This is the best arroz con leche or rice pudding recipe. Creamy, sweet and easy to make this recipe is my all time favorite dessert and a holiday classic in my family!
What is Arroz con Leche?
There are different variations of arroz con leche in Latin America, this is my family recipe and it is simple and very easy to make. It's basically a dessert made with rice, milk, sugar and cinnamon. It will be the highlight of any meal.
This Colombian-Style arroz con leche is sweet, creamy and delicious. The rice pudding will thicken more as it cools, so be careful not to overcook it. The best part of making this rice pudding recipe for a dinner party is that you can make it the day before and it will taste even better after chilled in the fridge overnight.
This is one of my favorite Colombian desserts. I hope you enjoy making my simple and easy Arroz con Leche recipe!
To make this rice pudding you will need
Long-grain white rice, cinnamon sticks, water, whole milk, pinch salt, butter, vanilla extract, sugar and sweetened condensed milk. The exact amounts, tips, and cooking instructions are listed in the printable recipe card below, you can also find the step by step video to make this arroz con leche below the recipe.
This rice pudding recipe is sweet, if you prefer your rice pudding less sweet, just add less sugar, but don't skip the sweet condensed milk, because it adds a wonderful flavor and texture to the dish.
Arroz con Leche Recipe
- 1 cup long-grain white rice washed
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 2 cups water
- 4 cups milk
- Pinch salt
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 1 ½ tablespoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 12 oz can sweetened condensed milk
- In a small pot, add water and cinnamon sticks, bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes. Set aside and discard cinnamon sticks.
- Place the rice and the cinnamon water in a large saucepan, over medium heat and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add salt, butter, vanilla extract, 2 cups of milk, and sugar. Stir well to mix and cook uncovered for approximately 15 minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium low. Add the remaining milk and condensed milk. Stir with a wooden spoon. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the rice pudding thickens to desire consistency.
- Stir well and remove from heat, and let it cool at room temperature. The consistency should be very creamy. Refrigerate for a least 1 hour or overnight.
- Arroz con Leche can stay in the fridge up to 4 days.
- I like to use long grain rice to make this arroz con leche recipe
- If your rice is still hard or crunchy when all the liquid has been absorbed, add ¼ cup of more milk and ¼ of water and return to a simmer with the lid on.
- This rice pudding recipe is sweet, if you prefer your dessert less sweet add less sugar.
Here are other Colombian desserts you may want to try:
Coffee Mousse (Esponjado de Café)
Colombian Fruit Cocktail (Salpicón de Frutas)
This is the best rice pudding I ever had...thanks.
I made this tonight, but it didn't turn out right 🙁 I am thinking bc the rice was still crunchy that I may have cooked it too high. I even used the timer for each step---see I couldn't figure out how one cup of rice that cooked for over an hour and a half still ended up crunchy lol. I want to try again, but try maybe cooking the rice a little longer. When it was down to the last 20 min of cooking it was already getting pretty thick...I use a gas range so I have to gauge what the temp really is (high/med/low..etc). The flavor was awesome! It was hard to have to pitch it out let me know if you have any suggestions
You have to put soak rice over night. Thats the secret 🙂
I had the same problem. Thank you so much for your respond, I really appreciate it. My son is making it for his class assignment.
I'm about to try it right now but have always had crunch rice. I'm using instant fluffy white rice to see if that will do the trick !
The sugar has to be add it only at the last step or the rice don't cook well.
You need to let the rice to boil in water don't cook the rice
when i made it i used already cooked rice and you should try a recipe of this by tasty buzzfeed it turned out great and was really easy
I cook the rice first with the cinnamon water and just until it's completely done I add the milk.
Do not lift the lid while the rice is cooking
Not even a peek
The timer is most accurate when
cooking the rice and after you add the rice and reduce the heat you can see that all is well placing the lid on until the time goes off
Not one tiny peek
The lid is steaming and cooking the rice
I hope this helps
This is yummy but wayyyy too sweet, next time I will use way less sugar
Did you wash the rice until the water ran clear before starting.
