Rice pudding has been a staple dessert in many cultures for centuries, and for a good reason—it’s rich, creamy, satisfying, and relatively easy to make with simple ingredients. But what if you’ve got some leftover rice on hand and want to whip up a delicious dessert without the fuss of starting from scratch? Enter this scrumptious rice pudding recipe using leftover rice! This frugal dessert not only helps you make use of what you have in your pantry but also elevates the humble rice pudding with added flavors and textures. This dessert is perfect for serving at gatherings or enjoying on a cozy night in, and the best part is, it’s easy to make with just a few simple adjustments to the traditional recipe.
- 3 cups leftover cooked rice
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for garnish (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup raisins
- 2 large eggs, beaten
1. In a large saucepan, combine the cooked rice, milk, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it reaches a gentle simmer. Continue to cook for about 20 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed most of the milk and has a creamy consistency.
2. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract and raisins. Allow the mixture to cool slightly, then gradually stir in the beaten eggs, ensuring that they don’t scramble.
3. Return the saucepan to the stove and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. The pudding will continue to thicken as it cools.
4. Spoon the pudding into individual serving bowls or a large serving dish. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours, or until the pudding has set.
5. Before serving, sprinkle some additional ground cinnamon over the top of the pudding, if desired.
History and Curiosities:
Rice pudding has been around for centuries, with variations found in many different cultures across the world. Ancient Romans were known to enjoy a similar dish made with rice, milk, and honey. During the Middle Ages, rice puddings were introduced to Europe by returning Crusaders who had discovered this simple yet delicious dessert in the Middle East.
Re-purposing leftovers has always been a valued skill in home cooking and frugal dessert recipes like this one have remained popular over time. The use of leftover rice in this recipe not only cuts down on food waste but also adds a rich, creamy texture to the dessert.
Rice puddings have found a place in many traditional celebrations and feasts, such as the Spanish La Tomatina festival or the Indian festival of Pongal. Each culture has its unique spin on rice pudding, incorporating local flavors and ingredients like coconut milk, saffron, and cardamom.