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.
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!
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!”
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.
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
Looking for a quick dessert that you can make on the stovetop? Try our creamy coconut rice pudding with vanilla and fresh sweet mango.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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:
- Panna Cotta with Figs and Honey
- Old Fashioned Vanilla Wafer Banana Cream Pudding
- Dairy-Free Mexican Flan
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.”