Arroz con Leche (or Mexican rice pudding) is a comforting and simple no-fuss Mexican dessert that’s guaranteed to satisfy any sweet tooth. It can be served hot or cold and is made with only 6 ingredients!
What is Arroz con Leche?
Arroz con Leche, or Mexican rice pudding, will forever remind me of my family. It’s a comforting, simple, and easy dessert made from a few ingredients including long-grain white rice, sugar, milk, and cinnamon sticks. It can be served hot or cold, and is eaten year round!
Ingredients in Arroz con Leche
I like to keep things as simple and as uncomplicated as possible, and this version is just how my mom makes it. This recipe uses only 6 simple ingredients that you most likely already have in your kitchen.
- milk (2% or whole milk)
- long-grain white rice
- cinnamon sticks
- a pinch of salt
There are countless arroz con leche recipe variations out there. Some include sweetened condensed milk, others use whole milk, some use evaporated milk, and some use a combination of all three!
Variations and Mix-Ins
Since I like to keep things simple I didn’t add any mix-ins, but there are many popular variations that include:
- shredded coconut
- dried fruits
If you’d like to add in a mix-in, I recommend adding it when you add in the milk.
I’ve had the variation with raisins before and I love it. The raisins get super warm and plump up in the pudding and when you finally eat them, and they practically burst in your mouth! It’s so good!
Once your Arroz con Leche is ready to eat, here are a few great options for what to top it with:
- chopped nuts
- brown sugar
Storing, Freezing, and Reheating
Storage and Freezing: Arroz con leche can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for about 5-6 days. You can also freeze it in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Just be aware that the texture may change slightly when reheated.
Reheating: It is best reheated in a pot on the stove, or in a bowl in the microwave. You may need to add a splash of milk or water since it may have thickened a bit too much in the fridge.
- 1 cup long-grain rice
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 4 cups milk (I used 2% milk, but you can also use whole milk for an even thicker consistency.)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- optional toppings: ground cinnamon, chopped nuts, a spoonful of cajeta
- In medium or large pot over high heat, add rice, cinnamon sticks, salt and water. Mix together and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 15 minutes until most of the water has evaporated.
- Add the milk, give it a stir, cover and cook for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the sugar, give it another stir, cover and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the lid, raise the heat to medium-high and cook for another 5 minutes or until the rice pudding has reached a thick consistency.
- Remove from heat and let rice cool for 15 minutes. This will help the pudding thicken even more. Serve warm or refrigerate for 2 hours and serve cold.
- Milk: I don’t recommend using skim/nonfat milk. This recipe has not been tested using a milk alternative like almond, soy, oat, or cashew milk.
- Mix-ins: If you’d like to add in a mix-in like raisins or other dried fruit, I recommend adding it when you add in the milk.
- Storage + Freezing: It can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for about 5-6 days. You can also freeze it in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Just be aware that the texture may change slightly when reheated.
- Reheating: It is best reheated in a pot on the stove, or in a bowl in the microwave. You may need to add a splash of milk or water since it may have thickened a bit too much in the fridge.