Vanilla Bean Rice Pudding with Roasted Berries

When you’re recovering from surgery, you get bored. You learn a lot of useless things that you keep wondering about but keep forgetting to look up. For instance, did you know that cats don’t have collar bones? I also looked into slotted cereal spoons and whether or not you can embarrass your dog. I thought I’d brush up on my Spanish that I haven’t spoken since high school. I got as far as “Yo soy… tired.” You get irritable, too. You have a lot of itches you can’t scratch and you can’t sleep well, even with four pillows. So you watch a lot of TV and movies. You realize that Tom Hanks and Richard Gere have been in a lot of things. You realize that Ross Gellar was a total tool. You find joy in mocking the people in commercials. Wow, Marie Osmond is so happy with NutriSystem! Oh, you can only get COPD if your name has four letters? Phew. Just stop with the erectile dysfunction commercials already. You also start kicking yourself for not saving some of that rice pudding for post-surgery snackage. I made this Vanilla Bean Rice Pudding with Roasted Berries a few weeks back. It is a super simple dessert that is guaranteed to impress. Make it soon, while the summer berries are ripe!

Sweet and creamy vanilla-scented rice pudding topped with roasted strawberries and blueberries

Prep time
10 mins

Cook time
30 mins

Total time
40 mins

Serves 4 to 6


  • 5 cups whole milk
  • ? cup Arborio rice
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup quartered fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries


1. Combine the milk and rice in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the milk and add the whole bean. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring often, until the rice is tender and the mixture is creamy. Stir in ½ cup of sugar, the lemon zest, vanilla extract, and salt and discard the vanilla bean. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for about 4 hours, until cold.

2. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Toss the strawberries and blueberries with the remaining ¼ cup of sugar and arrange on a small rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes, until the berries are soft and tender. To serve, transfer the rice pudding to bowls and spoon the roasted berries over the top.

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