There’s nothing more quintessentially Puerto Rican than arroz con gandules. It’s part of our national dish (along with Pernil). For holidays, birthdays, baby showers, and more, if there’s a party, this dish will be there. Everyone has a little twist on how they prepare this dish, but here’s my version. This recipe was taught to mw by my mother, and she now says that my recipe is even better than hers!
What are Gandules?
Gandules (aka pigeon peas) are an exotic ingredient to most folks outside of the Caribbean. Pigeon peas, popular throughout the Caribbean West Indies, are small, oval beans with a nutty flavor. They can be found fresh, frozen, canned or dried. They are a bright green color when fresh. If you can get them fresh or frozen (I’ve found them in Latin food markets), go for it, they’re even more flavorful and nutty.
I’ve actually started growing them in my backyard in Florida, and it’s so easy to do so! Gandules grow quickly and produce large quantities of gandules per plant, so if you plant several, you’ll have enough gandules for the whole neighborhood!
What ingredients are in Arroz Con Gandules?
The main components of arroz con gandules is rice and pigeon peas. The key to the delicious flavor of this and many Puerto Rican recipes is aromatic sofrito, which is a blend of green peppers, onion, garlic, sweet Caribbean peppers known as ajis dulces, and recao (or culantro). Sofrito is the most essential ingredient in Puerto Rican cooking. Sazon seasoning & tomato paste gives the rice its distinctly marigold color, and herbs like oregano and bay leaves give an herbaceous essence that’s the finishing touch.
What pot to use for Puerto Rican Arroz Con Gandules?
To make arroz con gandules properly, I believe you can only use one kind of pot, a caldero. Caldero literally translates into cauldron. It’s similar to a Dutch oven, but instead of being made from cast iron, it’s usually fabricated from aluminum. Every self-respecting Puerto Rican household has one. They’re passed on, generation to generation, much like cast iron pans are. The tapered edges and rounded bottom allows for steam to circulate through the rice, and produced a fluffy texture that is more difficult to achieve in a regular stock pot. These pots are also great for braising meats, stews and soups, and are oven safe (with a metal knob).
Below is the caldero I have, it’s a 4.8 Quart size, it’s a good size for 6-8 people.
Can I substitute the gandules with another bean?
If you can’t find gandules, you can substitute with canned pinto, pink or red beans and it’ll still be delish! However, keep in mind that it’s no longer arroz con gandules, rather arroz con habichuelas.
What kind of rice do you use for arroz con gandules?
Parboiled rice is my favorite for this recipe because it’s almost impossible to end up with mushy rice. You want the grains of rice to be loose and not sticky. Parboiled rice has been partially cooked, so some of the starch has been removed. This makes the rice less sticky, which is this case, is exactly what we want.
Can I freeze leftovers?
YES! Arroz con gandules freezes very well, so make a big batch and portion it into storage bags for a quick weeknight side dish. To reheat, transfer into a microwave safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for a few minutes, stirring occasionally until the rice is hot & fluffy.
Want more classic Puerto Rican recipes?
Check out these tried and true Puerto Rican classics from Delish D’lites!
- Carne Guisada (Puerto Rican Beef Stew)
- Pollo Guisado (Puerto Rican Chicken Stew)
- Habichuelas Guisadas (Puerto Rican Stewed Beans)
- Puerto Rican Pasteles De Yuca
- Slow Cooker Pernil (Puerto Rican Roasted Pork Shoulder)
- Chicharrones De Pollo (Puerto Rican Fried Chicken)
- Pollo Asado (Latin Marinated Grilled Chicken)
- Sancocho De Pollo (Puerto Rican Chicken Stew)
Arroz Con Gandules (Puerto Rican Rice with Pigeon Peas)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/3 cup country ham or bacon, diced (optional)
- 1/3 cup sofrito
- 3 cups water or low sodium chicken broth
- 1 ½ tsp sazón con achiote y culantro
- 1 cube chicken bouillon or more if needed
- 2 tbsp tomato paste or 1/3 cup tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning or oregano either one works
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped optional
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons pimento stuffed olives optional
- 15 ounce can Pigeon Peas (Gandules), drained and rinsed or 2 cups of fresh or frozen
- 2 cups parboiled rice
Heat your caldero or Dutch oven to medium heat, and add your olive oil, bacon/ham (if using) and sofrito. Stir constantly until fragrant and tender, but not browned, about 4 minutes.
Next add in the Sazon, tomato sauce or paste and chicken bouillon. Stir to combine.
