Vovó Portuguese Rice Pudding (Arroz Doce)

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Portuguese rice pudding, or Arroz Doce, is one of the most popular and traditional desserts in Portuguese cuisine. It is a unique dish with simple ingredients which are combined to create a deliciously sweet and creamy egg based rice pudding.
Prep time: min
Cook time: min
Total time: min
Yield: 8 servings


  • 2 cups water
  • Lemon peel of 1 whole lemon
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup short grain rice (or medium grain rice)
  • 2 ½ cups hot milk
  • 2 ½ cups half-and-half
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • Cinnamon for garnish


  1. In a saucepan add the water, lemon peel, cinnamon sticks, and salt, bring to a boil.
  2. While it’s boiling, add the rice.
  3. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until almost all the water has been absorbed.
  4. Add the milk, half-and-half and sugar to the rice.
  5. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook, uncovered, and stirring frequently, until the mixture starts to thicken, about 30 minutes.
  6. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks together. Add 3 tablespoons of the rice mixture one tablespoon at a time to temper the eggs. Make sure you are beating the eggs vigorously while adding the 3 tablespoons of the rice mixture.
  7. Now add that egg mixture quickly into the saucepan.
  8. Let the rice continue to simmer for about 10 minutes to allow the rice to thicken. It should form a nice creamy consistency.
  9. Remove lemon peel and cinnamon sticks.
  10. Transfer to one large serving dish or small dessert cups. Garnish with cinnamon.