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Creamy Milk Rice

Guest post from Brigette Shevy

This has to be one of the easiest side dishes ever. And frugal to boot!

My husband grew up eating this creamy, comforting dish, so I was first introduced to it after I married into the family. And honestly, I never really cared for rice until I tried it served like this.

It’s a stick-to-your-ribs kind of side that can be served all year round. You can serve it alongside roast in the winter, or grilled chicken in the summer.

I’ve yet to meet another family who has heard of “milk rice,” so I’m curious if we’re the only family out there!? It falls somewhere between creamy mashed potatoes and risotto.

Since it doesn’t have a strong flavor, it pairs well with spicy or barbequed meats. And for those of you who prefer more flavor – feel free to liven this up however you like! Fresh herbs or Parmesan cheese, anyone?

My 2-year old likes this rice so much, that he will often come into the kitchen when I’m making dinner and ask, “Making rice, Mommy?”

If you feel like you’re stuck in a potatoes rut, here’s a super simple recipe to switch it up a little!

Have you ever made “Milk Rice”?

Brigette is a full-time wife and mother who is blessed with three amazing bundles of energy (ages 6, 4, and 2). She enjoys music, experimenting in the kitchen, homeschooling her children, finding great deals, long-distance running, and anything chocolate.

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  • Becky says:

    I grew up eating “milk rice”, but we called it sweet rice. We would have this for breakfast with sugar.

    • Brandi T says:

      Yes…we called it sweet rice too!

      • Joan says:

        I actually found this website because I recalled the memory of what my mother called “rice in milk” and was curious if anyone else was familiar with it. She made it throughout my childhood, usually in the evenings during colder weather. Likewise, we ate it with salt, pepper and a little butter. Our family lived in New York City and I’ve always assumed it was a recipe associated with our Jewish roots in Russia (Belarus today). Very interesting to see it’s worldwide variations. Definitely a comfort food! It’s been fifty years since I last tasted it. I’ll wait for cool weather and try it again. It’s about time!

    • Judy Ward says:

      Creamy milk rice is different from sweet rice, rice pudding, or dry,flaky rice. We usually had it for breakfast with country ham, eggs, and red eye gravy.

    • Sage says:

      We ate it for breakfast also! We put butter, a little milk, and some sugar in it. Loved this growing up.

  • Nicole says:

    I bet this would be really good with coconut milk, too.

  • We grew up eating rice pudding for special occasions and it is very similar. We’d serve it with sweet cranberry sauce though for dessert.

    One of my kiddos favorite breakfasts is regular old leftover rice with milk and sugar. I bet they would love this!

    • Heather says:

      I’ve made it before with coconut milk – SO yummy. It’s more like a dessert at that point, and great with fresh mango or other fruit!

    • Donna says:

      We would also have leftover rice with milk and cinnamon when I was growing up. This recipe sounds really good and could be adapted to make it more like India rice putting by adding caradmon pods to it while cooking. LOVE Indian rice pudding!

  • Regina says:

    This recipe has been handed down at least 3 generations. My grandma (and all of us) always added sugar so that it was more like a rice pudding. Yummy!

  • We grew up eating milk rice with sugar. My mom would make it for us when we were sick. I haven’t thought of it in years, my son is sick today, I may have to make it.

  • Lacey says:

    I have not head of milk rice, but when I was little my mom served peas in milk and we sometimes ate jello with cream poured over it.

    • Brigette says:

      Interesting! Do you still eat those things?

      • Lacey says:

        No, not since I grew up and moved out on my own. I like whipped cream on jello, but not liquid cream and my peas I eat plain. They are just memories of my childhood and my mom now. More precious, because I lost her just about two weeks ago.

      • Christy says:

        My family eats Egg Rice. Made the same way but we put in chopped up boiled eggs.

    • Karleen says:

      I grew up with my Dad cooking peas and milk together. I always cook my peas that way. I have never met anyone that knows about peas and milk. I always thought it was a new England thing. I grew up in Maine.

      • Lacey says:

        My mom was from Rochester NY, half Irish and half Cuban. My dad is from AL. I think it comes from my mothers side though, I never thought to ask.

