5 minutes if the pudding thickens.
- Keep in mind the consistency you want as on cooling the pudding thickens more. Stir and simmer till the rice pudding reaches the desired consistency.
- Serve the Instant Pot Rice Pudding hot or warm or cold. You can add a dollop of cream if you like. Do garnish with some sliced almonds or raisins before serving.
- Refrigerate any leftover pudding in an air-tight container. This rice pudding keeps well for 4 to 5 days in the fridge.
- Add your choice of nuts or dry fruits.
- Ground nutmeg can be given a skip. You could also omit adding both ground cinnnamon & grated nutmeg and instead add ½ teaspoon of ground green cardamom.
- You can add 1 tablespoon of butter if you prefer.
- Any long grained rice or basmati rice or jasmine rice can be replaced with arborio rice. Add 2.5 cups milk if using these rice grains.
- Add your favorite creamy dairy-free milk for a vegan option. I suggest oat milk for the best consistency.
- On cooling if the pudding becomes too thick, add some hot or warm milk and mix.
- The recipe can be easily scaled to double or triple the servings.
Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)
This Instant Pot Rice Pudding post from the archives, originally published in December 2019 has been updated and republished on September 2023.