Add in the drained pigeon peas, Italian seasoning or oregano, bay leaves, and water/broth. Add the cilantro and/or olives, if using. Allow the liquid to come up to a boil, and taste it for salt. If it needs more saltiness, add in another chicken bouillon cube. You want this liquid to be highly seasoned, as it will determine the final seasoning of the rice.
Once the mixture is boiling, add the rice. Stir the rice to get it submerged and distribute the pigeon peas throughout.
Cover and allow the rice to absorb all the visible liquid. Once most of the visible surface liquid is absorbed, stir the rice, and cover again. Lower the flame to low, and allow it to steam for 20-25 minutes. It's done with all the liquid is absorbed and the grains are fluffy and fully cooked.
This recipe freezes very well, so make a big batch and portion it into storage bags for a quick weeknight side dish. To reheat, transfer into a microwave safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for a few minutes, stirring occasionally until the rice is hot & fluffy.
Spot on! It’s very rare I use a recipe & follow it to the T. I didn’t have to add or remove ANYTHING! Delicious !!!
thank you for the recipe
I absolutely had to go out of my way to rate this recipe! My boyfriend has been craving Puerto Rican rice and I had tried in the past to make it, but it just didn’t quite taste like home to him. This recipe was spot on!! Score!! I followed the recipe by the book and the rice had great flavor and consistency. Thank you so much for the win!
Wow! Made this for my husband’s birthday tonight and we loved it! I made the sofrito and sazón and used bacon. So good, thank you for an amazing recipe we will use often.
Hi, if I use frozen gandules do I need to thaw before or do they just go in frozen? Do they need to be cooked before?
fresh gandules from plant need to washed and soak for how long?
You can use them right away if they’re fresh and not dried.
The perfect rice is… the amount of water should cover the rice … and of course should be boiling and cook UNCOVEFED until dry. Then Cover and low heat until
Done. PUERTORRICAN /ABUELA…
How many more minutes once covered?
This recipe is delicious! I cooked it tonight and it is perfect…not too salty and simple to make. I am vegetarian so I omitted the ham and chicken broth…I used water ans a bit of veggie bouillion. Thanks for sharing. This is a keeper, it’s going in my recipe box in my pantry.
This is by far my FAVORITE recipe for arroz con gandules! At home, we eat it as the main dish with some pan francés… oooh! BOMB.com! Thanks for sharing this recipe!
Being from the island of Oahu, we eat different
kinds of foods. Gandules rice is one of the best
recipe we love.
Hawaiian, Filipino, Korean, Japanese, we love
it all. Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe ❤️
The recipe is definitely on point ()! I make it a lot up in this house, actually making some for the 4th ()! I personally, like to use salt pork but bacon is just as good but , I don’t like either soggy! I use the knorr or maggie (♀️♀️♀️). Sometimes , I put the chicken and tomate up in there (). Whatever’s the mood for that day! My Cauldron is a 4.8 but the sizes are usually on the box and after that it is lost (). Good size to have just wish I still had my cast iron one it was great for rice recipes’(). I like using both the sofrito and the recaito , and I don’t care if it’s fresh , bottled or frozen! Still delicious (♀️♀️♀️). This recipe is exactly how my Abuela did it and I kept it until this day (). Your a wonderful person for sharing this traditional recipe because a lot of traditions are lost these days (). Happy Holidays! WEPA
Cooked this tonight and love it! I didn’t check the water Rice ratio, because I do the typical 2:1. I didn’t have broth, so I did knorr chicken seasoning stuff lol thank you! #ChefCeeJones
My x-mother in law made the best Puerto Rican rice but couldn’t teach me because she didn’t measure, just threw the ingredients in. I thought about her rice for 20 years. Found this recipe and I no longer think of her rice, I think of mine. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe!
She couldn’t teach you huh? Sounds like they are exes for a reason. Could she ever explain how the rest of the island of Puerto Rico learns how to cook it? Haha! So glad you have your own masterpiece queen!!
I agree! It’s cruel not to teach! I watched a friend cook some Indian dishes, she measured with her hands, I was able to guestamate and teach others!
A real cook doesn’t measure. At least for us Mexicans that is. My great grandma, grandma and mom and I just know how much to put. Growing up in the kitchen you see and you taste and you learn. My grandma says cooking is like dancing. You can follow steps and count and be stiff and boring or you feel the music and let the rhythm be your guide, so is the same for cooking. You spice it up and make it your own. Follow the beat of your own drum or your own palette.