      • Cheryl says:

        My grandmother always made “creamed peas” with new green peas from the garden in spring, and a white milky/cream sauce. It was delicious – I haven’t thought about it in years!

  • TONYA says:

    This is the only way I know how to eat rice. I thought everyone did this until I went to college. I can’t eat rice any other way. It’s funny to see it called milk rice and to see that it is a recipe on line. I just thought everyone knew about this. 🙂

    • Brigette says:

      Do you put sugar on it? While it would definitely be good that way, we don’t eat it like that. Just curious, because alot of those commenting that make this add sweetener.

      • Tom says:

        Love Creamy Milk Rice. !. Been eating it since I eating it since i was a kid. Im now 55. I dont put sugat on it tho. Its just too good to me with just salt to taste and extra butter :). I start out with water tho and cook it down and then start adding Milk several times as itncooks down on low heat. Takes a good hour. Thats just the way my Momma taught me 🙂

  • doris says:

    My dad, who grew up very poor, had this often and still while I was growing up it was a favorite of his. He put cinnamon in it.

  • Yessel says:

    My grandma would serve “arroz de leche”, as a sweet treat/dessert. She made it with water and one can of evaporated milk, sugar and cinnamon sticks with powdered cinnamon sprinkled on top. Delicious! I’ve never seen it served as a side, but I think my kids would love it too.

  • leisa says:

    We had rice and raisin with sugar and milk for special breakfasts.

    • Laura says:

      I grew up with this also, but made with Sugar and topped with cinnamon. Mom called it “Sweet Rice”

    • Becky G says:

      I’ve never heard of milk rice as a side dish before. I grew up eating a hot cereal type dish. Very similar to some that posted above. We don’t have a recipe written down, but has been handed down for many generations, in fact I just made it and posted it on my Instagram & hash tagged it #ComfortFood I boil water w/ cinnamon sticks, then I sweetened it with brown sugar until it is sweet to my liking. I add rice and when it is cooked, I add milk and sprinkle cinnamon and add a tad of butter. It is milky, cinnamony & sweet. It is mostly eaten as a breakfast hot cereal but we eat it for dinner sometimes on cold evenings. I love it & all my kids love it too!

  • Andrea says:

    I love my rice cooker…wonder if I could toss these ingredients into it and if it would work?

  • Brandi T says:

    Don’t worry, you’re not the only family that makes this. 🙂 Growing up, my family called it ‘Sweet Rice’ because Mama always added a bit of cinnamon and sugar. It is a common dish among the Hispanic population (Arroz con Leche) and they often add a bit of vanilla extract or even a dash of rum! 😀 It probably depends on where you live. I’m in Texas–large Hispanic population–so I would say its a common dish here.

    • Becky G says:

      Brandi, that’s where I’m from & I agree, a very popular dish in Texas. We never added the rum where I’m from though…lol.

      • Brigette says:

        I’m learning all kinds of things! Does anyone ever eat it without adding sugar? I’m sure it would be great like that, but we eat it “plain.”

  • Dianna says:

    I also grew up eating sweet rice. We had it with milk, cinnamon and sugar. Not only was it a frugal breakfast, but it was very good. I don’t remember ever getting tired of it.

  • Staci says:

    I grew up eating milky rice and not realizing that all rice is not milky! My husband could never understand why we had milky rice when he would visit my family. It is so warm and creamy and is a nice change from regular rice that we often serve.

  • Angela says:

    I get to eat this at pooja(religious cermony for hindus’) but we add sugar and raisins to our milk rice however it’s called Kheer. If anybody has indian friends ask them about the sweet rice they’ll let you know of other ingredients you can add to it.

  • foxyvee says:

    We ate this growing up. We at rice almost everyday. We called it “Sugar Rice” we would add sugar to it, and eat it for snack, or breakfast with eggs and sausage.

    I also make this when my kids arent feeling well, I can always get them to eat rice!

  • Brett Marie says:

    I often make something similar, only I use a can of coconut milk (tastes best with coconut milk from a can, not the tetra or refrigerated stuff) and 2 cups of water along with 2 cups of Goya medium grain rice. This goes great with anything with fruit – such as Waikiki Meatballs, Orange Chicken, Pineapples and Chicken.

