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Easy Middle Eastern Rice Pudding Recipe| The Mediterranean Dish. Step-by-step tutorial for rice pudding infused with cinnamon and cloves, and topped with honey and nuts. The best!

Easy Middle Eastern Rice Pudding Recipe

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5 from 5 reviews


This easy Middle Eastern rice pudding recipe is a new favorite in my household! It’s a basic stove-top rice pudding infused with vanilla, cinnamon, and cloves. Make the garnish or toppings your own, or use honey and crushed nuts like I do.  See my step-by-step tutorial!


  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 1 cup half and half (or heavy cream, if you prefer)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 cup medium grain rice
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup water, more as needed
  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • Ground cinnamon for serving
  • Honey for serving
  • Crushed pistachios and walnuts for serving


  1. Place the milk, half and half, vanilla extract, cinnamon sticks and cloves in a medium saucepan. Heat on high and watch carefully. Just before the milk mixture boils, remove from the heat.
  2. Cool completely and refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight so that the flavors develop and intensify (if you don’t have time, you can proceed from here).
  3. Remove the milk mixture from the fridge and set in room temperature for a few minutes. Add the rice, sugar and water. Bring the mixture to a boil on high heat, then simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring regularly.
  4. As the rice cooks, keep stirring regularly. The rice mixture will dry, add a little water (2 tbsp or so at a time) to help it cook. Continue to stir and add water as needed until the rice cooks completely. The rice mixture should be moist, and the rice should be fully cooked but maintain a little bite.
  5. Remove from the heat. Stir in the butter and evaporated milk. Carefully remove the cinnamon sticks and cloves, then transfer to small serving bowls or even 3-oz mason jars.
  6. At this point you can cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  7. When ready, add a little evaporated milk to each bowl to loosen the rice pudding, if you find that it harden in the fridge. Heat briefly in the microwave, then top the rice pudding bowls with a pinch of ground cinnamon, honey, and the crushed nuts. Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!


  • Cooking tip: Rice pudding can be served warm or cold.  Rice pudding should be stored in the refrigerator.
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  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern