Arroz Con Leche

This Arroz Con Leche recipe is perfectly creamy & sweet every time! Make it at home using 3 different types of milk that you can enjoy either warm or cold. So good!

I love creamy desserts like Mexican flan and Budin De Pan but this one is always my preferred go-to dessert. Light, creamy, rich, and sweet, this easy Arroz Con Leche recipe goes perfectly with fruit or on its own!

Photo of two small glasses with arroz con leche and a spoon.

Arroz con leche is one of the most popular desserts in Latin America and also one of the only desserts I grew up with in Mexico. My mom loved to make a big batch of it for my large family.

“You can enjoy Arroz Con Leche cold during the hot weather or warm on cold days.”

It tastes delicious both ways and it’s just a matter of personal preference. What I love the most is that it’s so versatile!  

Photo of Ingredients: milk, long grain rice, raisins, evaporated milk & condensed milk.

Ingredients

The milks: This recipe is made with three different types of milk: sweet condensed milk (lechera), evaporated milk and 2% or whole milk. The combination of 3 milks is the secret to super creamy Arroz Con Leche!

The rice: Regular long grain & jasmine rice work best for Mexican rice pudding. Basmati may be used if that’s all you have but note that it may transfer some of the classic basmati fragrance into the rice.

The cinnamon: Cinnamon sticks are best as they release a stronger taste but in a pinch, you can add 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

Lime peel: Why use lime peel? It balances all of the sweet flavors. I truly recommend it!

The raisins: This is a standard ingredient in Mexican Arroz Con Leche but you can skip it if you don’t like them. Hey, I do since my hubby doesn’t like them ?

How to make Arroz Con Leche

  1. In a medium saucepan add the condensed milk, evaporated milk and whole milk. Keep warm over low heat.
  2. In a separate large saucepan, add the 3 cups of water, salt, lime peel, and cinnamon sticks. Bring to a boil for a couple of minutes.
photo #1: adding milk to a sauce pan & photo #2, a white pot with water, lime peels & cinnamon.
  1. Add the rice and reduce the heat to medium-low and cook uncovered, stirring once or twice. Cook for 15 minutes.
  2. Add the warm milk mixture over the rice & raisins, stir, and reduce the heat to low. Cook for about 30 minutes more stirring occasionally. Keep an eye on it to make sure the rice doesn’t flow over.I cannot stress this part enough!
  3. Turn off the heat and remove the cinnamon sticks & lime peel. Let it cool slightly for about 30 minutes
Cooking rice in a white pot

Notes on Storing & Tips

When you make this Arroz con Leche recipe, there are a few things I want you to consider so your results are better than the standard rice pudding:

  • Rinse and wash the rice well to remove the starch. Otherwise the rice will become very dense & sticky. This is the secret my friends!
  • By letting the cinnamon boil for a couple of minutes in the water by itself, it will release all of its’ flavors more easily. The lime peel is a great acid addition to balance the sweetness of the condensed milk.
  • The last 30 minutes of resting time are very important to create the perfect consistency.
  • STORE the arroz con leche in an airtight container up to 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.
A white rectangular dish with rice pudding and spoons on the side.

FAQs

How do I warm up warm up the arroz con leche after it has been refrigerated?

you can do it in the microwave or on a stove top. Add a splash of milk to make it creamy again if needed and stir well with a spoon before eating.

Can arroz con leche be left out overnight

Do not leave it out overnight. The dairy will spoil if left out at room temperature for more than two hours.

Can you make arroz con leche with brown rice

You can but the taste won’t be the same as brown rice has an earthy flavor. I personally have not tried it!

FOR MORE FAVORITE SWEET RECIPES, CHECK OUT:

Creamy Arroz Con Leche on a spoon

Did you enjoy this Arroz Con Leche? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

Arroz Con Leche (Mexican Rice Pudding)

Servings 8 people
Ana Frias
4.91 from 20 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Arroz Con Leche is the perfect crowd pleaser dessert. It’s simple, it’s delicious, and it’s so easy to make. This creamy Mexican Postre is rich and milky, with the most amazing texture.
8 people

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cups milk whole or 2%
  • 1 can evaporated milk 12 oz
  • 1 can condensed milk 12 oz
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • The peel of one lime
  • 2 sticks cinnamon see note #1
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice rinsed well see note #2
  • 1/2 cup of raisins optional
  • Ground cinnamon for dusting optional

Instructions
 

  • In a medium saucepan add the 3 milks and keep warm over low heat.
  • In a separate large saucepan, add the 3 cups of water, salt, lime peel, and cinnamon sticks. Bring to a boil for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the rice and reduce the heat to medium-low and cook uncovered, stirring once or twice. Cook for 15 minutes.
  • Add the warm milk mixture over the rice & raisins, stir, and reduce the heat to low. Cook uncovered for about 30 minutes more stirring occasionally. Keep an eye on it to make sure the rice doesn't flow over.I cannot stress this part enough!
  • Turn off the heat and remove the cinnamon sticks & lime peel. Let it cool slightly for about 30 minutes
  • The Arroz con Leche can be served warm, at room temperature, or cold.

*Ana’s Notes:

  • Note #1: Cinnamon sticks are best as they release a stronger taste but in a pinch, you can add 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • Note #2: Rinse and wash the rice well to remove the starch. Otherwise the rice will become very dense & sticky.
  • Note #3: By letting the cinnamon boil for a couple of minutes in the water, it will release all of its’ flavors more easily. The lime peel is a great acid addition to balance the sweetness of the condensed milk.
  • Note #4: The last 30 minutes of resting time are very important to create the perfect consistency.

ADD YOUR OWN PRIVATE NOTES

Whenever you come back to this recipe, you’ll be able to see your notes.

NUTRITION

Serving: 12cup | Calories: 298kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 145mg | Sugar: 33g

The nutritional information and US conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this data. If this is important to you, please verify with your favourite nutrition calculator and/or unit conversion tool.

Two small glasses with arroz con leche and a spoon.

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Recipe Rating




42 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Outstanding! Definitely up there with my abuela & my mami’s arroz con leche! Will make over and over again. ¡Gracias amiga!

        1. Hi Yesenia, it is supposed to be soft but not mushy. When you add the milk the rice would have been cooking for 15 minutes in the water with cinnamon and that will make it soft first. Let me know how it turns out!

  2. 5 stars
    Rice pudding is one of my favorite comfort foods, and yours looks SO creamy. I love the addition of lime, I never would have thought of that.

  3. This reminds me of the rice pudding my mom used to make for my dad she added a few raisins… and I love that wood platter by the way… stunning!

  4. 5 stars
    Great recipe for Arroz Con Leche! My family loves it every time I make it. It’s smooth, creamy and delicious!

  5. 5 stars
    I made this before and it’s so good! Love how creamy it is and this Arroz Con Leche is very flavorful with cinnamon!

      1. 5 stars
        Easy to make and simply delicious!! My family loved it and brought back so many wonderful memories as a child when my mom used to make it! Thank you ?