If you have never played a Christmas Eve game involving a pot of porridge and a marzipan pig then you need to read this recipe. Literally “rice grain porridge” this creamy, cinnamon sugar porridge is enjoyed mostly as lunch on Christmas Eve but also sometimes throughout the month at gatherings. To play the Christmas Eve porridge game you put a peeled almond into the serving pot. Then everyone takes a scoop and whoever gets the almond wins a marzipan pig! Make sure to make enough extra so that you can leave a bowl of porridge out for the nisse on the night of the 24th of December. Nisse are naughty elves that live in the woods and they cause mischief in your house if you don’t bribe them with a bowl of porridge. The nisse are also the ones in charge of washing and caring for the Christmas pig…pork belly is the main dish for many Norwegian Christmas dinners…which is probably why the marzipan is shaped like a pig. The way you eat this is just as important as the way you make it! Once you have your bowl of porridge in front of you, make a well in the center and put in a dollop of butter. Then cover the whole bowl with cinnamon sugar. As you begin to eat make sure to get a small piece of butter in each bite.

If making this recipe vegan or dairy-free be sure to use vegan and dairy-free milk and butter.

Makes: 4-6 servings

Preparation time: 2m
Cooking time: 2m
Total time: 1h2m


  • 1 cup arborio rice (risotto rice)
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 cups whole milk (or almond milk if making vegan)
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • butter (1/2-1 tablespoon per person, vegan butter if making vegan)
  • cinnamon sugar (to taste)

Equipment: rice cooker or stock pot


  1. Place the rice, water, milk and salt in a rice cooker. Then split the vanilla bean down the middle and scrape the beans into the rice cooker then place the whole bean in there as well. Turn it on the white rice setting. Stir every 10 minutes just to make sure the bottom is not burning. Add more water as needed. *If making this in a stock pot you will have to keep a close eye on it so it does not boil over or burn so cook it over low heat. It is done when the rice is cooked through. It should be a little soupy, it is porridge after all.
  2. If you are playing the game then take an almond, put it in a small bowl and pour boiling water over it. Wait a few minutes then fish it out of the bowl and the skin should slip right off. Put it into the serving bowl.
  3. Scoop your serving of the porridge into a bowl, then make a small well in the middle of the porridge. Put a dab (about 1/2 tbsp) of butter into the well. Then sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the entire top.
  4. This part is very important! Do not mix everything together! Your Norwegian friends will never forgive you. When you eat risengrynsgrøt you take your spoon and dig into part of the butter, then continue down into the porridge. You are meant to have a small piece of butter with every bite.