This is the easiest rice pudding which will forever feel like home to me. This creamy rice pudding recipe or as we call it “mliako s oriz” is a staple in Bulgaria which brings the fondest memories. I vividly remember being served rice pudding as an after-nap snack in kindergarten. The teachers would rotate between rice pudding and semolina pudding which was always the best treat. Isn’t it funny how we can remember something so vividly from such a young age? The smallest gestures often make for the fondest memories, and it’s a feeling that I will forever hold close to my heart. I know that most countries around the world have rice with milk or rice pudding, so let me know where you’re from and what you call this delicious treat in your language. This recipe is my dad’s and he taught me how to make the creamiest homemade rice pudding ever! The fillings are all optional and you can add anything you like such as cinnamon, lemon zest, raisins, or anything you enjoy. If you make this recipe and love it, please leave me a review and let me know what your fondest memories are.

Rice pudding by the modern nonna rice pudding

The Easiest Rice Pudding

This recipe is my dad’s and he taught me how to make the creamiest and easiest 4 Ingredient rice pudding ever! The fillings are all optional and you can add anything you like such as cinnamon, lemon zest, raisins, or anything you enjoy.
4.80 from 5 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Servings 3 servings


  • 2 cups water (500ml)
  • 1 cup Italian style rice (200grams)
  • 2 cups milk (500ml)
  • ½ cup sugar (100grams)

Additional Ingredients

  • cinnamon stick
  • teaspoon of pure vanilla extract I used vanilla bean paste


  • Rinse the rice really well. To a pot, add the water and let it come to a boil. Add in the rinsed rice, reduce the heat to low.
  • Put on a lid leaving an opening on the side and let it boil until the water has fully evaporated.
  • Once the rice is 90% cooked and the water has fully absorbed into the rice, remove it off the heat.
  • In a separate pot, add the milk, sugar, and cinnamon stick. Let it come to a simmer and stir until the sugar dissolves.
  • Add in the cooked rice and stir the whole time until it thickens. This can take up to 10 minutes on medium-heat. You don't want the milk to burn so keep stirring and reduce the heat to medium-low if you need to.
  • Carefully taste the rice and when it's fully cooked and thick, you can take it off the heat. Make sure to blow on it so you don't burn your mouth when you taste it.
  • Last but not least, stir in the pure vanilla bean paste or extract. Pour it out into ramekins (glasses or bowls) and enjoy warm or let it cool completely, cover it, and transfer into the fridge. If you like rice pudding warm or cold it's totally up to preference. I personally like both! Enjoy.


You can use any short grain rice, Italian style rice or arborio rice for this recipe. I like anything short grain but most varieties work. 
For a dairy-free alternative you can absolutely try coconut milk or unsweetened almond milk instead. I like 2% milk. 
Feel free to add raisins, lemon zest, or anything you enjoy to your rice pudding. In Bulgaria we like it plain. 
The rice should be 90% cooked before you add it into the milk. It should be al-dente and have a little bite to it. 
You can absolutely use a rice cooker if you have one. 
Store in the fridge for up to three days. Reheat until piping hot on the stove or in the microwave.
You can also freeze rice pudding by adding the pudding into freeze-safe bags, leaving about an inch of space at the top to allow for expansion. Freeze flat for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight or in the microwave using the defrost setting.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
If you love one of my recipes, please leave a review. It would mean so much to me if you did. Thank you for being here and bringing me into your kitchen.

4 Responses

  1. 5 stars
    Oh my Lord!!!!
    This pudding is absolutely HEAVENLY!!!!
    You killed it!!
    I have eaten a lot of rice pudding in my life, but none come even close to this!!
    Keep it up and thank you!!
    Fantastic as always !!

  2. 5 stars
    It took me a bit longer to make this but I think it was because I didn’t have the heat high enough when I combined the rice and milk. Also, I used jasmine rice because that’s all I had and it turned out great, what a treat!

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