This pumpkin rice pudding is creamy and lightly spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg. It makes a cozy and comforting fall or holiday dessert!

This recipe is naturally gluten-free and easy to make in advance. It’s perfect for any holiday gathering.

rice pudding in white ramekin on marble background

A bowl of cozy rice pudding topped with a little cinnamon and nutmeg is always a welcome sight. This pumpkin rice pudding is rich and creamy like classic rice pudding, but includes spices, pumpkin and maple syrup. It makes for a special holiday dessert!

This rice pudding is also easy to make in advance, so it makes a great dessert during the holiday season. It may be served hot or chilled.

Ingredients You’ll Need

overhead shot of ingredients used to make pumpkin rice pudding
  • Rice: The two most popular choices of rice are long-grain rice and Arborio rice. I prefer basmati for its good structure. Arborio provides a creamier, slightly chewier texture. However, to prevent it from become mushy, you may want to reduce the cook time.
  • Pumpkin: I use canned pumpkin for this pudding recipe. Feel free to use fresh pumpkin puree if you have it. For the best overall texture of the dessert, drain the puree before using it.
  • Half and half: Like Ina Garten’s classic recipe for rice pudding, I like to use half and half instead of a combination of milk and cream. It makes for the creamiest rice pudding.
  • Egg: An egg also adds richness and body to this rice pudding.

How to Make Pumpkin Rice Pudding

Although there are several steps, this dessert is really quite simple to make. The rice is cooked in two stages to get the right consistency and infusion of flavor.

4 photos showing how to start cooking the rice

STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS

  • Bring rice/water to a boil. Always use salt when making rice, as it enhances the flavors and prevents sticking.
  • Cover/cook for 8 minutes. When it comes to a boil, stir once and turn the heat down to a simmer.
  • Add half & half/sugar. Remove the lid and stir in the half and half, reserving 1 cup for later. Then, stir in the sugar.
  • Cook, stirring often. Continue to simmer uncovered until the rice is soft and tender.
step by step instructions of how to finish cooking rice pudding and chill it
  • Cook until thick. The texture may still be a bit loose, but this is normal. The dessert will firm up more as it chills.
  • Add other ingredients. When the rice is ready, stir in the egg, pumpkin, maple syrup, and spices. Stir them in slowly, to be sure everything incorporates well.
  • Cook 1-2 minutes more: Keep on low heat so the egg doesn’t cook too fast and scramble. Then, add the vanilla with the remaining half and half.
  • Cover/chill: Transfer to a bowl and cover before placing it in the refrigerator. Or, enjoy it warm if you just can’t wait!

Recipe Notes

  • Need to serve a crowd? If you’ll be making this gluten-free pudding recipe for a large number of guests, simply double the recipe.
  • Individual servings – Divide into ramekins, mason jars, or fancy dessert glasses to make your dessert feel extra special.
  • Add garnish – Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon or some chopped nuts if you’d like. Walnuts, almonds, and pecans would all taste great!
close up shot of pudding in white ramekin being scooped with a spoon

Storage/Freezing

  • Storage and reheating – Keep covered in the refrigerator and use within 4 days for best results. To reheat, warm in the microwave or on the stove with a little extra half and half as needed.
  • Freezing – This pumpkin rice pudding will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer. However, the sooner you eat it the better will taste. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and give it a good stir before serving. You may need to add a little more half and half to loosen it up.

More Holiday Desserts:

5 from 12 votes

Pumpkin Rice Pudding

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Servings 6 servings
This pumpkin rice pudding is creamy and lightly spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg. It makes a cozy and comforting fall or holiday dessert!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup white basmati rice
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups half-and-half divided
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup optional – or 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger

Instructions 

  • In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the rice, water and salt. Bring it to a boil, stir once, the reduce to a simmer on the lowest heat and cover. Simmer covered for 8 minutes.
  • Stir in 4 cups of half-and-half along with the sugar. Simmer uncovered for 20-25 minutes, until the rice is very soft, stirring often.
  • Once the rice is totally soft, slowly stir in the beaten egg followed by the pumpkin, maple syrup and spices. Cook for another 1 minute then remove from the heat.
  • Add the remaining cup of half-and-half and vanilla. Stir well. Pour into a bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Serve warm or chilled.

Notes

  • Storage and reheating – Keep covered in the refrigerator and use within 4 days for best results. To reheat, warm in the microwave or on the stove with a little extra half and half as needed.
  • Freezing – This pumpkin rice pudding will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer. However, the sooner you eat it the better will taste. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and give it a good stir before serving. You may need to add a little more half and half to loosen it up.

Nutrition

Calories: 363kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 291mg | Potassium: 337mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 1988IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 228mg | Iron: 1mg

This post was originally published in October 2013. It was updated with new pictures and instructions in October 2020.

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Hi, I’m Erin!

BS Food Science,

MS Nutrition

I believe you can make amazing, gluten-free food with everyday ingredients that everyone will enjoy. I’m here to share my tried-and-true recipes with you!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Yum! This is a great fall dessert! I wasn’t normally a fan of rice pudding, but this is so creamy and warm. Its was really tasty.

    1. Hi Donna! I wish I could be more helpful, but I haven’t experimented much with stevia. Let me know if you give it a try!

  2. 5 stars
    Hi! That looks lovely, and I’m excited to explore your other recipes. I’m thinking of trying this in a slow cooker, do you have any thoughts on low vs high setting?

    1. Hi Julie! I haven’t tried making this in the slow-cooker yet, but I think that’s a great idea! I would cook it on low. I think it would probably take 4-6 hours. Let me know if you try that and it works!

  3. 5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe. Want to try it soon now that the weather is cooling down…even here in Texas!

    Thanks for all the wonderful recipes you share with us!

    1. Hi Linda! I bet you can use another 2 cups of coconut milk + 2 cups of water in place of the 4 cups of almond milk. I haven’t tried it myself so I can’t say for sure. I think since coconut milk is thicker than almond milk part water will make the consistency the same! I hope this works for you. It’s delicious!

  4. Is the coconut milk the unsweetened variety, So Delicious or the like, rather than the canned sweetened coconut milk which I know is not very good for you? Looks great! Thanks!

    1. I actually do use canned coconut milk! I order it from Amazon and the brand is Natural Value. It is packed in a BPA-free can and the only ingredients are coconut extract and water.

  5. 5 stars
    Do you think this recipe would work the same if I used Arborio rice? IT sounds delicious and I want to try to make it for Thanksgiving (I need a GF dessert)

    1. Unfortunately I don’t think so! The sweet brown rice is very unique and gives the pudding it’s creamy texture. You could always try it though!

  6. 5 stars
    Hey … Wonderful recipe and it suits our rice perfect. Especially with the Ambemohar (its a traditional Maharashtrian rice). Thanks for posting this recipe.

    1. I think sweet rice would be delicious with quinoa too! Maybe a yummy breakfast bowl with coconut oil and honey!

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