  • Fay says:

    Kheer is a type of milk rice with spices such as whole cloves, cinnamon stick, cardamom all boiled together and sugar added at the end. This recipe comes from South East Asia.

  • Marlene says:

    I feel like my life has changed for the better after seeing this recipe! Can’t wait to try it with coconut milk. I sometimes serve leftover rice with milk and a little cinnamon-sugar to my kids for breakfast; but simmering rice in milk sounds divine. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • M says:

    I’ve heard of milk rice, but what we actually used to have once in a while is “milk mush” which is hot milk that has been thickened with flour. We would eat it is as a meal and put cinnamon, sugar, and butter on it. (I am a good Scandanavian!) The best though was if there were leftovers – the next day mom would slice the cold mush and crispy fry it in a pan for breakfast!

    • Brigette says:

      That sounds good too!

    • Kristin says:

      A good Scandinavian chiming in here too! We grew up eating something called Rice Mush, which sounds very similar to your milk mush. It was thickened rice that we would put cinnamon, sugar, butter, and milk on, and then eat warm.
      We also had Rice Pudding on special occasions which is one of my favorite dishes ever!

  • susan says:

    Sounds interesting! Is the rice pre-cooked, or raw grains?

  • Shelley says:

    I´m from Austria and milk rice is eaten a lot here! It is often served as a quick easy light meal with jam, honey, stewed fruit or cocoa powder and sugar. Such a comfort food!

  • Karen says:

    Growing up we had this staple for supper, but cooked with raisins in it and topped with a generous spoonful of brown sugar!
    Yummy memories!!!

  • Jenna says:

    I’m wondering if this could be made with brown rice. I have a giant bag of brown rice in my pantry but no white rice!

  • Jenni says:

    Oh! This brings back memories! I lived in Russia for five months as an exchange student and we would eat this for breakfast or a light lunch there. It was always put in the “kasha” category (the Russian word for porridge – Russians have lots of porridges). I loved it, and now that you’ve brought it to my mind I’m going to have to make some!

    • Brigette says:

      I’m learning there are variations of this dish all over the world! Very cool. 🙂 My husband lived in Russia short-term, so I’ll have to ask him if he remembers eating this type of thing there.

  • Nicole says:

    Thank you for your recipe! It brings back some sweet memories.
    Growing up in Germany, my mother made a similar milk rice dish when I was a child.
    It had cinnamon and sugar in it and after cooking it on the stove she placed it in a baking dish and put a mixture of beaten eggwhites on top (Meringue). Then baked it until the eggwhite mixture turned slightly brown. It was so delicious! Now, my husband is not into rice at all, so I rarely make anything with rice

  • Wendy says:

    I grew up thinking the only way you could eat rice was in a bowl with milk and brown sugar or Rice-a-Roni (gag!). When I married my husband I was introduced to salted, buttered rice and thickened chicken broth on rice.

    I don’t believe I have eaten it in milk since I got married 21 years ago. I may try this recipe. It sounds good!

  • Angela says:

    I grew up eating sweetened white rice.
    And my hubs & sons love it today.
    We do minute rice in the microwave, then add butter, sugar & milk when it’s finished cooking.
    Super quick breakfast meal … or snack.

  • Teresa says:

    Europeans eat milk rice (my mom is from Germany). But we always had it like a breakfast cereal — a little more soupy — and with butter and sugar.

  • Amy says:

    This sounds really good! I will have to try it! I love rice pudding, but never thought of making a similar dish to go with savory foods. Thank you for sharing this idea! And as a bonus, it’s frugal, too.

  • Looks great, Bridgette! Sorry about the food allergies. I haven’t heard of this before, but I would like to try it with almond milk. 🙂 I can’t tolerate rice well (food allergy) and wonder if eating it this way would help. Thanks for the idea!

