International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Arroz con Leche

Arroz con Leche Recipe (Spanish rice pudding)

(Spanish rice pudding)

Image Creative Commons by RBerteig

Average: 4.3 (202 votes)

Arroz con leche (rice with milk) is one of the most popular desserts in the Latin world. This simple sweet conjures up memories of home and is supreme comfort food.

4 to 6 servings


  • Milk -- 4 cups
  • Short-grain rice --1/2 cup
  • Cinnamon stick -- 1
  • Orange or lemon peel (optional) -- 2 strips
  • Salt -- pinch
  • Raisins -- 1/4 cup
  • Sugar -- 1/2 cup
  • Butter -- 2 tablespoons
  • Vanilla -- 1 teaspoon


  1. Place the milk, rice, cinnamon stick, orange or lemon peel and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Immediately reduce heat to very low and simmer, stirring often and scraping bottom, for about 45 minutes.
  2. Add the raisins and sugar and simmer for another 15 minutes. Stir often to keep from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla. Adjust sugar to taste and serve hot or cold, sprinkling the top with some ground cinnamon.


  • Arroz con Dulce (Puerto Rico), or Arroz-Doce (Brazil): use coconut milk in place of regular milk.
  • Short-grain rice, like arborio or Valencia rice, is best for rice pudding as it gives the dessert a creamier texture, but regular long-grain rice can be used to good result too. A little more rice can be added if you want a firmer pudding. If the pudding gets too thick, just add a little more milk.
  • Sometimes water, cream, sweetened and condensed milk or evaporated milk is substituted for part of the regular milk. Just make sure the total amount of liquid adds up to 4 cups. And adjust the amount of sugar as needed.
  • Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of brandy or rum when you stir in the butter and vanilla if you like.
  • Some recipes call for stirring in 2 beaten egg yolks at the end before adding the butter and vanilla. The heat of the pudding will cook the yolks, make it creamier and give it a pale golden color.


This is an excellent recipe! Just be careful not to let the rice stick and burn on the bottom. If you use a heavy bottom pot that should help with making sure the stuck bits don't burn. This recipe is so popular with my family that I have doubled and quadrupled the recipe. If you quadruple it, in step 1 you will need to put the heat on medium high or high to get the milk to boil, or else you will be at the stove forever! And I can't stress enough - stay close and keep stirring! The result will be a divine and creamy arroz con leche. Oh, and use arborio rice, and put in a shot of rum in the last step! Que divino!

think wat she's trying to say it could be ok wait yeh it is really good

I personally love arroz con leche!...reminds me of the first wonderful years in my in-law's farm, in Mexico.
m-in law would do this same recipe, but would also stir vanilla
corn starch(flavored corn starch, found in mexican grocer isle,in individal packets & flavors!)stir corn starch in cold water,then pour in almost when rice is fully cooked, stirring to avoid from sticking in pan. she would do sweet-condensed milk
these ingredients make rice thick -n- rich...then she would put 'GALLETAS MARIA'S' (MARIA COOKIES..are found in mex.grocer isle, have 'MARIA' stamped on cookie.) inside, around bowl, poured in hot rice, set to chill. My ma-in law would call it SOPA DE LECHE (soup of milk) ...WHATever the name should be, or history it might have, for me, those wonderful years with my in laws, are unforgettable! living with them in there ADOBE home
looking out appreciating all of GODS creations!! enjoying a bowl of SOPA DE LECHE, as i heard the river run, birds chirping in the trees, & noticed beautiful wild flowers on the hills...
mmmm...cheers to you, who try recipe out! may you enjoy
it wherever you live, but most of all BUENA VIDA( GOOD LIFE)...TO ALL!!

We recently bought a slow cooker and don't have any trouble with the rice pudding burning or sticking on the bottom when we cook it in that. You can also cook this in the oven. That's the way my Mum used to do it. We are British. Mum didn't use cinnamon or citrus, just milk, sugar and rice and sprinkled the top with nutmeg before putting in the oven to cook slowly.

I had been looking for a really good arroz con leche recipe, that reminded me of when I was little and my g-ma used to make it. She passed away before I was even old enough to ask for the recipe, and my mom did NOT have it. So I tried this one out, after trying many many different recipes. Perfecto!!!! It reminds me of my grandmother's recipe. I tried it exactly the way it says the first time and it was good. The second time I left out the citrus, added more cinnamon sticks and less rice. My grandmother's used to be very soupy, and that's the way I like it. Almost like a good drink with delicious rice bits at the bottom. ¡Muy Delicioso!

Since finding this receipe last weekend, I've made arroz con leche about 5 times. My mom loves it, and almost cried when she ate it. She said it reminded her of when she was a little girl and her mom would make it to comfort her. My sister's also love it, and we sit around talking about our g-ma and when we were little. I'm sure I'll get asked to make it every weekend now. I can't wait to make it for my brothers. Very good recipe, highly recommended you try it!

This dish is so simple! Just make sure you don't get in a hurry...cook it very, very, very slowly after it boils...(even if it takes longer than 45 mintues) and let the rice swell slowly. LOW is your friend. I prefer to use the coconut milk and 1/2 and 1/2. It is delightful! It is totally ok to go above 4 cups of milk also, if you like it rich and creamy. 1/2 cup rice is plenty!

