Irresistible Arroz Con Leche: A Classic Recipe

Ladies and gentlemen, gather around – I have a treat for you today! Imagine a creamy and comforting dessert that will take you straight to paradise with its rich and flavorful texture. This dessert is Arroz Con Leche, or Rice Pudding, which has its roots in both Mexican and Spanish cuisines.

Arroz con Leche is a nostalgic dessert – it brings back memories of my childhood, grandma’s cooking and warmth. It is an iconic recipe known for its creamy texture that can satisfy any sweet craving.

As a chef who specializes in Latin American cuisine, I’m excited to share with you my version of this beloved dessert. It is made with everyday ingredients such as rice, milk, condensed milk and cinnamon sticks. A dessert worth savoring and enjoying in the comforts of your home.

So put on your apron, roll up your sleeves and get ready to indulge in a delightful bowl of Arroz con Leche!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Arroz Con Leche – (Rice Pudding)
Arroz Con Leche – (Rice Pudding)

My fellow foodies, if you’re looking for a dessert that is both comforting and exotic, then you’re in for a treat with this recipe! This Arroz Con Leche, also known as Rice Pudding, will satisfy your sweet tooth and take you on a trip to Latin America. Trust me when I say it’s not your average pudding!

At the heart of this pudding are two cups of long-grain white rice that have been cooked to perfection with two cinnamon sticks. The aroma alone will make you weak in the knees! But wait, there’s more! We’ll then add sweetened condensed milk, milk, sugar, vanilla extract, butter, and a pinch of salt. These ingredients will come together in perfect harmony to create a rich and creamy pudding that’ll remind you of cozy nights by the fire.

If you’re feeling daring, feel free to experiment by adding canned coconut milk instead of whole milk or using brown rice instead of white rice. The sky is the limit!

So come on and give it a try! You’ll love how easy it is to prepare and how impressed your guests will be with your culinary skills. This Arroz Con Leche recipe is a winner in every way!

Ingredient List

 A warm and comforting bowl of Arroz Con Leche is the ultimate treat for any dessert lover!
A warm and comforting bowl of Arroz Con Leche is the ultimate treat for any dessert lover!

To make this Arroz Con Leche recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup of long-grain white rice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 can (14 ounces) of sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 cups of whole milk
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

If you want to make a variation with a different flavor, you can add coconut milk or use evaporated milk instead of whole milk to get a different taste. The ingredient list is simple and easy to find at any grocery store.

The Recipe How-To

 The perfect dessert for a cozy night in with family and friends.
The perfect dessert for a cozy night in with family and friends.

Step 1 – Boil the Rice: Start by washing 1 cup of long-grain white rice under cold water. This will remove any excess starch and impurities from the rice. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the rice to the pot and let it boil for about five minutes. Afterward, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot with a lid, and let it simmer until all the water is absorbed.

Step 2 – Add Milk and Cinnamon Sticks: Once the water is fully absorbed, add 2 cups of whole milk and 2 cinnamon sticks to the pot. Stir everything up before putting the lid back on.

Step 3 – Cook and Stir: Let everything cook at medium-low heat for around twenty minutes, stirring frequently so that the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

Step 4 – Add Sweetened Condensed Milk: Now it’s time to pour in 1 can (14 oz) of sweetened condensed milk while continuously stirring so that it distributes evenly throughout the mixture.

Step 5 – Add Butter, Sugar, Salt and Vanilla Extract: Once you have added in the sweetened condensed milk, add 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract to your pot mixes all of these ingredients together.

Step 6 – Simmer: Continue to cook your Arroz Con Leche over medium-low heat for another fifteen minutes or until it has thickened to your liking.

Remove your Arroz Con Leche from heat and discard both cinnamon sticks before serving either hot or cold as per your preference!

Substitutions and Variations

 Velvety and creamy rice pudding infused with cinnamon and vanilla flavors.
Velvety and creamy rice pudding infused with cinnamon and vanilla flavors.

