This Instant Pot Rice Pudding is ultra creamy, buttery, and packed with tender rice and chewy raisins. This quick and easy dessert is great served warm or chilled.
I was so pleasantly surprised by this instant pot rice pudding! Honestly, I don’t think I had ever had rice pudding before creating this recipe, because to me, dessert should be cookies, brownies, or anything made with massive amounts of chocolate, ha! That being said, I am completely obsessed with this rice pudding recipe. The texture is spot on — perfectly tender rice and chewy raisins all surrounded by the most luxurious, thick, creamy, buttery pudding — it’s too good.
This classic rice pudding has two key ingredients that take the flavor to the next level: sour cream and almond extract.
- Rice – Arborio rice is an Italian short-grain rice with a high starch content, which cooks beautifully in the Instant Pot and adds to the creaminess of the pudding.
- Cold Water – make sure the water you use is cold so the instant pot takes the correct amount of time to come to pressure and the rice is properly cooked.
- Unsalted Butter – adds warmth, flavor depth, and creaminess.
- Salt – cuts the sweetness and enhances the other flavors of the pudding.
- Half-and-Half – makes the pudding ultra creamy without being overly rich.
- Brown Sugar – adds a warm sweetness.
- Eggs – gives the rice pudding that jiggly “pudding-like” texture.
- Sour Cream – makes the pudding extra creamy and adds a tangy flavor to offset the richness from the butter, half-and-half, and brown sugar.
- Vanilla Extract and Almond Extract – gives the pudding flavor depth and a touch more sweetness. Don’t skip the almond extract! I find rice pudding without almond extract to be rather bland.
- Cinnamon – provides a kick of sweet spiciness.
- Raisins – give the pudding even more sweetness and a delicious chewy texture that pairs really nicely with the rice.
- Whipped Cream – optional for serving, if desired!
How to make
- Place rice, water, two tablespoons of butter, and salt into your instant pot then stir to combine.
- Close and lock the lid then cook on HIGH pressure for 5 minutes. Allow a natural release for 10 minutes then release any remaining pressure by flipping the valve towards venting.
- Fluff the rice with a fork then stir in 1 1/2 cups half-and-half and sugar.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk together remaining 1/2 cup half-and-half with eggs, sour cream, vanilla and almond extract, and cinnamon.
- Pour the egg mixture through a fine mesh strainer into the instant pot. Use a rubber spatula to push it through easily.
- Hit SAUTE on the instant pot and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly to avoid burning. Once simmering, simmer for 1 minute then turn off the instant pot and remove the pot from the base.
- Stir in raisins and remaining two tablespoons of butter then serve warm or chilled from the fridge and topped with whipped cream.
What kind of rice do you use for rice pudding?
Arborio rice is the best rice for rice pudding. Its short grain and higher starch content creates a pudding that’s thick, creamy, and slightly chewy — the perfect texture for rice pudding!
Do you rinse the rice?
No. Rinsing the rice will get rid of the starch. You want the starch to help thicken the pudding!
Can you use skim milk?
You can, but I don’t recommend it. Half-and-half gives the rice its super creamy texture whereas skim milk will probably result in a watery pudding. If you DO give skim milk a try, you’ll likely need to simmer it longer in the Instant Pot to achieve a thick and creamy texture.
Do you eat rice pudding hot or cold?
Rice pudding is delicious hot, room temperature, or cold! Some people will serve rice pudding hot while others would rather enjoy it cold and topped with whipped cream.
- Add nuts. Give your pudding a crunchy texture with roasted, salted walnuts, pecans, almonds, or even pistachios.
- Make it tropical. Omit the cinnamon, replace the half-and-half with full fat canned coconut milk, and stir in toasted coconut flakes and lime zest.
- Use another dried fruit. Swap the raisins out for dried cranberries or even chopped apricots.
How to serve
Serve your instant pot rice pudding warm straight out of the instant pot or chilled in the fridge and topped with whipped cream.
It’s also delicious topped with fresh berries or chocolate shavings!
How to store
Rice pudding will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Enjoy again cold from the fridge or warmed in the microwave. If it’s too thick, thin with more half-and-half or milk.
I don’t recommend freezing it because it will become watery when thawed.
Instant Pot Rice Pudding
Equipment for this recipe
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 1 1/2 cups cold water
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 pint half and half divided
- 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup raisins
- Whipped cream optional for serving
- In a 6 quart Instant Pot, stir together rice, water, 2 tablespoons butter, and salt.
- Close and lock the lid; be sure the pressure valve is pointing toward SEALING.
- Cook on HIGH pressure for 5 minutes.
- Allow the Instant Pot to naturally release for 10 minutes, then release any remaining pressure by flipping the valve toward VENTING.
- Fluff rice with a fork, then stir in 1 1/2 cups half and half and sugar.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk remaining 1/2 cup half and half together with the eggs, sour cream, vanilla extract, almond extract, and cinnamon.
- Pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer (use a rubber spatula to push it through easily) into Instant Pot.
- Hit SAUTE on the Instant Pot and bring to a simmer, stirring almost constantly to avoid burning.
- Once simmering, simmer for 1 minute.
- Turn off the Instant Pot, remove the pot from the base, then stir in the raisins and remaining 2 tablespoons butter.
- Pudding will thicken as it cools.
- Serve warm or chilled from the fridge and top with whipped cream, if desired.
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*Note: Nutrition information is estimated and varies based on products used.