Rice Pudding with Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce

July 25, 2013 Published by Dina

Rice pudding is one of those universal dishes you find in almost every cuisine. Flavours may vary but the idea is the same: rice cooked in milk with sugar and various flavourings added. I have made it with anything from vanilla and cinnamon to rose water, orange peel, nutmeg and raisins. I have topped it with fruit syrups, jams, caramelized nuts and coconut. I have cooked it with or without eggs, boiled it, baked it, even caramelized the top a little under a broiler. I have used milk, cream, sweetened condensed milk, coconut milk, almond milk, what have you. For the rice I have used any rice: long grain, short grain, basmati, jasmine, arborio etc. Arborio rice and short grain rice make a lovely creamy pudding while long grain, basmati and jasmine  make chewier versions.

Rice pudding with rhubarb strawberry sauce

The recipe I am offering here is made with leftover basmati rice that we had for dinner the night before. Sometime I cook extra rice with the intention of making leftovers into rice pudding. It’s simple, easy and doesn’t take as long to prepare because the rice is already cooked. The basmati makes a chewy and delicious pudding.

The rhubarb-strawberry sauce you can make yourself or just spoon good quality jam or sauce from a good vendor. The rhubarb sauce below makes more than you need for the recipe but it keeps nicely in the fridge for a while and can be used in other desserts or to top ice cream. I had fresh rhubarb this time, although a little late in the season, but in a pinch and when out of season, this recipe works just fine with frozen rhubarb as well. I had a couple of high yielding rhubarb plants at Trail’s End. When they were ready I would harvest them, clean the stalks, cut into 1 inch pieces and keep in plastic bags in the freezer ready for one of my desserts. I love the sweet and tangy flavour of rhubarb and make all kinds of desserts with it.

You can serve the rice pudding warm or  at room temperature. I warm it up in the microwave if needed, just a few seconds to take the chill off. If I take it to a picnic or to the boat (as if:), I spoon it into a small jar, with the sauce on top or on the bottom. If you have caramelized nuts add a few chopped nuts on top. See image on right.


The Rice:

3 cups cooked basmati rice

2-3 cups half and half , as needed
1/2 or 3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract


Place the rice, sugar and cream in a pot and bring to a boil.

Lower heat to a simmer and cook, adding more cream as necessary until the consistency is nice and creamy.

When pudding is almost ready add the vanilla and stir into the rice.

Remove and set aside or let cool and refrigerate until ready to use.

Rhubarb-Strawberry Sauce:

4 cups rhubarb, chopped
1/2 cup apple cider (or water)
3/4 cup sugar
2 baskets strawberries, quartered (16 oz)
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Combine rhubarb, cider and sugar in a large pot and bring to a boil.

Lower heat to a steady simmer and cook until rhubarb breaks down and softened.

Add strawberries and lemon juice and continue cooking to a sauce consistency.

Remove from heat and blend a little with an immersion blender, not too smooth, just to braeak down any larger pieces of strawberries.

Let cool. Store in glass jar in the refrigerator.

To serve:

Spoon the rice into individual serving bowls and spoon some of the sauce over. You can also sprinkle with some cinnamon if you’d like.

You can warm up the rice pudding in the microwave before you add the rhubarb sauce.


Rice pudding with cinnamon
Rhubarb-Strawberry Sauce
Arborio rice
Basmati rice


  • bellini says:

    I have tried a very similar dessert at Okanagan Grocers. Loved it then and would love it now.

  • Hulda Niv says:

    Dear Dina,
    Thank you for the creative recipe. I love rice puding since I grew up on this desert. The rhubarb/strawberry mix is a great idea; never thought about it. I usually use cinnamon and good honey but the fruit mix that you offer is a better choice and I am going to try it this weekend.
    I found however that the Arborio rice works better with rice pudding; I like the mushy taste of the rice and how it blands with the rest of the ingredients. Sometimes I add a TBS of rose water to the rice it gives it the mediterranean flavor.

    • Dina says:

      Hi Hulda, thanks for dropping by. I hope the recipe works for you and Hagar. If you use arborio rice you will get a beautifully creamy pudding but will probably need less rice, but you are a great cook and will know what to do. Rose water flavouring is something we both grew up with. I actually brought some back with me from my last trip. Can’t wait until you come to visit, it will be fun to cook together.