So if you’re not looking for measurements, what brought you to this recipe?
Does it have to be parboiled rice??
Hi this recipe looks AMAZING! I’m making this recipe this Friday. Question? For this EXACT recipe I noticed you didn’t put how much rice you put in. Can you please give me exact measurements PLEASE 🙂 . Also do you wash your rice before cooking? Thank you so much for your time.
Hi, the rice quantity is listed as the last ingredients. No rinsing required.
There is no rice quantity. The last item listed is stuffed olives.
The recipe says 2 cups.
Thank you so much! I’m very inexperienced in cooking, learning at the ripe age of 29….I wanted to cook the foods my Grandma used to make for my husband. This has turned out to be the best of my cooking experiences so far. I am loving your recipes, first time I’ve actually enjoyed cooking!
I learned this exact recipe from some lovely Puerto Rican ladies that I had worked with, and made it for years. However, I seemed to have misplaced the recipe, so thank you. This is a family favorite, especially along side a nice roasted Pernil, which is what I’ll be making for New Years Day.
Thanks again. Great website
Thank you Ken!
So simple and delicious!!! thank you for sharing your recipe
I had some wonderful Puerto Rican neighbors who invited me over to break bread with them on several occasions. They taught me how to cook.
They adopted me into their family.
If it weren’t for them, I never would have made it thru college.
Love them to pieces.
I would personally use fresh ingredients and no pre bought sofrito, adobo or sazon as it gives the rice a fake “preservative” flavor. You can also make your own chicken broth, use fresh culantro and heat annato seeds in your oil of preference for the distinctive color! For original fresh authentic Puerto Rican recipes refer to “Puerto Rican Cookery” by Valdelluly. It’s the most sacred traditional book and you can adjust it to your modern preferences. NEVER use “cubitos”, in cooking, taking these shortcuts affects the taste.
That’s just your preference. There is nothing wrong with using adobo, Sazon, chicken broth, or cubitos. The only thing I agree with is that you need fresh homemade sofrito. It’s still authentic and that’s how most of us were taught. It doesn’t affect any of the flavors in my food.
I make a smaller vegetarian version using essentially using this recipe with a few mods. 1. To me, Bell pepper overwhelms other flavors, so start with medium yellow onion, 2-3 cloves garlic, 1/4 cup Goya recaito sauteed in 1/4 cup olive oil. 2. Only one cup rice. 3. Two cups vegetable stock. 4. Only 1 packet Sazón Goya (cilantro y achiote). 5. Instead of tomato sauce or paste, add one can diced tomatoes with green chilies (Rotel”s my brand). Not sure it’s authentic, but works for me. I’ve never used anything but the canned dried gandules but may look for the fresh frozen ones. Local store has a fair selection of Hispanic and Caribbean foods.
You ought to take part in a contest for one of the finest sites on the web.
I am going to recommend this web site!
I’ve been looking for a way to make arroz con gandules for a while and I’m glad I came across yours! I’ve made it twice now and it hasn’t quite tasted like the real thing and it’s significantly redder than what I’ve had before. Then I realized from reading other sites that if you’re not using the sofrito recipe you’ve posted and want to buy it instead, you need to buy recaito not sofrito. (It would be great if that was noted in the recipe!). Looking forward to trying it next time with the recaito!
What are you doing wrong? You use Sofrito for arroz con gandules! Sofrito consists of cilantro and culantro (recao). Always make your own sofrito (super easy)! It’s homemade and tastes the best. Don’t buy store-bought or that will alter the taste of your rice.
The redness is from Sazon. You can use one packet of Sazon instead of 2. The preference is 2 packets.
If you buy sofrito from the store, say Goya brand, it is usually tomato based. Goya makes something else called recaito that is made with culantro/recao and is a pale green in color instead of red. They also sell frozen versions as well!
I use the frozen versions. I used the jar shelf versions how ever it just doesnt taste the same. The consistency in the jars just doesnt do it for me. Just started to use the frozen gandules
You need to use sofrito to make arroz con gandules. Emphasis on need. And when you use fresh cilantro leaves the recaito is not needed. Follow the directions to a “T” and you won’t have any problems. You want tomato base in your rice.
There are recipes to make homemade sofrito; it is quite easy to do.
Then you can have sofrito to use anytime in the freezer, but you can go to a hispanic (super)market and buy sofrito that is green instead of Goya’s red one.
