Vegan Horchata Recipe – Enjoy A Dairy-Free Traditional Spanish Beverage

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Let’s stir up some refreshing goodness with the Vegan Horchata Recipe! This creamy, cinnamon-infused drink is a breeze to make and perfect for hot days. Just blend together rice milk, cinnamon sticks, vanilla extract, and a touch of sweeteners like maple syrup or agave nectar. Strain, chill, and serve over ice for a delightful and satisfying beverage that’s sure to cool you down in style!


  • Adding cinnamon and vanilla extract infuses this classic drink with warmth and sweetness, perfectly balancing the nutty undertones.
  • Soaking the rice and raw almonds overnight ensures your horchata is exceptionally smooth and flavorful, capturing the essence of traditional preparation.

Don’t have time to read the full blog post? JUMP TO THE RECIPE HERE!

Craving a refreshing versatile drink that’s both indulgent and dairy-free? Discovering a vegan horchata recipe that retains the classic’s creamy richness while aligning with plant-based preferences can seem daunting. 

I remember the struggle of sifting through countless recipes, seeking that perfect blend of flavors without compromising the traditional taste. The quest seemed endless until I stumbled upon a game-changer.

This vegan horchata recipe satisfies your thirst and ensures your dietary choices are respected. It’s a testament that you don’t need to sacrifice flavor for principles.

The secret lies in a carefully selected mix of ingredients that promise a delightful experience with every sip. Join me as we delve into vegan recipes delights, one glass at a time.

Vegan Horchata Recipe

What Is Vegan Horchata?

Vegan horchata is a plant-based version of the traditional Mexican drink, horchata, which is originally made from rice, almonds, or tiger nuts. The vegan adaptation forgoes animal-derived ingredients, particularly dairy, instead of relying on nut or rice milk to achieve its creamy texture.

Flavored with cinnamon and sweetened with white sugar or natural sweeteners, vegan horchata offers a refreshing and aromatic beverage experience.

It’s a delightful concoction that caters to those following a vegan lifestyle without compromising the authentic taste and creamy richness that horchata is known for.

Quick Fact – Horchata originated in Valencia, Spain, and traditionally used tiger nuts, but has since evolved globally to include various versions featuring rice, almonds, or sesame seeds.

Vegan Horchata

Recipe Directions

  • Preparation: In a blender, combine the uncooked rice and cups of water. Blend on high speed until the rice breaks up roughly and the water turns white and cloudy. Transfer the mixture to a sealed container and refrigerate overnight.
  • Strain The Rice Mixture: Stir the rice mixture well the next day. Pour it through a fine-mesh strainer into a mixing bowl, discarding the rice left in it.
  • Mix The Horchata: To the rice water in the mixing bowl, add the almond milk, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, and sugar. Start with 1/3 cup of sugar for a less sweet drink, and adjust to 2/3 cup according to your taste. Blend briefly to ensure the sugar fully dissolves into the milk.
  • Chill: Transfer the horchata to a pitcher and refrigerate until ready to serve. This step allows the flavors to meld and the drink to chill thoroughly.
  • Serve: Give the horchata a good stir to mix any settled ingredients before serving. Serve over ice cubes in glasses, garnished with a stick of cinnamon and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon.

Recipe Directions

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings


  • Rice Varieties: Experiment with different types of rice, such as brown rice for a nuttier flavor or jasmine rice for a floral aroma.
  • Nut Milk Bag: For different flavor profiles, swap almond milk for cashews or coconut milk. Each milk has its unique taste and richness.
  • Sweeteners: Instead of sugar, try natural sweeteners like agave nectar, maple syrup, or date syrup for a different sweetness and a healthier option.


  • Spices: Add additional spices like nutmeg, clove, or cardamom to enhance the flavor. A pinch of each can add depth and warmth to the drink.
  • Espresso Shot: For a caffeinated version, add a shot of espresso to your horchata, making it a refreshing and energizing beverage.
  • Protein Boost: Add a scoop of your favorite plant-based protein powder for a nutritious boost, making it a great post-workout refreshment.

Variations, Add-Ons


  • Whipped Coconut Cream: A dollop of whipped coconut cream on top adds a luxurious texture and beautifully complements the horchata’s flavors.
  • Cinnamon Sticks and Ground Cinnamon: Garnish with a cinnamon stick and a dusting of ground cinnamon for an extra spice kick and an Instagram-worthy appearance.
  • Toasted Nuts: Sprinkle chopped toasted almonds, pecans, or walnuts on top for a crunchy texture and a nutty flavor.


