Dairy Farmers of Canada

Lemon Date Rice Pudding

Our dietitians' favourite

Rice pudding scented with cinnamon gets a new twist with brown rice, a touch of lemon and the natural sweetness of dates. The rice cooks right in the milk and soaks all of the nutrients in while it makes a nice, thick pudding. It’s a particularly fitting dessert to serve after a Mediterranean-inspired meal.

  • Prep: 10 min
  • Cooking: 45 min
Yields 4 - 6 Servings
lemon date rice pudding


  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) short-grain brown rice
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp (.5 mL) salt
  • 3 cups (750 mL) milk
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) finely chopped dates
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) grated lemon zest divided
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
  • Ground cinnamon
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In a deep saucepan, combine rice, whole wheat flour, cinnamon and salt; stir in milk. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring often.

Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes until rice is almost tender. Stir in dates; cover and simmer, stirring often, for about 15 minutes or until rice is tender.

Remove from heat and stir in 1-1/2 tsp (7 mL) of the lemon zest and the vanilla. Cover and let stand to cool slightly and thicken (it will thicken considerably upon cooling). Serve warm or let cool completely. Serve sprinkled with remaining lemon zest and additional cinnamon.


Milk tends to bubble up when simmered in a covered pot so use a deep pot and check frequently while cooking the pudding to avoid a messy boil-over.

If the pudding gets too thick after cooling, stir in a little more milk to thin to desired consistency when serving.

If your family isn’t used to the texture of brown rice, start out using half brown rice and half Arborio rice, adding the Arborio after the brown rice simmers for about 15 minutes. Then gradually increase the proportion of brown rice each time you cook it until you’re using all brown rice.

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Nutritional information

Per serving
Energy: 143 Calories
Protein: 6 g
Carbohydrate: 24 g
Fat: 3 g
Fibre: 1.5 g
Sodium: 97 mg

Top 5 Nutrients

(% DV*)
Calcium: 15 % / 160 mg
Magnesium: 16 %
Riboflavin: 15 %
Vitamin B12: 32 %
Vitamin D: 30 %