Arroz Con Leche (dairy free)


One of my favorite memories growing up was the smell of my grandmother making Arroz Con Leche. There was no mistaking the aroma that would fill the house as soon as that cinnamon stick hit the pot. I believe that’s when my obsession with the smell of cinnamon began! It’s been years since I had my grandmothers Arroz Con Leche and I’ve always been too chicken to try and make it because I knew it wouldn’t compare. She gave me the recipe long ago and I’ve been wanting to make a “healthier” version of it. Traditionally, or at least in my grandmothers recipe, it calls for multiple dairy products like sweet condensed milk and evaporated milk. It’s what gives it the sweet and creamy taste. I was determined to try to mimic the texture and taste, and at the same time control the sweetness to my liking. One thing I realized when making this was that smell of cinnamon will always bring me back to those cold NYC winter days and being so excited when my grandmother would start making her Arroz Con Leche. I love eating mine warm but you can also have it cold. Hope you enjoy and let me know if you try it!

As always thanks for stopping by!



Arroz Con Leche (dairy free)


  • 1 1/2 cup white rice
  • 6 cups of water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 cans of unsweetend coconut milk
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed coconut milk or 1/4 cup of maple syrup or choice of sweetener
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves or 3 whole cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt


Make it:

  • Place water, rice and 2 cinnamon sticks in a pot.
  • Bring to a boil and then cover over low-medium heat. Stir occasionally until the rice is cooked through and most of the water in absorbed. (this could take anywhere from 20-40 minutes depending on your rice)
  • Once your rice is cooked through and it’s nice and plump, add 1 can of coconut milk, stir.
  • Add your maple syrup, cinnamon, ground cloves, vanilla and sea salt.
  • Let simmer on low heat for the next 5 minutes stirring occasionally
  • Once most of coconut milk has been absorbed add the other can of coconut milk, stir and let simmer for another 5 minutes
  • Taste and adjust sweetness to your liking.
  • Enjoy!



  • You can sub white rice for brown rice.
  • You can sub maple syrup for coconut sugar or your choice of sweetener.
  • You can sub the coconut milk for any other kind of milk or even coconut milk that comes in the carton. I’ve found that coconut milk from the can gives it the creamiest texture tho!
  • If you’ve had Arroz Con Leche in the past, Cane Sugar will give this the most authentic taste.
  • It’s important to check on your rice while its cooking and give it a good stir every 10 minutes to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
  • Keep in mind the longer you cook your Arroz Con Leche, after the milk is added, the thicker and creamier it will get.

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