Comfort Food Classics: Arroz con Leche (Mexican Rice Pudding)

Arroz con Leche is the ultimate in Mexican comfort food.  Literally it means rice with milk, but it's so much more than that.  My grandpa used to say that Arroz con Leche is the chicken soup of the dessert world, because there's nothing it won't cure; colds, flu, headaches, bad days, get the picture!

Every family has their own unique way of preparing Arroz con Leche. Today I'm sharing my grandpa's recipe, which happens to be my favorite! My recipe calls for long-grain rice, but any rice will do. Short-grain rice, such as Arborio, makes for a creamier Arroz con Leche.

Arroz con Leche can be served as a dessert after lunch or dinner but it also makes a great treat for breakfast. It's the perfect dessert for a rainy day, or any day of the week!  

Arroz con Leche

  • 1 cup long-grain rice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup raisins or dried cranberries (optional) 
  • Ground cinnamon (for garnish)

In medium saucepan, bring rice, cinnamon stick, salt and water to a boil over high heat. Cover saucepan and reduce heat to low. Let simmer for about 15 minutes, without stirring, until most of the water has evaporated and looks thick and starchy. 

Pour in the milk. Cover and let simmer for another 10 to 15 minutesover low heat, stirring occasionally, until the milk starts to bubble. Stir in the sugar; cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for another 5 to 8 minutes. If using raisins, stir them in now. They will soften as the arroz con leche cools. Remove from heat; cover and let rice cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon before serving. Serve warm or refrigerate 2 hours and serve it cold. Enjoy!

Receta en español  

Love Arroz con Leche?  Then be sure to check out Apple-Cinnamon Arroz con Leche and Mexican Chocolate Arroz con Leche.


  1. I like cold and alot of cinnamon powder...


  2. I made the arroz con leche this morning for myself and my 2 munchkins... absolutely delicious. Thank you for the recipe!

  3. J Olivarez-MazoneJuly 6, 2011 at 9:30 PM

    I add condensed Pet's milk sometimes. My hubby's favorite breakfast is this and he isn't even Mexican.

  4. i always use evaporated milk instead of regular milk

  5. Leslie thank you thank you thank you. I can not tell you how many times I have tried to make rice pudding. My mom tried teaching me, she wrote her recipe a million times and I just could not get it right. Rice would be either undercooked or overcooked. Too much sugar, not enough, too spicy (accidentaly put cayenne instead of cinnamon, I know stupid mistake) Not only did you provide a recipe that taste good but you made it so simple that I can now say that I can do this with my eyes closed. My whole family and I thank you :) Keep up the great work
    Vanessa M

    1. Thank you so much, Vanessa M! You are too sweet! I'm glad I was able to help! :)

  6. thank you so much for all your help. your recipes are so easy to follow and your style and ingredients are exactly what my family loves. My husband is Mexican and I am from El Salvador so I had no Idea how to make him his favorites! thanks again!

  7. hi, do you ever provide calorie count for the entire recipe? I can figure it out, but having it already in the recipe at the end would be SO much better. Thanks, it does sound good and yummy.

  8. This post is gorgeous!! Beautiful photography as usual!! Absolutely mouthwatering.

    Maycee (

  9. Ay dios mio ... sounds sooo good !!!