Dairy-Free Rice Pudding with Cherries and Almond Milk

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This creamy, Dairy-Free Almond Cherry Rice Pudding is a classic dessert that should never go out of style! And when you make it in your Instant Pot, you can adjust it to your flavor and sweetness preferences. 

Overhead picture of Instant Pot almond cherry rice pudding in a white bowl, with dried cherries off to the side.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

This easy rice pudding has all the elements of a crowd-pleasing dessert: it’s creamy, rich, sweet, and has a silky texture with pops of tart chewy dried cherries.

We love making desserts in the Instant Pot, and we’ve been making our traditional rice pudding recipe for decades. We recently had some dairy-free friends visit, so we adapted our recipe to use almond milk. 

Honestly, we might even like it better with the dried cherries than our original recipe!

Your Instant Pot is a great way to make desserts like creamy pies, cheesecakes, and even crème brulee. This recipe is a great one to get started making sweets in your pressure cooker! 

We first started making cherry rice pudding in the Instant Pot using black rice, which has a striking look. However, we heard from you that most people prefer to use white rice, so we’ve adapted the recipe to be made with long-grain white rice. We also updated the post with helpful tips and new photos. Enjoy!

Ingredients for Instant Pot dairy free rice pudding including, almond milk, rice, vanilla, coconut oil, salt, sugar, corn starch, eggs, and dried cherries.


Here’s what you need for this easy dairy-free rice pudding:

  • Coconut oil. This adds a very subtle tropical note to the dessert and keeps it totally dairy-free. 
  • Rice. Look for long-grain white rice to achieve the right texture in your pudding. 
  • Almond milk. Unsweetened almond milk will give you more control over the sweetness of the finished dish. 
  • Sugar. Regular granulated sugar works well. 
  • Cornstarch. This is a secret ingredient for thick and firm rice pudding.
  • Eggs. The eggs help infused your pudding with a super rich, custard-like flavor and structure. 
  • Vanilla. You could also use almond extract if you want to double down on the nutty flavor. 
  • Dried cherries. Feel free to use more or less, depending on how much you love tart dried cherries.

How to Make Dairy-Free Rice Pudding in an Instant Pot

This easy recipe will work in any brand of electric pressure cooker, including the Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, or Power Pressure Cooker XL.

Start by toasting the rice. Heat the coconut oil in the pressure cooker using the Sauté feature. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes. The rice will turn translucent and smell toasty. Pour in the almond milk and salt, then stir well. 

Next, lock on the lid and cook on high pressure for four minutes. While the rice cooks, beat the eggs in a separate bowl and add a cup of almond milk. Whisk this well until there are no streaks of eggs left and the mixture is totally smooth. Stir in the vanilla extract. 

Making the egg mixture with eggs, almond milk, and vanilla.

In a third bowl, stir the cornstarch into the remaining 1 and a half cups of almond milk until fully smooth. Add the granulated sugar and let this sit until the sugar is totally dissolved. You can stir it a few times to help the process. 

When the rice is done cooking, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then finish with a quick pressure release and remove the lid. Stir the rice so it’s nice and fluffy, then pour in the sugar and milk mixture and stir everything together. At this point, if you still see clumps of sugar, you can use the Saute feature to warm things up and melt the sugar into the rice. 

Stir the eggs one more time and place a fine-mesh strainer over the pressure cooking pot. Pour the eggs through the strainer into the rice and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil. Boil the rice for a minute or two, stirring the entire time, then remove the cooking pot from the housing. 

Stir in your dried cherries and serve your almond cherry rice pudding hot, or let it cool to room temperature and chill until you’re ready to serve. 

Overhead picture of rice pudding in an Instant Pot inner pot stirring in the dried cherries with a wooden spoon.

Important Tips for Making Almond Cherry Rice Pudding

  • According to America’s Test Kitchen, long-grain rice produces the best texture for rice pudding. It holds its shape well with long cooking, compared to short-grain or sushi rice. 
  • You can double the dried cherries in this recipe for extra fruity flavor. 
  • Almond milk gives this pudding its super nutty, rich flavor. In a pinch, you can use regular milk or another nut-based milk, such as coconut or cashew. 
  • If you want extra texture, you can also top your rice pudding with chopped or slivered toasted almonds. 
Overhead picture of Instant Pot almond cherry rice pudding in a white bowl, with a bowl of dried cherries in the background.

Frequently Asked Questions about Dairy-Free Rice Pudding

What’s the best kind of rice for rice pudding?

We recommend (based on tests by America’s Test Kitchen) using long-grain white rice for creamy rice pudding with a delicious texture. 

Can I substitute coconut oil?

Yes, if you don’t need to make your pudding dairy-free, you can use butter instead of coconut oil. 

How do I store leftover rice pudding?

You can put leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days. It will firm up as the rice absorbs more liquid, so when you warm the pudding, feel free to add a splash of milk or cream to loosen it up.

Can I freeze leftover rice pudding?

Definitely! I prefer to freeze it in individual servings in ziptop bags. It lasts in the freezer for up to six months. If you’re planning ahead, you can defrost it overnight in the fridge, then warm it up cooking pot-in-pot in the pressure cooker.

A spoon full of Instant Pot rice pudding made with dairy free almond milk and dried cherries, over a white bowl filled with rice pudding.

More Instant Pot Pudding Recipes

We love making creamy pudding in the Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker for an easy dessert that always delights. Here are more of our favorite recipes:

Dairy free rice pudding made using almond milk and dried cherries in a white bowl, and placed in front of an Instant Pot.

Do you LOVE this recipe?
Leave us a review below to tell us why!

A white bowl with Instant Pot dairy free rice pudding with rice cherries, and a wooden spoon.

Cherry Almond Rice Pudding | Dairy Free

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Additional Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 29 minutes

This Cherry Almond Rice Pudding is made dairy-free thanks to coconut oil and almond milk. It’s full of sweet-tart dried cherries and has an ultra-creamy texture, thanks to long-grain white rice.


  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 1/4 cups long-grain white rice
  • 1 package (32 ounces) almond milk, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (can use almond extract to amp up the almond flavor)
  • 1 cup dried cherries (can cut in half if you want to have more cherry flavor per bite)
  • Toasted sliced almonds, for topping (optional)


  1. Select Saute and preheat the pressure cooking pot. When hot, add coconut oil, then add the white rice and saute, stirring frequently, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups almond milk and salt, and stir until well combined. 
  2. Lock the lid in place. Select High Pressure and 4 minutes cook time.
  3. While the rice cooks, add the eggs to a small bowl and beat until the yolks are broken and beginning to combine with the whites. Add 1 cup almond milk and whisk by hand until smoothly blended. Add vanilla extract. Set aside. 
  4. In a separate bowl, combine remaining almond milk (about 1 1/2 cups) and cornstarch and stir until no lumps remain. Add the sugar and allow to sit until the sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally.
  5. When the pressure cook time ends, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then finish with a quick release. When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid. Stir the rice until fluffy.
  6. Add the cornstarch and sugar mixture to the pot and stir to combine. If needed, select saute and stir until the sugar is fully dissolved.
  7. Give the egg mixture a good stir to ensure everything is fully mixed. Place a fine mesh strainer over the cooking pot, and add the egg mixture to the rice. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly, then remove the cooking pot from the housing and turn off the pressure cooker.
  8. Stir in the dried cherries. 
  9. Serve hot, or pour into serving dishes to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until serving. The rice will continue to thicken as it cools, so you may want to add a little more almond milk if you’re serving it cold.


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