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Leftover Rice Pudding “Recipe”

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UIC chapter.

You’re having a late night study session with friends for a big exam and being the respectable host you are, you order Chinese food. Even though everyone pigs out, you still end up with a bunch of leftover white rice. What a waste of money!

Don’t worry, there’s a solution! Turn that leftover rice into delicious rice pudding in two simple steps without even needing a set-in-stone recipe. The other night I had made some rice for dinner (poor college problems) and had about 2 cups of leftover cooked white rice (girl whose eyes are bigger than her stomach problems). Looking at it REALLY made me crave rice pudding. I read up on some recipes online and created my own sort of non-recipe recipe!

You will need:

  1. Equal parts cooked rice and milk. The kind of milk doesn’t matter, but whole milk will create creamier rice pudding than skim. The same goes for the rice. I prefer white rice pudding, but I’ve seen it made with other kinds of rice, and if that’s what you’ve got then go for it!)
  2. Sugar, to taste. I like sweet things, so I used more sugar than others might want to.
  3. Vanilla extract. Depending on how much rice you have, the amount of extract will vary.


  1. Combine the rice, milk, and sugar in the biggest, heaviest bottomed sauce pan as you can find (to prevent burning of the rice) and cook the rice pudding over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring CONSTANTLY (another precaution for burning. However, do not worry if you have a layer of burnt rice at the bottom of the pan at the end, this is more than likely to happen). I used 2 cups of cooked rice, 2 cups of milk, and 4 tablespoons of sugar. Depending on your sweet tooth, the amount of sugar might range from 1-4 tablespoons of sugar per cup of rice. However, if you find you need more or less, go for it!
  2. Remove the rice pudding from heat once it has reached the desired consistency and stir in the vanilla. I recommend starting with 1 teaspoon of vanilla, stirring, tasting, and adding more vanilla by half teaspoons until you find the amount of flavor you are happy with. Vanilla is very strong, and I only ended up using 1 and ½ teaspoons in my 4 cups of rice pudding, so be careful when adding it!

You can serve the rice pudding warm with yummy toppings of your choosing (my favorites are cinnamon and raisins) or plain, or you can refrigerate the pudding for a cold treat that will keep for up to about 4 days.

Feel free to mess with this “recipe” in whichever ways you would like until you find your preferred flavor profile. Happy cooking!

Ariana Antonelli is an English major at University of Illinois at Chicago who loves baking, cooking, DIY projects, and writing. Ariana has been collecting recipes for two years and she loves to share them with whoever is willing to listen. Ariana loves giving and receiving self-help and girl advice and is excited to make Her Campus her platform for doing so.
UIC Contributor.