Rice Pudding with Pistachios

This homey rice pudding is a nostalgic favorite in Cyprus, with a cinnamon and pistachio topping that hints at the Ottoman and Middle Eastern influences on the island's culinary traditions.

Rice Pudding with Pistachios
Photo: Photography / Penny De Los Santos, Prop styling / Paige Hicks, Food Styling / Nora Singley
Active Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
1 hrs 15 mins


  • 1 ½ cups water

  • ¾ cup arborio rice (see Tip)

  • 3 cups low-fat milk

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 1 3-inch-by-1-inch strip lemon zest

  • teaspoon salt

  • 2 large egg yolks

  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ¼ cup chopped salted pistachios

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Combine water and rice in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the rice is not quite tender and the water is absorbed, about 10 minutes.

  2. Add milk, sugar, cinnamon stick, lemon zest and salt to the rice. Bring to a boil over -medium heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is very soft, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat.

  3. Whisk egg yolks in a medium bowl until smooth. Whisk 1 cup of the rice mixture into the egg yolks. Scrape the mixture into the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Cover and let stand for 15 minutes. Discard cinnamon stick and lemon zest.

  4. Serve the rice pudding warm or chilled, topped with pistachios and ground cinnamon.

To make ahead

Refrigerate for up to 1 day.


If you prefer brown rice, use 2 cups water and cook rice for 15 to 20 minutes in Step 1. Use 4 cups milk and cook for 30 to 35 minutes in Step 2.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

159 Calories
4g Fat
26g Carbs
6g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 159
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 26g 9%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 11g
Added Sugars 6g 12%
Protein 6g 12%
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 51mg 17%
Sodium 97mg 4%
Potassium 182mg 4%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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