I had the same problem of the rice being hard even after soaking it overnight. I researched it and it turns out sugar solidifies the starch in the rice, so the rice can't absorb moisture as it normally does. So the solution is to not add the sugar or condensed milk until AFTER the rice is very soft. Its important to let it get rather mushy because it also hardens back up after its put in the refrigerator.
With those two caveats, this recipe is delicious!
Rice and this goes for any recipe has to go in cold water. It also needs to cook without sugar first or it will never get soft. I should’ve remember this when I made ut
Rice should be cooked with only water first bc the milk wouldn't let it cooked soft.
I am sorry....I make this recipe at least once a month and the time is perfect.....I don't use a gas range, but next time cook the rice over medium-low from step 2.
Thank you and good luck next time.
I LOVE rice pudding...... no i adore it!!!! 🙂 it tasts soooo good during the winter... i love to just get my bowl of hot rice pudding and curl up on my couch and eat it while i read a good book.
I love tastes
This rice pudding here looks very yummy! Do you usually have it plainly or have you tried adding other ingredients to enrich it?
Hello, I'm very happy I found this website. I'm American. My husband is COL. We live in Bogota; recently moved. I've tasted several arroz con leches here. This recipe has great flavor, but is very sweet for my taste. I have made rice pudding before and never use more than a cup of sugar. Anyway, thank you. Tomorrow, I'm going to try the sopa de lentejas.
Thank you for the comment!
Great recipe erica, my family is from Barranquilla my mom makes it with regular milk, evaporated milk,condensed milk , and coconut milk. and the same ingredients as you.thanks fellow colombian!!! love this website
Thank you for your comment 🙂
Hi, I am making this tomorrow afternoon for my Spanish class...we will see how it turns out, hopefully yummy!! I love the culture and the food so this is going to be a ton of fun for me!
We are bringing this to a colombian party. It looks and tastes delicious.
I love my culture.
estoy haciendo esta receta para navidad!
ya habia intentado esta receta y el arroz me quedo duro 🙁 pero esta vez esta perfecto! mi mama me recomendo remojar el arroz toda la noche y perfecto!!!
i recommend soaking the rice overnight in water... it helped me!
Primera vez que lo preparo y quedo delicioso. Gracias por tan excelentes recetas
Patricia- Gracias por el comentario.
this is amazing.
I love how there are sooo many ways to make rice pudding, one country, one home to the next!
I made this one week ago, It was perfect.....the flavor is fantastic.....it was a hit at my party.
Thank you all!
I'm colombian but my husband is not. I love to get these recipes in english so I know exactly what to buy here in USA. sometimes thigs get lost in translation!!
This one looks great. I ususally put Rum..just to add a little XXX to it hahah
I love it!
need ur help!!! just finished making the arroz con leche. followed every direction to the "T". the rice is still kinda hard. what should i do? i dont want to throw it out cuz that will be a waste of money. the sauce has already thickened...is there any tips i can do to soften it up a bit?
Christina- add more milk, stir really good and simmer. Add more milk until the rice is cooked!
ur awesome! thanks so much. i will do this tonight! by the way, i made the hogao tonight with our steak...the hubby went nuts! he loved it! thanks so much...
I made this rice pudding yesterday and I loved it, The flavor is amazing!
I found that putting a lid on the saucepan (step 2, rice and cinnamon water) helped to ensure the rice softened enough within 5 minutes. Yes, amazing flavor! Favorite variations include substituting cardamom pods for 1 or 2 of the cinnamon sticks (my Colombian boyfriend loves this), or substituting a can of coconut milk for the condensed milk which makes it less sweet but just as rich!
Misha- thank you so much for the feedback and the your comment!! 🙂
I made this rice pudding and it was fantastic.Delicious flavor.
Thank you for your recipe. It was fantastic....I soaked the rice for 30 minute, before I cooked it. Great flavor!
so i made the arroz con leche yesterday and my husband really likes it however he says it is really sweet and i had to add more milk to his serving and heat it to make it not so sweet. and i remember my suegra making it the same way but not putting in any sugar just adding the sweetened condensed milk. could i follow your recipe and just leave the sugar out so it is not too sweet for him???
other than that it was so easy to make and looks exactly how my suegra made it. thanks
Danielle- You can omit the sugar!!! I like it sweet, like my grandmother's recipe.
that's what i will do the next time i make it. it is a little too sweet for my husband. thanks so much for the speedy reply.
