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!

Arroz con leche in a small cup.
Homemade Arroz Con Leche.

**This post was originally published on Nov 2018. It has been updated to be more helpful.

Mexican Rice Pudding

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!

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’s the perfect dessert!”

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!  

Two small glasses with arroz con leche and a spoon.
This is the best Arroz con Leche Recipe you’ll try!

Ingredients

  • The milks: This recipe is made with three different types of milk: sweetened 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.
  • Vanilla extract: optional
  • Toppings (optional): Shredded coconut flakes, any nut like chopped walnuts, pecans or almonds.

***Make sure to scroll all the way down to the recipe card to get the full ingredient list and written recipe.

The ingredients for this recipe placed on blue background.

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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.
  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, stir, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for about 30 minutes (uncovered) 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. If adding raisins, add them at this point. Let it cool slightly for about 30 minutes. Let it cool slightly for about 30 minutes


Storing & Reheating

Fridge: Store leftover rice in an airtight container for up to 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. I do not recommend freezing as the milk mixture will separate and the consistency may change.

You can eat the leftovers cold (delicious!) but if you like it warm, follow these steps:

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

A table setting with a white dish and rice pudding with spoons on the side.
Receta arroz con leches.

Recipe Tips & FAQs

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.
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!

Two small glasses with arroz con leche and a spoon.
Authentic Mexican Rice Pudding

If you enjoyed this recipe I’d love it if you take 5 seconds to rate and review it below on the blog. It’s also super helpful to me and other readers if you share any changes you made to the recipe. Gracias!!!!

Print Recipe:

Arroz con leche in a small cup.

Arroz Con Leche (Mexican Rice Pudding)

Servings 8 people
Ana Frias
4.96 from 43 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
  • 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
  • ½ 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.
    A white saucepan with water, cinnamon sticks and lime peels.
  • Add the rice and reduce the heat to medium-low and cook uncovered, stirring once or twice. Cook for 15 minutes.
    A white saucepan with water, cinnamon sticks and lime peels plus a hand adding rice to it.
  • Add the warm milk mixture over the rice, stir, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for about 30 minutes (uncovered), stirring occasionally.
    Adding a milk mixture to a saucepan with rice in it.
  • Note: 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. If adding raisins, add them at this point. Let it cool slightly for about 30 minutes.
  • The Arroz con Leche can be served warm, at room temperature, or cold.

Muy Delish 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 creamy 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.

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Recipe Rating




56 Comments

    1. Hi Bre! Thanks for the comment! I’m not sure how the rice did not cook well as its cooked slow and for a long period of time. It is a foolproof recipe so maybe you rush the process? Also, authentic Mexican rice does not have nutmeg but if that’s something you really like you can add it to anything. Have a good one!

  1. When do you blend the milk and rice? After resting? Or before? Feel very stuck so I’m gna wing it. Hope don’t mess up again on this second batch

  2. 5 stars
    I made this Arroz Con Leche recipe using sweetened condensed milk and it turned out so good! Can’t wait to make it using the other 2 options! Thank you Ana for these delicious recipes!

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. 5 stars
    Great recipe for Arroz Con Leche! My family loves it every time I make it. It’s smooth, creamy and delicious!

  7. 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 ?