Creamy Arroz Con Leche: The Perfect Dessert Recipe

¡Bienvenidos a la deliciosa receta de Arroz con Leche! This traditional Mexican rice pudding, made with long grain white rice and sweetened condensed milk, is sure to be a hit at any gathering. As a chef specializing in both Brazilian and American cuisine, I’ve come to love the versatility and richness of Arroz con Leche.

With a base of simmered rice cooked in milk and cinnamon sticks, this flavorful dish can be customized with a variety of add-ins such as raisins or even coconut milk to make it creamier. One bite will transport you to the streets of Mexico or Puerto Rico, where this sweet treat is often enjoyed.

The beauty of Arroz con Leche lies in its simplicity. Made with just a handful of pantry staples, this rice pudding recipe can be whipped up in no time. But don’t let its simplicity fool you; the warm aroma and delicate texture are sure to impress even the most sophisticated palates.

Whether you’re looking for an indulgent dessert for a party or an enriching breakfast option that will power you through the day, Arroz con Leche has got you covered. So grab your apron and let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Arroz con Leche or Rice and milk
Arroz con Leche or Rice and milk

If you need a dessert that satisfies your sweet tooth and warms your heart, this Arroz con Leche recipe is a must-try. Arroz con leche means “rice with milk” in Spanish, and it’s simply delicious. This classic Mexican rice pudding dish has a luxurious and creamy texture made with long-grain white rice, sweetened condensed milk, whole milk, cinnamon sticks, vanilla extract, and raisins. It’s a timeless treat that transports you to another world with each spoonful.

So, why will you love this recipe? Well, let me tell you:

Firstly, it’s incredibly easy to make. You don’t need any complicated equipment or fancy ingredients. All you have to do is cook the rice in water, combine the milk ingredients with the cooked rice, add the cinnamon sticks and raisins, and simmer until everything thickens up. It’s that simple!

Secondly, it’s versatile. While this recipe might be called “Mexican rice pudding,” variations of it can be found across many cultures that add their unique twist to the dish. For example, Puerto Rico’s arroz con dulce typically includes coconut milk along with the evaporated and sweetened condensed milk. Cuban arroz con leche makes use of short-grain rice combined with regular milk whereas Spanish rice pudding uses cinnamon and sometimes even adds lemon zest for a fragrant kick.

Thirdly, it’s an adaptable dessert. This recipe can be made vegan having cooked rice mixed with water rather than milk & then adding substitutes such as almond milk or coconut cream or even soy-based condensed milk alternatives making it an affordable yet scrumptious vegan option.

Most importantly – everyone loves this dessert! The warmth of the cinnamon mixed with the creaminess of the condensed sweetness creates immense nostalgia connecting all age groups to their childhood; rice pudding is that dessert that feels like coming home.

So if you haven’t tried Arroz con Leche before, now’s the time! With its easy-to-follow recipe, versatility, and universal appeal who can resist trying this dessert? Give it a chance, and I’m sure your taste buds will thank you.

Ingredient List

 A warm and comforting bowl of arroz con leche to soothe your soul
A warm and comforting bowl of arroz con leche to soothe your soul

Before starting, make sure you have the following ingredients handy. This Arroz con Leche recipe is made with long-grain white rice, milk (preferably whole milk), sugar, and cinnamon sticks.

Here’s a complete list of ingredients:

  • 2 cups long grain white rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk (14 oz)
  • Cinnamon sticks (optional)
  • Raisins (optional)

Make sure to use quality ingredients like good-brand rice and whole milk to get the best results. Additionally, you can replace whole milk with evaporated milk or coconut milk for a change of flavor. If you prefer vegan Arroz con Leche, use almond or soy milk instead of whole milk and replace sweetened condensed milk with vegan condensed milk.

The Recipe How-To

 The perfect blend of creamy milk and fragrant rice
The perfect blend of creamy milk and fragrant rice

Now that you have all the ingredients gathered, it’s time to whip up this flavorful dish! Keep in mind that this recipe requires a bit of patience as well as close attention to detail. Follow these steps closely and you’ll end up with a mouth-watering arroz con leche.

Step 1: Cook the Rice

In a medium pot, combine 2 cups long-grain white rice with 4 cups of water and 1 cinnamon stick. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 18 minutes or until the rice is soft and tender.

Step 2: Add Milk Mixture

Once the rice is cooked, remove the cinnamon stick and add in a mixture of 2 cups whole milk, 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk, and 1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk into the pot. Bring back to boil over medium heat while constantly stirring.

Step 3: Simmer

Reduce heat to low and simmer for an additional 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. The mixture should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Step 4: Add Raisins and Cinnamon

Once the consistency is thick enough, add in ½ cup raisins and sprinkle the top with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder.

