This baked vegan brown rice pudding is a healthier twist on the sweet and creamy classic dessert. With cinnamon, maple syrup, and raisins, it's also fantastic for breakfast!
It's versatile, too. Switch things up with different spices and toppings, or use white rice. And if you'd rather not turn on the oven, brown rice pudding can be simmered on the stovetop.
This amazing brown rice pudding recipe comes to us courtesy of Jenn Sebestyen, creator of the popular blog Veggie Inspired. This is one of the many recipes in her latest book, Plant-Based Diet Cookbook for Dummies.
I'm a huge fan of Jenn's, and I was super excited to get a copy of her latest creation! Jenn is known for her family-pleasing, approachable vegan recipes, and this new cookbook is no exception.
Not only is this book packed with more than 125 plant-based recipes, in true "For Dummies" fashion it's also full of valuable information about the benefits and how-tos of a plant-based diet.
With tips on navigating restaurant menus, meal planning, grocery shopping, and getting proper nutrition, it's a fantastic resource.
And for you veteran vegans out there, Plant-Based Diet Cookbook for Dummies is a great one to gift to friends and family who are curious about a plant-based diet.
Now, let's make some rice pudding!
Why You'll Love Brown Rice Pudding
I love that Jenn uses vanilla non-dairy milk in this dish. It really adds that extra layer of sweet and creamy vanilla goodness.
I'm also a sucker for maple syrup, and the ¼ cup used in this brown rice pudding rounds out the sweetness the perfect amount.
And with a generous amount of cinnamon, boy oh boy is your house going to smell amazing while this bakes!
- brown rice - I've made this dish with both long grain and short grain brown rice. We preferred the short grain.
- vanilla rice milk - I've also tried this recipe with refrigerated coconut milk (unsweetened) and vanilla almond milk because I couldn't find vanilla rice milk this particular day. If you'd like to keep the dish refined sugar-free simply choose an unsweetened milk and increase the maple syrup to taste.
- arrowroot starch - substitute corn starch if needed.
- maple syrup - you want pure maple syrup here, not a pancake syrup. Or substitute agave nectar or organic cane sugar.
See recipe card below for amounts and full instructions.
How To Make Baked Vegan Rice Pudding
While baked rice pudding isn't the quickest dessert in the world, it's actually surprisingly easy.
- First, bring the rice and water to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and cook until the rice is soft, about 45 minutes.
- Whisk the arrowroot starch into the milk, then add the rice, cinnamon, salt, maple syrup, vanilla, and raisins (I made one batch with raisins and one without, which is why you don't see any in the photo above).
- Pour the mixture into an oiled baking dish, and cover with foil. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until hot and bubbly, about 1 hour.
Then stir in a little more milk, and let the rice pudding cool for a few minutes. In the cookbook it recommends letting the pudding to rest for 1 hour before serving.
But if you want to enjoy it while warm you can certainly eat sooner. I know I couldn't wait an hour before digging in!
The first time I made the recipe I was pressed for time so I cooked the rice in the Instant Pot, which led to a drier, firmer brown rice. Don't be like me! Cook the rice on the stovetop exactly as Jenn says in the recipe! It's much creamier that way.
Also, I used a long grain basmati rice in my first batch because that's what I had in the pantry. For my second batch I decided to pick up some short grain brown rice which I think has a more classic rice pudding feel. But technically, you can use any type of rice you have on hand.
You can even use leftover rice, as long as it is plain and not seasoned with anything savory. You'll need about 3 ½ to 4 cups of cooked rice.
Since the Instant Pot rice I used in my first batch was on the drier side, the baked rice pudding ended up less creamy than I wanted. So I decided to increase the milk to 2 cups for my second batch. And it turned out great!
- stovetop - don't feel like turning on the oven? Simmer the rice pudding in a heavy bottomed sauce pan for about 20 minutes or until creamy.
- refined sugar-free - instead of sweetened vanilla milk, use your favorite unsweetened milk, and increase the maple syrup to taste. A couple of tablespoons should do the trick!
- other spices - get creative with your rice pudding! Try a bit of ground ginger, chai, or a pinch of cardamom.
- other additions - chocolate chips are delicious in rice pudding; if you're more of a fruity dessert fan, omit the cinnamon and add fresh berries. You can also stir in jam or jelly before serving.
- white rice - adjust the cook time for the rice based on the package instructions. This will create an even softer, more classic rice pudding.
Store leftover rice pudding in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
I haven't tried freezing this rice pudding yet but typically rice pudding is freezer-friendly. If you freeze some leftovers let us know in the comments below!
More healthy vegan desserts:
Grab your copy of Plant-Based Diet CookBook for Dummies, and if you try this vegan rice pudding be sure let us know in the comments below!
Vegan Brown Rice Pudding
- baking dish
- coconut oil, for greasing the dish
- 1 ½ cups brown rice - We liked short grain best in this recipe.
- 3 cups water
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
- 1 ½ cups vanilla rice milk (I couldn't find rice milk and used vanilla almond milk instead), divided - I used closer to 2 cups because we wanted it extra creamy and vanilla-y.
- ¼ cup raisins
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla powder or vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon - In my 2nd batch I decreased to 2 teaspoons for a slightly lighter color and stronger vanilla flavor.
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- pistachios, almonds, or other nuts for garnish
- In a heavy, medium saucepan, place the brown rice and water and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until very soft, about 40 to 50 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a large baking dish with coconut oil (I used a 9-inch square ceramic dish).
- In a large bowl dissolve the arrowroot powder in 1 cup of the milk (I used 1 ½ cups milk here to make it extra sweet and creamy). Add the cooked rice, raisins, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt; mix well to combine.
- Transfer to the baking dish. Cover with foil and bake until browned and bubbly, about 1 hour.
- Remove from the oven and stir in the remaining ½ cup of milk. Let cool for about 1 hour before serving. Garnish with nuts.
Estimated Nutrition (per serving)
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com.