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Arroz con Leche (Mexican Rice Pudding)


  • 1 cup rice (short grain)
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 strips of lemon peel (or zest)
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • grated cinnamon and or cinnamon stick for garnish


Wash the rice – this gets rid of much of the starch. To wash, place the rice in a large saucepan, cover with water and swirl around. The water will get cloudy. Pour out the cloudy water, use a strainer to keep the rice in the pot. Repeat 3 or 4 times until the water is clear.

In the same saucepan, over high heat, mix the following ingredients: rinsed rice, 2 1/2 cups water, cinnamon stick, lemon peel and a pinch of salt. Bring to boil.

Reduce heat, cover and simmer until water is mostly absorbed and rice is tender. About 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove cinnamon and lemon.

While the rice is cooking whisk together the condensed milk, evaporated milk and the vanilla.

Stir the milk mixture into the cooked rice.

Cook uncovered over medium low heat, stirring occasionally until liquid is mostly absorbed and you begin to see the texture of the rice as the liquid becomes absorbed. The mixture will take on a slightly caramel color – THIS IS A GOOD THING. Stir in sugar.

Remove from heat and spoon into individual serving dishes. Sprinkle with cinnamon and chill for about an hour before serving.



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