This easy Greek rice pudding can also be made vegan if you use almond or coconut milk. It can be served warm or chilled but always with lots of cinnamon on top!
Is there anything better than an easy homemade Greek rice pudding tainted with some cinnamon on top? Every time I make this humble dessert I’m amazed by the fact that just a few, simple and everyday ingredients can be transformed into something so heartwarming and cozy. The best thing about this dessert is that everyone can make it, it’s naturally gluten-free and it can very easily be made vegan. It can also be served warm or cold, but never without a generous amount of ground cinnamon on top.
The word “rizogalo” comes from the Greek words “rizi” (rice) and “gala” (milk). So, it’s like saying “rice milk.” I I like to add a vanilla pod (cut in half lengthwise) and a cinnamon stickto the milk during cooking, because it gives the pudding an extra dimension and makes it so much more fragrant and comforting. Needless to say that this rizogalo along with this Greek superfood breakfast bowls recipe (kolliva) are my two favorite traditional sweet recipes.
HOW TO MAKE THIS GREEK RICE PUDDING VEGAN
This homemade rizogalo recipe has no eggs and no butter, and the only animal product used is milk. So, it can easilly be made vegan if you just substitute a vegan milk.
Personaly, almond milk is my favorite type for this recipe, but coconut milk, oat milk and other plant-based milk will also work nicely. If, however, you can find roasted almond milk, I would urge you to use that, but then again I have a sweet spot in my heart for roasted almonds.
WHY CORN STARCH IS USED
Cornstarch makes this easy Greek rice pudding extra creamy and gives it enough body to be pleasing to your mouth. Cornstarch is the main thickening ingredient for many creams and custards, especially when eggs are absent. Also cornstarch lets us use less rice in this recipe (using a lot of rice can result in a thick and dense, sticky pudding).
How much cornstarch to use? The quantity given here will result in an extra creamy and not very thick pudding. If you’re used to a rice pudding with a thicker consistency you can use an extra tablespoon of cornstarch. And for a more accurate measurement, if you have a kitchen scale use it to measure the cornstarch by weight.
- Flavor the milk/rice mixture with some vanilla (extract or a pod) and a cinamon stick for an amazing taste with warm and cozy aromatic notes.
- Cook the rice with the water until completely cooked through before adding the milk
- Use a plant-based milk to make it vegan
- Always top with ground cinnamon!
- Serve warm or cold (I prefer it warm, straight from the pot!)
Homemade Greek Rice Pudding (Rizogalo)
Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 32 mins | Total Time: 42 mins
- 1/2 cup risotto rice
- 1 1/2 cups water
- pinch of salt
- 2 cups milk (or almond milk for vegans)
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon white sugar
- 1 tablespoon honey (or maple syrup for vegans) [Buy your Greek honey here]
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 vanilla pod (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
- 1/3 cup (40 grams) cornstarch
- 1/2 cup cold milk (or almond milk for vegans)
- ground cinnamon for topping
- Transfer the rice, the water, and the salt to a medium sized pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until all of the water is absorbed (about 15-20 minutes). The rice should be completely cooked through. If not, add 1/4 cup more water and continue cooking.
- Add the 2 cups of milk, the sugar, the honey, the cinnamon stick, and the vanilla extract or the vanilla pod (first scrape the seeds from the pod with a knife and add everything to the pot) and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring very often.
- Combine the cornstarch and the 1/2 cup cold milk in a small bowl and stir with a fork until the cornstarch is completely dissolved. Add this mixture to the pot and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the pudding starts to bubble. Cook for 1 minute and remove from the heat. Divide the rice pudding into 5 small bowls, glasses, or plates. Top with cinnamon just before serving. Eat!
- If your prefer your rice pudding on the thicker side, use an extra tablespoon of cornstarch.
- This recipe can be easily doubled for more servings.
- After the rice pudding has cooled, keep refrigerated and consume within 3-4 days.
About The Hungry Bites
Born and raised on the Greek island of Crete, Makos Efthimis (aka The Hungry Bites) learned to appreciate the value of the Mediterranean diet from a young age. He grew up watching his mother and grandmother everyday as they went back and forth with spatulas, spoons and knives on hand, tirelessly chopping vegetables, greens and fruits and cooking traditional Cretan foods. His blog includes a bit of everything — one pan recipes, healthy dishes and some gluten-free, vegan or vegetarian recipes — but mainly centers around Mediterranean cuisine. For dozens of other authentic Mediterranean recipes, visit The Hungry Bites here and follow along on social media: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and Bloglovin.
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