Dairy-Free Arroz Con Leche
Dairy-Free Arroz Con Leche

Dairy-Free Arroz Con Leche Recipe – Creamy & Dreamy!

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Move over, plain old rice pudding! There’s a new kid in town, and it’s called Arroz con Leche. This classic Mexican dish is made with rice, milk, cinnamon, and sugar, and it’s absolutely delicious. But what makes it even better is that it’s dairy-free. So whether you’re lactose-intolerant or just looking for a healthier alternative to traditional rice pudding, this recipe is for you! Plus, it’s super easy to make. Just cook the rice, add the milk and spices, and let it simmer until thick and creamy. It doesn’t get much easier (or tastier) than that!

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If you watch my Instagram stories, you know where I’m going with these ingredients.

Three words: Arroz con Leche.

A while back, I learned how to make Arroz con Leche from one of my aunts. I knew the labor of love that goes into making this classic dessert.

This creamy, dreamy, delicious classic dessert brings back memories of my childhood. I think of my family, my grandmother, my maternal grandmother who has passed. I think of the warm memories of my childhood.

It’s nostalgic, especially when the smell of cinnamon and vanilla filled my home. In Mexico, Arroz con leche involves milk, cinnamon, sugar, egg yolk, vanilla, orange peel, raisins that are soaked in sherry or rum, and nutmeg. A Bay leaf, too, or at least in the version my aunt taught me.

Adapting a Family Recipe To Make It Dairy Free

I had to tweak my family recipe a bit to make it dairy-free. I just switched out cow’s milk with dairy-free milk and used short-grain rice instead of the traditionally used long-grain rice. Because short-grain rice like bomba (used in paella) or arborio (used in risotto) absorb a lot of liquid, this version didn’t require too much time and stirring. the rice did all the work. The outcome was just as delicious as the dairy version Give it a try! I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Dairy Free Arroz Con Leche

Dairy Free Arroz Con Leche

Start with a base of cooked rice – Short Grain white rice will work

When it comes to creating recipes, rice is an incredibly versatile ingredient. From fried rice dishes to arroz con leche, you can come up with an endless array of delicious meals and snacks by starting with a base of cooked white or brown rice. Cooked rice can also serve as a blank canvas, providing the ideal foundation for trying out new flavor combinations. For this recipe, it is best to use a short grain rice like that of risotto or paella since short grain rice tends to absorb more liquid than other white rices out there.

For instance, arroz con leche is a comforting Latin dessert made by simmering cooked white rice in cinnamon-spiked milk. If you’re dairy free, try experimenting with other plant milks like coconut or almond and swapping traditional sugar for coconut sugar – chances are you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results! No matter what kind of creative concoctions you come up with using cooked rice, your taste buds are sure to thank you. So why not get cooking and see where your culinary imagination takes you? After all, the possibilities for deliciousness start with a simple base of cooked white or brown rice!

Type of Rice

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Add in some almond milk, coconut milk, or other dairy-free milk. I have found that oat milk or cashew milk works best.

If you’re looking for a delicious and nutritious dairy alternative for your favorite recipes, why not try almond milk, coconut milk, or other dairy-free milks? Not only do these plant-based milks taste great, but they can also provide a healthier option for lactose intolerant or looking to go completely vegan. For baking applications, try adding in some oat milk or cashew milk.

These alternatives create a smooth, creamy texture that works perfectly for cakes, muffins, and other baked goods. You can also use nut milks as a coffee creamer and on cereal. They may have slightly less protein than cow’s milk (which can be essential to consider if you’re watching your protein intake), but they still make an excellent dairy-free substitute.

So the next time you’re thinking of making a recipe, including this one, that calls for regular cows’ milk — why not add in some almond milk, coconut milk, or other dairy-free options instead? It’s sure to be much better for your tastebuds and your health!



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Dairy-Free Arroz con Leche

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What You’ll Need

1 cup uncooked Bomba or Arborio rice (risotto or paella rice)
1/8 tsp. Sea salt
2 cinnamon sticks
1 orange peel
1/2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
3 cups cashew milk or coconut milk
1 tbsp light cane sugar*
1/2 tbsp stevia*
1 bay leaf
Optional: Coconut shavings for garnish

What You’ll Need To Know

1. Bring the rice, salt, cinnamon, orange peel, vanilla, and 2 cups of the cashew or coconut milk to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated.

2. Add the sugar, remaining cashew or coconut milk, bay leaf, and cinnamon sticks. Continue to simmer on low heat and stir until thick, about 20 more minutes.

3. Remove the orange peel, then remove the saucepan from the heat and let sit for 3 minutes. If it is too thick add 1/2 cup of cashew or coconut milk

4. Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve warm.

* Alternatively you can swap out the stevia for 1/4 cup light brown cane sugar.

Recipe makes 6 servings.


Hi, I’m Valerie!

I'm an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200), offering guidance to high achievers in aligning their lifestyle with well-being through daily wellness and self-care routines, promoting balance and harmony. Join me at Wellness Bum for tips on living well, and consider subscribing to my newsletter or booking a coaching session.