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Tapioca Pudding in the Instant Pot

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There is something about a creamy bowl of tapioca pudding. It is easier to make at home than you might think, especially with the help of an Instant Pot. It takes almost no effort and gives you all of the nostalgia you could want from the classic treat.

Two small glass bowls filled with vanilla tapioca pudding in front of an instant pot.

If you are a fan of tapioca pudding, you are going to love this recipe. It is easy to make and so much better than what you can buy at the store.

It just requires a few simple ingredients that are easy to keep on hand. And you can have creamy tapioca pudding whenever you want it.

Tapioca pudding reminds me of childhood. There is just something about the creamy vanilla pudding and pearls of tapioca that draw me in.

After taking frog eye salad to a family dinner recently, it got my siblings and I talking about tapioca. The little pearls of pasta are reminiscent of the tapioca beads.

Close up of a small bowl of tapioca pudding, showing the creamy pudding with the soft pearls of tapioca.

But instead of being pasta, tapioca is made from the cassava root. The starch extracted from the root acts as a thickener when it is heated, like most starches do.

So it is used in pie fillings, as a flour alternative, and more. But when cooked with milk and some sugar, it makes a really creamy pudding with almost gelatinous balls in it.

Of course, after talking with them about tapioca pudding, I had to make some. It was so good, just like we remembered.

So if you are having a hankering for a little tapioca pudding, but out the Instant Pot and use this recipe. It takes a little time, but almost no effort, and it’s worth the wait!

Minute Tapioca vs. Small Pearl

A lot of recipes for tapioca call for minute tapioca. The smaller grain of the minute tapioca means it cooks more quickly.

Ingredients including milk, sugar, vanilla, and small tapioca pearls ready to be made into pudding.

But most of the fun of eating tapioca is the texture of the beads. So I prefer using small pearl tapioca, even it it does take a little bit longer.

Because we are using a pressure cooker to make the pudding, there is no presoaking of the pearls needed. And the cook time isn’t very long.

Tips and Tricks

Because the tapioca isn’t soaked first, it absorbs some of the milk. That means this pudding is extra rich and creamy.

This is a great way to make a rich pudding without eggs. So there is no tempering to mess with or no worrying about getting bits of scrambled eggs in your pudding.

Once you put the milk, sugar, and tapioca in the Instant Pot, give it a stir before putting the lid on. Having the sugar in a pile on the bottom of the insert makes it more likely you’ll get a burn warning.

As written, this recipe isn’t super sweet. I don’t like to add more sugar before it cooks because that also increases the chance of a burn warning.

Let the pudding cook, then give it a taste. If it needs more sugar, stir some in while it is still hot.

It will dissolve easily and you can adjust it to your taste. Using a little honey or maple syrup is delicious as well.

Large spoon with a scoop of warm tapioca over the instant pot with the remaining tapioca.

When you first open the lid of the pressure cooker, it will look like there is too much milk in there. Don’t worry if it looks runny. The tapioca will continue to absorb the liquid as it cools.

Plus, the starchy milk mixture will thicken when chilled, too. So it will come together if you give it some time.

Serving Suggestions

If you are like me, you won’t be able to help yourself from enjoying a little bit of warm pudding. There is something extra comforting it.

Tapioca is no exception. You will just want to let it cool down for at least 20 minutes first so that the tapioca is fully plump.

However, the most popular way to enjoy it is cold. It takes a few hours to chill, but it is worth the wait.

You can serve the pudding plain or stir it fruit. You could also top it with some whipped cream if you want to fancy it up a bit.

Spoon getting a bite of tapioca pudding out of a small glass bowl of the pudding.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you store tapioca pudding?

The pudding should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Freezing is not recommended as it affects the texture.

Can you reheat tapioca pudding?

Yes. If you like to eat the pudding warm, just add a splash of milk and gently warm it back up over low heat on the stove, or microwave it for a few seconds.

Small bowls of homemade vanilla tapioca pudding in front of the instant pot it was made in.

More Classic Pudding Recipes

If you love texture in your pudding, Instant Pot rice pudding may also be up your alley. It is also very easy to make and is great with or without raisins.

One way to use up extra hot chocolate powder is to turn it into hot cocoa mix pudding. That way, the supply you had to get your through the winter can also be a cold and delicious chocolate treat during the summer.

Of course, banana pudding is another dessert that is a classic for good reason. It is actually pretty easy to make, but it makes a big impression.

For more inspiration, check out my full collection of pudding recipes. There is sure to be something in there that you will love.

Two small glass bowls filled with vanilla tapioca pudding in front of an instant pot.

Instant Pot Tapioca Pudding

Carlee
There is something about a creamy bowl of tapioca pudding. It is easier to make at home than you might think, especially with the help of an Instant Pot. It takes almost no effort and gives you all of the nostalgia you could want from the classic treat.
4.27 from 15 ratings
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 Servings (about 1 cup each)
Calories 240 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 1 cup small tapioca pearls
  • cup whole milk
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Stir the tapioca pearls, milk and sugar together in the Instant Pot.
    1 cup small tapioca pearls, 5¼ cup whole milk, ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • Close the lid and make sure the vent is sealed. Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.
  • Allow to naturally release pressure for at least 15 minutes.
  • Stir in the vanilla and give the pudding a taste. Add a little more sugar if desired.
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Allow pudding to cool for a while at room temperature, then cover and transfer to the refrigerator to chill.

Notes

This recipe works in both 4 and 6 qt pressure cookers.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 240kcalCarbohydrates: 43gProtein: 5gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 69mgSugar: 28g
Tried this recipe?Mention @carleecooks or tag #cookingwcarlee!

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Recipe Rating




Caroline

Saturday 3rd of February 2024

Burned within a few minutes. Another recipe we found said to pressure cook the tapioca pearls with *water* and then add the milk afterwards. We're trying to save it following those instructions

Carlee

Sunday 4th of February 2024

I am sorry that happened.

Marli

Tuesday 23rd of January 2024

My instapot just turned off due to scalding. I’ve never had luck with anything with milk in the recipe so not sure how this is supposed to work?? I just let it sit on warm setting for a while and it still tasted good!

Carlee

Wednesday 24th of January 2024

I am glad it worked out for you in the end. Milk and tomato sauce can be tricking in Instant Pots. I think some are more sensitive than others as well.

Karyn

Sunday 21st of January 2024

Made this and the whole thing just boiled out and made a huge mess. So glad we didn't go anywhere. Found out that the seal wasn't on correctly.

Will try again but am going to put a pot that we use for our oatmeal in the insta pot and divide it out.

Carlee

Sunday 21st of January 2024

Oh no! One of my seals hasn't been working 100% of the time lately too. I think it's time for me to order some replacements. I hate that you have a mess to clean up.

Dee

Friday 19th of January 2024

UH OH. I ordered the large pearl..I guess I will natural release and hope for the best.

Carlee

Friday 19th of January 2024

Fingers crossed! My guess is it will still be great.

Gert

Friday 25th of August 2023

I tried this. The pudding is a tan color and not white. It is very runny. I'm sure if I let it sit it will thicken. I've tried many Instant Pot recipes for tapioca and I always have trouble with it being runny and not white. What am I doing wrong? Mine looks nothing like yours. Thanks.

Carlee

Friday 25th of August 2023

That's really strange. Are you using instant tapioca, by chance? That would change the outcome.