Creamy Breakfast Rice Pudding (vegan and gluten-free)

I am delighted that we are in January, because though seasonally it is cold and dark, for me it is uplifting with less fall ‘overwhelm’ and the start to a new year!  January usually brings many intentions to start eating healthier.  I support these resolutions and intentions, in the framework of a healthier eating lifestyle, not a diet.  A whole foods plant-powered diet is just that – a healthier dietary lifestyle that has longevity… not a temporary quick-fix diet.

I want to offer a new recipe to you today that supports your healthier eating in the new year, and that will also bring you nourishment and warming comfort food in these cold winter days.

This is my Creamy Breakfast Rice Pudding.  “Dreena and Daughters” is back!  After many months, I have another cooking video for you (forewarning: one kiddo is eating cereal in the background and clinking her spoon on the bowl… and the videographer got a LITTLE adjustment-happy with the tripod).  Real-life videos, folks! ;)

The key to this recipe is cooking rice in batches so you have leftovers to quickly prep this pudding.  You can make the version with the pureed banana for natural sweetness, or add some other healthier sweetener options to taste.  And, you can indulge your chocolate-loving soul with the cocoa-infused version.

Creamy Breakfast Rice Pudding by Dreena Burton #vegan #glutenfree #oilfree

photo credit: Nicole Axworthy

Creamy Breakfast Rice Pudding

RECIpage link to print/share

2 cups precooked brown rice, loosely packed (reserve 1/2 cup)

3/4 – 1 cup non-dairy milk (your choice, see note)

1 ripe banana (about 1/2 – 3/4 cup, sliced) (optional, see note) OR 1-2 tbsp pure maple syrup, coconut sugar, or chopped dried fruits

1/4 – 1/2  tsp cinnamon

few pinches nutmeg

1/8 tsp sea salt

grated orange or lemon zest (optional)

optional: 1-2 tbsp cocoa powder (see note)

In a small saucepan, add 1 1/2 cups of the cooked rice (rough measure), and the remaining ingredients starting with 3/4 cup of milk (omit banana if you prefer, see note – and except the zest).  Puree the mixture using a handblender (alternatively, you can puree in a blender before adding to the saucepan, but I find the handblender is quicker and easier for clean-up)!  Add the remaining 1/2 cup of rice, and turn heat to medium-low.  Let the mixture thicken and warm for several minutes.  Add the remaining milk if desired to thin.  Taste, and adjust with sweetener and orange/lemon zest if desired, and stirring through add-in’s if you like!   Serve.

Banana and Sweetener Note:  The banana adds natural sweetness, and so if using it, you may not need the maple syrup or coconut sugar- it’s up to you.  However, also note that if adding the banana, the mixture will turn a darker color with the banana oxidizing and being cooked – so it’s best to eat straight away rather than save leftovers.  If you don’t use the banana, try adding a touch of pure maple syrup or coconut sugar.  Or, you can add chopped dates or other dried fruits to sweeten.

Milk note: If using a vanilla non-dairy milk, you may not need any additional sweetener.  If using an unsweetened variety, you will probably want to bump up the sweetness with the pureed banana or other options.


Chocolate version:  Make this pudding chocolate-y with the addition of 1-2 tbsp of cocoa powder.  You will need extra sweetener to balance the bitterness of the cocoa, so adjust to taste.

Add-in’s:  To add some variety and extra nutrition to this pudding, try adding in a few tablespoons of hemp seeds, a tablespoon of ground chia, 1-2 tablespoons of nut or seed butter (ex: cashew, almond, pistachio, sunflower), 2-3 tablespoons almond meal, a sprinkle of dried fruit (ex: chopped dates, goji berries, raisins, dried blueberries, etc), or some fresh fruit (ex: chopped apples/pears in the winter, fresh berries in spring/summer).

Before I sign off, I thank you for your support and kindness through the last year.  It is meaningful to receive your lovely comments through my posts, email, facebook, and twitter.  Thank you all, I feel blessed to be able to share my work and creativity with you. I hope to bring you much healthy deliciousness in 2013, and I wish you all a year filled with abundant health, love and joy!  

Do you make rice pudding?  Have you made it for breakfast before?

