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Arroz con Leche (Mexican Rice Pudding)


  • 3/4 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1-½ cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • One cinnamon stick
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • ½ cup sugar (I prefer unbleached organic sugar)
  • ½ to 3/4 teaspoon natural vanilla extract or another high-quality vanilla extract (…natural vanilla extract can be purchased in most Mexican or Hispanic markets)
  • 1/3 cup raisins


  1. Bring rice, water, salt, and cinnamon stick to a boil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan.
  2. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in the milk and sugar and cook, uncovered, over medium heat for 30–40 minutes, stirring almost constantly, until rice and milk form a thick porridge. (Pudding will thicken slightly more when removed from heat.)
  4. Remove pudding from the heat, stir in the vanilla and raisins, and remove the cinnamon stick (or any pieces of the stick, if it has fallen apart).
  5. Place pudding into a large bowl or cups for serving.
  6. If not serving immediately, cover with plastic wrap (Joy of Cooking recommends gently pressing the plastic wrap against the surface of the pudding, so as to prevent a skin from forming), and refrigerate.
  7. Serve warm, cold, or at room temperature.

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