Yes, check out our sofrito recipe! Puerto Rican Sofrito (Recaito)
I cooked this recipe at home.my guesi liked this recipe.
Delicious! Very authentic tasting. I have been looking for a good recipe for this and I have finally found it!
the recipe states to add sofrito. But can recaito be used instead?
Yes, for the purposes of this recipe, the terms Sofrito and Recaito are interchangeable.
Can i double the recepie in same pot?
It all depends how big your pot is.
Incredible results on my first try at making Arroz con gandulees your recipe is awesome and delicious thank you so much I love it…..!!!!!
I notice your do 2 cups rice and 3 cups of liquid, however, the Iberia Long Grain Parboiled Rice that I use other wise the ration for 2 cups rice is 4 1/4 cups water. Why do you cut down the liquid or is the brand you use different?
This is my rice to water ratio regardless of the brand, it makes the perfect rice consistency.
Good to know! I assumed maybe the wetness of the sofrito would possibly be enough. I just always get worried about crunchy rice. I swear I have no issues cooking but rice is my one thing that just is very hit or miss.
Yes parboiled rice is very forgiving, that’s why I love it!
Can this recipe only be done with parboiled rice.
No it can be made with any rice. For regular rice, make sure to rinse, and increase the liquid to 2 cups per 1 cup of rice.
What size calderon is used for this recipe? Is a 7 quart pot recommended for this? Or should I go with a different size? Thank you I’m advance. 🙂
Hi Julissa, I’m not sure what size mine is but it’s mid size, (not the mini one I use for only 2 people, and not the jumbo size one I use for parties).
My BIL is allergic to chicken what can i use instead of chicken bullion
You can use vegetable bouillon such as this. https://amzn.to/2Shb5OY
Absolutely the best freakin recipe for this! Ive tried others and ive always get mushy or undercooked rice! This was so easy and it always comes out perfectly and tastes so good! Thank u so much! Ive made this countless of times, so it always comes out perfect!
Thank you so much!
I love this recipe and it turned out great! I used Carolina parboiled rice. It was nice and soft as soon as I made it however, it became dry after leaving it in the pot the next day. Do you know if there is a reason why? Or should I adjust my water while cooking the rice?
Cooked rice typically hardens when cooled. You should always store cooked rice in a reusable container or zip top bag. Reheating in the microwave softens it right back up.
Thank you for this recipe..I used 2 packets of Sazon con (Achiote), 1 packet of Goya Sabor A Jamon, 1 packet of Goya Powdered Chicken Bouillon and also a capful of oil, that I make from Annatto seeds. Then chopped up some fresh Culantro (not Cilantro) because it tastes much better than Cilantro for me. And used Jasmine Rice instead. 🙂
Will this recipe fit in a 2.6 quart caldero?
Yup it will!
When I cook this can I substitute the ham for chopped fatback?
Heck yea that’s how my Abuela does it!
Hey just wanted to ask if I could use Goya sofrito instead of homemade?
Mine was mushy. I love pinto beans. Was I suppose to drain and rinse them first. I made my sofrito in a blender with bell pepper onion garlic cloves oregano tomatillos and green olives. Then I added more whole green olives to the pot. It’s the way my mom from Puerto Rico use to make it, by since I don’t eat much rice now, I don’t make it too often. Been craving it latelyTasewas great, but mushy
Hi Nancy, yes you have to drain and rinse the beans before use. And make sure you’re using parboiled long grain rice.
Hello I want to make this badly. I have dry pigeon peas though. Will this work? I’ll have to soak them but can I cook them all in the same pot with the sofrito?
Yes, you can definitely make this with dried gandules! Put the pigeon peas in a large pot, cover with 3 quarts of cold water, and place over medium heat. Cover and cook the beans until tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Check the water periodically; add more, if necessary, to keep the peas covered. Drain the pigeon peas & continue with the recipe.
I love this rice recipe but the wife is allergic to tomatoes. Can Cilantro or something else be substituted for the sofrito?
Hi, you can leave the cilantro out. Enjoy!
Made with quinoa in place of rice. Delicious.
Instead of chunks of meat can I add a packet of the jamon seasoning for the flavor? If so how manh packets and when do I add it?
Yes you can, just adjust the amount of salt/chicken bouillon you use in the recipe.
I have made this recipe now over 10 times and it is so simple and has the best flavors!
Do you have to soak the gandules first, or can I add it to the mixture. And what brand/type of gandules do you recommend!?
No you don’t have to soak them. I use Goya’s brand.
