The Almond Porridge – Christmas food in Iceland

One of the traditional Christmas foods of Iceland is the so-called Almond Porridge.  It is a simple rice porridge but according to Christmas tradition we put one almond in it in the end and the one who is lucky enough to get it, gets a gift from Santa.

Your Friend In Reykjavik & family has Almond Porridge for lunch on Christmas Eve, which is our main day of celebration and when we open our presents.

When we were growing up this used to be the entree, but we decided to turn it into lunch as it is very filling and we really need to make room for that smoked glazed ham :).

To make the Almond Porridge takes about an hour in total, so prepare yourself to stay in the kitchen during that time as it can easily burn.

The Recipe for the Almond Porridge

The Recipe

  • 2,5 dl (250 ml) white rice
  • Enough water to cover the rice
  • Slice of butter
  • 1 Liter of milk
  • Raisin (optional)
  • Vanilla extract
  • A single Almond (Or two if you have two small ones)

The method

  1. Put the rice, butter, and water into a pot and bring it to a boil. Boil them until the water has almost evaporated.
  2. Pour one liter of milk into the pot, bring it to boil.


  3. Lower the heat and add the vanilla extract.
    Remember, the milk can easily burn so keep an eye on the porridge and stir regularly for about 30-40 minutes or until you see that the rice is completely soft. It is safer to find yourself something to do in the kitchen than leave it because once it burns you can’t save it!
  4. Add the raisins near the end, just to warm them up and soften them a little bit. If you add them too early they might get too mushy.
  5. Finally, put the single Almond in the pot and stir. Unless you have a secret someone you really want to get the almond, just sneak it into his or her porridge. In our case, we secretly sneak two almonds into the porridge of two little humans 😉 .

    The Almond porridge is served with white sugar mixed with cinnamon.