If you’re looking for a quick and easy, dairy-free dessert packed with coconut flavour, then this creamy vegan coconut milk rice pudding will do the trick. While it retains the same creamy texture as traditional rice pudding, this recipe is 100% vegan and is perfect for anyone who is lactose intolerant. Don’t be fooled by the minimal ingredients; this recipe is sweet and full of tasty flavours and makes an ideal midday snack or evening dessert.

What is the best rice type to use to make a coconut milk rice pudding?

Rice pudding is a versatile dish that can be made using almost any type of white rice, long grain or medium grain. You can use whatever you have at home, whether Basmati, or Sushi rice. Wild or brown rice is not recommended, as its subtle yet earthy flavours can overpower and alter the taste of the final recipe. However, the secret to getting that perfect pudding texture every time is to cook using sticky rice.

Make thick and creamy rice pudding using Arborio rice

If you’ve ever eaten risotto, you know that using the proper rice makes all the difference in getting that chewy and creamy textureDainty Arborio rice is a short-grained rice used to make risotto, yet it also is excellent to use in a coconut rice pudding recipe. Arborio rice is high in starch content, which helps create that thickness we all enjoy from a rice pudding. In addition, this rice type breaks apart perfectly when cooked in milk, which adds to the creaminess of the recipe.

Can I use substitute coconut milk for another type of milk?

While coconut milk is an essential ingredient in this recipe, you can always substitute it for another liquid if you don’t have some in your pantry. You can also use almond or soy milk if you’re vegan and top the pudding with shredded coconut. Cow milk, preferably (3.25%), can also be used instead of coconut milk, and if you have both, then use a half/half ratio.

However, using full-fat coconut milk in this recipe is the best way to bring out the coconut flavour and get that thick, smooth, and creamy texture.

What toppings go with a coconut milk rice pudding?

Vegan coconut rice pudding is a wonderful dish because it goes well with many ingredients. You can top it off using ingredients you already have in your kitchen. You can add some extra nutrients by adding a few pieces of fruit, or add a little bit of crunch by topping it off with nuts or seeds. Here are some suggestions to bring colour and flavour to your coconut milk rice pudding.

  • Shredded coconut
  • Berries
  • Mango
  • Raisins
  • Cocoa powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Chocolate chips
  • Chia seeds
  • Granola
  • Jams

When it comes to making rice pudding, allow yourself to get creative!

Coconut Milk Rice Pudding Recipe


  • 2 Cups Coconut Milk
  • ½ tsp Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp Nutmeg
  • ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • ¾ cup Dainty Risotto Rice or Dainty Short (medium grain rice)
  • 1 tsp Orange zest

Garnishes (optional)

  • Fresh Fruit
  • Dried Fruit
  • Seeds
  • Jams



Pour the coconut milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract and sugar into a saucepan on medium-high heat and bring to a boil. About 4-5 minutes.


Lower heat to low, add rice to the liquid and mix together.


Stir occasionally for 20 minutes, until mixture gets thick and creamy. If pudding is too thick, add a little water and continue to cook until rice is soft.


Add orange zest and garnishes before serving.

Can I make coconut milk rice pudding ahead of time?

Do you have some leftover rice and are unsure what to make with it? Don’t let it go to waste, as it can easily be used to make coconut milk rice pudding. Heat the ingredients in a pot for a few minutes, and then throw in the cooked rice. Simmer for approximately 10 minutes and serve with a topping of your choice to enjoy as a creamy and delicious midday snack. You can reheat any leftovers in the microwave or on the stovetop.

Rice tip: If the rice is a little too thick and lumpy, add a small amount of water before reheating it. This will loosen the grains to get back that creamy texture.

Can I use an instant pot to make a coconut milk rice pudding?

Yes. Using an instant pot to cook rice pudding is easy and doesn’t require constant stirring to prevent it from sticking to the pot. You just throw the ingredients into the instant pot and add an extra cup of liquid of either coconut milk or a mix of coconut milk and water. Set the instant pot to porridge mode and cook for 15 minutes.

While coconut milk rice pudding is traditionally cooked on the stovetop, you can easily use any cooking method. As long as you have the appropriate rice-to-liquid ratio and nothing sticks or burns at the bottom, you’ll be able to enjoy a perfectly thick and creamy rice pudding.

How long can I keep coconut milk rice pudding?

While we doubt there will be any leftovers, you can store any uneaten rice pudding in the fridge for up to 4 days. Be sure to let it cool completely before putting it in the refrigerator, as this will prevent bacteria from growing.

You can also freeze this recipe in portions using airtight freezer bags for up to 3 months. However, frozen rice pudding tends to separate, which can slightly alter the texture and make it less creamy. While it’s best to eat it fresh, freezing it is a better alternative than throwing it out.

If you want to discover more exciting rice recipes to try in the kitchen, then check out our recipe page. Whether you’re looking for a vegan recipe, a cozy afternoon snack, or a quick Monday night recipe, we’ve got you covered!