My husband and I cook Arroz Con Queso or cheese rice quite often. Our kids love it and it is always a hit dish when we host BBQs. We have cooked arroz con queso in so many different ways because we do tend to improvise a lot. However, below I will describe the most traditional way we can cook it with ingredients commonly found in US markets.
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What Cheese to Use?
In Bolivia, arroz con queso is cooked with a special local cheese that we cannot find here in Miami.
We have tried through the years to use mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, swiss cheese, a combination of these cheeses etc.
Finally one day, we cooked arroz con queso with Mexican queso fresco and it is the closest we have gotten to the actual taste and texture of the actual dish.
I recommend you use a short grain rice, pearl or arborio rice for this rice dish.
The reason is that the rice will first boil with water and then you’ll add a cup of boiling milk. At that point you’ll stir the rice, which is unlike most other rice dishes where you don’t mix or stir until they are cooked completely.
Use this cheese rice as a side dish with your favorite meal. It is best served fresh, it does become a bit sticky if you have refrigerated it. However, the taste is still delicious the next day so we always love having some leftovers too!
If you would like to use a simpler rice for your meal, please check out my garlic jasmine rice recipe.
Recipe Notes & Tips
I included lots of process pictures in this recipe as well as a short video to make it easier to follow instructions.
- You can replace red onion or other types of onions, however keep in mind that flavor will change. Red onions tends to give a strong flavor to this side dish.
- You can top your serving of cheese rice with green onions or chopped parsley.
- Milk needs to be very hot before you add it in, so try to coordinate warming up the milk and have it ready for step #4 in the recipe instructions below.
See below a picture of all ingredients used to cook this recipe:
Arroz con Queso – Bolivian Cheese Rice
- 2 cups short grain rice or pearl rice
- 1 cup milk boiling
- 0.5 red onion medium
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 4 tbsps olive oil
- 10 oz queso fresco
- 0.5 tbsp salt
- 5 cups hot water
- 2 green onions (optional) chopped for decorations
- 2 tbsps chopped fresh parsley (optional) for decorative use
- Saute finely chopped onion and minced garlic in olive oil. Keep heat in medium setting.
- Add rice when onions look translucent. Saute all together, be careful not to burn the onions.
- Add 5 cups of hot water and salt. Stir well and let the rice cook.
- Once water is running out, but rice is not fully cooked yet, then add a cup of hot milk and shredded cheese.
- Lower heat to low. Cook until cheese is melted and you see no more water/milk. Let it cool and serve as a side dish.
If you would like to save this recipe for later, please pin the below image to Pinterest. Don’t hesitate to contact me with questions or tag me in social media if you made my recipe:). Thank you so much!!
Other Bolivian Recipes
UPDATE: This recipe was first published on October 2nd, 2018 and updated on March 2nd, 2020. I replaced earlier cell phone pictures with better ones taken with my camera. However, if you are a returning reader of this recipe or found the recipe in Pinterest from an older picture, I’m leaving one of my earlier pictures below as reference.