    • Brigette says:

      As far as the food allergies go, it just means I’ll be visiting your blog more often. 😉

      • Well, I don’t wish food allergies on anyone but will be happy to have you. Our FB page is hopping with lots of milk allergy mom discussions, too. Egg, nuts, and peanuts tend to go hand-in-hand with many milk allergies so we talk about that too. I love our little group. You won’t need me to de-milk your recipes anymore. 😉

        • Brigette says:

          I didn’t know you had a fb page. Yay! I have peanut, egg, gluten allergies as well – so I need all the help I can get. 🙂

      • Bridgette, I will send you some Daiya coupons so you can experiment with dairy-free cheese. 🙂 This summer they will have cream cheese, cheese slices, and pizza on the market in addition to their shreds and wedges. We are big fans. 🙂 I’m sure you like coupons as much as Crystal. 🙂

  • Suzanne says:

    My husband and I are missionary teachers in Germany, and the local grocery store sells “Milchreis” in plain, cinnamon and chocolate flavors. That was the first time I had had it. Looking forward to trying the homemade version! Danke!

  • Lisa says:

    I have never made or heard of milk rice, but I make milk noodles, and they’re a big hit with my girls. I basically do the same thing, using extra-wide egg noodles. I don’t measure the milk, just dump a whole bag of noodles in, then fill the pot with enough milk to almost cover the noodles. I add butter and salt after the noodles are cooked. And I use skim milk, because it’s what I always have on hand. I can’t wait to try your recipe- my oldest loves rice, so I’m sure she’ll love this!

  • Kim Poll says:

    Had this all the time growing up! We called it Rice and Raisins because we added brown sugar and raisins to sweeten the pot. Still have it sometimes for supper on a Sunday night as a treat. I was told that this may be a Dutch treat…I’m Dutch so I’ll go along with it! Can’t go wrong unless you forget to keep an eye on it. Scorched milk isn’t fun nor is the stove it got all over!

  • Lara says:

    I grew up in the Philippines and I remember that on rare occasions that we get fresh milk (I think it’s goat milk), we mix milk with steaming hot rice then add a dash of salt. I think this would have a similar result to your “milk rice” only the rice is cooked ahead.

    Also the next closes thing to this would be plain rice congee. This doesn’t have milk but the method of cooking is the same.

    • Swaps says:

      This is one of very common food in India and is specifically served to small children – cooked rice with warm milk and pinch of salt. It is easy on small child’s or sick adult’s tummy and it is yummy too! Indians also make sweet rice pudding. There is one more recipe that uses yogurt – heat 1-2 tsp butter or ghee, add cumin or mustard seeds, few curry leaves, 1 chilli or powder if you like, pinch of asafoetida (optional) and let it sizzle. Then add cooked rice, pinch of salt and stir in plain yogurt. Mix well and serve it hot or cold.

    • Anna says:

      I’m from the Philippines too. A savory version of this is like arroz caldo- instead of milk, 4 cups chicken broth with salt and pepper. Now I make it more like cream of chicken soup with rice. I make it in the slow cooker on low overnight. Then in the morning add shredded chicken and a can of cream of chicken soup or homemade white sauce. Let it cook on low or warm til lunch, if we can wait til then.

      I really like the sweet rice version too. We used to eat it with cocoa powder and powdered milk and call it champurado.

  • Andrea says:

    We grew up on this too. We call it Dutch smooshy rice. We cook ours in a double-boiler with water in the bottom pan. In the top pan with use 2 cups milk, 1 cup water, 1 cup rice and a pinch of salt. We ALWAYS top with brown sugar and cinnamon. We also eat it with kabasa meat. I think my hubby thought we were the only family out there too. This post made me smile.

  • Jen r says:

    I’m Puerto Rican and we ate this a lot. We call it arroz con leche which translates to rice with milk. Our version is more of soup… Same ingredients. I like to add a teaspoon of sugar but I make sure it has a good balance between the sweet and salty. If your version is bland then I suggest adding a tad more salt. This is major comfort food. I give this to the girls when they have upset tummies.

  • Lois says:

    While I’ve never heard of it being called anything, I used to take left-over rice and make it similar to this but added sugar. Satisfied my sweet tooth and usually called it Breakfast!

  • Kristine says:

    Yes, I grew up eating milk rice. My mom used left over rice. We would eat it a dessert with cinnamon sugar sprinkled over it. I’ve asked my mom several times for the recipe, but it’s something she just makes without a recipe, so now I have a recipe. Thank you.

