Chesterman: Rice Pudding Recipe

Dining critic Lesley Chesterman can be heard every Wednesday morning at 7:10 A.M. on CHOM 97 7 in Montreal.

For more recipes and kitchen tips, follow Lesley on Instagram: @lesleychestrman.

Okay, I usually don’t like rice pudding because it’s often too thick and boring (like a lot of people you may know). KIDDING! So the challenge was to make one that was not dreary and I think this version scores. You have the option of using egg yolks as a binder OR white chocolate. Both work well. 

I named this recipe for my son Max who ate all the test batches I made this week & chose this as the BEST. What a trooper! 

Lesley Chesterman

Max’s Rice Pudding

For 4-6 servings

  • 1/2 cup (100g) round rice, like Arborio
  • 2 cups (500 mL) milk
  • 3 t. vanilla or 1/2 vanilla pod, split and scraped
  • 1 or 2 orange or lemon zest strips
  • 1/4 cup (50g) sugar
  • nice pinch of salt
  • 3 egg yolks OR 50g of white chocolate
  • 3/4 cup (170 mL) 35% cream
  • Cinnamon (optional)
  • Caramel sauce (optional)
  • Candied pecans (optional)


In a small saucepan, bring about 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the rice, bring back to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes. Drain, rinse lightly with cold water and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a heavy saucepan, heat the milk with the vanilla, zest, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, add the rice and bring back to the boil. Reduce to low heat and simmer, stirring occasionally until rice is cooked and milk has thickened, about 20 mins.

Increase heat to high and add the egg yolks, whisk vigorously and bring it all to boil for 10 seconds. If using the white chocolate, no need to recook the mix, just whisk it into add the hot rice until melted.

Pour the mixture into shallow dish. Remove the vanilla pod and zest, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate completely.

Lesley Chesterman

When the rice base is cold you could cover it with a thin layer of sugar and caramelize it with a blowtorch as you would a crème brûlée OR to make a creamy pudding, whip the 35% cream to firm-ish peaks, mix a third into the rice mixture to lighten and then fold in the rest.

Eat as is, or with a little cinnamon sprinkled on top, caramel sauce drizzled overtop, or with the chopped caramelized pecans scattered EVERYWHERE!

Some say rice pudding is even better the next day so feel free to keep it refrigerated for a day or 2 in an airtight container. It’s also great for breakfast.

Lesley Chesterman

For more recipes and kitchen tips, follow Lesley on Instagram: @lesleychestrman.