Step 5: Final Touches

Simmer for another 10-15 minutes until rice pudding has taken on a creamy texture. Remove from heat and discard cinnamon sticks. Allow cooling for about 10 minutes.

Arroz con Leche best served chilled or at room temperature. To serve, divide among dishes or put all in one large serving bowl.

Enjoy your homemade arroz con leche that would make your taste buds dance to its beat!

Substitutions and Variations

 This arroz con leche recipe is the definition of comfort food
This arroz con leche recipe is the definition of comfort food

Arroz con Leche, a classic Mexican rice pudding, is a simple and satisfying dessert that can be customized to your tastes. Here are some substitutions and variations to try:

1. Swap out the raisins for other dried fruit such as chopped apricots, cranberries or cherries.

2. Use brown sugar instead of white sugar for a deeper, more caramelized flavor.

3. Instead of cinnamon sticks, add a touch of ground cinnamon or even pumpkin spice for a fun twist.

4. For a dairy-free version, halve and rinse the rice and cook it in coconut milk instead of regular milk.

5. Add shredded coconut for extra texture and flavor.

6. Use short-grain rice instead of long-grain rice for a creamier texture.

7. Experiment with different types of milk such as almond milk, soy milk or even condensed coconut milk which can offer the same creamy taste and wonderful aroma.

8. Try serving it cold as pudding or warm topped with fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream to make it more decadent.

Whatever variation you choose, Arroz con Leche is always sweet, rich and comforting—a classic dessert that will satisfy your sweet tooth cravings after every meal!

Serving and Pairing

 Close your eyes and take a bite, and you'll be transported to a cozy kitchen filled with love
Close your eyes and take a bite, and you’ll be transported to a cozy kitchen filled with love

Arroz con Leche, a true comfort food, can be served as a dessert or breakfast. I prefer a bowl of warm arroz con leche in the chilly winter months, but it is also fabulous chilled in the summertime. The sweet and creamy pudding can be garnished with raisins and extra cinnamon to create visual interest.

As far as pairing goes, you can serve arroz con leche with sliced fruit, such as bananas or strawberries. In Latin American cuisine, it is popular to serve arroz con leche with tamales for breakfast or lunch. I find that arroz con leche complements spicy foods well, so serving it with your favorite Mexican dish could really enhance your dining experience.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you could substitute the whole milk for coconut milk and top the dish with a sprinkle of toasted shredded coconut to add an extra layer of flavor. For vegans or those who are lactose intolerant, using an alternative milk (such as almond milk) will yield similar results.

No matter how you choose to serve this classic pudding recipe, there’s something about the comforting taste and texture that will make anyone feel right at home.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Can you smell the cinnamon and sugar in the air? It's time for arroz con leche!
Can you smell the cinnamon and sugar in the air? It’s time for arroz con leche!

This recipe for Arroz con Leche is perfect for making ahead of time, as it can be stored easily for a few days in the fridge. To reheat, simply scoop out the desired amount into a microwave-safe bowl and heat for some seconds.

If you plan to make this dish ahead of time, I highly suggest storing the rice pudding in an airtight container or covered tightly with plastic wrap. This will help prevent any air from getting in and drying out the rice. You can also store it directly in the pot you cooked it in, but make sure to cover it well with foil or lid.

If necessary, you can add a splash of milk to bring back some moisture before reheating. It’s worth mentioning that the consistency may slightly thicken up when stored in the fridge, so don’t worry if it looks thicker than when you first made it.

However, avoid freezing Arroz con Leche as this can alter its texture and cause separation. Also, keep in mind that rice pudding tends to absorb liquid as it stands over time. Therefore, before serving, add warm whole milk or evaporated milk until it reaches the desired consistency.

With that said, enjoy your Arroz con Leche whenever you feel like it without worrying about reheating and storage issues!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon, this arroz con leche is a feast for the senses
Topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon, this arroz con leche is a feast for the senses

When it comes to making arroz con leche, there are a few tips and tricks that can help you achieve the perfect results. Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind:

1. Use Long Grain White Rice

For the best texture and flavor, use long grain white rice in this recipe. Short grain rice or brown rice may result in a chewier pudding with a different consistency.

2. Rinse the Rice Before Cooking

Rinsing the rice before cooking can help remove excess starch and prevent clumping. Make sure to rinse thoroughly until the water runs clear.

3. Don’t Overcook the Rice

Overcooking the rice can result in a mushy pudding with a gummy texture. Keep an eye on the rice as it cooks and remove from heat as soon as it’s tender but still slightly firm.

