Colombian arroz con leche is a delicious rice pudding dessert that is sweet and creamy.
It’s great to serve at family gatherings, special occasions, or even as a comforting treat for yourself.
This recipe for Colombian arroz con leche is easy to make and delicious.
Arroz con leche, meaning “rice with milk” takes simple ingredients and turns them into a dessert that is to die for.
Rice is cooked in milk until tender, and other flavors such as cinnamon and vanilla are added to make a creamy and rich dessert.
Each spoonful of this Colombian rice pudding offers a harmonious blend of textures and flavors, with the rice grains lending a comforting chewiness to the velvety backdrop of milk.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- This Colombian arroz con leche recipe is easy to make and is great to enjoy all year round.
- Adapt and customize this rice pudding to your liking. Make it as sweet as you like, add extra ingredients such as grated coconut, dried fruit, or even a drizzle of caramel sauce.
- This dessert is the perfect comfort food.
- This recipe for Colombian rice pudding is gluten free.
Cost To Make
Estimated cost = $7.10 or $1.78 a serve
Please note that below is a guide for some of the ingredients we used in the recipe. The printable recipe further down the page has the complete list of ingredients, including quantities and step-by-step instructions.
- Arborio Rice
- Milk of choice
- White Sugar
- Cinnamon Stick
- Vanilla Extract
- Condensed Milk
This recipe for Colombian arroz con leche serves 4. The ingredient quantities can easily be adjusted to suit how many serves you need to make.
In a medium sized saucepan, place the rice, milk, water, sugar, butter, cinnamon stick, vanilla extract, condensed milk, and salt. Place over medium to high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally.
Once at a boil, reduce the heat to bring to a simmer. Make sure you have some clearance from the top of the saucepan. You do not want to fill your saucepan to the top.
Cover with a lid and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes or until the rice is cooked. Stir the mixture occasionally.
Don’t leave the saucepan unattended. This is because the milk can rice and the pot can overflow. If you find this happening, remove the lid, reduce heat, and gently stir the mixture.
If you find any of your rice grains clumping together as you cook, gently separate them using the back of a spoon.
Turn off heat, remove lid and cinnamon stick, and allow to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight before serving.
Tips for Success
- It's important to cook the rice slowly and allow it to absorb the milk gradually. This slow cooking process ensures that the rice becomes tender and creamy, resulting in a luscious dessert. Avoid rushing the process by increasing the heat, as it may lead to unevenly cooked rice or a burnt bottom.
- The ideal consistency of arroz con leche should be creamy, but with a slight bite to the rice grains. To achieve this, taste the rice periodically during the cooking process to check for doneness. The grains should be cooked through but not mushy. If the rice is still too firm, continue simmering until it reaches the desired texture. If the pudding becomes too thick, you can add a little more milk to adjust the consistency.
- Once the arroz con leche is cooked, remove it from the heat and let it cool slightly before transferring it to the refrigerator. Chilling the dessert for a few hours allows the flavors to meld together and the pudding to thicken further.
- Serve the arroz con leche chilled or at room temperature, garnished with a sprinkle of cinnamon or a dusting of cocoa powder for an extra touch of indulgence.
Substitutions / Variations
- Coconut-infused Arroz con Leche: Add coconut along with the rice and other ingredients during the cooking process.
- Raisin and Nut Arroz con Leche: Add an element of texture and additional flavor by stirring in raisins and your favorite nuts. As the rice cooks, the raisins plump up and release their natural sweetness, while the nuts provide a satisfying crunch.
- Chocolate Arroz con Leche: Simply add cocoa powder or melted chocolate to the mixture while cooking.
- Cardamom and Rosewater Arroz con Leche: Add the cardamom pods while simmering the rice, and stir in the rosewater towards the end of the cooking process. Remove the cardamom pods before eating.
- Dulce de Leche Arroz con Leche: Stir in a generous amount of this caramel-like sauce to the cooked rice pudding, allowing it to melt and blend with the other ingredients.
- Citrus-infused Arroz con Leche: Zest some lemon or orange peel into the mixture during cooking to infuse it with a bright and vibrant flavor.
Here are some ways you might like to serve your Colombian arroz con leche:
- Garnish with some ground cinnamon.
- Sprinkle some crushed nuts and add a dollop of whipped cream.
- Drizzle some dulce de leche over the top before serving.
Store this Colombian arroz con leche in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days. To serve, enjoy at room temperature or cold.
Yes, you can use a different type of rice for arroz con leche. Just keep in mind that different rice varieties may have varying levels of starch content, which can affect the texture of the dessert.
Long-grain rice, for example, may result in a slightly less creamy consistency.
Yes, Arroz con Leche can be made ahead of time.
In fact, the flavors of Arroz con Leche improve when it is allowed to sit and chill for a few hours or overnight.
Yes, it is possible to make a vegan version of Arroz con Leche by substituting dairy milk with plant-based alternatives. You can use almond milk, coconut milk, or oat milk as a replacement for the dairy milk.
Also, you can skip the butter and use a plant based condensed milk.
Keep in mind that the flavor and texture may differ slightly from the traditional version, but it can still be delicious.
Made this recipe? Let us know how it went in the comments below! We'd love to hear how it turned out.
Colombian Arroz Con Leche
- 1 cup (190 grams, 6.70 ounces) arborio rice
- 2 cups milk of choice
- 1 cup water
- 25 grams (0.88 ounces) white sugar
- 2 tablespoons (28 grams, 0.98 ounces) butter softened
- 1 cinnamon stick about 3-4 cm (1.18 – 1.57 inches) in length
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract essence
- ½ cup (125 ml/grams, 4.41 ounces) condensed milk
- Pinch of salt
- In a medium sized saucepan, place the rice, milk, water, sugar, butter, cinnamon stick, vanilla extract, condensed milk, and salt. Place over medium to high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once at a boil, reduce the heat to bring to a simmer. See note 1.
- Cover with a lid and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes or until the rice is cooked. Stir the mixture occasionally. See note 2.
- Turn off heat, remove lid and cinnamon stick, and allow to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight before serving.
- Make sure you have some clearance from the top of the saucepan. You do not want to fill your saucepan to the top.
- Don’t leave the saucepan unattended. This is because the milk can rice and the pot can overflow. If you find this happening, remove the lid, reduce heat, and gently stir the mixture.
- If you find any of your rice grains clumping together as you cook, gently separate them using the back of a spoon.