Vegetable Substitutions

  • Mushrooms: Due to their umami flavor and texture, mushrooms are great for replacing meat. Portobello mushrooms work well in place of beef burgers.
  • Cauliflower: Versatile for mimicking rice flour, pizza crusts, or even as a substitute for chicken in Buffalo wings.
  • Jackfruit: Unripe jackfruit has a meaty texture, making it perfect for pulled pork and shredded chicken alternatives.
  • Eggplant: Its meaty texture is ideal for replacing lamb or beef in dishes like moussaka or lasagna.
  • Lentils: A hearty base for soup stews and as a ground meat substitute in tacos or Bolognese sauce.
  • Chickpeas: Can be used whole, mashed, or blended as a filling for cakes or to replace tuna in salads.
  • Zucchini: Spiralized zucchini replaces traditional pasta for a low-carb, nutrient-rich option.
  • Beets: Their earthy flavor and texture make them a good stand-in for fish in vegan sushi or tartare.

Quick Tip – Blend soaked cashews with fresh water for a creamy texture in vegan soups and sauces without dairy. This nutritious, flavor-neutral base thickens beautifully.

Vegan Horchata Recipe

Best Side Dishes

  1. Vegan Tacos Filled with seasoned lentils, avocado, and fresh salsa, offering a balance of flavors.
  2. Churros Opt for vegan churros, dipped in chocolate or dusted with cinnamon sugar, as a sweet treat.
  3. Mexican Meal Quinoa Salad A colorful mix of quinoa, black beans, corn, and avocado dressed in a lime vinaigrette.
  4. Stuffed Jalapeños Filled with vegan cream cheese and spices, these are baked until bubbly and golden.
  5. Guacamole and Chips A classic, creamy dip made from ripe avocados, lime, and cilantro, served with crunchy tortilla chips.
  6. Vegan Empanadas Stuffed with a savory mixture of vegetables and spices, these empanadas are a flavorful bite.
  7. Roasted Sweet Potatoes These are spiced with chili powder and cumin, offering a sweet and spicy contrast to the flavor of horchata.
  8. Black Bean Soup A hearty and comforting dish that complements the refreshing sweetness of horchata.

Vegan Horchata Recipe

How To Serve?

  • Chill Thoroughly: Ensure the horchata is well-chilled before serving. It tastes best when served cold.
  • Stir Well: Mix the horchata before pouring, as ingredients can settle at the bottom.
  • Use Ice: Serve over ice cubes in tall glasses to keep it cool and refreshing.
  • Garnish: Add a cinnamon stick and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon on top for added aroma and flavor.
  • Sweeten To Taste: Offer additional sweetener on the side, such as agave syrup or sugar, so that guests can adjust sweetness according to their preference.
  • Pair With Snacks: Accompany with light snacks or side dishes that complement its flavors, like vegan pastries or savory appetizers.
  • Offer Straws: Provide straws for easy sipping, especially if serving over ice.
  • Decoration: For a festive touch, consider decorating the serving table or glasses with thematic elements like Mexican tiles or flowers.

Quick Tip – To enhance the flavor of vegan dishes, incorporate nutritional yeast. It adds a cheesy, nutty taste, making it perfect for sauces, dressings, and sprinkling on popcorn.

Vegan Horchata Recipe

Storage & Make Ahead

  • Storage: Store the vegan horchata in an airtight container or pitcher in the fridge. It keeps well for up to 5 days.
  • Make Ahead: Prepare vegan horchata a day before melding flavors, enhancing its richness and depth. Perfect for gatherings, it’s ready to serve with no last-minute prep needed.

Recipe Fact – The first recorded recipe for horchata dates back to 13th-century Valencia, Spain, where it was originally made with tiger nuts, not rice or almonds as commonly used today.

Vegan Horchata Recipe

Time-Saving Tips

  1. Use Store-Bought Rice Milk: Instead of soaking and blending basmati rice, use unsweetened rice milk to save time without compromising the traditional flavor.
  2. Ground Spices: Utilize ground cinnamon and vanilla extract instead of whole spices to eliminate the need for straining and reduce preparation time.
  3. Blend With Ice: To serve immediately, blend the horchata with ice, making it instantly cold and ready to enjoy without chilling in the fridge.
  4. Batch Preparation: Make a large batch of vegan horchata and store it in the fridge. This will ensure you have a quick, refreshing milky drink on hand for several days.
  5. Quick Dissolve Sugar: Use powdered sugar or superfine sugar, which dissolves more quickly in liquids, to avoid the need for extra blending or stirring.

