Almond Vanilla Bean Rice Pudding {gluten-free, sugar-free & low-fat}

Almond Vanilla Bean Rice Pudding Final 2 If you follow me on Twitter, then you know that for the last few days, I’ve had some songs in my head. Crazy random songs. Usher, Sound of Music, Glee, Rascal Flatts…..and the funny part is I don’t know all the words, so I piece them together or I sing the same phrase over and over again.

For instance–yesterday I kept singing “raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens something something and schnitzel with noodles“. Julie Andrews: I KNOW you’re reading this. I love your voice and definitely loved you in the sound of music, but PUH-LEASE leave me alone!

Someone stop the insanity. 

The only good thing about the sound of music being in my head constantly was me actually trying to think of a few favorite things to get my mind off of snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes, etc. etc.. So I made a list.

1. my family. duh.

2. food. also duh.

3. rice pudding.

4. hot chocolate.

5. stew.


7. blankets.

8. fireplaces.

Can you tell it was gross weather in Portland yesterday? G to the ross. All I wanted to do was snuggle my baby and sleep the day away. Wouldn’t that be nice…

Well, I did my best with what I had, made hot chocolate, snuggled 7-ish minutes with my sweet darling daughter, wrapped myself in a blanket for the majority of the day, thought about stew and then made rice pudding. Yes, friends.

Sweet and creamy rice pudding.

Carb central.

The food of the Gods.

The only good and holy thing I want to smell and hover over the rest of my adult life.

Ok, not really. But it certainly is a huge comfort food that tends to taste exactly 14.2 times better when it’s cold and wet outside. A comfort food I refuse to forget because it’s amazing. And simple to make. And delicious. And naturally gluten free {bonus!} that I happened to make low fat and sugar free {double bonus!} so I didn’t have to feel guilty eating the entire thing in one sitting. True story.

Feel free to fatten this up with whole milk, brown sugar, more butter and straight up cream. But, I’m warning you–you make it once that way and you will be addicted for life. {Not that that’s a bad thing…}

Here’s how you make it– {and all you rice pudding haters out there–>give this a chance. It will change your life.}

rice pudding 1Start out with some arborio rice and butter in a pretty yellow bright and happy pan! I used this Le Creuset 5 qt. braiser that I just so happen to be giving away! {Giveaway still going strong! Enter HERE!}

rice pudding 2Turn your burner on medium, melt the butter, stir the rice to coat. When things start looking happy, you’re ready for your next step.

rice pudding 3The milk. Skim milk to be exact. Pour in about a cup.

rice pudding 4You want to cover the rice by about 1/4-1/3 inch with milk. Stir this continuously until….

rice pudding 5your rice soaks up the milk and gets thick. You can see that as you stir, it will stay over to one side–this is when you know to add in more milk. So keep adding and stirring until all the milk has been poured in and the rice has soaked it all up.

rice pudding 6Now, as a few last steps, pour in some fat free half & half,

rice pudding 7some sweetener,

rice pudding 8some vanilla bean paste,

rice pudding 9and some almond extract. This stuff is the LOVE almond.

rice pudding 10After all that is added in, you should have this glorious pot of deliciousness. I like my rice pudding on the thicker side, but feel free to add in more milk or half & half to thin it out and get it to the consistency you like.

rice pudding 11As a finishing touch you can toast some almonds too. Mmmm….

Almond Vanilla Bean Rice Pudding Final 1So, dish this up and top it with your almonds. Voila! Rice Pudding that is to die for.

Almond Vanilla Bean Rice Pudding Final 3Easy, healthy, delicious! Hope you all have crummy weather so you can try this out too 🙂 Happy Wednesday.


Almond Vanilla Bean Rice Pudding

Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 3 1/2 cups skim milk
  • 1/2 cup fat free half & half
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 tablespoons truvia {or splenda or regular sugar}
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1/4 cup toasted almonds


  1. In a large pot, melt butter and stir in arborio rice to coat grains. Pour in enough milk to cover rice by 1/3 inch or so. Continuously stir rice until milk has been absorbed and mixture turns very thick. Continue this process until all milk has been added in. Stir in half & half and truvia until rice is cooked to your liking and the desired consistency is reached. Feel free to add in a few more splashes of milk to make the pudding thinner or cook it longer to have it thicker. Remove from heat and stir in almond extract and vanilla bean paste. Top with toasted almonds and serve warm.