Thanks so much. Another question, your recipe says either country ham or bacon. Which do you recommend? And if i use country ham, which one is recommended?
I have tried different hard-boiled rices but the rice that you used in the recipe came out very nice and firm, just how I like it. What brand of rice did you use?
I’ve used Iberia and Canilla with great results.
Sazon has MSG. I avoid it as much as possible but so many recipes use it, I don’t know what to do.
Badia sells a version with no MSG. I use organic Sazón from a company called Loisa. No MSG! Check it out here! https://loisa.com/collections/seasonings/products/combo-2-pack
Thank you! My other question is when or how do I add fresh gandules? I grow my own.
You can add them at the same time that you would frozen or canned Gandules.
Have been trying to make this with regular rice for a while and it is always mushy. How much water do you reocmmend for regular medium grain rice??
The normal ratio for regular rice is 2 cups of liquid for 1 cup of rice.
I used basmati rice and I came out perfect.
That’s a great alternative!
Can I double this recipe?
Have you made this dish by adding canned octopus or hard pepperoni chunks?? and I always use parboiled rice so as I get that perfect rice texture all the time without using that magical pot lol
How do you parboil rice? For how long and what’s that process. Thank you.
Parboiled rice is sold as is in the dry state, check the label to confirm that you’re buying it.
Thank you for this recipe! Was delicious! I actually didnt have any parboiled rice on hand so i just rinsed the carolina long grain rice i had really really well; came out perfect 🙂
The recipe says to cook the rice UNCOVERED until the liquid is absorbed, then stir and cover until tender.
The video shows to cook it COVERED until the liquid is absorbed, then stir and cover again.
Which is best?
Hi, either way works!
I did the recipe the right way but I think there was too much water it came out to mushy.
Are you sure you used the right ratio of liquid to rice? Did you use parboiled rice? Also, if the liquid wasn’t boiling when you added the rice, this can happen.
Different types of rice need different amounts of water. Most Latino recipes use long grain or extra long grain. Short grain is very sticky and creamy and is better for risotto or rice pudding.
I made This And It Was Amazing! I Doubled Everything So I Had Twice The Amount of the recipe..I Did Have To Add About a Cup And A Half of Water, But it was Great!
Thank you very much!
This was wonderful! I sautéed a diced onion for a few minutes first, then I added about 8 cups of spinach after cooking the sofrito and tomato base, and let it cook down before adding the rest of the broth and continuing the steps. I also replaced the cilantro with recao because I did not have Sazon, and I used seasoned garlic broth to replace its flavor. I also omitted the ham, as I do not eat meat, and replaced the pigeon peas with black beans. Delicious! I think next time I will add a few extra tablespoons of sofrito, maybe another diced onion, and slightly more salt. When I tasted the broth as recommended before adding the rice, it seemed perfectly seasoned, but I think the rice masked some of the salty taste while it cooked, so I think it should taste just a touch too salty in order to taste perfect after the rice finishes cooking. Thanks for the recipe!
Oh, and I forgot to say that I don’t like olives, so I replaced them with capers, and they were lovely!
Thanks so much for sharing Ellie! Loved all your swaps and additions!
Can I use ginger instead garlic and onion? I can’t eat onions and garlic. Thank you.
I can’t speak to how the flavor would change without having tested the recipe, but ginger is not found in PR cuisine in general.
This recipe turned out sooooo good everyone was complimenting my rice
I’m so happy Yesenia, thanks for sharing!
Had to use minute rice (just cut final time down a little) because that’s all I had on hand and I added one full 8 ounce can of tomato sauce and this turned out absolutely amazing!!!!!!!! Best ever…
Wow that’s awesome Crystal!
I made this today for my office potluck and it went so fast I didn’t even get any for myself. Thank you for sharing. This recipe is spot on (and I’m not the best cook)
So happy to hear this!
I haven’t made this yet. Plan to make it for a birthday party. I got tons of basmati rice, will that still work?
Yes, Basmati rice works too!
So the first time I made this, it came out perfect. Then I doubled the recipe and I didn’t have the same result. Any advice would be appreciated
Hi Adam, what went wrong when you doubled the recipe?
What would be the water to rice ratio if I use Jasmine rice? I’m also doubling the recipe.
Hi Roxana, jasmine rice requires 2 cups of liquid per cup of rice, so I would go with that ratio.
Can pre cook rice then add /combine all other ingredients
Unfortunately no, you have to use dry, uncooked rice for this recipe.
