Rizogalo / Rice pudding (Ρυζόγαλο)

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The classic Greek rice pudding, made with a few simple ingredients for maximum flavour and creaminess.

Rizogalo is the classic Greek rice pudding, made with a few simple ingredients for maximum flavour and creaminess.

There are certain foods which bring us back to our childhoods instantaneously, and rizogalo (rice pudding) is one of them.  Coming home from school we were often greeted with a still slightly warm, soup bowl full of the stuff, sprinkled generously with cinnamon.  We would sit in front of the television, with our mother by our side, watching a bit of after-school specials before starting our homework or going out to play with our neighbourhood friends.  

Now that we are older, and have made this for our own families, we can appreciate that our mother likely benefited from the almost meditative act of making rizogalo, enjoying the last bit of quiet before everyone returned home, and before she went off to work in the evening.  Making rizogalo is not complicated, but it does ask that you stand by the stove, stirring quite constantly.  Not too much thinking required, just a steady, rhythmic, and repetitive circular movement. A perfect opportunity to free your mind and focus, zen-like, on being in the moment.  An also perfect opportunity to, for example, tell your husband to find his own socks, since you can’t possibly leave the stove.

The classic Greek rice pudding, made with a few simple ingredients for maximum flavour and creaminess.

Rizogalo is named after its two key ingredients, rizi meaning rice and gala meaning milk,  and it is in a class by itself (which is why even calling it “rice pudding” feels wrong). If you have only ever had xeno (that is, not Greek) rice puddings, you are in for a treat.  What you have here is a recipe for a dish which is custard-like, incredibly creamy and velvety, and only slightly sweet.  It is like a hug in a bowl, and can be enjoyed as a dessert, a snack, or even breakfast.

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Rizogalo / Rice pudding (Ρυζόγαλο)

Helpful hints:

In the ingredient list you will see that the recipe does not specify what type of milk to use, and that’s because it is really up to you.  Our parents generally use 3.25 % lactose-free whole milk, for those of us who are enzyme-challenged, but you can just as easily make rizogalo with 2% milk, or even an almond or soy milk if you want to go the vegan route. The taste and texture will differ depending upon which milk you use, but we have found using 3.25 whole milk, gives it a more creamy texture.  Variety, they say, is the spice of life (although our folks would argue that oregano is actually the spice of life…but we digress).

The classic Greek rice pudding, made with a few simple ingredients for maximum flavour and creaminess.

Speaking of variety, some people (not us) like to add a few extras to their rizogalo, like grated lemon or orange peel, nuts or raisins.  If you want to experiment, go ahead! Our guess is that you would probably add these unnecessary extra ingredients when you add the milk.

The sugar amount called for in this recipe will give you a rizogalo which is not overly sweet.  You can, of course, adjust the sugar amount to your liking although we recommend that you start with the quantity we suggest, take a taste, and adjust from there.

This rizogalo / rice pudding recipe which is simple, but still needs your attention.  We don’t know if it’s the brand of rice, the mineral content of the water, or the altitudinal pressure which is a factor, but to be honest, this recipe has given us a bit of grief.  We have found ourselves occasionally needing to add to the volume of water called for in this recipe.

For some reason, the original quantity of water listed below is often perfect, but other times it is insufficient, and the rice risks sticking to the bottom of the pan.  Stick happens.  Our advice is to keep an eye on your pot throughout the cooking process and if you find that you are still a few moments away from adding the milk but your rice appears to have soaked in all the water, just add more water.  About 1/4 cup more water should do it.

Rizogalo is delicious when eaten quite warm, at room temperature, or even cold, straight from the fridge.  Keep in mind, that if you eat it shortly after preparing it, it will be a little liquidy.  The rizogalo needs time to set.  As the rizogalo sits, it has a tendency to thicken. We like to make it, let it sit and cool, stir, and spoon it in our bowls.  We then cover the bowls with plastic wrap, and refrigerate  to allow it to fully set.  To warm it up before eating, simply heat it in the microwave.  If you find that your rizogalo is too thick before it comes time to enjoy it, simply stir in some warmed milk, enough to reach your desired consistency.

The classic Greek rice pudding, made with a few simple ingredients for maximum flavour and creaminess.

Looking for more sweet things?  Try these:

Lemon bars

Vegan date cake

Quince spoon sweet

The classic Greek rice pudding, made with a few simple ingredients for maximum flavour and creaminess.

