Pumpkin-Spiced Rice Pudding

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By Adrianna Adarme / PBS Fresh Taste Blog

There’s a brigade that is very against anything pumpkin-spiced. And you know what, I sort of get it. The pumpkin-spiced latte that is sold at the very popular chain coffee shop is not for me. It tastes like autumnal chemicals and I give it a big “no, thank you.” But I’m here with a recipe that celebrates real pumpkin, no fake syrups, and ground spices that are quintessential to the season we all love so much.

pumpkin-spiced-rice-pudding-2This is me attempting to you convince you all to reframe your opinion of pumpkin-spiced foods. This rice is a blend of rice, brown rice, quinoa and barley, feel free to use any type of rice in your pantry. It’s all cooked with a bit of milk and water and brown sugar, until it’s creamy and perfectly tender. Pure pumpkin puree is added along the way and the results are sublime. It’s a cozy meal for a cozy time that calls for ingredients you probably have sitting in your pantry and refrigerator.

The idea is to make a big pot of this and eat it slowly as the week progresses. It heats up in the microwave very well and hits the spot for early morning meals and dessert that isn’t too sweet.

Pumpkin-Spiced Rice Pudding


1 cup rice (I used a rice-blend of quinoa, brown rice and barley, feel free to use short-grain rice or long-grain)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups whole milk (2% can be used, too!)
1 cup water, plus more at the end of the recipe for consistency purposes
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup pure pumpkin puree
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, roughly chopped

In a medium saucepan, combine the rice, brown sugar, milk, water, butter and salt. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer, cover, and allow to cook until water has mostly evaporated and rice is tender, about 20 minutes. (This will vary depending on the rice or rice blend you use so I say check on it periodically and add water as needed.)
Uncover the pot. If the water has completely evaporated, add about 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of water. Pour in the pumpkin puree, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg. Stir and give it a taste; adjust the spices and sugar to your liking. I found it perfectly spiced and sweet. Divide amongst bowls and garnish with pumpkin seeds. If you’re reheating this, you may need to add a splash or two or water or milk to get your desired consistency.
Yield: 6-8 servings