Atole de arroz is a delicious Mexican drink made from tender rice, warming cinnamon, and creamy milk. The end result is a sweet, rich, and delicately spiced beverage you can enjoy in the morning or with your favorite pastries.
Try this vegan-friendly version to see what all the fuss is about!
Table of Contents
Enjoy atole de arroz as a breakfast or snack, but it's always best served alongside a baked good. This easy-to-make drink is perfect for the whole family!
What is atole de arroz?
Atole is a tasty Mexican beverage that typically includes a mix of masa harina (or corn starch) to thicken the drink, water, and various spice infusions.
Nowadays, you may also see milk added in to create a richer, creamier, and sweeter recipe.
In other words... It's delicious!
Atole has evolved from many years of influence in Mexican cuisine. It was originally consumed by the Aztecs and Mayans, but not in the modern-day form.
The word atole is derived from the Nahuatl word "atolli," meaning "corn drink." It was consumed for hundreds (if not thousands) of years before the Europeans arrived.
But, the Spanish introduced ingredients like sugar, milk, and cream during the colonization period. It became more commonplace to use these in atole, which eventually resulted in the recipes of today.
Although the original versions were corn-based, atole de arroz has been popular in Mexico for some time as well. You'll soon understand why!
Is it vegan?
As mentioned above, atole started off as a completely vegan-friendly drink. Nowadays, a lot of recipes call for milk to make the drink richer.
This rice atole recipe replaces dairy-based milk with soy milk, so rest assured it's 100% plant-based without skimping on the creaminess.
Serve atole de arroz hot off the stove for the absolute best flavor and texture. You can leave some rice grains whole or blend everything completely — it's totally personal preference!
Try serving your atole alongside delicious treats like:
So, which team are you on — chunky or smooth? Let us know down in the comments section!
🍲 Key ingredients
For a complete ingredient list and step-by-step guide, scroll down to our recipe card.
Taste: with a rather neutral, slightly sweet taste, white rice is the star of this atole recipe. It provides the necessary starch to thicken things up, making an irresistibly creamy texture for your drink.
Health: many people disregard white rice because it's not as healthy as brown rice. But, white rice is often enriched with vitamins and minerals lost during processing. This makes it a good source of folic acid, iron, magnesium, and calcium.
Taste: to give this rice atole a creamier and richer consistency, add soy milk (or any plant milk). Soy milk is our favorite because it's relatively neutral in flavor, yet it has the most similar texture to dairy-based milk.
Health: soy milk offers a whole host of health benefits, including being a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. It's one of the best plant sources of this brain-healthy fat. Studies have linked omegas to a reduction in dementia. And to that, we say... Salud!
Taste: cinnamon lends soft and delicate flavors with a hint of spice to this recipe. We find using whole cinnamon sticks over ground cinnamon creates a more "infused" and natural flavor, but feel free to use either!
Health: cinnamon has been used for thousands of years for its medicinal properties. It's loaded with antioxidants, may reduce heart disease risk, and can even lower blood sugar!
Taste: to add a touch more sweetness to the mix, use cane sugar for a drink that's jusssst right. If you don't have cane sugar, some other options include piloncillo, stevia, monk fruit, or coconut sugar.
Health: we don't want you thinking sugar is by any means a "health food," but we believe in moderation and enjoying great-tasting treats. We try to use the least amount of sweetener without sacrificing taste.
If you have questions about this atole de arroz recipe, don't forget to check out our FAQ section at the bottom of this post.
Step 1: in a large pot, combine the water and cinnamon stick. Simmer them for a few minutes to infuse the flavors. In the meantime, rinse your rice until the water runs clear.
Step 2: add the rice to the pot of water and bring the mixture to a low boil. Turn the heat down to low and simmer with the lid on until the rice is tender and the water has mostly absorbed.
Step 3: remove some or most of the rice (depending on your preferences) and add it to a blender. Add the soy milk and sugar to the pot with the rest of the rice.
Step 4: use some liquid from the pot to help mix the rice in the blender. Combine until smooth, then transfer the mixture back to the pot. Simmer for another few minutes, then taste and adjust the sugar to your preferred sweetness.
Step 5: serve your atole de arroz while warm with a sprinkle of cinnamon or berries on top. Serve on its own or with your favorite pastry. Happy drinking!
Once this rice atole hits your lips you'll be glad you made a double batch. Just follow these storage instructions so it stays fresh and delicious.
Atole de arroz will keep in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. We use glass mason jars whenever possible to keep ours extra fresh. Note: atole thickens the longer it stays in your fridge.
Heat your rice atole in a saucepan over medium-low while whisking. If you want it thinner, try adding more water or milk while heating it.
💭 Pro tips
We'd like to share some tips and tricks we learned while experimenting with this creamy rice drink:
- Skip the blender. Many atole de arroz recipes skip the blending and instead keep the rice grains whole. Try it out and see what you think!
- Adjust your consistency. If you like thick atole de arroz, try adding a touch of masa harina or corn starch. If you want it thinner, use more water or soy milk.
- Make it sweet. If you like sweet drinks, increase the amount of sugar added. We prefer a lightly sweetened drink, but it's all personal preference.
- Skip the milk. Yes, you can skip the milk altogether if you're looking for a lower calorie drink. The blended rice will still create a creamy texture.
🍴 Tasting notes
We love atole de arroz for a morning drink, snack, or pastry dip. It's:
If you try this rice atole recipe, please rate it and leave us a comment below! Want to stay up-to-date with new recipes? Subscribe to our newsletter or connect with Broke Bank Vegan on social media. Happy eating!
Atole de Arroz
- Large pot
- Knife & cutting board
- 1 cinnamon stick ($0.05)
- 3 cups water ($0.02)
- ½ cup white rice ($0.07)
- 4 cups soy milk ($1.37)
- ¼ - ½ cup cane sugar ($0.02)
- In a large pot, combine the water and cinnamon stick. Bring to a simmer with the lid on for a few minutes. In the meantime, rinse your rice until the water runs clear.
- Add the rice to the pot of water and bring the mixture to a low boil. Turn the heat down to low and simmer with the lid on for 10-12 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the water has mostly absorbed.
- Remove ½ - ¾ of the rice (depending on your preferences) and add it to a blender. Add the soy milk and sugar to the pot with the rest of the rice.
- Ladle some liquid out to help mix the rice in the blender. Combine until smooth, then transfer the mixture back to the pot.
- Simmer for an additional 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently. Taste and adjust the sugar to your preferred sweetness.
- Serve your atole de arroz while warm with a sprinkle of cinnamon or berries on top. Serve on its own or with your favorite pastry. Happy drinking!
- Optional ingredients are not reflected in the price or calories of our recipes.
- We calculate nutritional information for our recipes with Cronometer.
- Recipe cost calculations are based on ingredients local to us and may vary from recipe-to-recipe.
- All prices are in USD.
♻️ Similar recipes
For more tasty drink ideas, check out our:
- Atole de elote if you're interested in trying this thick and creamy drink made with fresh corn.
- Champurrado for a sweeter type of atole made with Mexican choclate. It's rich, velvelty smooth, and absolutely delicious.
- Atole de guayaba to try a more fruity take on this smooth and warming drink.
- Horchata for a sweet, creamy, and spice-infused Mexican drink that's also made from rice.
Yes, you can use any type of plant milk in atole de arroz. Our favorite is soy milk, but coconut milk, almond milk, or cashew milk are all great options too.
Long-grain white rice is what we typically use, but any type of white rice will do the trick for this atole.
Yes, this atole de arroz recipe is gluten-free.