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    Arroz con Gandules

    This Arroz con Gandules recipe may be my new favorite rice dish! Tender rice with pigeon peas, generously flavored with salted pork, sofrito, tomato sauce and some great Latin seasonings.

    Along with pernil (roasted pork), this is the national dish of Puerto Rico. It’s such a great side dish to have in your repertoire, as it goes well with so many things.

    If you’re a big fan of big flavor, this Puerto Rican rice is a must!

    This Arroz con Gandules recipe may be my new favorite rice dish! Tender rice with pigeon peas, generously flavored with salted pork, sofrito, tomato sauce and some great Latin seasonings.

    We love Latin food, and are always cooking up new recipes. Some of our favorites are ropa vieja (Cuban shredded beef), pollo guisado (chicken stew), and bistec encebollado (steak & onions).

    This arroz con gandules is the newest to find its way into our regular rotation.

    What is Arroz con Gandules?

    Meaning “rice with pigeon peas”, this is a Puerto Rican rice preparation typically served around Christmas and other special occasions. But it’s so good and so easy, it’s great any time!

    It’s one of those traditional dishes that has many little variations, as the recipes vary from family to family, passing down the generations.

    Some typical ingredients include salted pork, tomato, sazon, cumin, oregano, bay leaves and olives.

    The real star though is sofrito, a combination of peppers, onion, garlic, cilantro and culantro. You can find it in the Latin section of your grocery store, but if you love fresh, check out my homemade sofrito recipe. It only takes a few minutes.

    This Arroz con Gandules recipe may be my new favorite rice dish! Tender rice with pigeon peas, generously flavored with salted pork, sofrito, tomato sauce and some great Latin seasonings.

    What kind of rice to use

    Although not traditional, we used basmati. We always have it around and love how it cooks perfect every time.

    If you use the more traditional medium or long grained rice, it is very important to rinse it well before adding it into the pot. This removes some of the starch and prevents everything from getting too mushy.

    Parboiled rice is another good option, as some of the starch has already been removed. In this case, as it has already been partially cooked, you would want to reduce the cooking time by ten minutes.

    Ingredients

    As mentioned, the ingredients can vary. Here is what we used today:

    • Rice
    • Pigeon peas (gandules)
    • Sofrito
    • Crushed tomatoes
    • Bacon
    • Olives
    • Chicken stock
    • Seasonings – cumin, oregano, bay leaves, sazon con anchiote (a seasoning you can find in the Latin section of your grocery store).

    How to make Arroz con Gandules

    This amazing dish comes together pretty easy.

    First, cut your bacon into one inch pieces and fry it in the pot you will be cooking the arroz in. We used a 5 quart dutch oven. Remove the bacon and save for later.

    Add in sofrito, tomato and sazon. Give it a stir and cook for a few minutes.

    Add stock, pigeon peas, olives and seasonings. Bring it to a boil.

    Stir in the rice and cooked bacon. Mix everything well, reduce heat and cover. Cook for 25-30 minutes.

    This Arroz con Gandules recipe may be my new favorite rice dish! Tender rice with pigeon peas, generously flavored with salted pork, sofrito, tomato sauce and some great Latin seasonings.

    When the rice is tender and the water is absorbed, stir everything gently, trying not to disturb the bottom. The rice that sticks to the bottom (called pegao) becomes crispy and is the most prized part of the dish!

    This Arroz con Gandules recipe may be my new favorite rice dish! Tender rice with pigeon peas, generously flavored with salted pork, sofrito, tomato sauce and some great Latin seasonings.

    What to serve with Arroz con Gandules

    It is most commonly associated with pernil, which is marinated and roasted pork shoulder. The two combine to make the stars of a traditional Puerto Rican Christmas spread. The combo goes great with maduros or tostones.

    Arroz con gandules with pernil.

    We can also see it going well with other Latin meat dishes like picadillo or barbacoa.

    This is also a great side dish for any kind of grilled or roasted meat. Think chicken, pork chops or even fish.

    Storing leftovers

    Arroz con gandules refrigerates well for 4-5 days in an airtight container. Reheat on stovetop or in the microwave, adding a sprinkle of water.

    It also freezes well. I keep it in freezer rated ziploc bags and squeeze out as much air as I can before freezing.

    This Arroz con Gandules recipe may be my new favorite rice dish! Tender rice with pigeon peas, generously flavored with salted pork, sofrito, tomato sauce and some great Latin seasonings.

    So there you go, yet another Latin flavor bomb. Arroz con gandules has quickly become one of our staple side dishes. Give it a try, we’re sure you’ll love it!

    Please leave a comment and review when you cook this, I love hearing from you! And be sure to subscribe to the GypsyPlate mailing list, we’re always cooking up new recipes for you!

    Arroz con Gandules (along with Pernil), on my Gypsy Plate… enjoy!

    Arroz con gandules and pernil on the Gyspy Plate.

    Try these other great Latin recipes!
    Albondigas Soup
    Barbacoa Pork
    Pastel de Choclo
    Flank Steak Fajitas
    Guasacaca

    Featured image for arroz con gandules post.

    Arroz con Gandules

    Yield: 8 servings
    Prep Time: 5 minutes
    Cook Time: 35 minutes
    Total Time: 40 minutes

    This Arroz con Gandules recipe may be my new favorite rice dish! Tender rice with pigeon peas, generously flavored with salted pork, sofrito, tomato sauce and some great Latin seasonings.

    Ingredients

    • 4 strips of bacon, cut into one inch pieces
    • 1/2 cup sofrito (see note 1)
    • 1/3 cup crushed tomatoes
    • 1 packet sazón con culantro y achiote (I use Goya brand)
    • 2 cups chicken stock
    • 1 15oz can pigeon peas, drained
    • 1/2 cup green olives, halved
    • 1 tsp dried oregano
    • 1/4 tsp cumin powder
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 2 cups white rice (see note 2)

    Instructions

    1. In a large pot such as a dutch oven or caldero over medium high heat, fry bacon until crisp. Remove from pan for later use.
    2. Add sofrito, crushed tomato and sazon to the pot. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes.
    3. Add chicken stock, pigeon peas, oregano, cumin and bay leaves to the pot. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil.
    4. Stir in rice. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook 25-30 minutes, until rice is tender and all water is absorbed.

    Notes

    1. You can use store bought or follow my recipe for homemade sofrito.
    2. We used basmati. For conventional long or medium grain rice, be sure to first rinse the rice well to remove starch.

    Nutrition Information
    Yield 8 Serving Size 1
    Amount Per Serving Calories 219Total Fat 8gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 7mgSodium 572mgCarbohydrates 28gFiber 5gSugar 2gProtein 10g

    Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

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