Using Your Pantry Staples: Fruit and Rice Pudding

Just five ingredients to make this delicious and easy dessert

By Laura Miller, publisher of Macaroni Kid Appleton-Waupaca-Oshkosh, Wisc. September 11, 2020

After looking through my pantry, I decided rice pudding would be a nice change of pace and give my kids a little treat to look forward to after dinner. My grandma made rice pudding when I was a kid and used raisins, but I decided to make ours a little more colorful so I used fruit cocktail to dress it up.

This recipe is really forgiving and you can make do with what you have and how much you have. I was able to use only pantry staples too. For instance, I happened to have a can of coconut milk to use for this recipe, but any milk will do. The vanilla is optional too... I actually forgot to use it this time, but if you have some to spare, it tastes great!

Use one cup of milk per cup of rice. Start with less sugar, and add more until you like the flavor.


  • 1 to 2 cups of rice, prepared per package instructions
  • 1 to 2 cups milk of choice
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar (to taste, start with less and add more if desired)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 can fruit cocktail or other fruit

Optional: Toppings such as chopped nuts, seeds, or shredded coconut


1. Heat the milk and prepared rice in a pan and cook on low until the milk is absorbed and the rice is spoonable. Stir frequently and be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan. 

2. Towards the end of cooking, add the sugar, tasting to make sure you like the level of sweetness. Remove from heat and add vanilla.

3. Let the rice cool or refrigerate it. When ready to serve, drain the can of fruit well and fold in gently.

4. Add toppings if desired and enjoy!

Laura Miller is the publisher of Macaroni Kid Appleton-Waupaca-Oshkosh, Wisc.

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