A Comforting Rizagalo Greek Rice Pudding

greek rice pudding

Calling all rice pudding lovers! Look no further than Rizogalo (Greek rice pudding), Greece’s answer to this classic comfort food. This creamy dessert is a staple in Greek cuisine, enjoyed for its simple yet addictive flavour profile. Made with readily available ingredients like rice, milk, sugar, and spices, Rizogalo is surprisingly easy to whip up at home.

Perfectly cooked rice, a luxuriously creamy texture, and a touch of Greek flair. We’ll also explore some exciting variations you can try to take your Rizogalo game to the next level. So, grab your favourite pan and get ready to experience a taste of Greece!

greek rice pudding

Rizogalo Greek Rice Pudding (Serves 4)


  • 4 ¼ cups  (1 litre) whole milk 
  • ½  cup Arborio rice, uncooked and unrinsed 
  • 1  cinnamon stick 
  • 1  vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1 2-inch strip lemon rind 
  • Zest of ¼ orange 
  • 1  Tablespoon cornstarch 
  • 2  Tablespoons sugar 
  • Ground cinnamon, for garnish 


Begin by seasoning the milk.  In a medium saucepan, add the milk, rice, cinnamon stick, lemon rind, and orange zest. Use a small knife to split the vanilla pod in half lengthwise then scrape the seeds into the pan and discard the pod (if you are using vanilla extract, wait to add it until later). 

Bring the mixture to a simmer over low to medium heat, whisking continuously for the first 3 minutes so that the milk and rice do not stick to the bottom of the pot. 

Cook the rice, whisking vigorously every six or so minutes and until the rice is very tender and the mixture has started to thicken. This should take about 35-40 minutes. To check if the rice is cooked, taste a rice grain. It should be very soft. The consistency of the milk should be thick like heavy cream. 

Dilute the cornstarch with ¼ cup of water in a small bowl. Pour into the rice mixture over low heat, whisking until combined and the pudding has thickened yet is slightly pourable in consistency. This will happen quickly, so keep an eye on it. Remove from heat. It will continue to thicken slightly while it cools, so do not make it too thick. 

Remove and discard the lemon rind and cinnamon stick. Add the sugar and lemon zest (if using) and mix well to combine. Taste and adjust with more sugar if desired. 

Pour the pudding into 5 serving bowls and liberally sprinkle with ground cinnamon. It can be enjoyed, warm, at room temperature or cold 

Looking for a delicious and wholesome dessert that’s also a fun kitchen activity for your little ones? Look no further than Rizogalo, Greece’s take on rice pudding! Here’s why it’s a perfect fit for your kiddos:

  • A Nutritious Treat: Greek rice pudding boasts a healthy blend of carbohydrates from rice, calcium from milk, and natural sweetness. Plus, you can add a sprinkle of cinnamon for a touch of warmth and antioxidants.
  • Picky Eater Approved: The creamy texture and subtle sweetness of Rizogalo often appeal to even the most selective palates. It’s a gentle introduction to a new grain (rice) and can be a great way to encourage milk consumption.
  • Kitchen Confidence Builder: Greek rice pudding is a simple recipe perfect for getting kids involved in the kitchen. Measuring ingredients, stirring the pot, and watching the rice transform are all activities that build confidence and motor skills.
  • Endless Fun with Variations: Greek rice pudding is a blank canvas for creativity! Let your kids explore adding chopped fruit like berries or chopped nuts for extra flavour and texture. They can even help decorate with a sprinkle of cinnamon or a drizzle of honey.

So next time you’re looking for a delightful dessert or a fun kitchen project, whip up a batch of Rizogalo, our Greek rice pudding with your little chefs!

For more information on the food that we serve at Sydney Early Education Centres, connect with our Centres and see what they have on their sample menus. We hope you enjoy creating this recipe at home.

NEEC Chef Alice

Written By

Alice, NEEC’s Chef

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