A sweet Easter rice pie sitting on a cooling rack with oranges and cinnamon sticks in the background

Pastiera di Riso (Italian Easter Rice Pie)

Pastiera di Riso is a sweet Italian rice pie served at Easter. It's similar to a pastiera napoletana, but some would say it tastes even better!

Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Italian Easter rice pie, pasitera di riso
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 12 people
Calories 387 kcal


For the Dough (Pasta Frolla):

  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 1/4 cup cubed butter at room temperature

For the Filling:

  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • peel of one orange large pieces
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 tbsp fior d'arancio (orange blossom water)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon


Make the crust (pasta frolla):

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix flour, sugar, and baking powder.

  2. Add eggs, egg yolks and butter. Mix on medium speed until large, moist crumbs start to form (about 2-3 minutes).

  3. Remove dough from the bowl and with your hands on a smooth surface, gently form the dough into a ball.

  4. Wrap the dough in saran wrap and place in the fridge for approximately 1 hour.

Make the Rice Filling:

  1. Add the rice and water to a pot, and over medium heat, let them come to a boil. 

  2. Once rice and water have started to boil, cook for 8 minutes, stirring often. 

  3. At this point, add the milk, sugar, orange peel and cinnamon sticks.

  4. Still on medium heat, cook the rice mixture for 30 minutes, stirring often so that the rice doesn't stick to the pot, until the rice is cooked and most of the liquid has absorbed. If rice is cooking too quickly, turn the heat down slightly. 

  5. At this point, remove the orange peel and cinnamon sticks.

  6. Turn heat down to low, add butter to the rice, and cook for 7-10 minutes until all the liquid has absorbed and the mixture is dense in consistency. 

  7. Add the rice to a shallow square dish, level it out, and cover with saran wrap. Let it cool. 

  8. If your ricotta is very moist and has a lot of liquid in it, drain it with a colander. 

  9. In a big bowl, add ricotta, beaten eggs, fior d'arancio, and cinnamon. Mix with a wooden spoon or whisk until all ingredients are combined. 

  10. Once the rice mixture has cooled completely, add it to the ricotta mixture, slowly, a few spoons at a time. Mix with a wooden spoon until the rice is fully incorporated into the mixture. Set the filling aside.

Roll out the dough and finish the pastiera:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease your pie dish with butter, and then coat with a thin layer of flour. 

  2. On a floured surface, roll out the dough a few times to soften it. Then roll it out until it's about 1/2 cm thick.

  3. Transfer the dough to the pie dish, and cut off any hanging edges. Fill with the filling. 

  4. Decorate the top of the pastiera with a lattice design. The lattices should sit gently on top of the dough.

  5. Bake the pastiera for approximately 60 minutes, or until edges are golden. Let the pastiera cool and come to room temperature, and enjoy!

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Nutrition Facts
Pastiera di Riso (Italian Easter Rice Pie)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 387 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Cholesterol 117mg39%
Sodium 119mg5%
Potassium 230mg7%
Carbohydrates 57g19%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 27g30%
Protein 10g20%
Vitamin A 480IU10%
Calcium 164mg16%
Iron 2.2mg12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.