This creamy and delicious Arroz con Leche recipe is made with simple pantry ingredients, but impressive enough to serve guests. It is delicious served hot or cold, and is the epitome of comfort food!
The very first Spanish classes I took was in middle school and our teacher taught us this song called “arroz con leche” and made us some to try. I think of her every time I make this recipe! We had both American rice pudding and Arroz con leche (Mexican Rice Pudding), all the time growing up and this is my version of the creamy delectable pudding. I love that it requires simple pantry ingredients you probably already have and it’s so warm and comforting!
The biggest difference between Mexican rice pudding and American rice pudding is in the way the rice is cooked. American rice pudding usually uses leftover rice and can be baked in the oven or cooked on the stove. Arroz con leche is made with raw rice that cooks right in the creamy cinnamon milk mixture until it’s tender. Arroz con leche usually contains sweetened condensed milk, as well.
- Rice: short or medium grain white rice. See my notes in the recipe card to substitute brown rice.
- Milk: Whole milk is preferred. You could substitute dairy-free milk but it wont be as creamy.
- Evaporated Milk
- Cinnamon stick
- Sugar: or sub brown sugar or honey.
- Raisins: leave them out if you don’t like them.
- Sweetened condensed milk
- Vanilla extract: Use the good stuff, not imitation!
How to make Arroz con Leche:
Wash rice until the water runs clear, to remove the outer starch layer.
Cook rice in milk: Combine milk, cinnamon stick, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a low boil. Add rice and simmer, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Plump raisins: Add raisins to a bowl and cover with very hot water to allow them to “plump” for a few minutes. Drain and set aside.
Finish cooking: Remove cinnamon stick from cooked rice mixture. Stir in sugar and raisins and cook for 10-15 minutes more, stirring often to avoid burning. Remove from heat and stir in butter, condensed milk, and vanilla.
Serve warm or cold, sprinkled with ground cinnamon on top!
To Store: This Mexican rice pudding can be kept in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. For best results, reheat on low in a pot on the stove. Add a splash of milk if it’s too thick.
- Use leftover rice: Heat 3 cups of cooked rice, 2 cups whole milk, and 1 can sweetened condensed milk in a saucepan. Boil and simmer 15 minutes then remove from heat and stir in raisins, vanilla, and 1 tsp cinnamon.
- Cuban style arroz con leche– add zest from 1 lemon to step 2 of the recipe.
- Adjust the liquid: If it seems too runny, continue cooking and it will thicken further. If you would like it creamier, stir in a few tablespoons of milk.
- Mix-Ins: Add your choice of coconut, nuts, or dried fruit.
- Brown Rice: Follow my instructions for my Brown Rice Pudding.
- Baked: Try my Baked Rice Pudding recipe.
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Arroz con Leche
- 1 cup short or medium grain rice
- 4 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 can evaporated milk
- pinch of salt
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 cup sugar or sub brown sugar or honey
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Wash the rice until the water runs clear.
- Add milk, cinnamon stick and salt to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a low boil. Add rice and simmer, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender, about 1 hour 15 minutes.
- Add raisins to a bowl and cover with very hot water to allow them to “plump” for a few minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Remove cinnamon stick from cooked rice mixture. Stir in sugar and raisins and cook for 10-15 minutes more, stirring often to avoid burning.
- Remove from heat and stir in butter, condensed milk and vanilla.
- Serve warm or cold, sprinkled with ground cinnamon on top. Store leftovers in the fridge for a few days. Reheat on low in a pot on the stove. Add a splash of milk it needed, to thin it out.
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