Hi, I have to make this recipe for class and it needs to be typed in spanish . Do you know where I can get this exact recipe but in spanish ?
Just Google translate it (but maybe check it first, they're sometimes wrong.
I just made the arroz con leche and I'm tasting it now. It is way too sweet. I realized that most condensed milk comes in 14 oz can and the recipe calls for 12oz. If you only have the 14oz can you can omit some of the sugar.
Also, the temperature I thought was too high for low-med on my electric range. I found I needed to stir frequently otherwise the rice sticks at the bottom. So to remedy the sweetness I added some half n half, ran out of milk, and I reduce the temp setting to low. The rice doesn't stick as much and it's cooking thoroughly, less crunchy rice. I will make this again for sure.
Arlex y Sofia
Love this site, we are both colombian and regretfully we were not thought any of the great dishes we love from colombia. Thank you so much for brining the colombian flavor back into our taste buds 🙂
Hello Erica I been looking for a Colombian recipe for awhile now that was very similar to my mom's and I found yours. I wanted to know if am making a lot of Arroz con leche (bag of 3 LB pack) what's the amount of the ingredients that I should put in the Rice Pudding for it to be Perfectly Delicious please answer back 🙂
This rice pudding was so creamy and delicious everyone..You have to make this recipe...it is the best rice pudding!
i have a quick question y do people use evaporated milk is that just substituting the milk for the evaporated
Thank you so much for the recipe~ Muy Deliciosa!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just returned from Colombia 2 weeks in Bogota and 2 weeks in Manizales; I found your website and am so very happy for you Gracias por todos recetes y la comida buena 🙂 I did add raisins and cloves as my sister did in Manizales.....very perfect recipe thank you! ~Susan
I just finished up making the arroz con leche. This is a wonderful recipe and it has amazing flavor. I'm a culinary student and enjoy learning about cuisine across different cultures. Thanks so much for this wonderful recipe!
I made this for a party in Spanish class for our foreign exchange student from Columbia. Can't wait to see if he likes it. It is a little sweet for my taste but delicious!
I also had trouble with the rice being too hard, so I added about another cup of milk and simmered on medium for the last 30 minutes. I also added about a 1/4 cup of raisins during the last 20 minutes. Delicious!
I am trying to make this recipe but for more people. Do you have any suggestions for me because it looks like the rice won't soak up all the liquid. I would appreciate any help that you could give me.
this looks soooooo guud
I'm from Bucaramanga now living in Canada and can't wait to make my family your arroz con leche! However...I'm very health-conscious and was wondering if I could reduce the sugar down to about 1/4 cup? since some people mentioned it was too sweet.Thanks!
Maria Carolina- You can use less sugar. I like mine sweet.
hi im working on making this delicious desert but my fiance does not like butter on anything do i have to put butter?
Kendrys- You don't have to add butter, but the butter makes the rice pudding rich and delicious 🙂
deliciosa ,, muchchsismas graciasss, yo le pongo un poco menos de azucar y queda perfecta graciassss
Hi, I just finished making this for the first time, and it's amazing! I wanted to try making it because the one I had at the Colombian restaurant was fantastic and wanted to see if I could make it myself. This recipe is great, easy to follow and easy to make! (Although I didn't use the sugar at all and just used the sweetened condensed milk.) Also, I didn't have any long grain rice so I decided to use Japanese sweet rice (mochi rice) and turned out awesome! Thanks for the delicious recipe 🙂
It tastes amazing thank you so much!
Thank you for your recipe, I just finished making the arroz con leche and it is delicious.
How many people will this feed? i need to make this for my spanish class of about 35
Yvonne- 6-8 regular servings
I'm not sure if this has been asked already, but do you use whole milk? We drink fat free and I was wondering if I would have the same results with it.
Carolina, I used whole milk, but you can try it with fat-free milk.
