Arroz con leche (rice pudding)

Recipe for arroz con lecheArroz con leche, or rice pudding was a staple in my house growing up. My mom would make it often because one batch goes a long way and makes a good dessert, after school snack or even breakfast. It’s actually been a very long time since I’ve had it because we used to have it so much as a child I got sick of it and didn’t touch it for years, but I had a craving for it today so I pulled out my mom’s good old reliable recipe (adapted from the infamous Salvadoran Vilma G. de Escobar recipes series) and tried it out.

Arroz con leche is popular in all Latin American cultures and although recipes vary, it’s not by very much.

Make arroz con leche with seven easy ingredients you’re sure to have on hand: rice, water, cinnamon sticks, milk, raisins, sugar, cinnamon. arroz con leche ingredients

First step is to cook the rice. I use ratio of 3:1 water to rice. You want it to be moist and don’t worry if the rice is not fully cooked yet at this point. cooked rice

Add the milk to the rice along with the sugar and raisins (optional). I find most recipes call for double the amount of sugar but I thought 1/2 cup made it sweet enough. Some variations of the recipe call for condensed milk instead instead so I might try that next time. add milk

The next step is to simmer the rice with the milk on low heat covered with a lid. I open it up and stir it once or twice so the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.stir the arroz con leche

Once it’s ready, sprinkle cinnamon on top and serve hot or cold. arroz con leche

Arroz con leche


  • 1 cup long-grain rice (I used parboiled rice. Please do not substitute brown rice, it will not work.)
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cups of milk
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of raisins (optional)
  • ground cinnamon


  1. In  a medium saucepan combine rice, water and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook until all water has been absorbed (about 10 to 15 minutes). Don’t worry if the rice is not fully cooked.
  2. Add the milk, sugar and raisins to the rice. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes, depending on how thick you would like it. Stir once or twice so the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of pot, but no more than that.
  3. Remove from heat and keep covered. Pour into bowls or cups and sprinkle a dash of cinnamon on top.
  4. Arroz con leche can be served hot or cold.Store in the refrigerator for up to three days.