Mexican-Style Rice Pudding

Mexican-Style Rice Pudding

Arroz con Leche
6 to 8 Servings
Pati Jinich
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: cinnamon, pati's mexican table, rice pudding
Author:Pati Jinich
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Mexican-Style Rice Pudding from Pati’s Mexican Table, Season 7, Episode 3 "Ensenada’s Epic Seafood"


  • 1 cup Mahatma® Rice white rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Full rind of an orange
  • 1 cinnamon stick, about 2” long
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar, or more to taste
  • 1/4 cup raisins, optional
  • Fresh fruit such as berries, optional
  • Whipped cream, optional
  • Ground cinnamon to taste to sprinkle on the end, optional
  • Chocolate syrup, optional

To Prepare

  • Place the rice in a thick saucepan, cover with the water and place over medium heat. Once it comes to a boil, simmer for 5 minutes. Incorporate the milk, the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract, rind of an orange, cinnamon stick, salt and sugar.
  • As soon as it starts simmering, reduce the heat to low. Once the rice is cooked through and soft, anywhere from 35 to 40 minutes, turn off the heat. If you wish to add raisins, do so at this point.
  • There should still be a considerable amount of liquid in the pot. Once the rice cools down, it will puff up and the liquid will be further absorbed.
  • You can serve the arroz con leche with fresh fruits such as berries, whipped cream, sprinkled ground cinnamon, or for a more over the top concoction, with chocolate syrup!

98 comments on “Mexican-Style Rice Pudding

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  1. I mixed up the recipe right from the start so I think that affected the texture. Turned out mushier than I was expecting (although I realized my mistake right from the beginning there was no saving it!). Would add more sugar as well (I used to called for amount of 3T. I will try this again bc I feel like it could have been my error in not reading the recipe correctly.

  2. This recipe is dynamite !! I have done it exactly as written and it comes out perfectly each time. I have even been able to use this recipe to do a dairy free version, which is just as yummy! Thank you for sharing your passion, Pati! God bless you!

  3. Hola Patti, la naranja es al pelarla sin lo blanco de ella. 😉 la añamos con el arroz?
    Me encantan tus recetas. Tu programa, eres un encanto.
    🙏 cuídense

    1. Exacto Patricia, es unicamente la parte naranja de la cascara, porque la parte blanca es super amarga. Un abrazo!

  4. I made this recipe again after making it a month or so ago. It was much better this time. I can’t remember what I did but the first time the liquid was gone almost completely. This time it was much better. It came out more like what I remember enjoying as a kid growing up. Delicious.

  5. Made this for the first time today. Smells fantastic, tastes great, but the rice at the bottom of the pot burned. It did not affect the flavor, but I’m wondering what went wrong. Should I have stirred it more often? Or maybe used a heavier pot? Thanks for the recipe; I wanted to try it as soon as I saw the episode.

    1. Hey Marie, yes, probably you needed to stir a bit more often but not to much or it will become mushy. Also remember to reduce the temperature to low as soon as it starts simmering. Good luck 😉

  6. Hi Pati!
    Can I use Uncle Ben’s original rice? I don’t have Mahatma brand.

    You are amazing and we love your show. My husband discovered you when he was in the hospital for two weeks and WGBH Create channel was on the hospital line up. He would call me and tell me how hungry he was from watching you!

    1. Hey Ami, you can use any brand of your preference, just don’t use the precooked kind, it will not work at all. Thanks for the kind words and hugs to your husband, hope he is feeling better 🙂

  7. Oh my goodness! I made this today. I substituted milk with coconut milk. I also zested the orange. It is absolutely incredible. Everything came out perfectly and I think it tastes like heaven. This is my favorite rice pudding recipe of all time.

  8. Pati,
    What other kinds of rice could I use? I have Carolina Gold…would that work?
    I don’t think I can get Mahatma Rice around here.

    1. Hi Liz, you can go ahead and use any white rice, just make sure it is long grain, in my experience it works much better for this recipe, enjoy 😉

  9. Pati,
    I adore you, your beautiful family, your program and your recipes. It’s the absolute best program. You make everything lol so effortless. Just love you to pieces. 😘

    1. Hola Sandra, que gusto que les gusto el arroz con leche, es uno de mis postres favoritos. Saludos a ti y a tu esposo 🙂

  10. Hi Pati,
    I cannot wait to try this recipe, it looks delicious! Can I use evaporated milk instead of whole milk? Thank you,

  11. Hi Pati,
    My husband and I love your show and use a lot of your recipes! I was wondering if ground cinnamon can be used if you don’t have cinnamon sticks for the rice pudding. I’m looking forward to trying this recipe. Thank you!

    1. Hey Diana, yes, you can use ground cinnamon, just don’t add to much because remember you will be sprinkling some on top for serving. Enjoy!

  12. I made this recipe for the first time a few days ago for a friend who was sick. It was easy and the flavor was amazing! The orange rind really makes this dish. Thank you. Can’t wait to make it again.

    1. Hi Adriana! The orange rind is different from the zest although I guess using zest will work as well. To get the rind just peel off the orange part of the skin (the white part is bitter, you want to stay away of it for this recipe) with a knife or a peeler in one or two big long pieces 😉

  13. Pati your rice pudding is awesome!!! I have never been able to make a good rice pudding – until now that is. Just ordered one of your cookbooks – the newer one. Can’t wait for it to come in!

