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Arroz Con Gandules | Delish D'Lites

Arroz Con Gandules (Puerto Rican Rice with Pigeon Peas)

Course Side Dish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8


  • 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


  1. 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.

  2. Next add in the Sazon, tomato sauce or paste and chicken bouillon. Stir to combine.

  3. 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.

  4. Once the mixture is boiling, add the rice. Stir the rice to get it submerged and distribute the pigeon peas throughout.

  5. 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.

Recipe Notes

 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.