Yummy Puerto Rican Rice and Beans You Need To Try Now!


Apr 08

When I started out cooking, I was surprised with the many cuisines I could experiment with. It isn't just about learning how to scramble eggs or cook pasta but to combine flavors and seasonings to create something exotic and delicious. One cuisine I grew fond of was Puerto Rican, known for its European-African fusion. And what's more Puerto Rican than rice and beans? Puerto Rican rice and beans, or Arroz con Gandules, is one of the national dishes, which is filling and delicious even on its own!

There are a ton of variations of the Puerto Rican rice and beans, with everyone having a twist on preparation.


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Puerto Rican Rice and Beans Recipe

If you're looking for a way to begin exploring the Puerto Rican cuisine, then start off with their national dish! A filling and flavorful rice dish, the Puerto Rican beans and rice recipe is the perfect and easy beginning to exploring the flavors of the world. It's packed with flavor, filled with delicious and satisfying meat and beans/peas, and a hit with everyone! You'll want to try it out for your next meals or any celebration, may it be holidays, birthdays, or potlucks.

This recipe serves eight people.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes


  • One tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup of sofrito (can be bought or homemade)
  • 1/3 cup of country ham or bacon, chopped (optional)
  • Two cups of parboiled rice
  • 3 1/2 cups of low sodium chicken broth or water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of sazon con achiote y culantro
  • Two teaspoons of chicken bouillon powder
  • Adobo seasoning
  • 1/3 cup of tomato sauce
  • Two tablespoons of pimiento-stuffed olives
  • One teaspoon of dried Italian seasoning
  • A quarter cup of chopped fresh cilantro
  • Two bay leaves
  • 15 ounces of Pigeon Peas or Gandules, rinsed and drained (you can substitute for pinto, red, or pink beans)


1. Heat your caldero (you can use Dutch Ovens, though I recommend you to invest in a caldero) at medium heat, adding the olive oil, ham/bacon, and the sofrito. Stir it continuously until the meat becomes tender and fragrant but not brown. This will take around four minutes.

2. Add the tomato sauce, Sazon, and the chicken bouillon. Stir until well-combined.

3. Add the water/chicken broth, Italian seasoning, bay leaves, cilantro, and the olives. Let the mixture boil then taste to see if you'll need to add flavor. If you need it to be saltier, sprinkle a bit of the Adobo seasoning until it reaches the desired taste. The liquid should be highly seasoned with the rice's flavor.

4. Add the drained pigeon peas and then allow the mixture to boil again.

5. Once the mixture is boiling, add the rice and constantly stir, allowing it to submerge. Stir to distribute the peas evenly.

6. Let the rice absorb the liquid. Do not cover the pan while doing so.

7. Once the liquid has been absorbed, stir the rice one more time then cover your pan. Lower the stove to low heat and let the rice steam for about 20 minutes. You'll know if the rice is cooked once all of the liquid has been absorbed, with your rice grains fully-cooked and fluffy.

8. Allow it to cool for five minutes then serve and enjoy!

Take Note:

If you don't have any parboiled rice, you can use long grain white or brown rice. Remember to use a 2:1 ratio of the liquid to rice.

If you don't eat pork, you can omit the meat and stick with Sofrito, which is made with only vegetables. But if you do like adding a bit of meat or flavor, adding smoked turkey puts in more taste!

I would recommend that you pair this rice dish with an equally delicious chicken recipe.

It's best to make and serve on the day itself, as the rice loses its texture and consistency if left in the fridge or freezer for a few days.

Wrapping It Up

With the delicious flavors around the world available right in the comforts of your kitchen, you'll be able to do anything you want and enjoy all these exotic flavors! The Puerto Rican Rice and Beans recipe is a great way to start exploring, with its delicious seasonings and filling rice. Have it alone or with your favorite meat dish!

I hope that this recipe gave you an idea of what you can start doing for your next potluck or dinner. So don't wait any longer and begin trying new recipes today!

If you have any questions or would like to share your recipes or tips on making Puerto Rican rice and beans, then comment down below. I would love to hear what you have to think.


About the Author

Welcome! I’m happy you’re here. I'm Sara McConnell. I have a passion for cooking and desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun. I often spend my free time searching for, creating and trying tasty new recipes in my kitchen. Through the blog i want to share with you my cooking experience, and I hope it can help you. Thank you so much for visiting!

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