This vegan arroz con leche is creamy, delicious, and easy to make. It is topped with a sprinkle of freshly ground cinnamon and studded with raisins. I love it when it’s served cold on a hot day, but in the winter nothing beats a cup of warm arroz con leche. It's one of those classic Mexican desserts that you make over and over again.
Mexican Arroz con Leche
Mexican rice pudding is the perfect combination of milk, sugar, cinnamon, rice, and raisins. Depending on what region of Mexico you grew up in you might have added fresh fruit, orange or lime zest, and even rum.
Did you know that there are many versions of arroz con leche? There is Dominican, Costa Rican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Guatemalan….and the list goes on and on. Most of them are similar but each country has its own variation that makes it unique. In Puerto Rico they use coconut milk, in Spain they add orange zest, in Cuba, they add condensed milk, and in Jamaica, they add allspice or nutmeg.
But it doesn’t matter what country you are from, arroz con leche evokes memories of the smell of cinnamon and a big pot of boiling milk on the stove, and the song, “ Arroz con leche, me quiero casar con un señorita…..”
How to Make Arroz con Leche Vegan
To make this arroz con leche without dairy I did a test between three different types of plant milk: soy milk, oat milk, and almond coconut milk. I used the same recipe for all of them and had some really picky taste-testers (my children) evaluate the results.
The Test: Soy milk, Oat Milk or Almond Milk
The clear winner of the taste test was soy, then oat milk, and in the last place was almond-coconut milk. Soy milk resembled cow’s milk the most because of the high-fat content. The one that was made with oat milk was deliciously sweet, but it gave it a yellowish color and it wasn’t as creamy as the soy milk. The almond-coconut milk was creamy but did have a distinctive taste of coconut. My kids loved all of them, but they preferred the soy by far. I know a lot of people don’t do soy, so if you don’t, I recommend the oat milk instead.
- You can use any plant milk of your choice, but we found that soy was the one that mimicked the taste of cow’s milk the best.
- Oat milk also makes a yummy arroz con leche.
- You can add fresh fruit, orange zest, dried fruit, nutmeg, and even vegan condensed milk.
- I decided to use long-grain rice because it’s what is most accessible, but using short-grain rice will give a creamier result.
Vegan Arroz con Leche
- 1 cup Long grain-rice
- 1 Ceylon cinnamon stick 2 -inch
- 3 cups Water
- 4 cups Soy milk
- ½ - 1 cup Sugar or your sweetener of choice
- ½ cup of raisins optional
- In a large pot combine water, cinnamon stick, and rice. Bring water to a simmer and simmer slowly for 15 min.
- Add soy milk to the pot and simmer for 10 more minutes.
- Add ½ - 1 cup of the sugar (depending on desired sweetness), and simmer for another 10 minutes or until the arroz con leche has reached the right consistency.
- Remove from the heat, add raisins, and let the rice cool slightly. It will thicken as it cools.
- Sprinkle with ground cinnamon before serving. Serve warm, or let cool in the refrigerator and serve cold.
Although dorastable.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates.
Soy milk tastes good but sort of makes me break out, so I’ve tried other milks as well in hopes of finding a vegan, non-soy version. This may sound odd, but I found banana milk to be a delicious alternative! It was naturally sweet, creamy, and it even had a hint of cinnamon which I found to compliment the flavor from the cinnamon stick without it tasting too “cinnamon-y.”
This was sooooooo good and sooo easy!
Incredible recipe, so delicious! I made this with oatmilk and it turned out amazing, definitely recommend adding the optional raisins.
So happy you liked it!
Do I cover the pot while simmering?
So yummy!! Used 2 cups of oat milk since I like the thicker consistency and 1/2 of sugar. Just like the real deal. Will make this again in the winter ????. Thank you so much for sharing.
First recipe I make from your blog and it was delicioso! Why did I wait so long??? I used 7 cups of the light blue container of the Oatly milk (I wanted to make sure it was creamy. Other than that I followed the recipe exactly as written with 1 cup sugar. I cannot wait to try your other recipes. I really miss Dominican cake with dulce de leche. Please consider making a vegan one. I’ll be buying your cookbook now as well. Thank you for making amazing latin meals.
Hi Tina, thank you for the comment. I've never had Dominican cake with dulce de leche, I'll have to try it.
Delicioso.. I was a bit skeptical with no canned sweeten lechera in it but it tastes amazing. I used vanilla oatmilk 2 cups and half cup sugar absolutely perfect thank you for sharing. I like mine thick. It has been raining non stop all day and this hit the spot.