Coconut Mango Rice Pudding

Even when you’re as landlocked as could be, one spoonful of this coconut mango rice pudding will have your guests thinking you live ten feet from the shore in a tropical paradise.

Vertical image of a white bowl filled with a thick grain porridge topped with fruit and shredded coconut on a blue towel, with text on the top and bottom of the image.

If you’re more familiar with rice pudding recipes that feature cow’s milk, chewy raisins, and cinnamon, you’ll fall for this bright and sunny dairy-free version as soon as you crack open the can of coconut milk.

It’s like deciding to splash and play in the big waves – no looking back!

This recipe starts with cooked rice, so you’re welcome to make what you need on the stovetop or in your electric pressure cooker.

You can also take advantage of any leftover plain long-grain basmati or jasmine rice from a previous meal that’s in your fridge, and put it to good use here.

Vertical image of multiple white bowls filled with porridge and topped with various garnishes next to a blue towel and a chopped mango.

All routes lead you straight down the path to this delightfully rich pudding.

After simmering the milk with sugar, the lush liquid is combined with the rice, permeating every bite with rich flavor and creamy texture.

You then gently fold in the vanilla extract and mango, waking up the senses with delicately woody notes and a slightly tart, floral sweetness.

Pure vanilla extract blends beautifully with this pudding, but reaching for a dried vanilla bean isn’t out of the question. The little black seeds provide a lovely contrast to the white grains that screams “vanilla!”

Vertical top-down image of a white bowl filled with porridge topped with chopped mangoes.

Simply scrape out and stir the seeds from half of a bean into the milk before simmering, but don’t toss that pod! Nestle it into your sugar bowl for an added touch of flavor in your morning coffee or tea.

The dish is ready to serve with a final garnish of toasted golden-brown coconut flakes and more diced mango.

The golden-brown flakes provide a much-needed textural contrast to the ultra-creamy pudding, and will fill your home with a sensationally nutty aroma as you toast them on the stovetop.

Vertical image of two white bowls filled with rice pudding topped with assorted garnishes on a blue towel next to chopped mango.

Enjoy indulging in this decadent tropical stay-cation in a bowl, and be sure to invite a few friends over to help slurp up the other servings.

It’s sure to be a party – especially if you can get your friends to clean the dishes afterwards!

Print
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Horizontal image of bowls of rice pudding on a wooden surface next to cut fruit and a blue towel.

Coconut Mango Rice Pudding


  • Author: Fanny Slater
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings (approximately 3 1/2 cups) 1x

Description

Looking for a quick dessert that you can make on the stovetop? Try our creamy coconut rice pudding with vanilla and fresh sweet mango.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups cooked long-grain rice (like jasmine or basmati)
  • 2 cups full-fat canned coconut milk (from 2 cans)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup peeled and diced mango, divided
  • 3/4 cup toasted unsweetened coconut flakes, for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepot over medium-high heat, combine the coconut milk, sugar, and salt. Stirring constantly, bring the mixture just to a gentle boil and then immediately stir in the cooked rice, breaking up any clumps with a spoon.
  2. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice soaks up the liquid and takes on a thick pudding-like consistency, about 20 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat.
  3. Stir in the vanilla extract. Gently fold in 1/2 cup diced mango. Serve warm, topped with the remaining diced mango and toasted coconut flakes. Or cool to room temperature and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving in a bowl with a lid. Leftovers may be stored in the fridge for 3-5 days.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Pudding
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Dessert

Keywords: coconut milk, rice, pudding, mango

Cooking By the Numbers…

Step 1 – Gather, Prep, and Measure Ingredients

Start by cooking the rice if you don’t have 2 cups left over or already prepared. You will need 1 cup of dry grains to start – I used jasmine to make what you see pictured here.

Horizontal image of cooked white rice in a pot.

Cook the rice according to the package instructions on the stovetop, or by using your preferred cooking method such as in a rice cooker, or in a pressure cooker.

Prep the remaining ingredients.

Measure 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, or shreds if you prefer smaller pieces. Unsweetened shredded coconut is sometimes referred to as “dessicated.”

Place a small dry skillet over low heat and add the flakes. Cook, stirring often to promote even toasting, until golden brown and very fragrant, about 3 to 5 minutes. Immediately remove the toasted flakes from the pan and transfer them to a plate or bowl to prevent them from burning. Let them cool completely as you prepare the other ingredients.

Horizontal image of toasted coconut shreds and cut mango on a cutting board.

Measure the granulated sugar, salt, and vanilla extract, or scrape the seeds from half of a dried vanilla bean if using, and set aside.

Measure out the canned coconut milk. You’ll need 2 cups ​​– or 16 fluid ounces – of canned coconut milk for this recipe. Because the canned version of milk is typically sold in 13.5- or 14-ounce cans, you will not use the entire contents of the second can.