Vegan Horchata Recipe - Enjoy A Dairy-Free Traditional Spanish Beverage

Vegan Horchata Recipe – Enjoy A Dairy-Free Traditional Spanish Beverage

Recipe by Julia

Vegan horchata is a delightful, dairy-free twist on the traditional Spanish version beverage. Made with rice, almond milk, vanilla, and cinnamon, it offers a sweet, creamy taste that’s both refreshing and comforting. This plant-based version is simple to prepare, making it a perfect thirst-quencher for a hot day or a delicious treat to enjoy anytime.

Course: Drinks
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  • 1 ¼ cup 1 ¼ Uncooked Long Grain White Rice

  • 3 cups 3 Water

  • 2 cups 2 Unsweetened Fresh Almond Milk

  • 1 Tsp 1 Vanilla Extract

  • ⅓ – ⅔ cup ⅓ – ⅔ Unrefined Cane Sugar

  • 2 Tsp 2 Ground Cinnamon


  • Preparation
  • Combine 1 ¼ cup uncooked rice and 3 cups water in a blender.
  • Blend quickly until the rice breaks up and the water turns white and cloudy.
  • Transfer the mixture to a sealed container and refrigerate overnight.Vegan Horchata Recipe
  • Strain The Rice Mixture
  • Stir the rice mixture well the next day.
  • Stir the rice mixture well the next day.
  • Mix The Horchata
  • To the rice water in the large bowl, add 2 cups unsweetened fresh almond milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, and ⅓ to ⅔ cup unrefined cane sugar.
  • Blend briefly to dissolve the sugar fully into the mix.Vegan Horchata Recipe
  • Chill
  • Transfer the horchata to a pitcher.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve, allowing flavors to meld and chill.
  • Serve
  • Stir well before serving to mix any settled ingredients.
  • Serve over ice in tall glass, garnished with a cinnamon stick and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon on top.Vegan Horchata Recipe
  • Equipments List
  • Blender
  • Fine-mesh strainer
  • Mixing bowl
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Pitcher
  • Stirring spoon
  • Sealed container (for soaking)
  • Refrigerator (for chilling)


  • Use a high-powered blender for best results in breaking up the rice.
  • Soaking the rice mixture overnight enhances flavor extraction.
  • Unsweetened fresh almond milk is preferred for its creamier texture; avoid UHT versions as they can be more watery.
  • Adjust sugar according to taste; start with less and add more if needed.
  • Serve chilled for a refreshing taste.
  • Horchata can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days; stir well before serving each time.
  • For a festive touch, garnish with cinnamon sticks.

Nutrition Table

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use Brown Rice Instead Of White Rice For Vegan Horchata?

Yes, you can use brown rice instead of white rice to make vegan horchata. Brown rice gives the drink a nuttier flavor and adds some extra nutritional daily values, including fiber.

However, the texture and color of the horchata might slightly differ from the traditional version. The process remains the same, but you may need to blend the brown rice a bit longer to ensure it breaks down properly.

How Can I Make My Vegan Horchata Sweeter Without Adding More Sugar?

Consider using natural sweeteners to make vegan horchata sweeter without adding more sugar. Options include agave syrup, maple syrup, or dates.

These alternatives can add sweetness and their unique flavors to the Mexican rice drink. Start with a small amount and adjust according to taste, as these sweeteners can be more potent than regular sugar.

Vegan Horchata Recipe

Is It Possible To Make A Nut-Free Version Of Vegan Horchata?

Yes, it’s possible to make a nut-free version of vegan horchata. Instead of almond milk, you can use oat milk, homemade rice milk, or soy milk.

These alternatives provide a creamy texture similar to almond milk but without the nuts, making them suitable for those with nut allergies or sensitivities.

Can Vegan Horchata Be Frozen For Later Use?

Vegan horchata can be frozen but with some considerations. Freezing may alter the texture slightly, so it’s best to stir or blend it after thawing to ensure the ingredients are well incorporated.

Freeze in an airtight container or ice cube trays for portioned servings. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

How Long Does Homemade Vegan Horchata Last In The Fridge?

Homemade vegan horchata typically lasts in the fridge for up to 5 days. Store it in a clean, airtight pitcher or container to maintain freshness and prevent it from absorbing other flavors.

Stir well before serving, as the ingredients may settle or separate over time. For the best taste and safety, consume within this timeframe.

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Greetings from the heart of Vie De La Vegan, where each dish we share is a chapter in a larger story of discovery, wellness, and the transformative power of a plant-based diet. My name is Julia, and I am thrilled to be your guide on this delightful culinary adventure.

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