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Enjoy This Colombian-style Arroz con Leche


A classic dessert that will never go out of style for its softness and sweetness is rice pudding. This dish with rice and milk as main ingredients has many different variations around the world: the Indian version with pistachio, the American baked version, and many others.

With all the Latin America flavor

In Latin America, rice pudding is also consumed as a dessert by tradition. It is said that its consumption is due to the heritage and customs that have remained in that part of the continent after the Spanish colonization during the 15th century.

Each Latin American country has its peculiar way of making rice pudding, and Colombia, a country well known for the quality of its coffee and its tropical beaches has its version of this delicious food as well.

That is why today we bring you a recipe to learn how to make an authentic Colombian rice pudding or, as it is called in Spanish, Arroz con Leche. A dessert with a delicious flavor and creamy texture.

Rice desserts are often made with long grain rice such as Arborio or Basmati. One example is the Arroz con Leche Recipe with Basmati Rice | Mahatma® Rice, which will give your rice pudding a texture like no other.

Now, without further ado, let’s get started.

How to prepare an authentic Colombian rice pudding or Arroz con Leche?


  • 1 cup of long-grain white rice (washed).
  • 2 cups of water.
  • 4 cups of milk.
  • 4 cinnamon sticks.
  • A pinch of salt.
  • 2 tbsp of butter.
  • 1 1/2 tbsp of vanilla extract.
  • 1 cup of sugar.
  • 1 (12 oz) can of sweetened condensed milk.

How to prepare

  1. In a small saucepan, add the water and cinnamon sticks, proceed to heat, and bring to a boil for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove from the heat, set the pot aside, and remove the cinnamon sticks.
  2. In a large saucepan, place the rice together with the water where the cinnamon was boiled and heat for 5 minutes over medium heat
  3. Add salt, butter, vanilla essence, 2 cups of milk, and sugar to the pan. Stir the mixture and cook uncovered for about 15 minutes.
  4. After 15 minutes of cooking, add the remaining 2 cups of milk and the can of condensed milk. At this stage, it is recommended to start stirring with a wooden spoon and then let it cook for 1 hour, or until the rice acquires the desired consistency, keeping the heat at medium heat.
  5. After cooking, remove the pan from the heat and let it stand a couple of hours to reach room temperature. When making Arroz con Leche, achieving a creamy consistency is key.
  6. Chill in the refrigerator for one or two hours and serve. Or if you like, you can enjoy it barely lukewarm, as many people do.

And here it is: an authentic and delicious Colombian Arroz con Leche.

Serving tips

  • You can serve this dessert with some raisins on top or assorted berries.
  • Many people prefer to sprinkle ground cinnamon on top of the rice just before serving. This touch of cinnamon will give it some aroma and will make it more appetizing.
  • In case you do not have sugar in your kitchen or if you are looking to make a recipe with less processed ingredients, brown sugar or honey can be used as a sweetener.
  • Finally, for those who are looking to innovate recipes and like to try new things, you can cover the rice pudding with burnt sugar, forming a delicious caramel topping.

Some curiosities about this dessert

Colombian Arroz con Leche, despite being an international dish, is an emblematic dessert and very consumed in the departments of Huila and Tolima.

There is a Spanish version of rice pudding or Arroz con Leche called “Arroz Emperatriz” which, in addition to milk, contains egg yolks.

Another Latin American version of rice pudding is made in Peru. This recipe is made with papelón or chancaca (the whole unprocessed cane sugar), raisins and grated coconut, and it is called Arroz Zambito.

Today you have learned a delicious recipe for Colombian rice pudding and also some curiosities of this versatile dessert that will never fail to please its diners.

Don’t be afraid of trying it at home!

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