Rice Pudding with Acorn Squash and Cinnamon

a bowl of rice pudding with squash and spices
Prep Time: 
70 minutes
Number of Servings: 
Serves 8
Recipe Source: 
100% Real by Sam Talbot ($29.99, Oxmoor House, 2017)


  • 1 13 cups uncooked white rice
  • 1 quart plus 1 cup almond milk
  • 4 cups water
  • 12 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp date sugar*
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise pod
  • 12 cup macadamia nuts
  • 3 Tbsp salted butter
  • 12 (12 lb) acorn squash, peeled and cut into 12-inch pieces (about 1 12 cups)
  • 2 Fuji apples (about 1 14 lb), peeled and cut into 12-inch pieces
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 14 tsp kosher salt


  • Blender


  1. Process rice in a blender for 20 seconds. Combine milk and the 4 cups water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high. Stir in rice, maple syrup, sugar, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, and star anise. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring constantly, until creamy, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove and discard cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, and star anise. Remove from heat.
  2. Preheat oven to 350˚. Pulse macadamia nuts in a blender until roughly chopped, 10 to 12 times. Spread nuts on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, and bake in preheated oven until fragrant and golden, 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium. Add squash, apples, and lemon juice, and cook, stirring constantly, until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt.
  4. Spoon pudding into 8 bowls. Top with squash-apple mixture and macadamia nuts.


  • *If you can’t find date sugar, substitute brown sugar.
Nutrition Info: 
338 Calories, 4 g Protein, 55 g Carbohydrates, 3 g Fiber, 13 g Total fat (4 g sat), 223 mg Sodium, ★★★ Calcium, ★★ Vitamin B1 (thiamine), Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), E, Vitamin B6, Magnesium, Phosphorus


Sam Talbot

Sam Talbot is a chef, author, philanthropist and TV personality. A fan-favorite on Bravo's Top Chef, Talbot was the founding Executive Chef of the Surf Lodge in Montauk, NY and Imperial No. Nine at the Mondrian SoHo.

He was the chef and owner of Pretty Southern restaurant in Brooklyn, NY and a co-founder of Beyond Type 1, a nonprofit organization focusing on the diabetes community.