An easy-to-make and deliciously creamy arroz con leche recipe (rice pudding) made Cuban-style with sweetened condensed milk, cinnamon, and lemon zest!
My mom is a self-taught cook. She learned all the things and she learned them well. She’s a Virgo after all. We all, however, are forever our own worst critics.
Needless to say, she often found flaws in her meals. “Was it too salty?” “Was it overcooked?” But it never is. It’s always perfect. We always tell her she’s crazy and gobble everything up in seconds. This arroz con leche is no exception. It’s a flawless recipe that is YEARS old and cherished in my family. Along with many other recipes, of course. Mami is a legend.
What is arroz con leche?
Arroz con leche is a sweet rice pudding made by cooking down the rice with milk and spices until you get a creamy consistency. There are tons of different versions of this recipe but this one is my mom’s recipe.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Uncooked long-grain white rice: Technically, you can use any rice for this recipe. I prefer long-grain white rice.
- Water: Needed for initially cooking the rice.
- Zest from one lemon: Adds a lot of brightness to the rice pudding.
- Cinnamon: Adds a sweet, spicy, woody flavor to this dish.
- Whole milk and sweetened condensed milk: Both of these together cook the rice into that delicious creamy consistency!
- Vanilla extract + salt: The perfect flavor enhancers.
How To Make this Arroz Con Leche Recipe
This Cuban-style rice pudding is simple to make and as deliciously creamy as I remember it to be as a kid.
This is what cooking is all about after all. Attaching memories to food experiences and cooking adventures. It’s what I’ll always remember about my childhood and what I, myself, strive to do in my own kitchen. Making arroz con leche is easy.
- Cook the rice. You first cook the rice in a saucepan with water, lemon zest, and a cinnamon stick. After 10-15 minutes, the rice should be soft.
- Make the rice pudding. Drain any excess water and remove the cinnamon stick. Add milk, condensed milk, salt, and vanilla extract to the rice and cook for about an hour, stirring occasionally, until thick.
- Serve in these adorable dark blue mini cocottes with ground cinnamon on top. That’s all folks!
I hope you make this arroz con leche and LOVE it as much we do!
Other recipes you may like:
- Cuban White Rice (Arroz Blanco)
- Cream Cheese Flan (Flan de Queso)
- Individual Tiramisu Cups
- Coquito Sugar Cookies (Puerto Rican Eggnog)
Arroz Con Leche Recipe (Cuban-Style Rice Pudding)
- In a saucepan, add the rice with water, lemon zest and cinnamon stick. Cook until the rice is soft, about 10-15 minutes.
- Remove the cinnamon stick and drain off any excess water. (Most of the water should be absorbed into the rice.) Place saucepan back on the stove.
- Add milk, condensed milk, salt, and vanilla extract to rice and cook over low heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally until thick, for about 1 hour.
- Remove from heat. Serve, sprinkle with ground cinnamon and enjoy!