Delicious, sticky and you would never guess this vegan arroz con leche is completely plant based. It’s sweet and a delicious dessert for those with a sweet tooth!

vegan arroz con leche

Vegan Arroz con leche

The fun thing about arroz con leche is that there are so many versions out there. And every country has their own rice pudding, because that is essentially what this is. In Holland we call it rijstpudding, in France they call is riz au lait and in Spain and Spanish speaking countries it is called arroz con leche. Translated that means no more than ‘rice with milk’, so that pretty much sums up the entire dish. In each country there are slight differences to the dish but the base is always the same. 


Making this vegan arroz con leche came about after we came back from Mexico where I ate a Mexican rice pudding that has virtually no flavor at all. It was quite frankly pretty disappointing. And since this is a classic Mexican dessert I had definitely expected better results.

And I have this big love for all things rice pudding so coming back I just wanted to make a better version and so I made a vegan arroz con leche recipe. Truthfully, making it vegan is super simple. You just replace the dairy milk element for almond milk, soy milk or coconut milk. Or any other plant-based milk will do.

In this case I opted for a combination of soy milk and almond milk and also added water to not make it too heavy. For the rice I used regular white rice (pandan rice to be exact) but you could use risotto rice (short grain rice) for a creamier version. I still thought it was creamy enough though.

Making the vegan arroz con leche

In order to make the rice pudding I added 2 cups water, rice, cinnamon sticks and star anis to a large pot and brought it to the boil. Put a lid on the pan and once it boils turn down the heat and let it simmer for about 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.

Now stir through and add the soy milk and almond milk. Add the sugar and increase to medium heat until it starts to bubble again. Turn it back to low heat and let it simmer for another 15 minutes or until the consistency is rice and creamy. Remove the cinnamon and star anis before serving.

Serve it hot or warm or at room temperature. A little ground cinnamon over the top is always a good idea.

arroz con leche


While this vegan recipe is pretty simple to make you can easily make variations to suit your own taste. Varying with the milk is easy. Add cashew milk or oat milk for instance. Use brown rice instead of white rice and add some orange zest, lemon zest or orange peel to give it a citrusy flavor. Instead of the regular sugar you can add coconut sugar or leave out the white sugar and use condensed milk instead. A splash of vanilla extract is also always delicious. 

If you’re using brown sugar keep in mind that the color of the finished arroz con leche will be less creamy and more muddy. It will still taste delicious but just something to keep in mind.

I also sometimes like to add some dried fruits into the creamy rice pudding. I love adding dried cranberries but dried raisins or other fruit will also work well. And of course you can also use regular milk to make this.

Can I keep the vegan arroz con leche?

Yes you can definitely keep the sticky rice in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days. You might need to add a bit more milk into the rice pudding to loosen it up a bit if you reheat it. I do love the intensity of the flavors after a day or so. It makes it even better!

Can I use coconut milk for the arroz con leche?

Yes you can certainly use coconut milk for the arroz con leche. I love the combination of coconut milk with mango so that might be a good addition if you do end up using coconut milk. I have found that the cooking time can vary a bit depending on the kind of milk you use. Of course keep in mind that you will be making a coconut arroz con leche, so the flavor will obviously be all coconutty. 

arroz con leche met kaneel, cranberries en steranijs

There are as many versions of arroz con leche as there are countries out there so just use whatever strikes your fancy. It’s definitely perfect for the cooler months of the year and it does make an easy and perfect dessert to prepare up front if you want.

For another delicious version made in the slowcooker check the coconut rice pudding with banana!

Go wild

Now if you like rice pudding you might want to try this super special version of cauliflower rice pudding.

vegan arroz con leche

Vegan arroz con leche

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GangBreakfast, Dessert

Delicious and creamy version of the arroz con leche or rice pudding
Decorative clock showing preparation time
Prep time 10 minutes
Cooking time 30 minutes
Total time 40 minutes

4 people


  • 1 cup pandan rice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 star anis
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 500 ml water
  • 470 ml almond milk
  • 240 ml soy milk
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 200 gr sugar
  • ground cinnamon as garnish

  • In a large pan you put the rice, the cinnamon, the star anis, salt and water and bring this slowly to the boil. Cover the pan with a lid and put the heat low. Leave to simmer gently until all water is absorbed (about 15 mins)
  • Pour the almond milk and the soy milk on top and stir through. Leave to heat until it begins to bubble. Stir through the sugar and add the dried cranberries. Leave to simmer uncovered for about a minute or 10-15 and stir occassionaly.
  • Turn of the heat and leave to cool a little bit. To serve, sprinkle with some ground cinnamon.
  • Serve warm or cold

Nutrition Information per portion

Calories: 439kcal | Carbohydrates: 103g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Sodium: 185mg | Potassium: 154mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 63g | Vitamin A: 240IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 120mg | Iron: 1mg


The nutritional values above are calculated per portion. The details are based on standard nutritional tables and do not constitute a professional nutritional advice.

Did you make this recipe?Mention @insimoneskitchen_ or tag #insimoneskitchen!

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Simone van den Berg

Food blogger from the Netherlands. Loves good food. Likes to create healthy and easy recipes for daily use, but also loves the occasional sweet dish. Lives in the Netherlands with her two cats; Humphrey and Buffy. Profession: Food photographer, food blogger, recipe developer and nutritionist