This pumpkin rice pudding has a strong pumpkin flavor with the warm fall spices that gives the pumpkin treat a comforting and delicious taste!  

I adapted this recipe from my Mexican rice pudding by adding some pumpkin to it. The pumpkin works beautifully! It’s like a delicious pumpkin pudding with the soft rice for texture. It’s one of my favorite fall recipes.

Pumpkin Rice Pudding topped with pecans in a glass jar.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Perfect fall flavors. This recipe is my favorite because the flavors of fall really come through. I think cooking with the cinnamon sticks makes a big difference!
  • The recipe uses brown sugar instead of granulated. This makes a big difference because brown sugar has molasses in it, which means there’s an additional depth of flavor that really adds to the flavor complex of the pumpkin rice pudding.
  • Can be made ahead and stores really well. This is a great pumpkin recipe to make ahead of time since it keeps really well in the fridge. You can store this in the fridge covered for up to 4 days. Add a splash of milk to cream up the consistency again and you’re golden!

Ingredients

Pumpkin Rice Pudding ingredients on a white background.
  • White Rice: I’d recommend using long grain rice or arborio, which are the most popular rice for rice pudding.
  • Cinnamon Sticks: Using the cinnamon sticks while cooking the rice helps infuse the cinnamon flavor throughout. Cinnamon sticks are a bit more potent than ground cinnamon.
  • Milk: For added creamy texture.
  • Pumpkin Puree: This is different from pumpkin pie filling.
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice: I love this spice in the pumpkin rice pudding because it really gives it the flavors of pumpkin pie.
  • Brown Sugar: I used dark brown sugar because I love the stronger and deeper warm flavor, however, light brown sugar works great as well!

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. In a medium sized pot, add the rice, cinnamon sticks, and water. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  2. Once boiling, cover with a lid, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 10-12 minutes or until the water is absorbed. 
  1. Next, stir in the milk, pumpkin puree, and pumpkin pie spice.
  2. Turn the heat to medium-low, cover, and continue cooking for 10 minutes. (While you could leave it for the full 10 minutes, I like to stir my rice every 3 minutes just to prevent major sticking issues that could arise.)
  3. Remove the lid and stir in the vanilla and brown sugar.
  1. Continue cooking until the rice pudding has reached a thick consistency, about 15-20 minutes. During the thickening stage, stir the rice pudding occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  1. Once thick, remove from heat.
  2. Serve the pumpkin rice pudding warm or cold and topped with chopped pecans.
Pumpkin Rice Pudding in a saucepan on a textured white background.

Recipe Tips

During the final 15-20 minutes of cooking, be sure to stir occasionally to make sure the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

Make this dairy-free pumpkin rice pudding by using almond milk instead of regular milk.

Storing

Store covered in the fridge for up to 4 days.

You can also freeze the pumpkin rice pudding in an airtight container or Ziplock bag for up to 2 months. Let thaw and add a bit of milk if needed to reach the desired consistency. You can eat it cold or warm up on the stove.

FAQs

Is rice pudding a healthy snack?

I would consider this a sweet rice pudding treat. There are ways you can make this healthier if you’d like! You could use honey or maple syrup as the sweetener instead of brown sugar. However, the flavor profile will be different than the one created with this recipe.

Which type of rice is best for rice pudding?

Long grain rice or arborio rice is most commonly used for rice pudding. 


Should you rinse rice pudding rice?

According to Cook’s Illustrated, you rinse rice when you want the rice to have a more separated texture. Since rice pudding is a creamy dish, you can skip rinsing the rice.

Overhead photo of Pumpkin Rice Pudding in a glass jar that is topped with chopped pecans.

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Pumpkin Rice Pudding in a glass jar on a white background.
Print Review
5 from 2 votes

Pumpkin Rice Pudding

Traditional rice pudding with a twist… pumpkin flavor galore! This pumpkin rice pudding is loaded with pumpkin and best served when topped with chopped pecans for even more flavor and texture!
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 35 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Servings: 8 people

Ingredients
 

  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar - packed, can use light or dark brown sugar
  • chopped pecans for serving

Instructions
 

  • In a medium sized pot add the rice, cinnamon stick, and water. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. 
  • Once boiling cover with a lid, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10-12 minutes. At this point most of the water should be absorbed.
  • Stir in the milk, pumpkin puree, and pumpkin pie spice. Turn heat to medium-low, cover, and continue cooking for 10 minutes. 
  • Remove the lid and stir in the vanilla and brown sugar. Continue cooking (can raise heat to medium) until the rice pudding has reached a thick consistency, about 20 mins or so. While the rice pudding is thickening, make sure to stir it occassionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  • Once thick, remove from heat. Discard the cinnamon sticks. Serve warm or cold, topped with a sprinkling of chopped pecans.

Nutrition

Calories: 205kcal (10%)Carbohydrates: 39g (13%)Protein: 5g (10%)Fat: 3g (5%)Saturated Fat: 2g (10%)Cholesterol: 9mg (3%)Sodium: 49mg (2%)Potassium: 213mg (6%)Fiber: 2g (8%)Sugar: 19g (21%)Vitamin A: 3723IU (74%)Vitamin C: 1mg (1%)Calcium: 141mg (14%)Iron: 1mg (6%)
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
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This recipe was originally published on Nov. 7, 2019. It was republished on Oct. 2, 2021, to include additional information and photos.