Skip to Content

Spanish Rice Pudding – Arroz con Leche Recipe

There are times when we want a dessert or a breakfast that will fill us up a lot, but it’s hard to find one that fits that description. The Spanish rice pudding is the perfect solution for this.

Unlike other Spanish dessert recipes, the Spanish rice pudding is easy to make, it only takes a couple of ingredients, and it gets done really fast.

Keep scrolling as I’ll show you how to make rice pudding, a little bit more about the rice pudding origin, and tips to customize this Arroz con Leche so it fits your personal taste. 

Spanish Rice Pudding - Arroz con Leche Recipe
This post contains affiliate links. If you buy via them, I’ll earn a small commission which helps me to keep this blog running. I received services for free for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Background of the Dish

recipe for arroz con leche

Although the recipe you will see in this article is the Spanish version, rice pudding has different versions worldwide.

From Asian to African and the new American ones that emerged with the colonization of that continent.

However, in the present day, it is known to be one of the most popular Hispanic desserts because it is a protagonist of Spanish and Latin cuisines. 

The old-fashioned Spanish rice recipe consisted just of milk, rice, and sugar. 

But as time went by, other ingredients like cinnamon, vanilla essence, and lemon zest were added.

Pin for later!

Are you looking for a Spanish rice pudding recipe? This milk rice is a simple way to prepare a dessert that won't require any fancy ingredients. The secret, of course, it's in the spices. When you'll prepare the arroz con leche the entire house will smell of cinnamon and lemon zest, just perfect for an autumn day. The creamy rice pudding recipe is so delicious you wouldn't want any other dessert. Try it if you don't believe us! #ricepudding #arrozconleche #spanishricepudding #sweetrice #dessert
Like it? Pin it!

Things You’ll Need for Spanish Rice Pudding

As well as other rice desserts, the main ingredients are rice and milk, so it is a cheap recipe, and you can find the ingredients at any store (you might even have them in your home already).

If you liked this recipe then you should try other Spanish sweet recipes, such as the Spanish Almond Cake recipe or Leche frita Recipe.

rice desserts

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (250g) of short-grain rice 
  • The peel of one lemon 
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 4 cups (1 liter) whole milk (or non-dairy milk)
  • Sugar to taste (or artificial sweetener)

How to Make Spanish Rice Pudding – Step by Step Guide

rice with milk
  1. To start with the recipe for Arroz con Leche, rinse the rice under cold water to remove excess starch. Wash it until the water comes out clean. Then put it in a saucepan over medium heat, with water just enough to cover it.
  1. After that, add the cinnamon stick, vanilla essence, and lemon zest. Stir continuously until all the water is absorbed.
  1. Add the milk about ½ cup at a time, stirring each time until all is absorbed. Continue adding the rest of the liter of milk, stirring continuously.
  1. When it reaches a creamy consistency, taste the rice to make sure the texture of the rice is correct. The texture depends on your taste, it can be al dente or well-cooked (soft yet not mushy).
  1. Once it’s ready, turn off the heat and add a pinch of salt and a little cinnamon. Then add the sugar a few tablespoons at a time until it is sweet enough for you. To me, the perfect amount is 6 tablespoons, but it depends on each person. You can also use an artificial sweetener like stevia. 
  1. Serve warm or cool, and as an optional step, you can sprinkle some cinnamon on top for garnishing. 

Substitution of Ingredients

rice desserts

The recipe consists of two main ingredients that are rice and milk, besides that you can make dozens of replacements and it’ll still be Arroz con Leche.

Some people make this rice pudding with condensed milk. In that case, instead of using 4 cups of milk, you use 3 and 1 of condensed milk. 

It’ll make your Spanish rice pudding creamier and richer, but also sweeter so be careful with the amount of sugar.

You can also replace the cinnamon, vanilla essence, and lemon zest for any flavoring of your choice. 

 A very common Argentinian variant uses 4 cups of milk plus 1/2 cup of Dulce de Leche, to give that new flavor to the classic Arroz con Leche.

You can replace the whole milk with any milk of your choice, like almond, coconut, or non-dairy milk. 

Tips on Serving Spanish Rice Pudding

sweet rice recipe

The best part about making this milk dessert recipe is that you can eat it at any time of the day. 

Of course, it is mainly rice with milk and sugar, so the best times to eat it would be at breakfast, as an afternoon snack, or for dessert.

You can eat it cold or warm, it completely depends on your preferences since either way it’s delicious. 

Even though it’s commonly eaten on its own, you can also serve it with some seasonal fruits, chopped nuts, or raisins. 

How to Store Spanish Rice Pudding

How to Store Spanish Rice Pudding

If you make this sweet rice recipe and you have some leftovers don’t worry, there are different ways to store it. 

You can keep it in your fridge for up to 7 days and it’ll still taste great. 

You can also freeze this rice with milk, but you must let it cool completely at room temperature before freezing it. 

Then just store the milk rice in small containers (or a big one), and freeze it for up to 15 days.

To eat it, let it thaw overnight in your fridge (never at room temperature or the milk will get spoiled). 

Recipe Card: Spanish Rice Pudding

Yield: 4

Spanish Rice Pudding Recipe

Spanish Rice Pudding Recipe

There are times when we want a dessert or a breakfast that will fill us up a lot, but it's hard to find one that fits that description.

The Spanish rice pudding is the perfect solution for this.

Unlike other Spanish dessert recipes, the Spanish rice pudding is easy to make, it only takes a couple of ingredients, and it gets done really fast.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 2 minutes
Total Time 42 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (250g) of short-grain rice
  • The peel of one lemon
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 4 cups (1 liter) whole milk (or non-dairy milk)
  • Sugar to taste (or artificial sweetener)

Instructions

  1. Rinse the rice under cold water to remove excess starch. Then put it in a saucepan over medium heat, barely covered with water.
  2. Add the cinnamon stick and the lemon zest. Stir continuously until all the water is absorbed.
  3. Add the milk about ½ cup at a time, stirring each time until all is absorbed. Continue adding the rest of the liter of milk, stirring continuously.
  4. When it reaches a creamy consistency, taste to make sure the texture of the rice is correct. The texture depends on your taste, it can be al dente or well-cooked (soft).
  5. Once it's ready, turn off the heat and add a pinch of salt and a little cinnamon. Then add the sugar a few tablespoons at a time until it is sweet enough for you. To me, the perfect amount is 6 tablespoons, but it depends on each person. 
  6. Serve warm or cool, and as an optional step, you can sprinkle some cinnamon on top for garnishing.

Notes

To do changes in the Arroz con Leche recipe, you can look for inspiration in another Spanish dessert.

You can add 100g of semisweet chocolate bars and add it with the milk, to make a combination between the Spanish hot chocolate recipe and Arroz con Leche. 

Nutrition Information

Yield

4

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 375Total Fat 5gSaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 15mgSodium 68mgCarbohydrates 72gFiber 2gSugar 26gProtein 9g

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @visit.southernspain on Instagram and hashtag it #visitsouthernspain



Skip to Recipe