Skip to Content

Arroz Con Leche – Mexican Rice Pudding

Cuisine: Mexican

 Rice pudding remains to be a favorite dish around the world. The Arroz Con Leche is a sweet variation of rice pudding prepared for Mexican cuisine and a famous and classic for many Mexican people. This recipe will only need most of your pantry staples to get ready. It is made with simple and readily available ingredients; milk, sugar, cinnamon, butter, rice, and vanilla extract. It creates a rich and excellent dessert that can be served either warm or cold.

Arroz con leche is a portion of top-notch comfort food and is the kind of dessert that will be enjoyed by everyone and is also kid-friendly.

How to prepare the Arroz con leche ?

 The authenticity of this dessert is its combination of distinct flavors that build up from the variety of ingredients. Every Mexican home or kitchen has a definite recipe of this much-liked dessert that generations have been able to modify or make minor adjustments to.


Ingredient List

  • 3/4 cup white long-grain rice
  • 1 ¾ cups, water
  • 1 tbsp, butter
  • ¼ tsp, salt
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder or enough to taste
  • ½ tbsp, vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup, sugar
  • 2 cups, whole milk, divided into two parts
  • ½ cup raisins(optional) 

4 Servings


  • Measuring spoons
  • Kitchen spoon
  • Measuring cups
  • A high sided pan
  • A medium pot with a lid
  • Small dessert bowls or dessert cups to serve


Preparation Method and Cooking Instructions

Difficulty: Easy

Preparation time: Approx. 5 minutes

Cook time: Approx. 40 minutes

Total time: Approx. 45 minutes


Rice preparation

Prepare and cook the rice using the traditional way. In your medium-sized pot, bring the water to a boil, add the rice, cover, and reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for about 20 minutes. Set aside.


Preparing the Arroz con Leche

  1. As the rice cooks, soak the cinnamon stick in 1one part of the milk (1 cup) using the high-sided pan.
  2. Add your ready rice to the milk and cinnamon mixture and reduce the heat to low.
  3. Add in the sugar followed by the salt, and while regularly stirring, cook for about 10 minutes.
  4. Wait until the rice fully absorbs some of the milk before adding the butter. Add in the butter and stir until it is melted.
  5. Take the remaining part of the milk and add it to the mixture. Add the vanilla extract as well for flavor. Keep stirring to properly and thoroughly mix the ingredients. Cook over low heat for about 2 minutes or until the pudding thickens.
  6. Turn your heat off and cover the pudding. Allow it to rest for about 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!


Serving Instructions and Suggestions

Course: Dessert

  • Spoon the Arroz con leche into the dessert cups or bowls, dust the pudding with the cinnamon powder. You can use an extra cinnamon stick to garnish as well.
  • Mealtime and Course: Arroz con leche is served at the end of meals as dessert. You can also serve the pudding as a breakfast dish.
  • Serving temperature: The rice pudding can be served warm or cold.


Tricks and pro tips

The desired consistency and texture of the pudding are a matter of preference. This will mainly depend on the cooking time, the rice and milk ratio and can also be determined to some level by the type of rice used.

Some people swear by using short-grain rice or arborio rice for a creamier result. In order to get the rice pudding just right, it should have absorbed most of the liquid by the time it is done but should still be creamy. However, depending on how you like it(wet or dry), you can make a few adjustments.

  • If it is too dry, gradually add in ¼ cup of milk and stir at a time, then heat for a few more minutes until it gets to the moisture consistency of your liking.
  • If the pudding is too wet or moist, simply keep cooking over low heat until excess liquid evaporates until you reach your desired texture.
  • You can prepare this recipe using leftover rice, but most people attest to freshly made rice being better.


Ingredient Substitutions

  • Instead of using whole milk, you can use condensed milk, evaporated milk, or the milk variety of your choice. Lactose intolerant people can use lactose-free milk.
  • Sugar is the renowned sweetener for many dessert dishes, including the Arroz con leche, but you can use the sweetener of your choice like Splenda. Sweetened condensed milk will excellently do the trick. Sweetened condensed milk will also make it creamier and enhance its richness. Unrefined whole cane sugar or granulated sugar will help the milk caramelize during cooking, creating an even deeper flavor.
  • If you do not want to use white rice, you can use brown rice, but you should know that this will alter the consistency to an extent. Brown rice is healthier but always remember it is the amount of starch content that will yield the desired results.


Additions and Extra touches

  • You can use a variety of toppings on your pudding from spices, to dried or even moist fruits. You can add the regular or golden raisins when adding the last part of the milk, but this is optional.
  • You can also top it up with honey, brown sugar, nutmeg, and shredded or desiccated coconut. All these toppings will give different flours. Use any toppings you want. Go wild!


Nutrition per serving

  • Calories:88.25kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 16.25g
  • Protein: 1.75g
  • Fat: 1.75g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Cholesterol: 5mg
  • Sodium: 52.75mg
  • Potassium: 87.5g
  • Fiber: 0.5g
  • Sugar: 5.75g
  • Vitamin A: 72.5 IU
  • Vitamin C: 0.25mg
  • Calcium: 41.25mg
  • Iron: 0.25g


 You can prepare this pudding ahead of its time of use and refrigerate it using airtight Tupperware. The pudding can be kept in the refrigerator for about 2-3 days. It is important to note that Arroz con leche does not freeze well. After refrigeration, if you wish to have the pudding, reheat in a microwave, or you can serve it cold.