Mexican-Style Rice Pudding

Mexican-Style Rice Pudding

Arroz con Leche
6 to 8 Servings
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: cinnamon, pati's mexican table, rice pudding
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 long or extra long 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!

44 comments on “Mexican-Style Rice Pudding

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. ¡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

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

  5. 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?)?

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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)

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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!

  14. 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! 🙂

  15. 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!

  16. 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.