Arroz con Leche is the Spanish version of the well-known rice pudding in the United States. It’s the ultimate comfort food. And almost without fail, this dessert will make you feel closer to home with every spoon, especially when served warm… so simple, but so perfect!
In a medium-size saucepan, add 3 cups of milk, cinnamon sticks, lemon or lime zest, sugar, and salt; mix to combine. Bring to a boil over medium heat, uncovered. When it starts to boil, reduce the heat to low, add rice and cook for 10 - 15 more minutes or until milk is almost absorbed, stirring constantly.
Then, add 1/2 cup of the remaining milk, keep stirring. When the milk has been absorbed, add 1/2 cup more of milk, repeat the process one more time. You'll be adding 1/2 cup at the time, waiting until it is absorbed to add the next one. With the last ½ cup of milk, add the sweetened condensed milk; mix well to combine. Cook for 2 -3 minutes, or thicken to the desired consistency. Keep in mind that as the rice cools down, it will thicken even more. Turn off the heat.
Add butter and stir to incorporate.
Let cool uncovered until it reaches the desired temperature. You can serve it hot, warm, or cold. It's totally up to you!
Serve with ground cinnamon on top, if desired.
This recipe is also available in Español.Store Arroz con Leche covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. I do not recommend freezing this dessert as it will change the pudding's consistency and texture.Make-Ahead: Arroz con Leche is an easy dessert to make ahead. It can be served hot, warm, or well-chilled. Either way, it’s going to knock everyone’s socks off. So, prepare your Arroz con Leche 2 or 3 days in advance and store it covered in the refrigerator until ready to serve.Rice: I like to use Arborio rice because its grain produces a creamier consistency However, other short-grained rice can be used as a substitute.Milk: You can definitely make Arroz con Leche with other types of milk. Coconut milk is especially delicious, in my opinion. Just keep in mind that the type of milk you use will affect the creaminess of the Arroz con Leche.Add-Ins: You can add raisins. Nuts, such as walnuts, pecans, and pistachios. Or my fave, unsweetened sheered coconut.Extra Tip: Let the Arroz con Leche cool completely; if it is too thick to your liking, add heavy cream to achieve the consistency you like. I often add about 2 - 3 tablespoons.If you're making this recipe, please read the whole post content to get lots of tips, tricks, variations, frequently asked questions, and step-by-step photos.★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!Please note that nutritional information is a rough estimate, and it can vary depending on the products used.