For those who are lactose intolerant or looking for dairy-free alternatives, coconut milk can be used as a substitute for whole milk in this recipe. It adds a subtle tropical flavor and creamy texture to the pudding. For an even richer taste, use canned coconut cream instead of regular coconut milk.

If you want to enhance the sweetness of this rice pudding recipe, brown sugar can be used instead of white sugar or sweetened condensed milk. You can also use maple syrup, honey, or agave nectar as a healthier substitute, but take note that the consistency and taste may differ.

To give your arroz con leche a twist in flavor, you can add in some raisins during the cooking process. Almonds, walnuts, or pistachios can also be used as toppings for the pudding for an added crunch. Alternatively, blend in some cocoa powder or pureed fruit such as strawberries or mangoes for a fruity chocolatey version of the classic arroz con leche dessert.

For those who prefer shorter-grain rice with more starch content and thicker consistency than long-grain white rice, arborio rice or sushi rice can both be substituted for this recipe. However, be mindful of the ratio between rice and liquid to ensure that the rice cooks evenly and won’t become too mushy.

Whether it’s a variation of traditional Mexican arroz con leche, Spanish rice pudding or Cuban dulce de arroz, playing around with different ingredients will help you find what works best for your taste buds. Don’t be afraid to experiment with these variations until you find something that satisfies your cravings.

Serving and Pairing

 A delicious way to use up leftover rice and satisfy those sweet cravings at the same time.
A delicious way to use up leftover rice and satisfy those sweet cravings at the same time.

A warm and comforting dish, arroz con leche is best served as a dessert or a snack. You can enjoy it either hot or cold, making it a versatile dessert option for any time of the day. When serving this rice pudding, I recommend garnishing it with a sprinkle of cinnamon powder or fresh fruit slices to add some color to the bowl.

For pairing, a traditional Mexican meal such as enchiladas or tacos would make for a great pairing with arroz con leche. The sweetness of the pudding can complement the spiciness of these dishes, creating a perfect balance of flavors. Alternatively, if you prefer something less spicy, a simple fruit salad can also be an excellent pairing option.

If you want to give your meal a tropical twist, why not try serving your arroz con leche alongside some fresh coconut? The creamy sweetness of the coconut perfectly complements the rich and comforting flavors of the rice pudding.

Overall, there are plenty of delicious ways to enjoy arroz con leche! Experiment with different topping and pairing options to find your perfect combination.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A classic Latin American dessert that is perfect for holidays, birthdays, or any special occasion.
A classic Latin American dessert that is perfect for holidays, birthdays, or any special occasion.

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to make arroz con leche ahead of time or you have leftovers, don’t fret! You have options.

Making Arroz con Leche Ahead of Time:

The benefit of making arroz con leche ahead of time is that the flavors will have more time to meld together, creating a richer taste. Prepare the pudding as per instructions and refrigerate for up to three days. Before serving, give it a good stir to redistribute any liquid that may have separated.

Storing Arroz con Leche:

Store any leftover arroz con leche in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to five days. When you’re ready to enjoy it again, gently reheat it over medium heat while stirring frequently. If it is too thick, add a little milk or water until it reaches your desired consistency.

Reheating Advice:

When reheating arroz con leche, be careful not to let it boil or burn since this can change the texture and consistency of the pudding. It’s better to reheat it slowly over low or medium heat, stirring occasionally until it’s heated through.

To really take things up a notch, try adding toppings like fresh berries or fruit compote before serving. The possibilities are endless!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Arroz Con Leche is like a hug from the inside, it fills
Arroz Con Leche is like a hug from the inside, it fills

To achieve the best results when making arroz con leche or rice pudding, there are a few tips you may find helpful. Here are some of my favorite tips:

1. Use Long-Grain White Rice: For this recipe, always use long-grain white rice, as it will result in a fluffier and less mushy consistency.

2. Soak the Rice: Soaking the rice in water for at least 30 minutes before cooking can help it cook more evenly and prevent it from becoming too sticky.

3. Don’t Skimp on the Milk: To achieve a creamy and indulgent arroz con leche, use whole milk instead of skim or low-fat milk.

