What’s cooking: Butternut rice pudding

As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Swaziland, I have a limited food budget. But I also love food–both eating and making it. During PST, I cooked without an oven, refrigeration, and a non-stick skillet. Now at my permanent site, I have all three, though at a cost. This occasional series will highlight my cooking and baking and the recipes I use.

Having successfully grown a garden-full of butternut, I have needed to find new ways to use it. I could eat butternut bread every day, but a change is good sometimes.

I had not eaten or made rice pudding since my days studying abroad in Austria where I first encountered it in the university cafeteria. Rice pudding is a delicious and easy comfort food, and it is improved with the addition of butternut, cinnamon, and nutmeg. It is an excellent choice for a chilly day served with a cup of steaming tea.


I shared this with my family, and like most of the desserts I bring them, they had never seen it before but were delighted nonetheless. Even my chickens inadvertently enjoyed the leftovers.

Difficulty: Easy
Cost: E20
Time: 2 hours, 1 hour active
Serves: Four

Tools needed:

  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Pot
  • Fork or spoon
  • Measuring cups and spoons


  • 1 cup mashed butternut
  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 1 liter milk
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg


  1. Slice butternut into one-inch rounds and peel skin off each round. Save seeds for your permagarden. Cut butternut into one-inch or smaller pieces.
  2. Put butternut pieces into pot with one cup of water. Heat on medium-high until pieces are mashable with fork or spoon, about 30 minutes.
  3. Scoop butternut out of pot. Reserve one cup and use the rest for bread, cake, pancakes, or an addition to your dinner.
  4. Add rice and milk to the pot. Heat to boiling, then reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed in about 30 minutes.
  5. Add reserved butternut, sugar, vanilla, and spices, and mix. Adjust spices and sugar if necessary. Remove from heat once to desired consistency and serve warm.

Recipe is adapted from thehealthymaven.com.

This entry was posted in Africa, Peace Corps, Swaziland, What's cooking and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to What’s cooking: Butternut rice pudding

  1. Andrew Marco says:

    oh man, this looks so good! I never would’ve thought to put these things together, thanks so much for the share :)

    I was wondering if you were on FB at all? It would be amazing if you could share your recipe in our group, would love for you to join our community of food lovers! Check us out here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OnlyGoodEats/

    • elliewick says:

      Hi Andrew! The original recipe used sweet potato, but I don’t have access to those. The butternut turned out great! I’ll try to post the recipe in your group.

  2. Andrew Marco says:

    that sounds so great! Let me know when you join the group, would love to add you into it :)

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