Homemade Cream of Rice Cereal

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If you grew up loving the cozy comfort of Cream of Wheat, this delicious homemade Cream of Rice Cereal is sure to warm your heart! It’s a wonderful gluten-free alternative to the store-bought version and uses just a few simple ingredients.

This warm and tasty bowl is seriously comfort food at its very best.

Bowl of rice porridge with a silver spoon and black and white napkin beside it

Growing up, Cream of Wheat was one of my favorite foods. I remember the comforting feeling I would have just seeing the small red box. I loved diving into that bowl of creamy goodness topped with brown sugar, a little milk, and a dollop of margarine (yikes–yes, I said “margarine”).

Simply delicious.

Since our family is gluten free and whole foods focused now, I haven’t had the boxed brand in decades. In fact, my kids have never tried the original Cream of Wheat since we’ve been gluten-free that long, and well, you know–the processed food thing.

One day, I realized — why not make my own version?

By using wholesome, gluten-free ingredients, I knew I could create nutritious alternative to the processed version I used to love.

So I did it, and now Cream of Rice Cereal is now a favorite in our house!

It’s very soothing for an upset stomach, so it’s my kids’ go-to food when they’re sick. When they aren’t, it’s a simple but also special treat.

If you grew up loving Cream of Wheat like I did, you’re going to love this gluten-free cream of rice cereal… and your family will, too!

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What is Cream of Rice?

Cream of rice is a very basic dish. It’s just a hot cereal made from ground, uncooked rice.

Sounds pretty simple, right?

The real magic happens when you add a bit of creamy liquid like coconut milk, a little butter, and a sweetener. Then, it turns into the most delicious bowl of cozy comfort!

The brand behind Cream of Wheat also makes Cream of Rice® that is a gluten-free alternative to their main cereal. Both cereals are fortified with vitamins. However, the name “cream of rice” can actually refer to any cereal made from ground rice. 

Is Cream of Rice Cereal Good for You?

The boxed brand of Cream of Rice is gluten free, making it great for those who are avoiding gluten, but it contains synthetic vitamins that you might not want to eat.

You can make this homemade version entirely from wholesome ingredients.

Don’t you just love tasty, hearty recipes that you can feel good about sharing with your family? Plus, it will save you quite a bit of money over the boxed brand.

The ingredients in this homemade cereal are very inexpensive. Basically you only need rice (white or brown) and liquid, which can be water, milk, or a dairy-free milk substitute.

At the time of publishing this post originally, a serving of the homemade variety cost only 14 cents each, which was about five times less than buying the packaged version.

This recipe also comes together in just five easy steps, and you most likely have the ingredients on hand in your pantry.

How to Make Cream of Rice Cereal from Scratch

This recipe is so simple, it can be made on even the busiest of mornings. And what busy mom doesn’t love having yummy recipes you can make in a matter of minutes?

  • Grind rice coarsely in a blender or coffee grinder. It’s up to you how finely you want to grind the rice, as this will affect the texture of the cereal. I prefer a coarser grind that gives the dish a heartier feel.
  • Heat liquid over medium heat to a slow boil. For the liquid, you can use water, milk, coconut milk, etc. You can even make your own Homemade Coconut Milk, Homemade Almond Milk, or Rice Milk, etc.
  • Add rice gradually, stirring while adding. I always use brown rice, which makes a very hearty and filling dish. White rice will cook faster and make a lovely cereal, but it does have less fiber and nutritional value. You could also make this with basmati rice, jasmine rice, wild rice, black Japonica rice, or any other variety! Each one will give you a new flavor profile and will surely turn out delicious.
  • Cover and simmer for 4-15 minutes, until thickened, stirring occasionally and adding more liquid as needed. The ground rice will soak up the liquid and become wonderfully creamy.
  • Serve with desired toppings. I recommend butter or another fat, like coconut oil, sweetener, cinnamon, and a dash of salt. I list the salt as optional, but for me, it definitely is not. I include salt in pretty much all of my recipes, including sweet dishes, since it brings out the sweetness and totally makes the dish.

