|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Servings: 6 to 8|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 7g||9%|
|Saturated Fat 1g||3%|
|Total Carbohydrate 83g||30%|
|Dietary Fiber 10g||34%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Any special occasion meal in Puerto Rico would not be complete without arroz con gandules, or rice with pigeon peas. After all, rice with pigeon peas is one of Puerto Rico's national dishes. The recipe is seasoned with sofrito, a blend of herbs and spices popular in Latin Caribbean (and some Latin American) cuisine, and is studded with diced ham and pigeon peas. Pigeon peas are legumes that have a nutty flavor and are frequently paired with rice and other grains. They are sold dried, canned, or ground into a flour.
This Puerto Rican rice recipe calls for canned pigeon peas, and those can be found in most large grocery stores, specialty groceries, or online. Arroz con gandules can be served alone or with a variety of sides such as pollo guisado (chicken stew), tostones, and a light salad.
Click Play to See This Puerto Rican Rice With Pigeon Peas Recipe Come Together
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup sofrito
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped ham (or cooked pork pieces)
- 2 cups raw white rice
- 4 cups water
- 1 packet sazón (such as Goya brand)
- 1 (15-ounce) can pigeon peas/gandules (drained and rinsed)
Gather the ingredients.
Heat the olive oil in a 6-quart pot on medium heat until it shimmers. Add the sofrito and chopped ham and sauté for 1 minute.
Add the rice, water, sazón, and pigeon peas.
Bring to a boil. Let boil for 2 to 3 minutes.
Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for 30 to 35 minutes. Do not use a lid with a vent that allows the steam to escape and never lift the lid while cooking.
When finished cooking, stir the rice before serving. It should be light and fluffy.
Serve hot and enjoy.
What Is Sofrito?
A sofrito is a blend of herbs and spices used to season countless dishes, such as stews, beans, rice, and occasionally meat. Sofrito exists in Latin Caribbean and other Latin American countries, and comes from the Spanish word which means "to fry something." It can be added at the start of the recipe, toward the end of the cooking, or used to top grilled meats and fish. The ingredients will differ depending on the origin of the sofrito.
- Spanish sofrito uses tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, paprika, and olive oil.
- In the Dominican Republic, sofrito is called sazón and is made with vinegar and annatto for color.
- In Puerto Rico, sofrito is called recaito and includes the herb culantro and ajies dulces (sweet chile peppers).
- In Cuba, sofrito is made with tomatoes, red bell peppers, and ham.
- In the Yucatán area of Mexico, sofrito is extra spicy with the addition of habaneros.