Arroz con Leche (Rice with Milk) – Rice Pudding

Arroz con Leche - Rice Pudding

Sometimes I wonder how many countries or cultures there are in the world that do not have some sort of rice pudding dish as part of their cuisine. In Argentina, bring up arroz con leche and someone is sure to declare that their abuela (grandmother) or mother has the best recipe. Some may stick to the basics of milk, rice, sugar, and salt. Others may add a splash of vanilla extract, a pinch of lemon zest or cinnamon, or even a dollop of dulce de leche. Arroz con leche is serious comfort food, perfect after a Sunday lunch or asado.

In terms of simplicity, arroz con leche is probably one of the easiest desserts to prepare unless you are talking about packaged dessert mixes. Quick and easy to cook. No one should have any trouble keeping the recipe in their head. The only inconvenience is time. For optimum results you have to soak the rice in the milk ahead of time and, after cooking, wait for the mixture to chill.

This is a recipe I built up after experimenting with so many tasty recipes out there. Although some may prefer a thicker arroz con leche, I like mine kind of soupy.

Arroz con Leche Recipe

4 cups whole or low-fat milk
1/2 cup short grain rice
4 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix together rice and milk in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least a few hours; for best results let it sit half a day or overnight. In a medium-sized sauce pan add rice/milk mixture and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring often to prevent sticking. Reduce heat to medium or enough heat so that the mixture gently boils, stir frequently. Cook for about 8-10 minutes. After 8 minutes, pull out a few grains of rice with a fork to test if they are fully cooked. When ready, the rice grains should be a bit chewy but with no crunch. Transfer to a heat-resistant bowl and allow to cool for one or two hours. If mixture is too thick, add a little milk and sugar until desired consistency is reached. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled. Sprinkle a little cinammon on top before serving. Serves 4.

Arroz Con Leche - Rice with Milk

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12 Comment(s)

  1. How much milk is reccomended for a less-soupy thicker consistency?

    Thanks for the recipie! I can’t wait to try it out with my friends and family =)

    Christian | Jun 23, 2009 | Reply

  2. @christian Three cups is enough to cook the rice and when it cools most of it will be absorbed. Start with that and add a little milk if it’s too thick.

    Asado Argentina | Jun 24, 2009 | Reply

  3. My mom use to make arroz con leche with 1 liter of milk and 2 cups of sugar. Simmer for about an hour. It taste almost like dulce de leche. It is amazing, you should try it some time.

    Pia | Jun 24, 2009 | Reply

  4. @Pia: Wow that’s a lot of sugar. How much rice?

    Asado Argentina | Jun 25, 2009 | Reply

  5. Yes it is, but have you seen the recipe for dulce de leche???
    I believe it was 1/2 a cup of rice.
    It has a light caramel color when it’s done.

    Pia | Jun 26, 2009 | Reply

  6. Way too much milk in this recipe. Try 3 cups instead.

    Carlos | Jan 31, 2010 | Reply

  7. @Carlos

    Did you read the whole post?

    “This is a recipe I built up after experimenting with so many tasty recipes out there. Although some may prefer a thicker arroz con leche, I like mine kind of soupy.”

    I’ve seen a lot of people serve it this way

    Asado Argentina | Feb 1, 2010 | Reply

  8. Very interesting. Thanks for posting it up.
    I had never seen the suggestion of soaking the rice for a period and will surely try that out.
    My own grandmother’s recipe used a 1/4 ratio of rice to liquid and is done in double boiler for 45min to hour.
    Also, nutmeg and vanilla at the end to flavor rather than the cinnamon.
    Yours looks delicious!

    mike | Mar 8, 2010 | Reply

  9. how much is the asado?

    taylor | Apr 28, 2011 | Reply

  10. Thank you for this wonderful recipe, have been looking for a while the ratio of rice to milk. I have always had it a bit more on the liquidy side as opposed to the American version which you can use for wallpaper paste. I remember putting the egg after the milk has boiled, then mix a bit of milk in a seperate cup, add the egg and mix, then slowly add the mix to the main bowl. This prevents the egg from cooking to quickly. Mostly used for adding a bit of color. Thanks again

    Nicolas | Nov 23, 2011 | Reply

  11. One of my aunts made a great version, where after it was made she put it in a caramelized mold (fuente acaramelada). The arroz con leche itself had lemon zest added to it. Then, whe put it in a bundt cake mold where she had burnt/caramelized some sugar in the bottom.

    It was delicious!


    Silvia | Dec 24, 2011 | Reply

  12. Definitely love arroz con leche on the soupy side, just like my mom makes it. And I love lemon zest in it, too.

    GN | Feb 19, 2012 | Reply

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