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  • Writer's pictureNikki Glekas

How to Make Easy and Delicious Traditional Rizogalo (Greek Rice Pudding)

Updated: May 5, 2021

Today I’m so excited to share my family’s favorite recipe for Rizogalo. This is a delicious and easy Greek rice pudding recipe made with cinnamon and lemon that we all love. It’s perfect for adults and children alike! I’ve been enjoying this dish for as long as I can remember and over time I’ve perfected it to be exactly the recipe we want.

The beauty of this dish is that it is made in one pot. It starts with making the rice until it is light and fluffy, then adding the milk and flavorings. After that it’s just a matter of letting the milk cook until it has fully thickened and has the similar consistency to a warm custard. Once this is finished you remove it from the heat, allow it to cool, and then chill it in the refrigerator until it is completely set.

To serve it I often scoop it into a pretty trifle dish for presentation. This looks especially nice on a festive occasion when there are a lot of people over. From the trifle dish I scoop it into small ice cream dishes, add an extra sprinkle of cinnamon, and it is served. As you can see, I flavor mine with lemon because I like the taste. However, if you prefer orange or another flavor that would work too.



Rizogalo gets it’s name from two Greek words (Rizi) meaning Rice and (Gala) meaning milk. This is a very simple rice pudding that is perfect for children and adults alike. I like to flavor it with cinnamon and lemon to make the ultimate comfort food.

Makes 8-10 Servings

Timing: 45 minutes, minimum of 2 hours refrigeration


1 cup Carolina rice, rinsed and cleaned

3 cups water

6 cups whole milk, divided

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

1 cinnamon stick

2 tsp vanilla extract

zest from one lemon

3 Tbsp Cornstarch

Optional: ground cinnamon for topping


  1. In a large pot, bring your rice and water to a boil. Cover and let simmer for 18-20 minutes or until your rice is a sticky texture and almost all of the water is absorbed.

  2. Once your rice is cooked, add in 5 cups of cold milk, lemon zest, sugar, vanilla and your cinnamon stick.

  3. With the remaining one cup of milk you’re going to make a cornstarch slurry which is vigorously whisking your cornstarch into the milk. This mixture will be what helps your rice pudding be a thick, rich texture.

  4. Add your slurry to your pot, and bring the heat up to medium so that your rice mixture can come to fast boil. Your boiling should produce both large and small bubbles. Once you see lots of bubbles, it’s time to lower your heat to low, and let simmer as you whisk for about 15-20 additional minutes. Whisking constantly is important so that your rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot and burn.

  5. The rice pudding is at the right thickness once you can see your rice rising to the surface white you’re simmering.

  6. Once your rice is finished, remove it from the heat and putting it in a heat safe bowl to cool. Allow the pudding to sit room temperature on the counter and then place it in the refrigerator to set.

  7. After at least two hours, it’s ready to serve. Top with a dusting of cinnamon and enjoy!

Nikki Glekas is the owner of Nikki Glekas Events, a full-service catering and events company located in Stamford, CT. She is currently operating with COVID-safe procedures and is happy to discuss your event and catering needs with you. To discuss further please contact or call 203.658.8659.

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