The whole milk makes a creamy rice pudding.
I made this again, 3 years from when I first tried it.. and this time it turned out great! I did not use the extra sugar.. for us the condensed milk was enough 🙂 Used 1% milk and fat free condensed milks...still turned out thick. Tried to cut some calories somewhere! Cooking the rice with the lid def. helped in steps 2 and 3, but on low heat. Very yummy.. my daughter's favorite 🙂
Probably would be great if rice cooked.:(
This is probably the best arroz con leche recepie I have come across. I did have a few grains of rice that were a little crunchy but still a yummy recepie.
I'm British and live in London with my British-born Colombian boyfriend. As he hasn't been back there since he was a little boy he says he doesn't really feel much of a connection but you should see the look on his face whenever I cook something using your recipes. Always a big smile followed by a story of his memories. This is his favourite and I will be making it for dessert on Christmas day 🙂
You saved my day!
I miss Colombia a lot, but now after founding this lovely page with all kinds of precipices, I'm bit more happy! Just had the wonderful rice desert, my favorite!
I live in London and spend my life trying to recreate my childhood home from Cali with music, photos and food. I have just made this for Christmas dinner dessert, I made it exactly as you said, only difference was right at the end I only had to leave it for 40 mins instead of an hour and 15. The rice was already soft and the milk was starting to stick. So I turned it off and have let it set over night. WOW! this tastes better than my aunts. I am so proud to have been able to make this, it is the perfect sweetness. Mum requested raisins so I added those at the end. AMAZING RECIPE! Thank you so much ! and so easy! I feel like a total professional! ps. I used one small teaspoon of cinnamon powder instead of sticks (totally sold out everywhere because of Christmas) and it still worked perfectly! Thanks again M.x
This was my first time ever making arroz con leche on my own, and a lot of people enjoyed it! Although I found it to be way too sweet for my liking.
Same here! I just made it for the first time and it’s sooo yummy but a tad bit too sweet! And I have a sweet tooth, so I’m guessing it will be overwhelmingly sweet for others as well.
I will adjust sugar next time.
Very good recipe. The consistency and texture are perfect, nice and thick and creamy, and it was very easy to make. I did find it to be sweeter than I like, so next time I make it I will cut the sugar in half, at least.
We made this recipe yesterday and it was very good. Sweet and delicious.Thanks.
You have the best Colombian recipes. I made this rice pudding, Bunuelos and Arepas. Thanks.
This is a simple Arroz Con Leche Recipe, is so easy, yet so satisfying.
This is an easy recipe for homemade arroz con leche, I love this Latin dessert. It was very good.
This is my theory on why some people commented on uncooked rice.
Interrupting the cooking of rice will make it hard or impossible to finish cooking.
Try this experiment. Cook some rice half way then let it cool, then start cooking it again; you will never be able to cook the rice completely.
My suggestion would be to either heat your milk before adding it, or add it very slowly so the rice doesn’t get chilled while it’s cooking.
I made this arroz con leche recipe and it was delicious. It's sweet and creamy.Very good recipe. I am going to make it again soon!
This recipe is delicious and I make it a lot.
However, it is way too sweet. I completely omit adding any sugar and just use the sweetened condensed milk and it suits my tastes better. So, if you don't like it super sweet that's a good way to make it.
Also if you own a rice steamer (like I do), you can boil the cinnamon sticks and use that water in the rice steamer to steam the rice, then add it back to the pot and do the milk thing.
I made this arroz con leche recipe for a party and it was a hit. Sweet and delicious.
If you're a rice pudding fan, this Arroz Con Leche recipe is one to try. It was delicious!
I have made this twice for my dad who is from Colombia who has loved it both times I have made it.
i was so surprised when i had rice pudding for the first time--i didn't expect to like it but it was amazing!
How much does this recipe make.
4 to 6 servings
Hey! I am excited because I am making this now! First time.... Should I cover the pot (somewhat) during the last hour & fifteen min.? Or just let it simmer on med low without lid? (:
Well, nevermind....I forgot I had to keep stirring it... Oops! I just finished it, Didn't take but about 45 min. to cook....I could have let it cook for an hour, but we are ready to try it! Looks & smells YUMMY! Thank You for the recipe.