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  1. Ive made rice pudding with coconut milk before and your version looks soooo good. I love good rice pudding; it’s so comforting!

  2. Oh how delicious, I love how rich and creamy yet healthy it is!

  3. This rice pudding is exactly the way I like my rice pudding – no cinnamon or raisins just lots of creamy vanilla lovin going on. I’m picking up some arborio rice on my next grocery trip for this stuff!

  4. Wow that looks delicious. I just love rice pudding it reminds me of home, its a must have for Bengali kitchen for all the occasions.

  5. I love rice pudding, which is weird since I hate any other form of rice. Would love to try your lighter version!

  6. The rice pudding looks lovely, but where did you get those darling turqoise ramekins, please?

    • Marshalls! They were $5 for 6. STEAL!

  7. I love rice pudding and so do my littles, but I have never been able to get it to turn out quite right. I cannot wait to try this one!

  8. My best friend makes fun of me for being an old lady because I love tapioca and rice puddings. What? They’re amazing! At least I know when I lose all my teeth at a decrepit age I can still eat good tasty treats!

  9. Absolutely in LOVE with this recipe!! Looks so creamy and delightful!

  10. Whar can you substitute for almond? My son has an allergy to it.

    • You can just leave it out completely or add in cinnamon & nutmeg! YUM!

    • Try pine nuts, but take a bucket load of cash when you go to buy it.

  11. Looks like I am going to need to find some vanilla bean paste. I have never made rice pudding before but it looks so good!

  12. From where my family comes from, we make “kyri buth” (i don’t think thats how you spell it) but it is made with coconut milk and a lot of sugar in rice pudding. My grandmother uses the halves of plastic easter eggs (its weird i know) to scoop out the rice and make pretty little mounds of pudding. Thanks for this recipe!

  13. Omg… the weather here in Michigan is 70 and sunny… it’s weird, but I’ll close my eyes REAL tight and pretend just so I can eat bowl(s) of this! Looks so yummy Lauren! X to the O!

  14. I have never had rice pudding before! I have always been kind of scared of it … not sure why, because yours looks really good!

  15. Seriously, this looks so delicious. Love that you used almond extract and you cooked it so perfectly. The toasted almonds look wonderful with this rice pudding too.

  16. Do you substitute Truvia for sugar one to one? Truvia is much sweeter than sugar. Thanks!

  17. I am totally going to make this, with the real sugar…cannot wait I love rice pudding! Does it matter what kind of rice I use? Would long grain work the same, and substituting almond extract for vanilla extract?

  18. I LOVE rice pudding – sugar free and low fat, too? Yes, please. I’m making this this weekend!

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  20. Seriously, there are people out there that don’t like rice pudding?! One of my favs ever since little, talk about comfort food, especially if still slightly warm, mmmm. This sounds delish and I am going to give it a try. I wonder how it would taste using almond milk instead of skim. I always love a touch of freshly grated nutmeg on mine.

  21. Does anybody know how many Weight Watchers points this would be?

  22. I just made a vegan version of this and it was delicious! Thanks for stirring the inspiration pot!

  23. Do you think soy milk would work instead of skim milk and half and half?

    • I’ve never tried it so I’m not sure how it would work….give it a whirl and keep me posted! 🙂 Thanks for the comment Emily!

  24. I do a TON of cooking and thought I was pretty darn knowledgeable, but I’ve never even heard of vanilla bean paste. I must get some NOW! Your recipe sounds great – I love rice pudding too. A restaurant that I used to work at would fold in some whipped cream at the end…swoon!

  25. Hey! This looks fantastic, but does the rice actually cook? Like soften? Or is it supposed to be fully cook before you put it in the pan? I’ve had rice pudding only once before and I’ve been obsessing to have it again, but idk how the rice would cook it seems like it only cooked for a very little time in this recipe.

    • The rice cooks in the pan like a risotto.

  26. Can someone give me a carb count for one serving?

  27. Can you use vanilla extract instead of vanilla bean paste, or some other substitute?

  28. what is half and half

    • half cream half milk….it’s sold in the dairy section of most stores 🙂

  29. where can I get vanilla bean paste?

  30. I always use a vanilla bean & almond extract in my rice pudding. The flavors are wonderful together. I would not use the fat free half & half though. Have u read the ingredients in it? Pretty gross. Go with real half & half or even vanilla almond milk if ur avoiding dairy.



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