You’ll need to make sure the contents of the second can are well-blended before you measure, so the separated cream is evenly distributed. Pour the second can into a bowl and stir vigorously with a whisk before measuring the remaining amount you need.

Refrigerate any unused milk in an airtight container. You can save it for another recipe, or use it to thin the pudding as needed before serving if it has thickened after cooling or chilling.

Peel and dice the mango, and be sure to read our tutorial if you need a refresher.

Step 2 – Simmer

Combine the milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepot over medium-high heat. Continuing to stir, heat the liquid to a gentle boil. The milk may curdle if it comes to a full, rolling boil.

Horizontal image of mixing together milk and rice in a pot with a green spatula.

Immediately stir in the cooked rice and turn the heat down to medium-low so the liquid is barely bubbling. Cook until the grains have absorbed the liquid and the pudding has a thick consistency, for about 20 minutes. Make sure to stir the pudding occasionally as it simmers to keep the ingredients moving and prevent burning.

Take the pot off the heat.

Step 3 – Add the Vanilla, Mango, and Toasted Flakes and Serve

Stir the vanilla into the pudding and then gently fold in 1/2 cup of the mango. The remaining fruit will be reserved for the topping.

Horizontal image of mixing vanilla extract into a porridge in a pot next to a bowl of chopped fruit and toasted shreds.

Transfer to dessert bowls, top each bowl with diced mango and toasted flakes, and serve warm.

If you prefer to serve it chilled, cool the finished pudding in the pot to room temperature for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, and then transfer it to a large airtight container. Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving. The diced mango can be refrigerated as well, and the toasted flakes can be stored in a zip-top bag at room temperature until you’re ready to use it.

Horizontal image of bowls of rice pudding on a wooden surface next to cut fruit and a blue towel.

If the consistency is too thick for your liking, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of reserved coconut milk to each serving to thin it out. Top with diced mango and toasted coconut just before serving.

Store leftovers in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.

Be Fearless with Flavor

The rich, nutty flavor of coconut is the star of this dreamy pudding, and a touch of vanilla complements its sweetness. But if you’re already rummaging through your pantry for additional flavor boosters, be my guest!

Horizontal image of bowls of rice pudding on a wooden surface next to cut fruit and a blue towel.

Try tapping in a few warm touches of allspice or cardamom. Lime zest adds an unmistakable citrusy zip, and pairs nicely with the mango as well.

While we’re talking tips, be sure to keep a close eye on your simmering rice and don’t forget to occasionally give everything a stir. The coconut milk can scorch easily, so you want to keep things moving in the pot.

And now, the big question:

Will you devour this dish warm or chill it for a cool treat at the end of a long, relaxing meal? Share your favorite rice pudding practices in the comments below! And don’t forget to give this recipe a five-star rating if you loved it.

If spoonable desserts delight you to no end, you’ll enjoy digging into these sweet pudding and custard recipes next:

Photos by Fanny Slater, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Jennifer Swartvagher on June 23, 2015. Last updated on September 4, 2022.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

About Fanny Slater

Fanny Slater is a home-taught food enthusiast based in Wilmington, North Carolina who won the “Rachael Ray Show” Great American Cookbook Competition in 2014, and published her cookbook “Orange, Lavender & Figs” in 2016. Fanny is a food and beverage writer, recipe developer, and social media influencer. She was a co-host on the Food Network series “Kitchen Sink,” was featured on Cooking Channel’s longtime popular series “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” and continues to appear regularly on the “Rachael Ray Show.”

19 thoughts on “Coconut Mango Rice Pudding”

  1. Oh my, I also have fond childhood memories of rice pudding, and my Dad was also the one who made it. When I need a special treat, I will make rice pudding or tapioca, and it never fails to soothe me. This sounds absolutely delicious, but I will have to double the amount of coconut flakes I toast, because I can never stop eating them before I even start making a recipe.

    Reply
  2. I. Love. Rice. Pudding.

    I’ve never actually had it with mango though, so this will be an interesting try for me. The toasted coconut flakes are a nice touch too, thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  3. I have to say that this sounds interesting. I had Mango Tofu Curry for dinner tonight and that was delicious and I am now wondering about Mango in other recipes. This sounds like a nice dessert to try. I can easily make coconut milk from the fresh coconuts I have at home, so next time we cook some rice, I will try to remember to ensure we cook 2 cups too much!

    Reply
  4. That’s a sweet story about your father-in-law. My mother makes a mean rice pudding with raisins, but she hasn’t thought to include any fruit beyond the occasional blueberry/blackberry. I’ll definitely let her know about the mangoes; it is one of my favorite fruits. Thank you for the new recipe!

    Reply
  5. I used to really enjoy rice pudding, especially as a starving student but I’ve become pretty bored of it just lately. This looks like a really tasty variation of an old favourite.