  • Sandra says:

    Generations of my Texas German family have made this sweet rice like this but I have a hard time doing it. I’ll have to try again. It’s a family favorite.

  • Mel says:

    I made this on Sat night along with our beer in a can chicken. Very tasty. My mom wanted to put sugar and brown butter in it. She says that is how her mom used to make it.

  • Theresa says:

    I grew up with a dish like this. The only difference was that we added a spoonful of brown sugar. It was my dad ‘s favorite dish as a child.
    We also had milk toast, I have yet to find anyone who has heard of this breakfast. (Warm milk poured over toast sprinkled with sugar.)

  • Kathy says:

    We make this and sweeten it and eat it for breakfast! Delicious! I grew up eating it.

  • Felicia says:

    We made rice with milk and water. We ate it for breakfast with butter and sugar. When it was for dinner we added butter and salt. I love it for breakfast.

  • Don Wakup says:

    A favorite Lenten meal growing up that was delicious (and cheap!) was rice with browned butter. Basically it was milk rice with a little sugar and cinnamon dressed with butter browned but not burned, giving it a nutty flavor. One of my missed childhood memories!

  • Kerstin says:

    In Germany they sell a short round type of rice as ‘milchreis’. We cook it with sugar and add cinnamon, applesauce or any other fruit.

  • Kat says:

    Yes! My hubby is asian, his Mom would put raw cocoa, sugar and put extra to the side with the rice, instead of regular milk, coconut milk, and bam you have a great dessert after the side dish! It’s very kid friendly and budget friendly!

  • NLeighton says:

    I haven’t been able to have dairy since I was a baby and my son is the same way. I’ve made coconut milk before but has anyone tried it with a less sweet milk replacement?
    On another note we used to have white rice with most of the meals when I was a small kid. Then we’d have the leftover as dessert with real maple syrup and cinnamon on top. To this day syrup and leftover rice is one of my favorites.

  • Emily says:

    My mother would make milk rice for us when we were sick. I’ve never heard of adding sugar before today. It is one of my favorite comfort foods.

  • Maria Holt says:

    This is a common dish for desert in Germany. We eat it with a mix of sugar and cinnamon or with a berry medley. Even today you can find this on the desert menu of fine restaurants. It’s delicious and one of my favorites!

  • Melanie says:

    funny…it’s what’s for breakfast this very morning.

    • Heather says:

      This made my day, I have been looking for this recipe for a few yrs as my mother passed away. I am so happy to have come across this. Thank you for sharing

  • Jean says:

    My mom fixed this all the time with fried chicken. Thanks for reminding me. I’m going to introduce my husband to it. Great comfort food!

  • Val in MN says:

    My Grandmother made something similar with cinnamon sticks and a little sugar added, and always served it as a side at holiday dinners. I love the idea of savory as well, and adding cheese or herbs. YUM

  • Chad says:

    I grew up eating milk rice for breakfast almost every morning. I thought I was the only family that ate it. Mom would always add a little sugar to give it a sweet taste. I now live in Brazil and have many families here eating it.

  • LaToya says:

    I thought my family was the only people in the world who are this lol we call it breakfast wife.

  • Tamela Sigmon says:

    Here in the south (NC) that’s the way we eat our rice and we eat it with fried sausage or country ham for breakfast, or with country style steak and gravy or chicken for dinner and supper.

  • linda says:

    My polish Grandmother made this all the time. We had this for dinner, not as a side. I never made it, but I want to. So I am looking for a recipe. We always added sugar on top and cinnamon. Great comfort food.

  • Elli says:

    Haven’t tried the recipe yet. My mom made milk rice for dinner. We put boysenberries, cinnamon, milk and sugar. It was all we ate for the meal.

  • heidi says:

    This is what we eat on Christmas Eve! Norweigian Rice Mush!!

  • Vee says:

    I make this, with sugar and call it sugar rice.

  • Tenisia says:

    We ate this all the time. We call it “milk you rice”. We are it for breakfast, with fried chicken or fried pork chops.
    I just started making it for my husband and he loves it

  • Jaclyn Horton says:

    It looks a lot like what Mom used to make. We called it Salt and Pepper rice. We would put salt and pepper on it when it was served.

