Vegan Nutella Rice Pudding

Being half Italian, I understand the real cultural importance of Nutella. From gelato to cornetti, the sweet, chocolate and hazelnut spread can be found in many Italian treats. During Elementary school, bread and Nutella was a weekly treat in my after-school Italian class.

After years of eating spoonfuls upon spoonfuls of the rich spread, I took a brief hiatus during my freshman year of college. I convinced myself I no longer even liked Nutella- but how misguided I had become.

I finally gave in to a spoonful one day, and that fateful mistake has spiraled into a total Nutella relapse. While my caloric, sugary, fatty Nutella addiction is back in action, this recipe channels Nutella’s delicious flavors in a more wholesome, healthy way.


  • 1 1/4 cup hazelnut milk
  • 85g pudding rice (can substitute with arborio, paella, or Japanese rice!)
  • 1/4 vanilla bean
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 2-3 tablespoons raw sugar, agave, or stevia
  • Optional toppings as seen above: toasted coconut, chopped dates,chia, date syrup


Combine hazelnut milk and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, and add the cocoa powder and sweetener. Whisk to combine, then add pudding rice.

Reduce to a simmer until the rice has absorbed most of the hazelnut milk. If grains are still crunchy after 10-12 minutes, add a couple of tablespoons of hazelnut milk until desired texture is achieved.

Once the rice has absorbed nearly all the milk, and has cooked through, transfer to a bowl and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes. During this time, any remaining liquid will be absorbed, and the rice will take on a more pudding-like consistency.

To highlight the “Nutella” flavor, chopped hazelnuts or cacao nibs would make excellent toppings. Or, chopped Medjool dates, chia seeds, and coconut shreds for added sweetness and texture!

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