    Reply
  6. I actually haven’t eaten a lot of rice pudding in my life. But I do love mango and coconut, especially together. I’ll definitely have to try this out soon.

    Reply
  7. The onion incident and the use of rice reminded me of one of my great blunders while I was cooking, some nine years ago:

    I was preparing two dishes for an Indian-themed cookout we were having: a chicken biriyani, and a traditional Indian payasam, which is a sweet dish prepared with milk and rice. I was running low on time, so I was in a bit of a hurry. This made me think it was a good idea to mix the spices and rice to allow for faster prep.

    (I know, extremely stupid of me, but this was one of the first times I was cooking Indian, and that too for a cookout,)

    One thing led to another, and I ended up with a payasam that made eating it feel like I was setting my mouth on fire, and a biriyani that was inexplicably sweet.

    My wife and I still chuckle about it to this day!

    Reply
  8. I really love the taste of mango. Although we dont make rice pudding in my house,I would like to try it some time. This is definitely looks like a nice summer treat.

    Reply
  9. If there’s one thing I love about Foodal, it is the wide variety of unique recipes that I’ve never seen or even heard of before. I’ve only tried rice pudding once or twice but I loved it both times. This sounds like a delicious dessert with the addition of mango. I’m sure other fruits would go well with this recipe too, like raspberries or blackberries, or some sliced bananas. Yum!

    No onions though, please and thank you. It reminds me of a mistake I made one time with a recipe, where I added sugar instead of salt by accident. Now that wasn’t a tasty dish.

    It is nice that you can look back on fond memories when you post your recipes. 🙂

    Reply
  10. I love rice pudding growing up it was a treat to get this. I remember coming home from school, and mama had fresh rice pudding waiting for me. It was a cheap treat we didn’t have a lot of money and rice was always handy. I think this would be fun and a tasty treat to try.

    Reply
  11. I’m not exactly a big fan of rice pudding because the first time I tasted it, it wasn’t well prepared and the “chef” (and I use that term very loosely) was not the best. I’ve only ever had it once as a result of that, but this looks so good I am tempted to try it again. The coconut milk/flakes and mango are what made my decision for me. Those are two of my favorite fruits so I can imagine what the dsh would taste like after incorporating those two. Great post, and those pictures look marvelous!

    Reply
  12. Oh heck yes! I love rice pudding, but i’ve always stayed in the box with it. Cinnamon, Vanilla, Sugar, Milk. THIS recipe, however, has my mouth watering. I want to make it and let it chill for a day in the fridge… Then come home after a long, hot day at work and enjoy this heavenly tropical dessert! I don’t even want to modify the recipe at all. This sounds just perfect!

    Reply
  13. You know, when I was growing up, it seemed like everyone in my family made rice pudding. I only tried it once, and didn’t like it. But when I saw these bowls of creamy pudding with luscious looking fruit, I thought maybe I should give it another shot! It might be really good as a Christmas dessert. I think I’ll leave out the onions though! LOL

    Reply
  14. I never thought about incorporating coconut into my rice pudding. I bet that it’s delicious.I am not so sure about the mangoes but I will try just for the fun of it. My kids love rice pudding too so I’m looking forward to see how they will react to this little twist in recipe ????

    Reply
  15. I started cooking with mango a little time ago, because it is not common around europe.
    But nowadays a lot of markets have them and I like to try new thing so ..
    Also putting them in banana bread or cakes, or just having them with some salt and tequila.

    Reply
  16. This is reminiscent of a childhood favorite: sticky rice and mangoes! But instead of bringing things to a boil, it is steamed. Anyway, as I’m from the tropics rice and coconut abounds in the area. However, it’s my first time to see rice cooked this way – at least for regular rice. When we have something like the recipe above, we usually use glutinous or sticky rice for a local dish called “puto maya”.

    Reply
  17. I’m not a really big fan of white rice… or mangos, but this recipe seems so refreshing and sweet that I can’t avoid to want some of it right now! It’s actually kind of remind me to Arroz con leche, that it’s a typical dessert from my country, it’s so sweet and you can enjoy it really hot in winter or really cold in the summer, it’s definitely one of my favorite ones. 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  18. I love rice pudding with a passion in part because of the nostalgia of eating it with my mother when I was a child. My concern with this recipe is the sweetness. Rice pudding is already quite sweet on it’s own. I imagine that the mango only adds to that. I tend to think that mango pairs better with more tart flavors. Who knows though. Has anyone tried this yet?

    Reply
  19. Well I have to say that for someone who lives about as far away from anything topical as is humanly possible, these sorts of things are extremely nice to have on hand. We still get the crazy heat, but it is the bad heat and not the dry heat of the tropics. We also do not get those delicious flavors, at least in anything fresh, so anytime that you can recreate them then I say bring it on, and this one certainly falls into that category. Thanks for sharing, and this is definitely on my “to make” list.

    Reply

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