Topping Options

Because the rice makes such a neutral and comforting base, you can have a lot of fun with the toppings.

Butter, a low-carb sweetener, cinnamon, and salt are my favorite ways to dress up this dish. To make it extra rich and hearty, add a bit of cream on top. This Almond Fruit Dip would work well too for a fun twist.

Ground uncooked rice poured into a pot with medium hot water and a large wooden spoon

More Processed Food Replacements

Here are some other alternatives to packaged foods that you might enjoy:

Homemade Taco Seasoning (so good–you’ll never buy packets again!)
Homemade Vegetable Broth | All-Purpose Seasoning (tastes great on everything)
Homemade Chocolate / Carob Chips (better than store bought!)
Homemade Powdered Sugar (so easy!)
Homemade Truvia Copycat (Sugar Substitute)

cream of rice cereal in a gray bowl with silver spoon

What You Will Need

homemade cream of rice cereal in a gray bowl with a spoon

Recipe and Dietary Notes

  • Watch the pan when cooking the cereal. If necessary, add more liquid to keep the cereal from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • You can boost the nutritive value of this dish by soaking the rice overnight. See this post on Soaking Grains – the Why and the How for more information.
  • Liquid Options: For the liquid, you can use water, milk, or a non-dairy milk like coconut milk (here’s how to make your own Homemade Coconut Milk, Homemade Almond Milk, etc.
  • Rice: You can use any variety you choose. I prefer whole grain. If you use white rice it will cook much faster, but you will be giving up the fiber and nutrition of the bran and germ. White rice has a higher glycemic index as well.
  • THM Diet: If you are on the Trim Healthy Mama plan, this cream of rice qualifies as an “E” recipe, depending on your topping choices.
  • Salt: I mention in the recipe card that salt is optional. For me, it most certainly is not. Try it with a dash and you’ll see what I mean. It accents the sweetener and the cereal isn’t the same without it.

Cream of rice is a great way to warm up on a chilly fall or winter day of course, but you could easily add a bit of jam and some berries to make it perfect for a spring or summer day as well.

Basically, there’s no wrong way to eat this!

homemade cream of rice cereal with butter and cinnamon in a gray bowl with a spoon
Plate of rice porridge with a stainless spoon and rice grains surrounding it and a black and white striped napkin beside it

Cream of Rice Cereal (Rice Porridge)

This Cream of Rice Cereal is a delicious and simple homemade gluten-free alternative to Cream of Wheat.
4.91 from 10 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan
Keyword: Cream of Rice
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 169kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked rice (I prefer to use brown rice)
  • 4 1/2 cups water (or alternative–see Recipe Notes)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt (optional–see Recipe Notes)
  • Optional toppings (see Recipe Notes)

Instructions

  • Grind rice coarsely in a blender or coffee grinder.
  • Heat liquid over medium heat to a slow boil.
  • Add rice gradually, stirring while adding.
  • Cover and simmer for 5-15 minutes, until thickened.
  • Make sure to check the pan while the cereal is cooking, and stir it occasionally. Add more liquid if needed to keep it from sticking to the pan.
  • Serve with desired toppings.

Notes

  • Watch the pan when cooking the cereal. If necessary, add more liquid to keep the cereal from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • You can boost the nutritive value of this dish by soaking the rice overnight. See this post on Soaking Grains – the Why and the How for more information.
  • Rice: You can use any variety you choose. I prefer whole grain brown rice. If you use white rice it will cook much faster, but you will be giving up the fiber and nutrition of the bran and germ. White rice has a higher glycemic index as well.
  • Liquid Options: For the liquid, you can use filtered water, milk, or a non-dairy milk like coconut milk (here’s how to make your own Homemade Coconut MilkHomemade Almond Milk, or even Homemade Rice Milk)
  • Optional toppings: I recommend butter or another fat, like coconut oil, sweetener, cinnamon, and a dash of salt. 
  • Salt: I mention in the recipe card that salt is optional. For me, it most certainly is not. Try it with a dash and you’ll see what I mean. It accents the sweetener and the cereal isn’t the same without it.
  • Cooking Time: This will depends on the size of the grains after chopping so adjust accordingly.

