Can You Freeze Rice Pudding?

by Charlie

Rice pudding is a very simple dish to make. You don’t even need many ingredients; its primary ingredients include white rice and milk.

Of course you may decide to spice up the pudding with some of your favorite fruits like apple slices or blueberries, but those are just additional items that come after the pudding has been made.

Rice pudding is so easy to make that you can whip up a dish of the pudding within 10 minutes. Many people enjoy a simple bowl of rice pudding as part of breakfast, lunch, and even dinner. 

You may have been faced with leftover rice pudding in the past. Maybe you really didn’t want it to waste, but it did anyway because you didn’t know how to preserve it. Is there a way to avoid that happening again?

Can you freeze rice pudding? Yes, you can freeze rice pudding. Freezing can prolong the shelf life of rice pudding for up to 3 months. However, both the rice and milk used to make rice pudding can undergo significant changes when exposed to freezer conditions.

Regardless of that, if you follow the right steps to pack your rice pudding for freezing, you’ll still have amazing results after freezing the pudding for a while and defrosting it. 

With knowledge of how to preserve rice pudding through freezing, you can prepare your pudding in large quantities and preserve till later dates. If you only need short-term preservation for the rice pudding, refrigeration is a reliable option. Refrigeration can preserve rice pudding for up to 4 days.

However, if you’ll need long-term preservation, your best bet is to freeze the pudding. Keep reading to know more.    

Freezing Rice Pudding 

After preparing rice pudding it shouldn’t just be left sitting on the countertop at room temperature. Prolonged exposure of rice pudding to room temperature will cause bacteria to grow rapidly and render the rice pudding inedible. If your rice pudding has stayed out at room temperature for more than 3 hours, you’ll need to toss it in the bin.  

If you want to make a batch of rice pudding with the intent to freeze, it is best to make use of the freshest ingredients. Fresh ingredients play a key role in the long-term preservation of the rice pudding’s taste and texture.

You can also substitute the regular whole milk in your rice pudding for another type of milk that’ll perform better in freezer conditions; coconut milk, evaporated milk, or sweetened condensed milk can be used. 

How to Freeze Rice Pudding 

Although freezing rice pudding is easy, you must follow the correct steps to achieve the best preservation results over a long period of time.        

Step 1: Let the Rice Pudding Cool and Separate it to Smaller Portions  

Do not put the rice pudding in the freezer while it’s still hot. You need to let the rice pudding sit at room temperature till it cools – be careful not to leave it out for too long before freezing it. If you want the rice pudding to cool down much faster, you can transfer the hot rice pudding into a freezer-safe container.

Once the hot pudding is in the container, seal it off tightly so that water doesn’t get into it. Proceed to submerge the freezer-safe container in ice cold water and leave it in for about 30 minutes. 

Once the rice pudding has cooled down, it is advisable to divide it into smaller portions that you’ll freeze individually. The smaller portions of frozen rice pudding will be much easier to defrost than a large bowl of pudding.

Dividing into smaller portions will ensure that you don’t have leftovers that need refreezing after thawing – you shouldn’t refreeze your rice pudding once it has been frozen and defrosted once. 

Step 2: Vacuum Pack the Rice Pudding in a Freezer-Safe Container  

After the rice pudding has cooled down, start transferring the divided portions into individual freezer-safe containers. Make sure that you don’t fill the containers to their brim. You should leave some space at the top of the containers for any possible expansion that may take place in the freezer. 

Make sure you remove as much air as you can from inside the container. Spread some plastic wrap over the opening of the freezer-safe container and go ahead to seal its lid tight. You should write the present date on the container with the marker; this helps to keep you reminded of how long the rice pudding has been frozen for.  

Extra Tips for Freezing Rice Pudding  

In addition to the steps given above, I’d like to drop some additional tips that can help you get the best results from freezing your rice pudding. 

  1. Substitute Milk Constituent – typically, whole milk is used in making rice pudding. However, whole milk doesn’t do so well when subjected to freezer conditions. Whole milk has a higher tendency to create alterations in the rice pudding’s original taste and texture after being frozen for some time. You can make use of sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, or coconut milk instead. 
  2. Don’t Use Toppings – your favorite rice pudding recipe might include some toppings. However, those toppings may not freeze so well. You can freeze your batch of rice pudding without the toppings and then add the toppings later on after defrosting the frozen rice pudding. 
  3. Pay Attention to the Type of White Rice Used – the type of white rice used to make your batch of pudding will influence how well it keeps in the freezer. Using long white rice grains would give a thicker and less watery pudding than short white rice grains.  

How to Thaw and Reheat Frozen Rice Pudding  

It is best to use your rice pudding in the earlier parts of the 3 months freezing time. Thawing frozen rice pudding isn’t a complex process. Simply take the portion you wish to reheat out of the freezer and place it in the refrigerator. Let the rice pudding sit in the refrigerator overnight – this is advisable because thawing in the fridge will take several hours. 

Thawing in the fridge should never be substituted with thawing on the countertop at room temperature – it will cause the rice pudding to spoil. After thawing, place the rice pudding in your microwave to reheat. 

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