My son is making this dish for his world geography class as a part of learning about Brazil. Is the pudding better warm or cold?

Cold, definitely cold.

I like it warm.

you can have it either way...

I like it hot! Straight out of the pot!

My husband loved it. I had a friend that had to make a spanish dessert and what better dessert then rice pudding.... HE PASSED with flying colors. This recipe was accurate and easy to follow. My husband who is a rice pudding fanatic now has me make a batch every week...Thank you

I am not of Latin descent and have no Latin traditions so don't know what this is "supposed" to taste like, but anyway, this stuff is great! I used a little bit of sweetened condensed milk in place of some of the regular milk (maybe about 1/4 cup) because I had some in the fridge I needed to use up. Used skim milk, too, and even skipped the butter to make this a little more low-fat. I also used a bit of both lemon and orange peels. Very yummy for a hot treat on a cold day! (Also tastes great cold.) Next time I might actually reduce the sugar a bit because it is almost too sweet to eat just as a regular snack if you don't have the sweetest tooth. But big thumbs up over all!

Why all the Latins customes, cultures, food or behaviors have to be labeled as "Mexicans" ones???

This sweet is well know and used in South America as well, oh by the way almost all the countries in South America belongs to Latin America.

no where does this recipe or any review mention Mexico. calm yourself and enjoy some pudding

thank you..., I almost thought I had missed part of the discussion where it escalated to racism or something like that.


Dude, this recipe is also traditional in loads of countries that have nothing to do with Latin Ameircan culture. When a friend was visiting her bf's family in Sweden they told her she would taste a very typical Swedish dessert. Turns out it was some sort of arroz con leche.

South America or North America, who cares? We are the same continent and this dessert is great.

I agree!!! I come from Romania and I thought that this delicious desert comes from there until a Gonzales lady brought it to school for an ethnic feast !!!!

Yeah seriously.... stop hatin' on the Mexican thing.... and eat the dammmn puddin'..... Que Viva Sur America... Viva!! Orale una porra Mexicana para ti.... :) Don't make me go to ala vio a la vao a la... you know the rest... LOL

When I was a girl on the farm in Michigan, Ma made this and we used un- separated milk straight from the cows. Ma used dark brown sugar instead of white sugar, and we couldn't afford the orange or lemon peel....but she served it with a home-made vanilla cookie straight from the old cook stove oven. My Dad and brothers would almost smack their lips it was so good. We called it "Poor Man's Pudding".

Thanks for posting this recipe. My mother used to make it soaking the rice with water beforehand but the result is not so creamy as with the 4 cups of milk.

I don't like raisins so I used unsweetened shredded cocnut and it tastes great!
Another variation is to add some chai masala spices on step 2, also great. If you use the chai masala spices don't use vanilla.

I LOVE THIS RECIPE!!!! I am of Salvadoran decent and I must say this recipe is better than Moms and uses way less sugar...Its so flavorful, simply sweet and irresistable...I will enjoy it to the last drop. I used Jasmin rice which made it silky creamy and added the egg yolks at the end to give it nice tan color...mmmmmm...I just cant get enough.....Thank you so much...mmmmmm..soyummy...socreamy....soMmmmm

I am coming from Romania and I thought that this was a Romanian dessert until one day a Gonzales lady brought to an Ethnic Feast at the school!!!

This is the closest recipe to my grandmothers from Spain. Very good. I use less sugar. BTW let's not forget this recipe came from Spain originally and was spread to all of Latin America which adapted many kinds of wonderful local ingredients.

I love the peruvian way, with coconut and raisins
the rice is boiled only with cinamon, once boiled milk is added
then condensed milk, coconut and raisins
it is served with some cinamon ..absolutely delicious

I do agree Peruvian way is better... btw rice and milk is Peruvian... travelled during the time to other countries but there many Spanish books and chronicles talking about rice and milk in early 16th century.

@ Marianella. Puerto Ricans have a very similar dessert which is called "Arroz con Coco". Fresh coconut milk is used as is milk also, raisins, cinammon, nutmeg (optional), and other ingredients. It is delicious.

This recipe was fantastic! I wanted to make something yummy and different for my work potluck. My first time making arroz con leche and it was most definitely a hit. My husband warned me "you know you aren't taking that to work, right?" :) I'm on my second batch now!
I used long grain white rice as that was all I had, I don't think it made a huge difference. Other than that, I followed the recipe as is and it came out better than I expected.

first time makin arroz con leche and i just added a lil extra tu this recipe and it came to die for it was so goodddd

Thanks for posting this recipe,
I think the butter and lemon make this special.
I never added them until I read your recipe.
You can check out my food/recipe blog if you wish at
Thanks again for this one.

Wow!! Just made this & it turned out amazing!! :) I love the thick texture. All the arroz con leche dishes i've ever consumed were extremely watery. This tastes more like pudding & i love it 1000x's better.


This recipe is exactly like my Grandma's!! We used to go down to Durango at holidays and she would make this when we got there and right before we left! Amazing recipe!

Can you Latin people stop relating everything to Latin America!this recipe was made first by middle eastern then introduced to Europe long before the American continatnt was discovered.
It's not that I'm mad i'm just shocked of the amount of dishes that is been traditional dishes of other countries for hundreds even thousands of years introduced as a latin food!