    1. Hi Mindy! Love to hear you enjoyed the rice pudding 😉 Have fun with the Cookbook, lots of yummy recipes to try!

    1. Just maybe one time mid cooking Anna, but do not over do it or the rice will break and become like a paste, you do not want that 😀

  14. I’m trying to find your recipe for the 3 layer cake that you made on the episode on 1-12-20. It had meringue and fresh
    plums and apricots; it looked very scrumptious. Also, I am looking for the recipe for fresh chile sauce baked over pork roast. Yummy!

  15. The Orange peel adds a light citrus flavor which is enhanced by the condensed milk and cinnamon. I absolutely love this recipe, I have had many and by far one of my favorites. Thanks. Partial cover after adding milk, vanilla… also would suggest 35 minutes. I love Pati’s Mexican kitchen recipes.

  16. Hi Pati!!!
    I’m a huge fan & I watch your show on PBS in Phoenix, AZ. It helps take mind off my long chemo sessions. I’m immunocompromised and under isolation but cooking(when I’m able) really helps. I had a question. When simmering the rice after adding the milk and other ingredients, should it come back to a boil before reducing to low? Should it be covered during this stage?

    Thank you for making my days brighter and letting me live vicariously through your travels and adventures!

    God Bless,

    1. Oh I’m so sorry to hear you are sick, Anna. I wish you a very speedy recovery and send you a big hug! As for the rice pudding, you wait for it to simmer again and then reduce the heat to low.

  17. I’ll be truthful. I am not a fan of rice pudding. I like rice, just not served this way. With that said. I am making this for my wife. She loves rice pudding. It reminds her of her childhood filled with some great memories.
    I know that today is a rough day at work for her, add to that that she isn’t feeling well too.

    So she will have this wonderful treat awaiting her this evening when she gets home. Who knows, I may even find that I like it myself. I am always open to trying foods multiple times before giving up on them.

    Thank you for the wonderful recipe

    1. Oh I hope your wife (and you) enjoy the pudding. And I hope she feels much better…send her my best, David.

  18. ¡Gracias Pati !

    El sabor de este arroz es igual como de Mí Abuela Celsa. Fue nacida en Zacatecas.
    Fallecio hace 30 años.
    Gracias otra vez por este recuerdo fino.

    Alberto Parra AlbuQuerque, New Mexico

  19. Hoy que hace mucho frio, se me antojo hacer arroz con leche. Nunca le he puesto cascara de naranja. Haber como queda.

  20. Hi Patti — love your show and look forward to making the rice pudding. It sounds like it will be so comforting over the winter. One question: should we zest the entire orange or put in the rind in whole pieces and remove them when we remove the cinnamon stick (which I think we probably do before serving?)?

  21. Pati I just made the rice pudding!
    So easy and tastes the best !!
    Love your show, I used to love cooking with my Mom just like
    Your son Juju !! Fantastic

  22. I love rice pudding. I remember eating it as a child. It brings back wonderful memories of my Nanny an Granny. I am going to try your recipe. Thank you. I really love your show.

  23. Hi Pati, Love your down to Earth cooking without pretense. I’m going to try to make “chocolate” rice pudding as a chocoholic the only sensible thing to do. Also, please tell me what chili peppers carry very little heat. I love chilies. I even make chili stew with pork and sometimes put the chilies on scrambled eggs…hmmm, so good, but I can’t take too much heat from the chilies. Jo (an American living in Tasmania, Australia)

  24. Hola Pati,
    After adding the remaining ingredients is the heat suppose to be medium/high to come to a boil then reduced to simmer?

    1. Hi Patricia! Once you’ve added the milk, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract, rind of an orange, cinnamon stick, salt and sugar, you wait for it to simmer again and then reduce the heat to low.

  25. Pati I’m making this rice pudding as we speak I hope it’s comes out as good as yours is. My wife enjoy your show very much and love your sense of humor and your passion for cooking. Thank you we will keep watching for new recipes.

  26. Querida Pati,
    I think I loving cooking in the kitchen almost as much as you do. I teaching Mexican cooking classes in my community and use many of your recipes. God Bless you for the inspiration you give me. Mexican- Style Rice Pudding will be one of the recipes that I will teach the next time. It is so delicioso!

    1. Oh I’m so happy to hear that you have been so inspired. I hope you have lots of great classes…and say hi to your students for me, Lupita.

  27. Hola paty.mi esposo es cocinero y no es por nada ,pero.cocina con la.misma pasion q cocinas tu. Disfrutamos mucho viendo tu show..el tambien es de la ciudad de mexico y dice que Lastima no te conocio antes.😘😍Gracias por tus delicias q nos compartes. Saludos desde Wisconsin

  28. Hi Patti!
    How’dy frm Dallas Tx🐎
    We love watching your cooking show.
    I’m ashamed of myself because this is a dish i should have learned frm my mom. Thanks to your show I now can make. Keep the receipes coming!

  29. My husband and I just watched your show for the first time on PBS. We loved it…loved you and your sense of humor and passion for good food! We love rice pudding, but have never made it ourselves. We’re going to try this recipe together. It looks so good and easy. I wish I had the passion for cooking that you have! 🙂

  30. Do you groov grind the cinnamon stoc stick or is it left whole and then removed? Same question about the orange rib rind.
    Sounds yummy!

  31. Hi Patti! I love your show and your recipes so much, thank you for sharing them.

    There are TOO many types of rice, please tell me the best brand to use.


    1. Thank YOU for trying the recipes, Irene! Any brand is great…for this recipe just look for a package that says long or extra-long rice.