Hi, I was wondering if this would work with Jasmine rice?
Hi Kayla, yes Jasmine rice would work nicely but you should definitely rinse it before using it.
I made this also cus I’m used to making Congris . I just added black olives with green ! Thanks
Thank you Ysidora!
can I use smoked turkey neck instead of the ham?
Or do you have any other suggestions ?
I also used the sofrito in the jar is that ok?
Hi Marie, a smoked turkey neck would be delish! I have also used bacon and kielbasa sausage, both work great. Sofrito in a jar is perfectly fine too.
Jannese- Thank you for posting your delicious recipe, I’ve made it several times for family and friends who all loved it. My 26 year old son told me I was cooking like a Puerto Rican grandmother! One of the best compliments ever. ( I’m a 56 year old guy whose ancestry is German and English)
Prepared the rice exactly per your instructions and it’s perfect every time. It’s nice to give the potatoes a break and enjoy arroz con gandules!
Thanks Jim! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe! That is THE best compliment ever!
Loved loved looooved this! My boyfriend Is puertorican and has been dying for me to cook him some authentic food. I tried it last night and it was a hit! It took him back to his parents cooking. Thank you so much! You are phenomenal! Btw I used your sofrito and it’s super easy/flavorful.
Thank you Maddie! So glad you and your boyfriend enjoyed the recipe!
With this recipe can I add chicken to the pot??
Hi Latricia, yes you can! Sauté it with the sofrito and spices and then go from there.
Hello, I want make this recipe for a party of 30. How much rice and how much water would I need.
Thanks in advance.
Hi Karina, my recipe feeds about eight so in your case I would quadruple it.
I dont have sofrito on hand so is it ok to make PR rice without it?
As Sofrito provides an essential flavor profile to this recipe I would highly recommend making or buying some prior to trying to attempt this recipe, as I can’t be certain how it will turn out without the necessary ingredients.
How much rice I need to cook it just for 2 people and how much water then?? Plz let me know 😉
1 cup of rice, 1 & 3/4 cup water.
Thank you so much I just cooked the rice wow it was so good I can’t believe I did it. I always try to cook Spanish rice but never came out good I’m so happy now. Thanks 😉
Can I used packaged yellow rice?
No unfortunately that won’t work in this recipe.
I made this recipe tonight in the pressure cooker since I had to work all day today. It came out sticky :/ any idea?? Greatly appreciated 🙂
I Angela I’ve never used a pressure cooker to make a list so I’m not exactly sure how the recipe would be converted properly
This is on point. Made it today for Thanksgiving y me gustó muchísimo. I didn’t have aceitunas, so I substituted using 1 small capful of white vinegar. For pork lovers, I used diced tocinos from the butcher, stir fried it a bit with the olive oil and OMG the aroma and taste. Most def a staple dish for our Puertoriqueño Thanksgiving. Happy 2016 Thanksgiving everyone! DIOS LOS BENDIGA SIEMPRE, AMÉN ✌
Thank you Rosie!
HI! I am new to cooking Puerto Rican food so please forgive me if this is a dumb question… what kind of tomato sauce are you putting in the recipie ? When I think tomato sauce I’m thinking Italian tomato sauce but your pics look more like a paste.. I just want to make sure I am doing it right! Thank you so much!!
I use plain tomato sauce not pasta sauce, you can find it in the canned tomato aisle by the tomato paste.
Little can of goya spanish style tomato sauce, found in latino aisle of supermarket
I’ve already made your recipe 3 times in 2 weeks! Amazing!!!!!!!
Awesome thanks Nancy!
I notice you say in the recipe to keep the pot uncovered for the first part of the cooking (after the rice is added) and then cover it for the last part, but in the video you cover the pot for the entire cooking time after adding the rice. Does it really not make much of a difference? Which do you prefer? Thank you for this wonderful recipe!
It doesn’t make much of a difference if this lid is on or off, as long as you use parboiled rice and keep the heat on medium until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid.
Hello. I’m going to be making this dish for approx 80 people so I want to cook 20lbs of rice 10lbs at a time. I’m going to be using dried grandules. That isn’t my issue though. How much liquid did you use to make the 10lbs of rice. I know long grain rice usually has a 1:1 ratio but what is the rice to liquid ratio for parboiled rice.
Regular rice is 2:1 liquid to rice ration, parboiled rice is about 1.5:1
♀️ my medium grain rice says 2 cups rice with 3 cups water can I do the same and just add in all the ingredients?
