A.M. COSTA RICA Your English language news source since 2001

Find the latest news in Costa Rica

Real Estate  /  Rentals  /  Hotels  /  Professional Services Classifieds  / Garden  Restaurants / Tourism  / Culture & Lifestyle  /  Food   / Sports   / Business /  Health

Sweet Tico arroz leche

You Might
Also Like



Published on Friday, July 28, 2023

By Melissa Pette

The cool and refreshing treat of "arroz leche" or sweet rice in English, is to be prepared as an after-meal dessert for any time of day. 

This sweet rice, also known as rice pudding, is a delicious and comforting dessert popular in Costa Rica as well as in many Latin American countries.

The recipe along with the addition of dark raisins, cinnamon and sliced pecans added according to taste makes for a treat that is easy to make and pleasing to the palate.

To serve 6 guests the ingredients you need are:

  • 1 cup long-grain white rice.
  • 4 cups whole milk.
  • 1 cinnamon stick.
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (adjust to taste).
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
  • Some ground cinnamon for garnish (optional).

This dessert can't be easier and faster to fix.  

First, rinse the rice. Place the rice in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse it under cold water until the water runs clear. This helps remove excess starch and prevents the pudding from becoming too sticky.

Cook the rice in a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan, add the rinsed rice, 2 cups of milk, and the cinnamon stick. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover the saucepan with a lid, and let it simmer for about 15 minutes or until the rice is tender, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

Add the sugar and remaining milk. Stir in the granulated sugar and the remaining 2 cups of milk. Continue cooking over low heat, uncovered, stirring frequently for about 20-25 minutes or until the mixture thickens and achieves a creamy consistency.

Add the vanilla and salt. Once the rice has absorbed most of the milk and the mixture has thickened, stir in the vanilla extract and salt. Let it cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and cool. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the arroz con leche cool for a few minutes.

Serve and garnish. Transfer the rice pudding into individual serving bowls or a large serving dish. If desired, sprinkle ground cinnamon on top for garnish.

Optional step. Chill before serving. While arroz leche can be served warm, some people prefer it chilled. If you want to serve it cold, cover the rice pudding with plastic wrap, ensuring the plastic touches the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight before serving.

It's a delightful dessert that can be enjoyed on its own or with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top. Enjoy your homemade arroz leche! 

Have a Pura Vida weekend!

Find more awesome step-by-step Costa Rican food recipes on 
the AM Costa Rica Food & Good Eating page. You are invited to share your favorite recipes with a horizontal photo of the dish by emailing food@amcostarica.com.

Professional's services and business


U.S. Income Tax & Accounting

Insurance Broker

Real Estate Agents

Nonprofit Organizations

Car Rental

Sports Academy

Dental Services