Easy Arroz Con Leche Recipe

Rice is one of the most versatile foods to ever exist, and it's also super easy and fun to work with. Alone, white rice has a neutral, starchy taste, making it a wonderful base for hundreds of delicious food combinations. From easy savory dishes like rice pilaf to spicy dishes like Thai fried rice, there's really no limit to how much you can transform rice. Not to mention, it's also a favorite side dish that goes hand in hand when serving steak, pork, chicken, fish and so much more.

Of course, as many people know, rice is also great in a dessert context. And now, thanks to recipe developer and private practice registered dietician Kristen Carli's easy arroz con leche recipe, it's never been easier to enjoy rice in a sweet and creamy context! Similar in flavor and texture to rice pudding, arroz con leche is a classic Mexican dish, and it can be made into both sweet and savory dishes. For this arroz con leche recipe, you'll definitely enjoy it as a dessert thanks to the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. "The flavor is very similar to horchata — cinnamon and milky," Carli says of this dish, comparing it to the popular rice-based beverage. If you're a fan of rice pudding, horchata, or just want an inventive way to use rice in a dessert dish, you'll definitely want to give this easy arroz con leche recipe a try! The dish looks as pretty as it tastes, too.

Gather the ingredients to prepare this easy arroz con leche

Before you get started on making your arroz con leche, you'll first need to ensure that you have the proper ingredients to mix it up and enjoy. For this arroz con leche recipe, you'll need several things that you probably already have on hand. Pull together some uncooked white rice, water, cinnamon, whole milk, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla extract. By utilizing both whole milk and sweetened condensed milk, you'll notice an impeccably creamy texture and taste in your arroz con leche, along with a subtle sweetness. Carli also notes that you can add raisins or nuts to this recipe to help add texture and elevate the flavor. If you opt for these extras, you could mix them into the pudding itself or use them as toppings! The possibilities are pretty endless, which will make this dish a family favorite. It's really easy to make, and everyone you serve it to will love it.

Add your rice, water, and cinnamon to a pot, and bring it to a boil

Once you have your ingredients all sorted out, you can begin making your arroz con leche. To get started, add your white rice, water, and ground cinnamon to a medium-sized saucepan. Then, put your saucepan over high heat to allow the ingredients to come to a boil. Once your rice, water, and cinnamon mixture reaches a boil, lower the heat so your ingredients sit at a nice simmer. Allow your mixture to simmer for about 10 minutes. During this time, the rice will absorb some of the water and cinnamon.

Add the sweetened condensed milk, whole milk, and vanilla extract, then continue to cook

Now that your rice, water, and cinnamon mixture has had a chance to boil and simmer, you can add in the rest of your ingredients. Carefully pour the sweetened condensed milk, whole milk, and vanilla extract into the saucepan with your rice, and stir it together well. You want to ensure that the ingredients are thoroughly mixed without breaking down the rice too much. Once you've evenly mixed the milks and vanilla extract into your rice, go ahead and allow your pudding to continue to cook for 45 minutes on low heat. During this time, be sure to check on your pudding. You need to occasionally stir it and ensure that the mixture stays at a low simmer. Your kitchen will smell absolutely divine while this is cooking up, and you will be anxious to dig in and taste this yummy dish.

Top your arroz con leche with cinnamon, and enjoy

After your arroz con leche has cooked on low heat for 45 minutes, you can remove it from the heat. It's now ready to serve it up in bowls. You can use dessert bowls, or if you'd like, serve them in small pedestal bowls or cups for a little extra fancier presentation. Top off each dish with additional ground cinnamon (and raisins or nuts, if you'd like), and enjoy! You can even place some of the fun toppings on the table, and let your family or guests dress up their own bowl as they please. 

When you taste this yummy dish, you'll notice delicious, creamy, and thick flavors and texture, with a decadent hint of cinnamon spice. If you have any leftovers, and that is a big if, you can store them in the fridge for up to five days. Keep in mind that you can easily serve arroz con leche hot or cold, because it is delicious either way.

If you're looking for a super easy but decadent recipe to prepare for a special dessert for your family or guests (and have plenty of white rice laying around), give this arroz con leche a try to spruce up your dessert time in a big way! It's an absolute crowd-pleasing dish, and once you make it, we are pretty sure you will be whipping this recipe up many times moving forward.

Easy Arroz Con Leche Recipe
5 from 30 ratings
Thanks to this easy arroz con leche recipe, it's never been easier to enjoy rice in a sweet and creamy context!
Prep Time
Cook Time
arroz con leche in bowls
Total time: 57 minutes
  • ½ cup uncooked white rice
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. In a medium saucepan, add the rice, water, and ground cinnamon. Bring to a boil, and lower to a simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the milk, condensed milk, and vanilla extract. Stir well. Continue to cook over low heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove from heat, and garnish with additional ground cinnamon.
Calories per Serving 485
Total Fat 12.7 g
Saturated Fat 7.8 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 45.9 mg
Total Carbohydrates 79.6 g
Dietary Fiber 0.2 g
Total Sugars 60.3 g
Sodium 182.4 mg
Protein 13.3 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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