Nutrition

Calories: 169kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 452mg | Potassium: 53mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg | Net Carbs: 36g

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is merely an approximation. Optional ingredients are not included and when there is an alternative, the primary ingredient is typically used. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts since they have been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.

Note this post was originally published in April, 2013. It was since updated with new information and new photos. Here is an original photo for reference:

Close up of a clear glass bowl with cream of rice cereal on a brown tabletop

Let me know what you think of this recipe if you try it.
I’d love to hear how you serve yours.

 

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228 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe! It came out great when followed exactly (I used Jasmine rice, everything else was the same!) and it was what I needed to finally get rid of the store version of cream of rice. This one is better. (And yes folks, ADD THE SALT! DON’T CHANGE THE RECIPE, only the RICE!!)

    1. Hi there, Rog. I’m SO glad you enjoyed this so much. Hooray! You made my day. Hooray for saving money and being able to eat even healthier food. And YES for the salt. Happy Memorial Day!

  2. Hi there, I have not made this yet, but already have the ground rice. I’m unclear as to how to soak the flour prior to cooking. Do I mix the rice flour with the full amount of water, then pour the water off, in order to bring to a boil, before adding the rice flour back in?
    Thanks.

  3. My mother and I used to make this a lot, but I prefer it not so sweet. And I like it with a little bit of maple flavoring, my mother used white sugar, until she tried it my way

  4. Can you possibly blend the cream of rice with a stick hand blender when it’s cooked to your desired consistency? Just thinking my hand blender will break grinding dry rice?

    1. Hi Casey – I think that’s a great idea. I would assume that nutritionally there might be some difference, due to different exposures of the rice to the water / milk, but nice thinking. Do let me know how it turns out if you can :).

  5. Do you soak white rice after grinding if you are making cream of rice? I make my cream of rice with milk for more nutrition.

    1. Hi Carol! You don’t need to soak white rice since it doesn’t have the anti nutrients. You can, however, soak the rice to remove some of the carb content. I’ve read that you can do that for 30-40 min to help and also you can discard the cooking water to do that as well. Rinsing will help some but not that much. Hope that helps! Good question!

  6. 4 stars
    My Greek family for generations have used cream of rice with milk also. At the very end we add egg(s) and vanilla and quickly stir the cereal to avoid curdling. The eggs also add protein for ratio balance. Those with sweet tooths can add sugar, maple syrup, fruits, etc. I like your suggestions for some healthy fat and cinnamon.

    1. Yes you for sure could but you’ll have to figure out the liquid to grain ration and cooking times. They will vary. Hope that helps!

  7. “but it contains synthetic vitamins that you might not want to eat.”

    Leaving for the ER as I just sprained my eyes rolling them.

    1. Interesting. You are rolling your eyes b/c you don’t think that some people won’t want to ingest synthetic things? Actually it seems to be pretty common sense based to think that natural is better. Hopefully I’ve helped you avoid a future sprain. Does look like your email is fake, however, but thought I would respond anyhow. :).

    1. I just got over a flu bug and the only thing that sounded good was cream of rice hot cereal. So I had my hubby go get me a box and looking at the label I really didn’t want to eat it but since my hubby already bought it i reluctantly ate it. Very comforting nut that box is going on the garbage with all the disgusting synthetic “vitamins” ( they should be called poisons). I looked on Pinterest to see if it was possible to have my comfort food without all the junk. Thank u for this recipe, I had no idea how easy it was to have my own healthy cereal!!

      1. Hi Cindy. Wow so glad you found this! Happy to “meet” you as well. I hope to share some more good recipes and other tips very soon. Life is getting in the way but I’m working on it and you are so welcome!