Home Desserts Mexican Rice Pudding (Arroz con Leche)

Mexican Rice Pudding (Arroz con Leche)

If you’ve never tried arroz con leche, stop what you’re doing and make this Mexican rice pudding recipe asap.

It’s rich, sweet, and oh-so-creamy.

A bowl of homemade rich and mexican rice pudding or arroz con leche
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This traditional Spanish dessert has been delighting families for generations. And now it’s popular all over the world.

That said, it’s especially beloved in Spanish-speaking countries like Mexico and Costa Rica.

Loaded with chewy rice and sweetened milk, it’s yummy served hot or cold.

So try this Mexican rice pudding the next time you crave something sweet. It won’t disappoint.

Authentic Arroz Con Leche Recipe

Mexican rice pudding features cooked rice simmered in milk with cinnamon for a hint of spice.

It becomes insanely thick and creamy, so every bite is luxurious. And that’s all down to a remarkable trio of milks.

That’s right, it’s not just plain old 2% in here.

Instead, you’ll use a mix of condensed milk, evaporated milk, and whole milk. That makes it impossibly luscious and sweet.

Ready to learn how to make arroz con leche (rice with milk)? Read on!

A bowl of homemade mexican rice pudding with a sprinkle of cinnamon


My favorite thing about this recipe (other than the taste) is how easy it is to make.

You only need a handful of pantry staples, and it’s ready before you know it!

  • Rice – As you’ve probably guessed, the main ingredient in the dish is rice. I use long-grain white rice, but you can substitute it with basmati rice.
    • I don’t recommend brown rice since it won’t give you the same creamy texture.
  • Milk – For a pudding-like, rich, and creamy texture, use a blend of condensed milk, evaporated milk, and whole milk.
  • Cinnamon Stick – For a warm, comforting flavor and extra depth in deliciousness.
  • Raisins – I would say these are optional, but the burst of fruity goodness is what makes this dessert so darn addictive!
  • Ground Cinnamon – For garnish.

How to Make Mexican Rice Pudding

You’ll find detailed instructions and the recipe below. But for now, here’s the highlights:

  1. Rinse and cook the rice. When the rice is clean, drain most of the excess liquid from the pot. Then add more water and the cinnamon stick. Cook until the rice is tender – about 15-20 minutes.
  2. Mix the milks together, then add them to the cooked rice. Do this when the rice is cooked and strained. Also, remove the cinnamon stick.
  3. Cook the rice again, then add the raisins. Stir constantly for about 20 minutes, add the fruit, then remove the pot from the heat.
  4. Cool, serve, and enjoy. Allow the rice pudding to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Add a dusting of ground cinnamon and serve warm.

Or let it cool completely, transfer it to an airtight container, and store it in the fridge until ready to serve chilled.

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Creamy and delicious mexican rice pudding or arroz con leche with cinnamon and nuts in a white bowl

Tips and Variations

The basic recipe for Mexican rice pudding only requires simple ingredients, and it’s a breeze to make.

But some variations and tips can elevate this dessert to the next level.

  • Choose the right rice. The best rice for arroz con leche is medium to long-grain white rice. I’ve used Basmati and Jasmine as well, though they do have a slight fragrance, which is noticeable.
    • I don’t recommend brown or short-grain rice (like Arborio) because brown won’t give you a creamy finish. And short-grain is more likely to turn to mush.
  • Don’t skip the rice rinse. This removes excess starch and keeps the pudding from becoming too sticky.
    • This is why I don’t recommend sushi rice – it’s very starchy and sticky, which will be too much for the pudding.
  • Use sweetened condensed milk. To make the pudding even creamier and sweeter, use sweetened condensed milk. Or use coconut condensed milk for a mild, nutty taste.
    • If you don’t like it very sweet, cut the amount of condensed milk in half.
  • Add spices and flavorings. Along with cinnamon, you can add all kinds of warming spices, like nutmeg or cardamom. I also like a splash of vanilla.
  • Make it vegan. Use vegan condensed and evaporated milks and your choice of dairy-free milk. Just keep in mind, coconut milk will add flavor, as will oat milk or sweetened almond milk.
  • Top with fruit or nuts. After the pudding has cooled, top it with sliced bananas or strawberries, chopped nuts, or chewy dried fruit.
Mexican rice pudding or arroz con leche, a creamy and comforting dessert with a hint of autumn flavors

Storing, Freezing, and Reheating

While making this tasty dessert is easy, you may end up with leftovers. Or, if you want to make it ahead, you can keep a big batch for later.

And proper storage, freezing, and reheating practices will ensure it maintains its flavor and texture.

  • To Store: Once the Mexican rice pudding has cooled to room temperature, transfer it to an airtight container. Store the pudding in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  • To Freeze: Technically, you can freeze Mexican rice pudding, but it may change texture when thawed. But if you have to, make sure it’s cold. Then transfer the pudding to a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag. Label the container with the date and freeze it for 2-3 months.

Rice and dairy don’t freeze well, and this dish is a double whammy. Since the rice is soaked in milk and already creamy, you may find it’s mushy when thawed.

So if you can avoid it, don’t free arroz con leche.

  • To Reheat: Add a portion to a microwave-safe dish, cover it with plastic, and heat it in 30-second increments. Add a splash of milk if it’s very thick, and stir between intervals.

You can also heat it in a stove and stir it over low heat.

If reheating frozen pudding, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating as directed above.

More Tasty Mexican Recipes You’ll Love

Mexican Hot Chocolate
Tres Leches Cake
Mexican Wedding Cookies
Mexican Ice Cream

Mexican Rice Pudding (Arroz con Leche)



Prep time


Cooking time





If you’ve never tried arroz con leche, stop what you’re doing and make this Mexican rice pudding recipe asap. It’s rich, sweet, and oh-so-creamy.


  • 7 cups water

  • 1 cup long-grain white rice

  • 1 4-inch cinnamon stick

  • 12 -ounce can evaporated milk

  • 14 -ounce can condensed milk

  • 1 cup whole milk

  • 3/4 cup golden raisins

  • ground cinnamon, for dusting


  • Add the rice to a large pot (or bowl) and cover it with water.
  • Gently swirl the grains, then pour out the liquid.
  • Repeat this until the water mostly runs clear.
  • Then, mix the rice with the 7 cups of water in a large pot and add the cinnamon stick.
  • Put the pot on the stove over medium-high heat and cook uncovered until the rice is tender – 15-20 minutes.
  • When the rice is tender, strain away the excess liquid and remove the cinnamon stick. Leave the rice to drain for a few minutes.
  • While the rice sits, blend the evaporated, condensed, and whole milk in a bowl.
  • Then, add the rice back to the pot and mix in the milk mixture.
  • Turn the heat to medium-high and bring the milk to a low boil before reducing the heat and letting it simmer for 20 minutes. Stir frequently during this time.
  • When the rice pudding has thickened, stir in the golden raisins. Turn off the heat and leave the pudding to cool for 10 minutes.
  • Portion the rice pudding into bowls, dust each serving with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon and enjoy.
Mexican Rice Pudding (Arroz con Leche)

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Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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