This warm and cozy rice pudding recipe is perfect for the holidays because it can easily be halved or doubled depending on your crowd, and you can eat the leftovers for breakfast! Plus it will make your kitchen smell heavenly.

YIELD: 6-8 servings

Recipe Development and Photography By: Williams-Raines


Roasted Pears

  • 3 tablespoons agave syrup
  • 2 one inch strips of orange peel (without white parts)
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 6 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 3 Bosc or Red Anjou pears, cored and sliced

Rice Pudding

  • 3/4 cup brown basmati rice, uncooked
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • Salt
  • 1 (13.5 oz.) can coconut milk, full fat
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split down the center lengthwise (or mix in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract when the pudding is done)
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger
  • 2 one inch pieces of orange peel (without white parts)
  • 1 stick of cinnamon (or mix in 1 teaspoon of cinnamon when pudding is done)
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 3 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • Chopped pistachios and ground cinnamon for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Roast the pears; in a casserole baking dish, mix the orange juice, agave syrup together, add the sliced pears, orange peel and cardamon pods and gently toss to coat everything. Make sure the pears are spread out evening, and bake for 30-40 minutes, until the pears are tender, golden and caramelized. Remove the caramelized orange peel from the pears when cool enough to handle and slice thin, set aside to use for garnish.
  3. Make the rice pudding; place the rice is a medium sauce pan, rinse and drain a few times with water. Drain for the last time and add the 1 1/2 cups water with a small pinch of salt. Cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until most of the water has been evaporated, 15-20 minutes.
  4. Add the coconut milk and almond milk to the rice, scrape the seeds out of the vanilla pod first then add the seeds and the pod to the pot. Add the remaining aromatics; ginger, orange peel, cinnamon stick, star anise, and cardamom pods. Bring to a gentle simmer, cover cook until the rice is tender about 30-40 minutes. Stirring occasionally so the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  5. Remove and discard the ginger, vanilla pod, cardamom pod, cinnamon stick, star anise and orange peel. Stir in the honey (this is where you would also stir in the vanilla extract and ground cinnamon if using). Add more almond milk if you like your pudding on the soupier side.
  6. Serve warm topped with roasted pears, garnish with the caramelized orange peel, chopped pistachios, and a dash of cinnamon if desired.
  7. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
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