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Coconut Rice Pudding

Serves 4

This is one of my favorite desserts. Some days, when I’m in the mood, it’s breakfast. I often serve this to friends for dessert to drive home the point that gluten- and dairy-free eating can be delicious. You can use any rice, but my favorite is arborio, the kind used in making risotto. It makes a much creamier pudding. The coconut milk adds such a wonderful flavor that I don’t use sugar. I’ve added a small optional amount to the recipe.


  • 1 can coconut milk (13.5 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar or agave syrup (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pure maple syrup, for drizzling (optional)


  1. Pour the coconut milk into a nonstick saucepan, scraping the can thoroughly of any coconut cream left behind. Heat the milk over medium heat until just lightly bubbling. Add the remaining ingredients and cook for 15 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until most of the milk is absorbed into the rice. The rice should be pudding-like and not dry; add hot water, if needed, for proper creaminess.
  2. Turn the heat off and let the rice rest, covered, for 10 minutes.
  3. Serve warm or place in parfait cups, cover with plastic wrap, and chill. You can drizzle with pure maple syrup, if desired.

Photo credit: Stacey Morris