This Atole de Arroz (or rice atole) is creamy and with a slightly sweet taste with hints of cinnamon. The recipe is super easy to make, delicious & fragrant, and a family favorite!

Atole de arroz is a traditional Mexican hot beverage made from rice, milk, cinnamon, and sugar. It has a thick texture and sweet flavor and is often enjoyed as breakfast or as a comforting treat throughout the day.

Because of its thick and smooth texture, atole de arroz is often confused with arroz con leche, but they are not the same. Atoles are hot beverages, while arroz con leche is a pudding dessert.

Rice atole is a favorite breakfast drink at my house. Besides this recipe, we like to enjoy corn atole de elote or atole de avena pretty often!

Taking atole de arroz from a mug with a spoon to show the creamy texture.

Ingredients

  • Rice: In Mexico, atole de arroz is usually made with long-grain rice as that’s the most popular in the country. However, if you want your drink to be creamier, I suggest using a high starch content rice such as arborio.
  • Milk: Use whole milk or your favorite type of milk, for a richer texture you can also add a cup of evaporated milk.
  • Cinnamon: Cinnamon adds a hearty flavor and aroma, if you can find Mexican canela use that, otherwise any cinnamon in stick will work too.
  • Sweetener: I used granulated white sugar, but any sweetener of your preference will work as well. Think of brown sugar, piloncillo, agave syrup, honey, or even sweet condensed milk!
  • Water: A bit of water to soak and blend the rice.

How To Make Atole De Arroz

Give a quick rinse to the rice and then place it in a medium bowl. Add the cinnamon stick and cover with 4 cups of water.

Mix a bit, then cover the bowl with cling film and allow it to sit overnight.

Rice soaking in a bowl with a cinnamon stick.

The next day, place the rice, cinnamon, and soaking water in a blender.

Blend at high speed for 2-3 minutes, depending on the power of your blender.

Rice, cinnamon, and soaking water blended.

Place the milk and sugar in a medium stockpot and heat it up over medium heat.

Adding sugar to the pot with milk.

Pour in the rice mixture, mix, and bring to a simmer.

TOP TIP: Make sure to not allow the rice mixture to boil or it will spill out. Keep the heat at medium-low while stirring from time to time.

Mixing atole de arroz while cooking in a pot.

Cook the atole de arroz from 15 to 20 minutes while stirring constantly.

It will be ready when the mixture thickens to the point that coats the back of a spoon.

Showing the consistency of cooked rice atole with a spoon.

Taste and adjust with sugar if needed. Turn off the heat and serve in mugs with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon on top.

Expert Tips & Recipe Notes

  • In Mexico and some parts of the USA you can find a long-grain white rice specifically labeled arroz para atole (rice for atole). This type of rice has a high starch content, which helps achieve a creamy texture.
  • Before placing the rice to soak, rinse it under cold water to remove any powdery residue or impurities that may be present on the rice.
  • Soaking the rice overnight can help soften it and make it easier to blend. This step contributes to a smoother texture in the final drink.
  • If you prefer a velvety texture on your rice atole, strain the rice mixture after blending through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any remaining rice & cinnamon solids.
  • Adjust the amount of sugar according to your preference. Start with a moderate amount and gradually add more until the desired sweetness is achieved. Remember to stir well to dissolve the sugar completely.
  • Feel free to experiment with additional flavors or ingredients. For example, you can incorporate chocolate or fruit puree to create different variations of atole de arroz.
  • Want it vegan or dairy-free? Replace whole milk with your favorite plant-based milk such as almond milk, coconut, milk, soy milk, etc.
Atole de arroz served in mugs with ground cinnamon sprinkled on top.

How To Serve Rice Atole

Atole de arroz is traditionally served hot in cups or mugs. It is a comforting and warming Mexican beverage, especially during colder months. You can pour the hot atole into individual cups and serve it with a spoon for stirring.

The best pairing for rice atole is for sure savory tamales. Try my pork tamales rojos recipe, or my delicious tamales verdes de pollo (chicken tamales).

Also, rice atole pairs well with traditional Mexican pastries such as pan dulce (sweet bread), molletes dulces, or bolillo rolls for dipping in.

