Rizogalo the Greek sugar free rice pudding

| March 16, 2016 | 13 Replies

Rizogalo [rizóghalo] is the Greek delicate rice pudding obviously, as the word indicates, made of rice and milk, but you will be excited since this version is sugar-free! And what better way is there than to enjoy eating and sharing this lovely traditional dessert with your loved ones, especially with your children, without guilt.

Even though milk and rice are the essential ingredients someone can consider as DULL, you can ”personalize” and improve this awkward feeling of milkiness that is created so easy, without spending so much money in flavorings, that sometimes can be totally harmful.

Rizogalo the Greek sugar free rice pudding

Rizogalo as dessert has a temperature dimension. What do I mean? Now that winter has come add it to your weekend menu and eat it warm, served a couple of minutes after you finish cooking it. This warmness brings a pleasant feel in your body, by heating gently your throat, your chest and finally your stomach. Believe it or not, this creates comfort to your body, similar to that when you drink hot chocolate.For the latter, when winter has gone and temperature rises, don’t worry about it! Eat rizogalo chilled or cold if you prefer, after refrigerating it.

Protein-rich the Greek whole milk gives this healthy snack a thick texture, while rice and corn flour naturally gives additional thickness and creamy texture. Talking about milk, I ‘ve tested rizogalo with different type of milk. I made it with whole cow’s milk, semi-scimmed milk, goats milk, sheep’s milks, etc.

Rizogalo the Greek sugar free rice pudding
Serves 6-8


  • 1+ ½ cup water Rizogalo the Greek sugar free rice pudding
  • ¾ cup short grain rice (glasé)
  • 1Lt organic milk, cold, keep 1 cup aside
  • 1 lemon peel
  • 3-5 tablespoons corn flour*, gluten-free
  • 1/3 cup Greek honey
  • cinnamon powder


Bring the water to a boil with the rice in a medium saucepan (lid on) over medium heat until the rice absorbs water completely. Whisk the milk (don’t use it all, keep 1 cup aside) and lemon peel.

Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the rice is cooked through. Using another small bowl combine cornflour and the rest of the milk; mix them together until smooth.

Add cornflour and honey to the saucepan. Continue to cook, whisking constantly, 3 to 4 minutes, until the pudding mixture has thickened to a puddinglike or light bechamellike consistency.

Remove from the heat. Allow to cool at room temperature, stirring a few times to prevent a skin from forming. Distribute the pudding mixture in bowls equally.

Then serve immediately after dusting the bowl with cinnamon powder or refrigerate until ready to serve. Once again dust with cinnamon powder if desired (when ready to serve)

mycookingsecrets thoughts and recipe troubleshooting:

How to serve: Before refrigerating, optionally place a pice of cling film directly on top of the rise pudding in order to prevent a skin from forming. I personally love-love-love the skin on top! Milk creates a gelatin like film that divides it from the main ”body” of the rise cream. This has always been my favorite rizogalo’s part, especially when
completely cooled and thickened.

Who can eat rizogalo? First of all babies (by extension toddlers) after 9 months, when allowed to eat honey and only after the mother is feeling secure to feed the baby with this type of food. If you avoid feeding the baby with cow’s milk, go for the sheep’s or goat’s milk option, preferably ORGANIC. The rizogalo is perfect for the kids, because it is SUGAR-FREE, EGG-FREE and GLUTEN-FREE.
As you understand, rizogalo’s ingredients used are gluten-free! Furthermore friendly to people who suffer from gluten sensitivity.

Traditionally, the recipe calls for sugar. But personally honey has so many nutrients to give you in comparison to sugar. Plus the portion I used here makes rizogalo subtle and earth-flavored sweet just enough to please you, but not too sweet in order to force you drink 1-2 glasses of water. So, this recipe is suitable for those who avoid sugar consumption too!

Rizogalo the Greek sugar free rice pudding

Troubleshooting: Rizogalo has the reputation for being difficult to make like bechamel. In part, that is because the thickness point when cooking it is crucial. The outcome must be smooth and rich, not too sticky yet not too loose after allowing it to cool. So timing of thickness and proportion must be carefully controlled.The portion of milk and rise I gave you is perfect. The tricky part can be the type of milk you use and the quality of corn flour (starch). Whole milk, that contains more fat can thicken easily than light fat milk. Goat’s milk is low in fat too, so you have to be careful.

