Recipe: Rice Pudding in a Mug

updated Jan 22, 2020
Rice Pudding in a Mug
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(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

Desserts that have the ability to come together in a matter of minutes get big points in my book. Sometimes you just need a last-minute dessert. Nothing fancy — just something warm and blissfully satisfying to calm your sweet tooth.

And sometimes the answer lies in your leftover rice from dinner. Don’t be so quick to relegate it to fried rice or fritters — it could be your answer to an easy five-minute dessert for two.

There are those desserts that are totally stunning — so beautiful you almost don’t want to eat them. Then there are the sweets that aren’t going to win a beauty pageant anytime soon (or ever). This mug rice pudding isn’t the prettiest of desserts, but here’s the thing: You’ll be too distracted by the lightly spiced, sweet, and creamy grains to ever notice.

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

This quick dessert for two thrives on leftover cooked rice and some basic pantry staples. Any kind of rice will do. I like using arborio or sushi rice for its stickiness and tender, chewy bite, but you’ll get an equally delicious pudding from long-grain and short-grain rices alike. Extra basmati rice or brown rice from last night’s take-out? Go for it, as long as you don’t mind an earthy undertone.

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

Rice Pudding in a Mug

Serves 2

Nutritional Info


  • 1

    large egg

  • 1/3 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 3/4 cup

    whole milk

  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon


  • Pinch


  • 1 1/2 cups

    cooked rice, any kind


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg and sugar until light and fluffy. Whisk in the milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt. Add the cooked rice, and stir until well-combined. Divide the mixture between two tall mugs. Microwave on full power for 2 to 4 minutes, until the pudding has set. (Cooking time will vary greatly depending on your microwave and the width and depth of the mug. Start with 2 minutes and continue cooking in 30-second increments until it is done.)

  2. Carefully remove the mugs from the microwave and let them stand for a minute or two before serving. If you like, top each pudding with an extra sprinkle of cinnamon, citrus zest, raisins, or whipped cream.