Arroz con Leche

Classic Arroz Con Leche – a variation of rice pudding that is sweet and cooked with milk, evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk and topped with cinnamon.

This delicious Mexican dessert is simple to make and a classic rice pudding recipe. If you love cinnamon and love pudding, you won’t be able to resist this yummy treat. Be sure to check out our Mexican hot chocolate and Tres Leches cake too!

Arroz con leche in glasses

What is Arroz con Leche?

Arroz con leche, aka rice pudding, was a dessert my mom grew up on. My great-grandma made it, and I wanted to find a recipe that tasted just like it. Fortunately, I did just that and now have introduced this delicious dessert to my own children. But, what is it exactly?

If you’re not familiar with rice pudding, arroz con leche is a Spanish dish made from rice mixed with water or milk and other ingredients like cinnamon and raisins. The dish also has some sort of sweetener, whether it’s sugar or sweetened condensed milk.

This rice can also be served warm or cold, but either way you have it, it’s a tapioca-like treat that is delicious. It can also be served as a breakfast dish too!

How to make arroz con leche process pic

How to Make Arroz Con Leche

Add water, rice and cinnamon sticks to a large saucepan and cook on medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and let cook for 16-18 minutes.

Drain liquid from the sauce pan, remove cinnamon sticks and put rice back in the pan. Add all 3 milks – evaporated milk, condensed milk and whole milk to the pan. Let come to a boil.

Reduce heat to LOW and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring constantly. The milk can easily burn so it’s important to stir as much as possible as it thickens.

Pour rice into cups and sprinkle on cinnamon. If you like more cinnamon, add 1 tsp of cinnamon (or more) in when adding the milks. We like to serve it warm, but it can also be cooled too.

substitutions & toppings

Can you make this with Brown Rice? Yes, although it may alter the consistency a little. It is a healthier version which gives you fiber.

Can you make it without sweetened condensed milk? We love that the sweetened condensed milk makes it more rich and creamy, but it can also be omitted. Just use a ¾ cup more milk and ¾ cup sugar instead.

Can you make in the slow cooker? Of course! We actually have a slow cooker rice pudding on the site. Ingredients aren’t exactly the same, but the taste is very similar.

What are the best toppings for arroz con leche? There are lots of toppings you can use from fruit to nuts, but here are some of our favorites:

  • Brown Sugar
  • Honey
  • Raisins
  • Nutmeg
  • Cinnamon
  • Coconut

Arroz con leche recipe process pictures

Variations & Storing

There are so many variations for this recipe. Golden and regular raisins are a classic to add to this dish, but since we aren’t huge fans, we omitted those. If you want to use raisins we recommend adding them once you are cooking the rice for the last 20 minutes.

Other additions include some of the toppings we listed above. Various fruits and nuts and spices will all change the recipe and a bit more flavor.

Can this be made ahead of time? Yes. Just store in the fridge in a tupperware for a few days. We reheat it in a pot and add a bit more cinnamon to the top before serving.

If it’s too thick, we recommend adding a bit of milk when reheating. 😉

Arroz con leche aka rice pudding in glasses

We love that we have this simple but tasty recipe on hand that brings back so many memories for my mom! If you want an even easier version, be sure to check out our slow cooker rice pudding recipe.

For more favorite recipes, check out:

Arroz Con Leche Recipe

4.89 from 26 votes
Classic Arroz Con Leche - a variation of rice pudding that is sweet and cooked with milk, evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk and topped with cinnamon. 
Course Dessert
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 36 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 211 kcal
Author Lil' Luna

Ingredients

  • 7 cups water
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
  • 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • cinnamon

Instructions
 

  • Add water, rice and cinnamon sticks to a large saucepan and cook on medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and let cook for 16-18 minutes.
  • Drain liquid from the sauce pan, remove cinnamon sticks and put rice back in the pan. Add all 3 milks - evaporated milk, condensed milk and whole milk to the pan. Let come to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring constantly. The milk can easily burn so it's important to stir as much as possible as it thickens.
  • Pour rice into cups and sprinkle on cinnamon. If you like more cinnamon, add 1 tsp of cinnamon in when adding the milks. Serve warm.

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About the Author

Kristyn Merkley

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    I love this recipe and plan on making it for dessert on Christmas. If I double it, do I need to boil the rice for twice as long?

  2. 5 stars
    Just made this. Instead if whole milk i used Vanilla rice milk. ( what I had on hand)Turned out awesome. Thanks for a wonderful recipe 😋

  3. 5 stars
    This is the best arroz dulce I have ever had. Sooo good. I do add some raisins. I’m so glad I found your recipe. Thank you for sharing!

  4. 5 stars
    This recipe is outstanding. I swapped the cinnamon for dried parsley, onion, and garlic, and I replaced the milk with chicken broth. I also took the liberty to add some chopped up chicken breasts as well, and it was delicious. 5/7 out of seven, perfect score.

    1. Sounds like you turned Arroz con Leche into Arroz con Pollo. Sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing what you do!

  5. 5 stars
    Made this today because my daughter was asking for it. It was easy and perfect. Thank you for all your great recipes. Easy to follow and delicious.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. I appreciate it! I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe and others. 🙂

  6. 4 stars
    What is the purpose of boiling the rice in water first and then in milk? You don’t want dry loose grains because it is not a side dish, lose a lot of starch to the drained water, and don’t avoid cooking the milk. Instructions of cooking the rice dry in water exist from all over the world. But why?

    I call this a “milk porridge” and eat it a lot. But I simply combine water, milk, sugar and salt at the start. The amount of milk depends on how frugal I need to be. Then add volatile flavorings at the end: butter, vanillin and coconut oil. Vanillin is interesting because I can’t feel it while the porridge is warm. Serve with cinnamon.

    1. I would say because when you boil it in water, it becomes a water drink called “horchata”; it’s and option, but it’s a good tastings water. “agua” ; it’s a drink that you can enjoy after the rice is cooked and drained. just try it next time. Save the water and add sugar and cinnamon, OH and don’t forget to shake it and drink it COLD. you’ll love it!! HORCHATA

  7. Really great and simple recipe. Only need a few products that I can stock up on at the store, I didn’t even need to add sugar. I did add one tablespoon of Vanilla extract when I added the milks. Great for one person to eat over a day or two, and only cost me like $3 to make a pot.

    Make sure you follow the directions, I put two cups of rice because one looked like a little and I ended up having to throw half of the cooked rice away since it was so much. that rice expands really quick, one cup is plenty.

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