I haven’t tested this, so I cannot confirm the measurements that you would need to adjust.
Can I double the recipe?
Yes you can!
Hi there,.. I was married to a Puerto Rican man for 20 years.. His mother made the best food ever! She liked using small grain rice.. which I love too.. I remember her rinsing the rice many times before putting it in the pot. I am wondering if they produce parboiled short grain rice?
I haven’t seen it Dorothy but if you find it let me know where!
You KILLIN IT with this site! Xoxo
I need to make a big batch, enough to feed 40 people. Should I keep the amount of water equal to the rice (2 cups rice needs 3.5 cups water)? So 8 cups of rice will require 14 cups of water? Or does the water get slightly reduced when making a large amount?
Thanks for your help in advance!
Hi Carolina, rice recipes don’t scale up exactly, but your ratios are a good place to start. If you end up needing more liquid, you can add it in after the rice has absorbed most of the initial liquid. Parboiled rice is very forgiving.
I’m currently making this recipe right now and I was a bit confused bc u said put 3.5 cups of water then below it says 3 cups then the chicken bouillon said One teaspoon the one below said one packet hopefully it turns out ok bc I can never make this recipe right but this is my last try but ur directions seem pretty good besides that part
I updated the recipe, thanks for letting me know about the discrepancies!
Thanks it turned out goodfor once Lol I will save ur awesome recipe 🙂
Was so nervous about using parboiled rice, made this and it is awesome!
Thanks Michelle! I think parboiled rice is the best for people who are afraid of cooking rice. It comes out great every time!
Thank you so much for the tip about the rice! Growing up, my Puerto Rican mother always made arroz con pollo and the rice was never mushy. She never measured the rice just poured into the liquid and knew when it was enough and cooked to perfection. I had forgotten she used Uncle Ben’s brand of rice until I read your recipe. I’ve made arror con gandules with several different brands of rice trying to achieve the texture and consistency of Uncle Ben’s rice. I never could get it right and then I tried your recipe. Aaaahhh, it turned out perfectly! The consistency is exactly how my mother’s rice would turn out. From now on, I will only use parboiled rice.
That’s awesome Carmen!!
Thanks it came out good
I made this tonight. Overall it was an extremely good dish. I will most likely halve the cilantro the next time. I’m not that accustomed to its strong flavor.
I’ve watched the mamitas of my Puerto Rican friends in New York City make arroz con gandules and they never used cilantro in anything they cooked, not in the arroz con pollo nor guisos nor anything but in America now on tv they always promote it in Cuban and Puerto Rican dishes but I’ve never seen it used. No chance anybody put it in and served it to me to fool me, because that strong soapy taste is really harsh if you’re not used to it. Also, if it’s eliminated the dish will still be delicious.
Hi Phyllis, you are correct, cilantro is not the most traditional ingredient in this recipe, as culantro is the preferred herb of the island. Similar in flavor, it looks like broad wide leaves, almost like dandelion leaves. Since that is rather difficult to find unless you have a Latin market in your area, I substitute cilantro most of the time for ease. Did you know, about 8%-10% of people find that cilantro tastes like soap to them? It’s a generic phenomenon! As you mentioned, the dish is perfectly fine without it, I just love the herby freshness if gives the dish. Thanks for stopping by!
How much adobo do you use?
It’s really to taste depending on the saltiness of your other ingredients, I would treat it like salt and adjust your recipe accordingly.
I never heard of the ham in sofrito either. Maybe she was talking about the ham in the recipe. You know when you buy GOYA Recaito, it is the same ingredients as making homemade sofrito. Maybe that is why the dish came out so good! I have been making rice and gandules for years, but I tried it this time with your chicken bouillon, good idea. I used Long grain rice and measure by eye. Then, I put my rice in before the water. I stir the rice inside of all the seasonings and beans and let it take the flavors, then I add the water. It makes a difference. But Great Recipe!
Loved the ingredients of your recipe, I will definitely try it and let you know my impression. Let me clarify something, I am a native born puertorrican. Sofrito does not have pork. Granted. However if you want to make an authentic arroz con gandules, the first thing you put in that caldero after you heat the oil is either diced ham or some diced pork rib. Don’t take my word and check authentic recipes of Puerto Rican arroz con gandules and you will see. The “bible” of Puerto Rican cookery is a book that the original edition came out in 1954, called Cocine a Gusto by Carmen Aboy de Valdejulli, you will find it in amazon or any other good book store. Check her arroz con gandules recipe and you will see that it does have pork. Needless to say, if you do not want to add pork that is your prerogative. I hope this clarifies the different opinions on the arroz con gandules with or without pork
So delicious! Thanks so much for posting this recipe
Hi, I wanted to ask you I’m making arroz con gandules for about 20 people how many cups of rice is that? And also how would I change the recipe for that much rice?
