This super creamy Coconut Rice Pudding, that happens to be healthy and vegan too, is total comfort food with a tropical twist. Coconut milk not only makes this recipe rich and creamy, but adds that tropical taste to it, which is just enhanced with the sweet caramelised pineapple on top.
I am sure we all have happy childhood memories of rice pudding. It was always served up in the school canteen (topped with jam) and we would also open a can of it on a weekend as an after Sunday dinner treat.
We have taken a childhood classic and given it a quick and easy tropical twist with coconut and pineapple.
While we're talking about rice pudding, we have a more traditional rice pudding recipe if you prefer.
Why you will love it
- A really tasty vegan dessert
- Kids will love it
- Lower in sugar than most rice pudding
- Easy to adapt with different toppings
- Rice - For the best rice pudding, use pudding rice. You can use arborio (risotto) rice.
- Milk - We used a mixture of almond milk and coconut milk. You could use more coconut milk, but we find that a bit too sickly. You can swap the almond milk for dairy milk, but it wouldn't be vegan any more. We used light coconut milk, but you could use full fat.
- Sugar - This is what the coconut rice pudding is sweetened with and what the pineapple is cooked in. You could use maple syrup or honey (it wouldn't be vegan any more).
- Vanilla - This adds lots of flavour to the rice pudding. Use extract, not essence.
- Pineapple - This is what we topped the rice pudding with. You can use any fruit though. A berry compote is good too.
- Coconut - An extra sprinkling of desiccated coconut on top just finishes it all off.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make coconut rice pudding - Step by step
One: Put the rice into a pan.
Two: Add the coconut milk, almond milk, sugar, and vanilla extract.
Three: Put on a medium heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and gently cook for 35-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it is thick and creamy and the rice is tender.
Four: While the rice is cooking, chop the pineapple in to 1 inch/2cm chunks.
Five: Put the pineapple and sugar into a frying pan.
Six: Gently heat for 10 minutes.
Seven: Spoon the cooked rice pudding into bowls and top with cooked pineapple, coconut flakes and a dusting of nutmeg.
As the main flavour of the rice pudding is coconut, we wanted to stick with the tropical flavours and went with pineapple and some extra coconut. But you could really use anything.
Not a fan of pineapple? Swap it for mango and cook it in the same way. You could even caramelise some bananas to go on top.
Keep it simple and go with some homemade jam or chocolate chips, or it is good plain too. We have also topped with with peanut butter, berries, chopped nuts and pomegranate.
It will keep for about 2 days in the fridge (make sure it has cooled completely before putting it in the fridge). You can also freeze it in individual portions and then reheat in the microwave or on the hob after totally defrosting. It won't taste as good after it has been frozen though, but add a little water to loosen it up and make it super creamy again.
Yes, you can cook this in the slow cooker, but the texture will be a bit different and a little more mushy. Simply stir everything together in the slow cooker and then cook on high for 2 - 2.5 hours stirring every hour. You may need to add a little more milk if it is too thick.
Portion control is key with any dessert, and one portion of this coconut rice pudding is under 250 calories. The great thing with making it yourself, is that you can control the amount of sugar that goes in to it.
• You can swap the coconut and almond milk for any kind of milk, but it won't be as creamy.
• Swap the pineapple for mango (or a combination of both). Cook it in the same way, to mix things up a bit.
• You can cook this in the slow cooker on high for 2-2.5 hours, but you might need to add a little bit more milk towards the end if it is too thick.
• You can freeze this in individual portions or keep it in the fridge for up to 2 days. Just make sure it has cooled completely before putting it in the fridge or freezer.
More dessert recipes
If you’ve tried this vegan rice pudding, let us know how you got on in the comments below.
Tag us in your creations on Instagram @hungryhealthyhappy - Use the hashtag #hungryhealthyhappy too.
Coconut Rice Pudding
- 400 ml (1.66 cups) Light coconut milk
- 400 ml (1.66 cups) Almond milk
- 80 g (0.5 cups) Pudding rice
- 2 tablespoon (3 tablespoon) Sugar
- 1 tablespoon Vanilla extract
- 0.5 (0.5) Pineapple - chopped into 2cm chunks
- 1 tablespoon Sugar
- Coconut flakes
- Put 80 g Pudding rice into a pan.
- Add 400 ml Light coconut milk, 400 ml Almond milk, 2 tablespoon Sugar and1 tablespoon Vanilla extract.
- Put on a medium heat and bring to the boil. Turn down to a simmer and gently cook for 35-40 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until it has thickened.
- Put 0.5 Pineapple and 1 tablespoon Sugar into a frying pan.
- Gently heat for 10 minutes.
- Spoon the cooked rice pudding into bowls and top with the cooked pineapple, Coconut flakes and a dusting of Nutmeg.
- You can swap the coconut and almond milk for any kind of milk, but it won't be as creamy.
- Swap the pineapple for mango (or a combination of both). Cook it in the same way, to mix things up a bit.
- You can cook this in the slow cooker on high for 2-2.5 hours, but you might need to add a little bit more milk towards the end if it is too thick.
- You can freeze this in individual portions or keep it in the fridge for up to 2 days. Just make sure it has cooled completely before putting it in the fridge or freezer.
I would like to try this recipe. What other forms of rice will work besides arborio rice?
Arborio rice really does give the best results (you can find it in all major supermarkets, it is risotto rice). But other short grained rice can be used as a substitute.
I made this yesterday and it was lovely. I used honey instead of the sweetener and topped it with berries instead of pineapple. Both of my children enjoyed it too.
All the other (5 stars) reviews say 'this sounds great'. 'Can't wait to try'. Basically they left 5 stars but haven't made it.
Well I actually made it and sad to say it tastes horrible. Stodgy, cardboard colour and cardboard flavour. Throwing it away. Note* the ingredients ask for almond milk (which I used) but the instructions ask for skimmed milk.
I'm sorry that you didn't enjoy it. We make this recipe almost weekly and we love it and think it tastes far from like cardboard.It's very creamy and has a strong coconut taste. The skimmed milk was a typo and we have changed that now - thanks for telling us.
Did you use the exact sweetener that we used in the recipe? And pudding rice?
If it is too stodgy, which can happen if it is cooked at a higher temperature (it has to be turned down to a low simmer), you can always just add some more milk to make it creamier. As for the colour - it's rice pudding :)
Love the idea of using coconut milk! What gorgeous flavours this must have!
This looks so good! I fell in love with coconut rice when I was in Columbia last year and am so excited about this recipe!
Made this yesterday & we both loved it, really tasty.
I LOVE the idea of using coconut milk in rice pudding. It’s auch a simple idea, but it sounds positively delicious!! I’ll have to try this soon!!
Rice pudding is pure comfort food and I love this tropical take on it!! Such fun flavors!
Yes please! I like the sound of this dish. I think we could all use a little less sugar in our diets so this is perfect for what I am planning for dishes this weekend. Cheers!!