Sweet • Sour • Savory

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Danish Rice Porridge

Risengrød - Danish Rice Porridge

Dinner, ChristmasTove Balle-PedersenComment
Risengrød - Danish Rice Porridge

Risengrød - Danish Rice Porridge

December 10th and it's time to feed the elfs/nisser. 

According to Danish christmas traditions, risengrød is given to the elf aka nissen.

Nissen lives  in houses and on farms, and protects the people and animals who lives there against evil and misfortune. But nissen is more than a protector, he can also play tricks on you, and then he is called drillenissen. By giving nissen its favorite food, risengrød, during the month of december, he will for the most part be at his best behavior.

Back in the days farmers would put a bowl of risengrød up in the attic at night, and the next morning the bowl would be empty. Now the farmer knew that he did his best to soothe nissen. But most likely there were no nisse, it most likely were the cats that ate the risengrød.

Nowadays it's only children who are raised to believe in nissen, as a sweet christmas tradition. Pretty much like the elf on the shelf here in the US.

Risengrød is a Danish comfort food, it's soft, sweet and easy to eat. Maybe thats why it's a favorite for many kids. A lot of parents likes this dish too, and it's very easy on your pocketbook. 


  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 L (4¼ cups) milk
  • 190 g rice (danish grødris or aborio)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  • butter, salted
  • cinnamon sugar ( cinnamon + sugar)


Boil the water in a saucepan. Pour in the rice and boil them for a minute. Add the milk and salt, and bring it to a slow simmer while you stir constantly. 

Let the risengrød simmer at low heat for about 30 minutes, stir occasionally. Well, every recipe calls for stirring occasionally, but I have burnt the risengrød so many times, so I stir constantly. And yes it's kinda like watching paint dry. 

Season with salt.

Serve with cinnamon sugar and a little dollop butter. I like to drink nisseøl or cherry juice with this meal. Nisseøl is a very very sweet low alcoholic beer. In Denmark we actually let children drink this beer. Yes we are living on the edge 🎅   

I don't like my risengrød to thick. I serve it as soon as the rice is tender and the milk has thickened a bit.