4. Use Whole Milk for Creaminess

Using whole milk will result in a creamier and richer pudding compared to skim or low-fat milk.

5. Add Raisins at the Right Time

If you’re using raisins in your arroz con leche, add them towards the end of cooking to prevent them from becoming too soft or mushy.

6. Adjust Sweetness to Taste

You can adjust the sweetness of your arroz con leche by adding more or less sugar or sweetened condensed milk depending on your preference.

7. Variations on Spices

While traditional arroz con leche is made with cinnamon sticks, you can switch things up by adding vanilla extract, nutmeg, or even cardamom for a unique flavor.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to create a perfectly creamy and delicious arroz con leche that will impress your friends and family!


Before we wrap up, let’s take a look at some frequently asked questions about Arroz con Leche. While this recipe is quite simple, it’s always helpful to answer any lingering doubts that may arise when cooking something new. So, in this section, we’ll tackle some common questions and provide you with quick and easy solutions.

Can you cook rice with milk instead of water?

Let’s begin cooking our rice that will be the base of our delicious Brazilian and American cuisine. Take a large saucepan and pour the rice, some salt, and a cup of milk. Set the heat to high and stir frequently until it starts boiling. Once it’s boiling, adjust the heat to medium and keep cooking the rice, allowing it to absorb the milk. Remember to add more milk, half a cup at a time, until the rice becomes tender.

What is a dish made from rice mixed with water or milk?

Rice pudding is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed at any meal. It’s made by cooking rice with either water or milk and adding in delicious flavors like cinnamon, vanilla, and raisins. While it can be served as a dessert, it can also be enjoyed as a main course. Typically, this dish is sweetened with sugar to enhance its flavor.

What is arroz en leche made of?

A sweet and creamy dessert that hails from Mexico, Arroz con Leche or Mexican rice pudding, is created using long-grain white rice, milk, sugar, and cinnamon sticks.

Why is my rice hard in arroz con leche?

When preparing arroz con leche, there are certain factors that may lead to hard rice. It is possible that the cooking time of the rice was insufficient or that the rice was not soaked prior to cooking. Additionally, the lack of adequate liquid in the recipe may also result in tough rice grains.

What’s the difference between arroz con dulce and arroz con leche?

Arroz con dulce and arroz con leche differ in a couple of ways. They are made with different types of rice, with arroz con dulce using short-grain rice and arroz con leche using long-grain rice. Additionally, these two dishes have different flavorings, where arroz con dulce has coconut and spices while arroz con leche features milk and sugar.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, Arroz con Leche or Rice and Milk is a delicious and soothing dessert that has been enjoyed for generations in many Latin American countries. This dish combines rice, milk, sugar, and cinnamon sticks to create a creamy and fragrant pudding that is perfect for any occasion. This recipe is versatile and can be customized to suit individual preferences by adding different ingredients such as raisins, coconut milk or even chocolate.

I encourage you to try this delicious dessert at home with my easy-to-follow recipe. With just a few simple steps, you will have a warm and comforting dish that your family and friends will love. Remember to experiment with different variations of this recipe for an extra personal touch.

Whether you make it for a special occasion or just as a sweet treat at the end of your meal, Arroz con Leche is the perfect dessert to bring comfort and warmth to your table. Try it out today and let me know how it goes, I’m confident it will be a hit!

Arroz con Leche or Rice and milk

Arroz con Leche or Rice and milk Recipe

No ratings yet
Prep Time 3 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Dessert
Cuisine Latin American
Calories 383.7 kcal


  • 1 gallon milk (might not use all)
  • 3 cups rice
  • 4 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 1 1/2 sugar
  • 1 cup raisins (optional)


  • Cook the rice with half a gallon of milk stirring very carefully and sparingly because it will turn out looking like rice pudding if you stirr too much add in a cup of sugar.
  • add in more milk if the mixture looks too thick (it should be sort of liquid almost) add more milk if it looks too dry.
  • add the raisins.
  • it should be ready when the rice is tender (should be sweet and not very liquid but not too thick you may not need to add the whole gallon) serve as dessert of by it self as a snack serve warm.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 386gCalories: 383.7kcalCarbohydrates: 53.8gProtein: 13.9gFat: 12.2gSaturated Fat: 7.5gCholesterol: 45.5mgSodium: 159.9mgFiber: 0.7g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Easy, Free Of..., Mexican, Rice, Stove Top, Weeknight, White Rice
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Recommended Recipes Just For You



Dora is a chef well-versed in Brazilian and American cuisine. After a hard day's work in the kitchen of her restaurant, she finds the time to jot down recipes for her food blog. Her recipes are sure to delight foodies everywhere, as she strives to make each one unique and enjoyable to read.