I loved having arroz con leche, or Argentine rice pudding, as an afternoon pick-me-up when I was living in Argentina. This sweet recipe reflects the warmth of the Argentine people and the richness of the connections I felt in meeting them and sharing their favorite local dishes. I hope you love this one as much as I do! This Argentine rice pudding recipe is flavored with cinnamon and my Cognac Barrel Aged Pure Vanilla Extract.

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What kind of rice is best for arroz con leche? Bomba rice!

When choosing rice for your homemade rice pudding, you’re welcome to use your favorite short-grain rice, but I highly recommend bomba rice. Bomba rice is a Spanish grain commonly used for paella dishes across Latin America. I prefer bomba rice because of its light, round, pearly shape and its traditional ties to Argentina. This rice preserves its shape while cooking and absorbs liquid well, which makes for a delicious rice pudding with a heavenly texture.

After cooking, you can remove the pot from heat, even if there's some residual liquid left over. The remaining liquid will be absorbed as the rice pudding settles and cools!

Argentine Rice Pudding (Arroz con Leche)
Argentine Rice Pudding (Arroz con Leche)

Dulce de leche is the perfect topping for homemade rice pudding.

I love to go the extra mile and garnish my rice pudding with a drizzle of homemade dulce de leche, a little lemon zest, and a dollop of homemade whipped cream! If you add any extra toppings, make sure the rice pudding is cooled to room temperature first—whipped cream will melt if the pudding is too hot.

Yield: Serves 4 to 6
Argentine Rice Pudding (Arroz con Leche) Recipe

Argentine Rice Pudding (Arroz con Leche) Recipe

Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 50 MinTotal time: 1 H & 5 M
Try this rich, comforting rice pudding as an afternoon treat. Feeling decadent? Try it for breakfast with a fresh, hot cup of coffee. Yum!


  • 4½ cups whole milk, divided
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Mary’s Cognac Barrel Aged Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 2 long strips of lemon peel (optional)
  • (You need these to be large enough so you can remove them at the end of cooking. I use a paring knife to get large strips.)
  • 1¼ cups short grain rice or bomba rice
For the Garnish
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Dulce de leche
  • Lemon zest
  • Whipped cream


  1. In a large saucepan, combine 4 cups of the milk with the vanilla extract and sugar. Stir to combine. Add the cinnamon sticks and the lemon peel, if using. Heat on medium-high until the milk just starts to boil.
  2. Once the milk reaches a boil, add the rice and stir. Lower the heat and simmer the mixture for 50 to 60 minutes. Keep stirring it occasionally as the rice will be expanding as it slowly absorbs the liquid.
  3. When the liquid is almost gone (around 35 to 40 minutes), begin to stir constantly to prevent the rice from burning on the bottom of the pan. I like to test the rice at 40 minutes. If the rice seems done, remove it from the heat—even if there is some liquid left. The remaining liquid will be absorbed as the rice pudding rests. If the rice is not done yet, continue to cook on low heat, stirring constantly to avoid burning the rice on the bottom of the pan.
  4. Turn off the heat and remove the cinnamon sticks and lemon peel, if you used them. Stir in the remaining ½ cup of milk.
  5. You can transfer the rice pudding into a small serving bowl and garnish it with a dusting of ground cinnamon or serve it in individual dessert bowls.
  6. For something extra, drizzle some dulce de leche on the bowls of rice pudding and top with some lemon zest. I love to garnish the rice pudding with some whipped cream, but make sure the rice pudding is cooled to room temperature first if you want to try this one!
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June 21, 2024 — Mary DiSomma
Tags: Desserts