4. Add Sweetened Condensed Milk: Sweetened condensed milk adds a deliciously rich and caramel-like flavor to the pudding. If you don’t have any on hand, try substituting with coconut milk.

5. Use a Cinnamon Stick: Instead of ground cinnamon, use one or two cinnamon sticks for the rice pudding. This will infuse a subtle but noticeable cinnamon flavor throughout the dish.

6. Be Mindful of Sweetness: The combination of sweetened condensed milk and sugar can easily make this dessert overly sweet. Start with less sugar than called for in the recipe and taste as you go to avoid over-sweetening.

7. Cook Over Medium-High Heat: Cook your arroz con leche over medium-high heat to prevent scorching on the bottom of the pan.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to make perfect arroz con leche every time – one that’s creamy, perfectly sweetened, and full of cinnamon flavor!


Before we conclude this recipe article, let’s answer some of the frequently asked questions about this delicious Arroz Con Leche recipe. You might be uncertain about some ingredient substitutions or specific steps in the recipe. Therefore, I will provide answers to clarify any confusion and ensure that your Arroz Con Leche comes out perfect every time.

What is the difference between arroz con leche and horchata?

Arroz con leche and horchata are two distinct and remarkable dishes originating from Spain. Arroz con leche is a creamy rice pudding, often flavored with cinnamon, while horchata is a refreshing and cool beverage made from rice, milk and sugar, with a slightly nutty flavor. Despite both dishes containing rice, they differ in texture, preparation method and temperature.

Which rice is better for rice pudding?

For a traditional rice pudding, opt for long-grain converted white rice to achieve the perfect texture. Although Arborio rice can also be a great choice, it has a tendency to soak up more liquid during the cooking process. Therefore, it’s advisable to add extra hot milk or water as needed towards the end of simmering.

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

Arroz con dulce and arroz con leche are two distinct rice dishes with distinct flavor profiles. The main difference between them lies in the type of rice used and the flavoring ingredients. While arroz con dulce typically uses short-grain rice with coconut and spices, arroz con leche is made with long-grain rice flavored with milk and sugar.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, arroz con leche is an exquisite dessert that has been enjoyed throughout Latin America and Spain for many years. This rice pudding is made with simple ingredients that are easy to find in any grocery store. The combination of long-grain white rice, whole milk, cinnamon, sugar, and sweetened condensed milk creates a creaminess that can’t be matched by other desserts.

Arroz con leche is the perfect dessert to share with family and friends. It’s a versatile dessert that can be served hot or cold, making it ideal for any occasion. Whether you’re looking for something sweet to serve after dinner or a dessert to bring to a potluck, arroz con leche is sure to satisfy your cravings.

I can personally attest to the delightfulness of this recipe after years of experimenting and enjoying it in my own cooking. I encourage you to try this arroz con leche recipe at home today; you’ll come back for more once you taste the wonder of its flavors.

Arroz Con Leche – (Rice Pudding)

Arroz Con Leche – (Rice Pudding) Recipe

Arroz con Leche is one of my favorite desserts. This version is sweet, and creamy. The rice pudding will thicken more as it cools, so be careful not to overcook.
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Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Fusion
Calories 635.5 kcal


  • 1 cup long-grain white rice, washed
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 (12 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk


  • Take a small pot and add water and cinnamon sticks, bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes. Set aside.
  • In a large saucepan, over medium heat place the rice and the cinnamon water and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add salt, butter, vanilla extract, 2 cups of milk, and sugar. Stir well to mix and cook uncovered for approximately 15 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to medium low. Add the remaining milk and condensed milk. Stir with a wooden spoon. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the rice pudding thickens to desire consistency.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 290gCalories: 635.5kcalCarbohydrates: 113.5gProtein: 12.1gFat: 14.9gSaturated Fat: 9.3gCholesterol: 52.2mgSodium: 208.2mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 81.2g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Colombian, Dessert, Easy, Healthy, Long-Grain Rice, Rice, South American
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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.