WAY TOO SWEET!!!
Too much sugar on top of the whole can of condensed milk!!!
I would not put sugar at all next time and only use the condensed milk....
Other than that consistency is perfect and the cinnamon gives it the perfect flavor
Is the rice already cooked when added with cinnamon water in step 2 or boil it as the cinnamon water is boiling then add them together in step 2?
The rice is uncooked.
Hello, I really want to try this recipe, but I live in Japan and only have short grain rice. Do you think this recipe could still work? Any suggested modifications? I was hoping to make this for Valentine's Day 😀
Yes, you can use short grain rice.
Thank you so much!
How much does this make?
6 to 8 servings.
This dessert is wonderful . I made it 10 times and I love it more every time I make it. It's sweet and creamy. Very good!
My husband is Colombian and I am Italian/Irish. He loves rice pudding and his mom rarely makes it for him and when she does she never adds enough Lechera. I'm making it for his birthday and already I am intoxicated by the smell. I personally do not like rice pudding but I will certainly be trying this!! Thank you for sharing
Very easy to prepare! Delicious. I would also suggest to soak rice overnight.
This is very easy to make, and very good!
Wow , so I made this tonight for a dessert and I added some coconut to it, tasted awesome kids loved it , will make again soon!!!
El arroz me quedo espectacular! Con un sabor delicioso, especialmente siendo primera vez haciéndolo.
Gracias por la receta, a mi esposo le encanto.
Hi Erica. This is the best, reminded me of my grandma's. My kids loved it, even though the rice was still a little hard. We are trying your recipe once again and hopefully the rice will cook. It's for my son's school project. Keep your fingers crossed for us
I will be making this for my Spanish class, for about 30 people. How many servings do I need?
I made this recipe before, this time on a gas range. After letting it refrigerate it is less creamy then before, is there anyway to reverse this by adding more milk?
Best Rice Pudding!
I cook the rice a bit in the cinnamon water and add only 1/2 cup sugar. .. turns out perfect every time! I'm Italian but my Colombian and Puerto Rican friends love this recipe too!
I found this recipe today. Omg! This is so good. I microwaved the rice in water while the water and cinnamon sticks were boiling. It worked out perfect. Rice was very soft not crunchy at all.
Thank you for posting
My mom is from Cali and this is how she makes it. First of all we let the rice SoCal over night (2cups) then the next day we put one cup of water with two cinnamon sticks to boil. Once the water is brownish we add 10 cups of milk. Once that gets foamy or boils we add the rice. After it gets a little heavy we add coconut shavings(optional) and leche condensada. Then keep mixing for another 10-15 mins. We also believe that only one person should be mixing the pot *with a wooden spoon too!
hii, i lovee this receipe i used jasmine rice it turn out prrtty good and a bit f waaaster!
I add a tsp of white distilled vinegar, a pinch of salt and the cinnamon sticks to the pot as I start to boil the rice. The turns out nice & fluffy and with cinnamon flavor. I also add ground cinnamon while adding the milk and
gently stirring it in.
This rice pudding turned out way too sweet. I also noticed the rice was a bit “al dente“ not fully cooked. I’ll make a smaller batch, 1/2 the recipe and definitely cut the sugar. I think sugar plus condensed milk is way too much sweet. I also cut the cooking since the final product was too thick.
I tried this recipe today and it came out amazingly good. I'm Colombian so I added some raisins to topped it off and it's sensational. They key for cooking the rice is to leave it covered for at least 1 hour in a very low setting. The slow cook effect is the secret for a delicious dessert.
Want to do arroz con leche but instead of regular milk .. will almond milk work too ??
I don't know!
I think you can try with almond milk. I believe it will be delicious. I will try too.
The original authentic recipe is meant to use regular milk and it's by no means "fit" at all or appropriate for lactose intolerant people. So sure, you can try modifying the type of milk but it will not taste the same. I lived in Colombia for 18 years so speak from experience
This is an easy arroz con leche recipe. It's sweet and creamy.