My recipe feeds 6-8 people so you can multiple everything by 2.5. One cup of uncooked rice becomes about 2.5 cups of cooked rice.
What if Im using goya rice after rinsing do I use 2 cups rice and 3 cups water ?
Use 3.5 cups of water for regular rice.
Question, if I double the recipe do I double the time for steaming?
That’s a good idea Jane, yes cook time will take a bit longer.
I like putting a piece of smoked turkey in pot.. adds some nice flavor.
That sounds delicious!
I never heard anyone using ham in the puerto rican sofrito .I come from a really huge puerto rican family and we all make our own sofrito not one of us uses ham or any protein but ppl have different ways of making it .
Hi Maria, I don’t use ham either.
I sm going to try it maybe it will come out as good as when i was in puerto rico when i was young i use to cook dishes like this. Homemade sofrito is only veggies but people do put ham in the dish to add a meat flavor but it is good by itself.
I’d only be worried about having sofrito sit in the fridge for days with meat in it. If you make it with ham, I suggest freezing portions in little cups or ice cubes so that it stays fresh until you’re ready to use it.
That right , we don’t used ham in our Sofrito, what r they talking about.
Sofrito in a jar is made with pork. It’s listed in the ingredients list. Using Recaito or making homemade Sofrito works best.
Next week is my neighbors 70th birthday party. I wanted to make something rather authentic to take and found your site. YAY!! I am planning to bring this this rice dish along with your Pernil recipe. I’m pretty confident on the Pernil but wanted to make the rice at least once before hand to make sure I got it right I purchased a Caldero, which personally I think that made a world of difference, and using the parpoiled rice I have to say I have achieved rice perfection like my neighbor (now I know the secret.) While I can’t say I did true justice to this dish, I think I did a pretty good job. Lovely dish with well developed flavors. Thank you for sharing.
This make me so happy! Comments like this are the reason I made this blog, I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe.
Can i make this with brown rice
Hi Ivonne, I’ve never tried it, but it’s worth a shot! Let me know how it goes.
I’ve used the brown rice and it is just a delicious and healthier.
How long do you parboil the rice??
There is no parboil step. The rice comes parboiled, it will indicate that in the package when you buy it.
Thank for this recipe!!
You mentioned that you didn’t use ham because the guests you made it for didn’t eat pork. Sofrito has pork in it, therefore I used Recaito. It came out great!
Hi Bisa! That’s awesome! My sofrito doesn’t have any protein, it’s just veggies.
Sofrito has pork in it, who said that, i never made sofrito with pork in it
You don’t use ham in Sofrito, someone taught you wrong, only made with vegetables
can u pls let me know which rice u have used here? Am in Canada and love the long grain boiled rice but don’t know which brand to buy other than uncle bens???!!!
Hi Ginelle! I use parboiled rice (that’s the type of rice) because it’s had a bit of the starch removed, so it prevents the rice from sticking. If you use regular long grain white rice you’ll want to use a 2-1 ratio for the liquid to rice.
Thanks for such a great recipe!!!
That recipe worked and me and my mom thought the rice tasted good and i taste like how we usually make it
using remaining brown and long grain rice for mine. Hope it works out. I’ll let you know how it comes out
Thank you for sharing your recipe I have been asking my family to show me how to make this I am so happy to have a recipe my Dad was from P.R. I was so young when they divorced I never learned to cook Latin food or speak Spanish so I am very thankful for your help I will let you know how it turns out thanks so much Jackie Jimenez Collins
Awesome Jackie, good luck!
You can wash the rice 4 or 5 times, till the water is not milky, and it works just as well for not having mushy, sticky rice
Thank you SO.. MUCH for this delicious recipe of Arroz con Gandules! It brought me flashbacks of my childhood days in NY and my kind, sweet, P.R. babysitter who use to cook for me this delicious rice plate (which was my FAVORITE). Since I’m not Puertorican, I didn’t know how to do this plate, but now thanks to you and your delicious recipe, all thatt has changed, thanks! 🙂
This makes me so happy! Thank you Gladys!
Better than my Abuela in law’s. By far…just don’t tell her!
That’s the biggest compliment ever! Thank you!