33 Responses to Creamy Breakfast Rice Pudding (vegan and gluten-free)

  1. Brandi says:

    I just made this but with some changes I’d like to share. First I blended the ingredients- 3/4 of a banana, 3/4 of a cup or so vanilla almond milk, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, and the nutmeg and salt as described. After adding to the saucepan, I added 1/4 tap cinnamon and 1/4 cup almond milk along with the rice. I decided to try a trick I learned from watching the show hungry girl for growing oatmeal- I added 1/2 cup of water and let the mixture simmer over medium heat until the water gets absorbed, making your bowl of food ( in this case rice) HUGE!!! Then I added 2 tbsp of chia seeds and another 1/2 cup of water, stirring frequently until it reached the consistency it had at the beginning, before all my extra changes. At the end, I added a mixture of honey, maple syrup, and coconut sugar to taste (couldn’t make up my mind which one i wanted to use!) and a few more dashes cinnamon, some vanilla, and the rest of the banana, sliced. This is now big enough for two breakfasts or breakfast and a post-workout snack.

  2. Dorothy R says:

    My Mom made this when we were kids, Have you tried ABC pudding, avacodos, bananas, and cococa, blend together with vanilla and small amt of maple syrup. My husband loves it and really tastes like Choc pudding.

  3. TomH says:

    How many servings does this recipe make? I’m just beginning to explore the world of a vegan diet.

    • Dreena says:

      Hi Tom, it’s about 2-3 servings, depends on the person and the appetite! Enjoy trying many new recipes, the world of vegan food is exciting!

  4. Lenore says:

    what are the “Natural Flavours ” in almond milk?

    • Dreena says:

      Lenore, I’m not sure, it depends on the brand. You’d need to contact the specific companies and ask them what is used specifically.

  5. mj says:

    This looks like EXACTLY what I’m looking for! Variation question: Has anyone tried a different starch than rice? I’m thinking pre-cooked oatmeal or quinoa. Anyone had success with those?

    • Dreena says:

      mj, I haven’t, but if you try with quinoa you may want extra sweetener/banana, b/c the quinoa has a natural bitter flavor – whereas rice is a little naturally sweeter. Good luck!

  6. Beth says:


    I thought I had the ingredients to make rice pudding but googled to be sure. I found this and just changed it up a bit. I added sliced vanilla peaches, a tiny bit of home made vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa powder, a drop of doterra orange essential oil and jasmine tea leaves in an infuser. I also used Jasmine rice. Ahhhhmazing. Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. bronwyn says:

    This was amazing. My fav was choc orange and also lemon. Thanks this is my new breakfast and I dont usually eat breakfast. I am cooking more rice now so I can wake up wanting breakfast. Thank you again

  8. This would be a great alternative to my standard oatmeal!
    Jamie @ Thrifty Veggie Mama recently posted..Weekly Menu Plan Week Of February 4, 2013My Profile

  9. Jacky says:

    this is delicious. Love the addition of the orange zest!!!

  10. I have only had rice pudding a handful of times, but never for breakfast.

    This looks like a great alternative to oats.

    Thanks so much for the delicious recipe and for the added information on sweeteners and mix ins…it makes all difference in the world to have options when you are trying out a new recipe.

    It is that style of assistance on your blog and in your cookbooks that makes me constantly use your recipes because the wealth of information is just so handy.

    I hope you are having a wonderful 2013 Dreena!
    Rachel @ My Naturally Frugal Family recently posted..Hello! Remember Me ?My Profile

  11. Richa says:

    The pudding looks awesome! I love love all your recipes and posts. oh and i agree, you look amazing in the video!
    Richa recently posted..Quinoa Shell Pasta, White Garlic Jalapeno Sauce with Carrots and Red Bell Pepper. Vegan Glutenfree RecipeMy Profile

  12. Tiffany says:

    Wow, Dreena! This looks great! I will definitely have to try it sometime soon.

    I’ve been making so many of your recipes and they are all hits! I made your nutty veggie burger last week and my brother who loves meat tried it and was very impressed! He is now trying to switch to a more plant based diet :)

    By the way, I read this article (linked below) yesterday and it was so disappointing to read that the authors tried to make it look as if cows milk is better than non-dairy milk because non-dairy milk has a lot of added sugar. But the authors didn’t even mention the unsweetened variety! In addition the authors made it look as if whole grains are not beneficial toward a weight loss diet. In my view whole grains are beneficial towards our health. They are packed with fiber, protein and lots of minerals. Its just sad to read this stuff and know that the average person is getting misinformed. (Sorry I just had to share with someone who would understand.)