We love hearing from you!  If you have made our recipes, or if you have a question or comment, or simply want to say Hi!,  please leave a comment below!

The classic Greek rice pudding, made with a few simple ingredients for maximum flavour and creaminess.

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Rizogalo is the classic Greek rice pudding, made with a few simple ingredients for maximum flavour and creaminess.
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Rizogalo/Rice Pudding

Rizogalo is the classic Greek rice pudding, made with a few simple ingredients for maximum flavour and creaminess.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Resting time6 hrs
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Light meal, Snack
Cuisine: Greek
Keyword: easy recipe,, greek sweet,, rice pudding,, Rizogalo
Servings: 4 people
Author: Mia Kouppa

Equipment

  • sauce pot

Ingredients

  • 3 cups (750 mL) water
  • 3/4 cup (165 grams) arborio rice
  • 2 cups (500 mL) milk preferably 3% milk
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar
  • ground cinnamon for sprinkling

Instructions

  • Rinse your rice quickly.  Bring water to a boil in a medium sized saucepan, then add rice.  Return to a boil and then reduce heat to medium low.  Stir frequently.
    3 cups (750 mL) water, 3/4 cup (165 grams) arborio rice
  • Cook for 15 minutes.
  • Add milk and sugar to pot.  Adjust heat so that mixture is at a low, gentle boil. Stir constantly to ensure that the rice does not stick to the bottom of the pot.
    2 cups (500 mL) milk, 1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar
  • Continue cooking; after 10 minutes, check the rice for doneness.  It should be soft and not firm to the bite.  Once the rice has achieved this state, remove it from the heat and let it sit, in the pot, for 5-10 minutes, this will help thicken it up.  When the 5-10 minutes have passed, stir thoroughly and then ladle the rizogalo into individual serving bowls. Refrigerate the bowls, for a few hours to allow the rizogalo to fully set. If you don’t allow the rizogalo to fully set, it will be a little liquidy.
  • Enjoy it straight from the refrigerator, sprinkled with some ground cinnamon. If you prefer it warm, heat it up in the microwave, and then sprinkle on some ground cinnamon.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

If it’s too soupy as you’re cooking it.. keep cooking..
Refrigerating the rizogalo, and allowing it to set, creates a lovely creaminess.  It's a bit soupy when freshly cooked and before refrigerating.
 

20 thoughts on “Rizogalo / Rice pudding (Ρυζόγαλο)

  1. I will be making Rizogalo, first time, with the recipie provided. But unless missing it, I’m not seeing the serving portions,
    how many servings does this recipie make?

    1. Hi Mary. I’m so happy that you will be trying this recipe. Please let us know how you like it 🙂 The serving sizes for our recipes are always found at the top of the recipe, inside the box. This rizogalo recipe makes 3 – 4 servings. Have fun!

  2. normally, i put eggs into my rice pudding. i tried it your way and very creamy. i did it once in a double boiler and once just watching and stirring. both worked out nicely

    1. Perfect! This is a bit of a tricky one, really need to watch it. Double boiler is a smart idea… it’s soothing, to just stir and stir… it’s a wonderful treat!

  3. Made it again in the double boiler (takes longer to cook) and since I was out of sugar, used maple syrup instead. This is one recipe that I will make again and again, with sugar or with maple syrup. It will replace my usual recipe since I have yet to fail and it turns out so creamy and perfect.

  4. This is a staple in my fridge – every 2 weeks I make it. Sometimes I make it will all milk to get a calcium boost.

  5. Made this last week for the 1st time and boy was it delish and super easy. Omly thing i added after i turned it off was toased cinnamon stick in for 2 min and then removed and gave it final stir.
    We live cinnamon but husband doesn’t like to see it.

  6. Made this last week for the 1st time and boy was it delish and super easy. Omly thing i added after i turned it off was toased cinnamon stick in for 2 min and then removed and gave it final stir.
    We live cinnamon but husband doesn’t like to see it.

    1. That’s amazing Christina 🙂 Thank you so much for the feedback – so glad you loved the recipe! The cinnamon stick is a great option to get the flavor but not have visuals of cinnamon 🙂 🙂 Thanks for your interest in Mia Kouppa!

  7. Made Rizogalo today using your recipe. So easy and super delicious. Only thing I added was a teaspoon of vanilla essence. Will be using this recipe as my go-to recipe from now on!

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