Despite the type of milk you choose, please control milk’s temperature when added to the recipe. Cook in medium, medium low heat otherwise you will end up with overheated-”burned” milk, causing your pudding to taste bad. Overheating milk has one more disadvantage, that is very important to mention and this is destroying every nutrient that milk has. The higher temperature you go the more nutrients you loose. The same goes for honey too!

What is the ideal type of rice to cook rizogalo? The answer is short grain rice (the one you use for cooking soups) or, if not available arborio rice. Short grain is white, plump (medium grain) and sweet grain for the creamiest rice pudding! The Greeks love short grain rice and it is very popular in the Greek market, suitable for soups and desserts such as rice pudding. It is commonly called…ρύζι γλασσέ [rízi glasé ].

* Corn flour (starch): Avoid adding too much corn flour (starch). Start by adding 3 tablespoons. If the mixture doesn’t thicken in 4-5 minutes of cooking time, then add 2 more (don’t forget to mix it with 2 tablespoons of COLD water) and continue to cook for extra 4 minutes. Do not add more corn flour. The pudding will thicken, but the flavor will change to powderlike, with those super-tiny grain spoiling the taste.

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Category: Desserts

Comments (13)

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  1. I love reading about different kinds of cuisines and finding that even though we’re all unique, we have similarities too! In the Philippines we have a similar kind of rice pudding that’s sometimes made with coconut milk or even carabao’s milk (which technically is not the same as cow’s milk…weird eh?). Now I need to know where to find Greek milk…

    • Editor says:

      Hi Jolina, thank you for your comment. Any type of milk would do according to your taste and dietary habbits. Carabao’s milk would be perfect too! I think that it is much healthier than cow’s milk right? And much more nutritional.

  2. I always assumed rice pudding was Mexican because we always serve it here. Now that I think of it – it makes total sense that there’s some all over the world! It looks delicious! I think I definitely would eat it cold just so that it tastes that much sweeter.

    • Editor says:

      That is a surprise, because I didn’t know that Mexican cuisine has rice pudding too! 🙂 I guess milk and rice are two essential ingredients that are used worldwide through centuries for developing recipes…

  3. Jill says:

    This looks lovely and so comforting! Though I think I’d prefer it chilled – as I prefer iced coffee over hot, etc. 🙂 I appreciate how detailed you are in your descriptions and trouble-shooting the recipe!

  4. I have never heard of this but love, love, love rice pudding so I’m thinking this is a good thing for me! Love hearing about international foods…nicely done and beautiful photos!

  5. Yum!! This looks so good, I want it now! Thanks for the recipe

  6. Ωωω το αγαπώ αυτό το σεμνό και ταπεινό ρυζογαλάκι !!! Μμμμ λέω να πειραματιστώ με γάλα καρύδας 😉 Να δω πως θα βγει και θα σου Κρυσταλλία μου… Πάντως αλήθεια το χειμώνα ζεστό νομίζω λειτουργεί καλύτερα κι από ζεστή σοκολάτα. Μμμ

    • Editor says:

      Σίγουρα θα ενθουσιαστείς! Μπορείς όμως να κάνεις και μίξη του γάλακτος καρύδας με αγελάδας ή όποιο άλλο επιθυμείς. Καλή επιτυχία… ελπίζω να μας στείλεις φώτο όταν το φτιάξεις.

  7. This looks lovely! Wonderful combination of ingredients & can’t wait to try this! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  8. Maria Lg says:

    Καλημέρα! Μα τι γλύκα! Αυτή είναι όντως η αιώνια αγαπητή συνταγή μικρών και μεγάλων… Την έφτιαξα, την παράλλαξα κάπως (γιατί τα παιδιά μου γρίνιαζαν λίγο) βάζοντας corn flour με γεύση σοκολάτας και σε μερικά φράουλα με βανίλια.
    Μαμαδίστικη πονηριά στο μεγαλείο της!!!

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