Arroz con leche is one of the most comforting and delicious foods, (or drink), I grew up with. It translates to rice with milk and that is exactly what it is. Think of it as a Mexican rice pudding that is very simple but so satisfying. Growing up, my mom would make this arroz con leche in a way that would make it easy for us to drink and eat the rice. Just like many other dishes in Mexican cuisine, arroz con leche can be very different depending on where your family is from. Also, arroz con leche is not just Mexican but there are various other Latin countries that enjoy their own versions of it as well.
When my mom or abuelita make arroz con leche they make it in drink form with milk, rice, cinnamon sticks, and sweeten with condensed milk or sugar. They put enough milk to make sure the rice doesn’t soak it all up and it still remains thin and not like actual rice pudding. I will always remember my abuelita serving me some in a styrofoam cup with a plastic spoon so I could drink the milk and eat the rice at the bottom. It is one of the most comforting and nostalgic drinks that will forever bring memories of my childhood.
All you need to make arroz con leche is milk of choice, rice (I always use long grain), cinnamon sticks, and sugar or sweetened condensed milk. You will cook the rice in some water and cinnamon sticks first. This ensures rice is cooked through and really infuses that cinnamon flavor. Then you will add in the milk and sweetener of choice, simmer for a few minutes, and that’s it! So easy, simple, and delicious. You can certainly use any kind of milk you prefer but I have not tried anything other than regular milk and almond milk. I have also tried using an alternate sweetener like Stevia with success. I highly recommend you try whatever works for you and your lifestyle as this can easily be modified accordingly. Hope you give it a try soon and if you do, please let me know! Enjoy!
Arroz con Leche
- 1 cup long grain white rice
- 2 cups water
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 3 cups milk *see note
- ¼-½ cup sugar sweeten to taste; **see note
- Place saucepan over medium low heat and add rice, water, and cinnamon sticks.
- Cover and cook until rice is cooked and water is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes.
- Add milk and sugar, stir to combine, cover and cook for additional 15 minutes.
- Cook longer for a thicker arroz con leche resembling rice pudding. Add more sugar or sweetener of choice if needed.