  • Sonja says:

    We called it Baked Rice and it was considered a dish of our Norwegian heritage (which basically means 19th century Norwegian peasant food). My mother used a can of evaporated milk, then kept adding milk as it baked. It was served with milk, cinnamon, and sugar and paired with summer sausage. The combination of this thick, sweet, cinnamon rice with the salty, tangy summer sausage is one of the great flavor pairings of all time.

  • Karen Finkenbiner says:

    My mom used to make this. She used marshmallow cream and it was to die for. Cannot find this recipe anywhere.

  • Diana Kading says:

    So glad to find this – my mom made this in the winter, served with sugar & cinnamon over top and a dollop of butter-she always made link sausages with it – so good

  • Sherry Fetterman says:

    Seems like most people responding ate this as a sweet dish. My mom made this as a savory dish the way Brigette posted it. Lol. We didn’t call it “milk rice” just rice. I didn’t know until I was a teenager that this wasn’t how everyone ate rice. Sometimes I’ll just made it just for myself. It’s real comfort food for me.

  • Barb says:

    I use coconut milk and top with mango and roasted Ming beans for a dessert. I had it unsweetened in Thailand as a side to red curry lamb shanks. It was awesome

  • hsama says:

    An old thread I found in 2019! I grew up in Iowa. Until the 70’s, the only way my family ate rice was occasionally as breakfast with milk, sugar and cinnamon. So we just called it “rice” lol.

  • Gwendoltn says:

    Mmm, that sounds good. I’ll try it and let up know.

  • Judy Everitt says:

    I am 78 yrs. old and I grew up eating this rice known to us as “Sweet Rice”. It was wonderful as a side dish for a casual meal. We added a small amount of sugar and 2 tsp. vanilla to the warm rice before serving; it was also a huge hit w/ our Puerto Rican grandsons who had never tasted it before! You can easily turn it into a dessert called “Glorified Rice” by adding 1 small can of drained pineapple and maraschino cherries cut up to the chilled sweet rice, plus a small container of whipping cream, whipped or an
    8 oz. container of Cool Whip!

  • Laura Dilatush says:

    I grew up eating this and cooked it recently. My grandmother would serve it with fried chicken. My cousins and I were wondering where it originated. We live in southern Mississippi and have never heard of anyone else eating this. I’ve heard of rice pudding with sugar, milk and butter, but “milky” rice, as we called it, is not at all sweet. Is your husband of German descent? My grandmother had some German ancestors.

    • ANGEL MEJIAS says:

      I am puerto rican and from the east coast
      my mom made Rice milk it is a salt ,warm and delicious treat. been eating this since I was a kid especially in the winter. After playing in the snow a hot bowl of rice milk always hit the spot.thank for sharing this.

  • Betty Johnson says:

    Oh my gosh I hope this is what my mom used to make! My sister and I have tried for years to duplicate it with no luck. I don’t think she put sugar in it but would sprinkle it with cinnamon. I would fill my plate, spreading it out to cover then too it with the cinnamon and be happy with nothing more! I’m making it this week!!!

  • Mandi says:

    Yes!!!! I’m Puerto Rican and I’ve been eating this since I was a kid. My family and I also eat sweet rice milk with raisins which is basically rice pudding with cinnamon but that’s a dessert. This rice milk soup is savory. I personally like it a bit more milky like porridge. Thank you putting up this recipe!!! Keeping traditions alive by sharing.

  • Christal says:

    We have always served it with sausage, sauerkraut, and apple sauce.

  • GB says:

    My mom used to make this when I was young. I made it one time while she was still around and she give me the recipe over the phone. She passed away and unfortunately I didn’t write it down. Found this recipe online and it seems like it is about right. My mom had a German heritage so I don’t know if it came from that or not, but we would put butter, sugar and cinnamon on it. We always called it cinnamon rice.

  • Betty Johnson says:

    I just found this! My mother would make this, or very similar, using a pressure cooker! I’m hoping to taste it once again before I die so thank you! I’ll try it soon!!! I know hers was a side to our meal but I chose to make it my entire meal, spread across my plate and topped with cinnamon.

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