Last, if you want to enjoy it on its own, remember to add a sprinkle of ground cinnamon for a touch of flavor and to enhance the visual appeal!

Store & Reheat

Allow rice atole to cool to room temperature before storing it. Transfer the leftovers to an airtight container and store them in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

To reheat, remove the atole from the refrigerator and pour it into a saucepan. Place the saucepan over medium heat and stir constantly to prevent sticking or burning.

Heat the atole until it reaches the desired temperature, ensuring it is thoroughly heated all the way through. If the drink gets too thick, add a splash of water or milk to loosen it up.

If you want to reheat it in the microwave, transfer a portion of the drink to a microwave-safe bowl or container. Heat atole de arroz in short intervals, stirring in between until it is heated through. Be cautious not to overheat it, as it can scorch or form a skin.

FAQ

What is Mexican atole made of?

Mexican atole can be made with a variety of ingredients, but the basic traditional recipe typically includes a thickener agent such as masa, cornstarch, or in this case, rice.
Depending on the recipe, fruits are blended along with milk or water to make the flavor base, like strawberries for atole de fresa or guava to make atole de guayaba.

What is the history of atole?

The history of atole dates back to pre-Columbian times in Mesoamerica, where corn was a staple crop. The word atole comes from the Nahuatl word “atolli,” which means “watery gruel” or “porridge.”
During the Aztec Empire, this thick drink was not only a basic food source but also had cultural and religious significance. It was offered to deities and used in ceremonial rituals.

More Atole Recipes

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Video

Atole de Arroz Recipe.

Atole de Arroz (Rice Atole)

8 servings
Creamy, warm, and slightly sweet, this atole de arroz is the perfect comfort drink for the coldest months of the year.
prep 5 minutes
cook 15 minutes

Equipment

  • medium pot
  • Blender

Ingredients 

  • 1 ¼ cup rice
  • 4 ½ cups whole milk
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • ½ cup sugar (or your favorite sweetener)

for serving

  • ground cinnamon

Instructions
 

  • Give a quick rinse to the rice and then place it in a medium bowl.
  • Add the cinnamon stick and cover with the water. Mix a bit, then cover the bowl and allow it to sit overnight.
  • Next day, transfer the rice, cinnamon, and soaking water in a blender.
  • Blend for 3 minutes at high and set aside (read note 1).
  • In a medium pot pour the milk and add sugar. Heat it up over medium heat.
  • Pour into the pot the rice mixture, mix, and bring to a gentle simmer while stirring from time to time.
  • Keep the heat at medium-low and cook atole for 15 minutes while stirring constantly.
  • Taste and adjust with sugar if needed.
  • Turn off the heat and serve in mugs with a sprinkle of cinnamon powder on top.

Notes

  1. If you don’t want cinnamon bites in your drink, don’t blend the cinnamon stick with the rice. You can add it to the pot with milk to infuse it instead.
  2. Make it creamier by adding 1 can of evaporated milk.
  3. You can also add more flavors and aromas to this rice atole, think of orange peel, star anise, or whole cloves.
  4. For a dairy-free drink, replace whole milk with your favorite plant-based milk such as almond milk, coconut, milk, soy milk, etc.
Nutrition Information
Serving: 1 serving | Calories: 239kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 67mg | Potassium: 217mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 224IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 171mg | Iron: 1mg
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Recipe Rating




4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This atole de arroz recipe is pure comfort in a cup! The combination of rice, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla creates a warm and soothing drink that’s perfect for chilly mornings or cozy evenings. The smooth and creamy texture, along with the subtle sweetness, makes it incredibly comforting. A delightful way to indulge in a traditional Mexican beverage. Highly recommended!

  2. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for the recipe, I really love rice atole because it reminds me so much of my lovely granny. She will always makes me this atolito de arroz whenever I was at her home. Miss her so much and this is my way of honouring her. Thank you.

  3. 5 stars
    Loved the recipe, it is so easy to make and the result is rich, creamy, slightly sweet (I used I little bit less than 1/2 cup of sugar) and perfect for breakfast. Thank you, will try now your other atole recipes