    I hope you are having a wonderful weekend!! xoxo

    • Dreena says:

      Oh, so fab to read that, Tiffany! Tell your brother I told him the food is better on this side. ;) Yes, that article is disappointing, but not that surprising. They also neglect to mention the sugars in cow milk, and the cholesterol, and the saturated fat, and the hormones… I could go on… and the fact that this “much-needed” animal protein in cow’s milk ultimately depletes our bone mass. It’s so infuriating to know these messages keep getting pushed. Also, they should be comparing the flavored/sweetened non-dairy milks to the flavored/sweetened cow milks. Most vegans aren’t drinking volumes of strawberry soy milk, it’s just ridiculous! Moreover, that study about weight-loss and whole-grains was likely still including animal products – there’s the problem. And, weight loss is not the only indicator of improved health. In short, yes, I agree with you – whole grains are healthy. That article can suck it!

  13. Jane says:

    Great looking recipe Dreena! My previous post has disappeared into the ether so I will just ask again can you grind chia seeds in a coffee grinder? My daughter hates the slimy texture of chia seeds, but I like to add them to puddings like this (and in your choc chia pudding the same issue) for extra goodness so I’m thinking how to disguise them! Many thanks for your blog – it’s so informative!

    • Dreena says:

      Hi Jane, I don’t have a coffe grinder, but I think it should work fine, since you can grind whole spices in one. You can also buy the seeds pre-ground in many stores. I grind them in my rambo blender (Blendtec) and then keep a container filled with it ground. They are also great to add to smoothies (if using a standard blender, add them ground or they won’t pulverize), that disguises them very well! Thanks for your kind words. :)

  14. Great video. Now I know that I have been improperly using my immersion blender. Instead of tilting the pot, I have been moving my immersion blender up and down while splattering myself at the same time. Dr. Fuhrman loves cocoa powder as a health food. He was on Dr. Oz today. So I, personally, would opt for the cocoa powder in my rice pudding.

    Btw, you look healthy and glowing. Absolutely no white pasty skin at all! It must be all those veggies. Keep up the videos.
    Debby Sunshine recently posted..Rising Tide Natural Market In Glen Cove, New YorkMy Profile

  15. Joy says:

    Yum!!! I love that this is not only vegan but not loaded with sugar. I live rice pudding (but haven’t had it in years due to the dairy and sugar) this is happening tonight
    Joy recently posted..14 years in the blink of an eyeMy Profile

  16. urbanvegan says:

    Looks and sounds delish, Dreena. And you look delish, too, I might add ;) The camera loves you. TV show time!
    urbanvegan recently posted..2-hour chunky crochet cowl and other crafty acts of rebellionMy Profile

  17. Beth says:

    That looks amazing! I can’t wait to try it! I need to get out of my breakfast rut.
    Beth recently posted..2012 in reviewMy Profile

  18. This rice pudding sounds so delicious! I love that you added citrus zest. I sometimes feel like grain puddings weigh me down, but I’m sure the zest makes it nice and light. I can see this as a nice dessert, too!
    jodye @ chocolate and chou fleur recently posted..Roasted Garlic and Carrot HummusMy Profile

  19. Katie says:

    How long can rice be stored in fridge,I’ve heard it can become poisonous quite fast? That is why I am always reluctant to cook large batches of it!

    • Dreena says:

      Hi Katie, I haven’t heard that. I’d be more concerned about rice not being refrigerated properly… then food borne illness can come into play. I keep rice in the fridge for 4-5 days. You can also freeze portions if that is a better option for you. For this recipe, you would only have to cook less than 1 cup of extra rice, about 3/4 cup. Hope that helps.

  20. Ooh, I love rice pudding! This looks great, thank you so much for all your wonderful recipes, it’s made my transition to veganism so much easier.
    Herbivore Triathlete recently posted..Kitchen Scraps Homemade Vegetable BrothMy Profile

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