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Rice with Pigeon Peas { Arroz Con Gandules }

Rice with Pigeon Peas { Arroz Con Gandules } is one of my favorite Puerto Rican recipes usually served on holidays, and special occasions, made with medium-grain rice, Spanish tomato sauce, sofrito, pigeon peas, green olives, capers, and seasoned with Sazon Seasoning with achiote, kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper.

Puerto Rico has always been known for a robust, vibrant historical food culture that combines Spanish, African, and Taíno cuisines. The Taínos were some of the original Caribbean and Central American settlers.  One of the better-known dishes from the island is Rice with Pigeon Peas { Arroz Con Gandules }

 

 

Rice with Pigeon Peas { Arroz Con Gandules } is one of my favorite Puerto Rican recipes usually served on Holidays and special occasions, made with long grain rice, Spanish tomato sauce, sofrito, pigeon peas, green olives, and seasoned with Sazon Seasoning with achiote, kosher salt, and freshly ground peppers.The sofrito is the most important part of seasoning the Rice with Pigeon Peas { Arroz Con Gandules } The sofrito, which is used as a base in many recipes, typically consists of the following ingredients: Recao, cilantro, onions, garlic, sweet small peppers, green cubanelle peppers. However, you can find Sofrito in many local markets in the ethnic foods section to make the recipe easier.

 

 

 

I’m a typical lime lover, so I like to add a little fresh squeezed lime juice over my Rice with Pigeon Peas { Arroz Con Gandules } when it has finished cooking. You don’t have to if you’re not a big fan of lime or prefer yours a bit more traditional.

Many recipes for Rice with Pigeon Peas { Arroz Con Gandules } are similar to the list of ingredients, give or take a few. My recipe was given to me by my ex-fiances mother, Virginia, years ago. So, I hope you don’t mind that I give her a shout out and “Thank you” to Virginia for inspiring this fabulous recipe today.

 

 

 

Rice with Pigeon Peas { Arroz Con Gandules } is one of my favorite Puerto Rican recipes usually served on Holidays and special occasions, made with long grain rice, Spanish tomato sauce, sofrito, pigeon peas, green olives, and seasoned with Sazon Seasoning with achiote, kosher salt, and freshly ground peppers.Virginia, my ex-fiances mom, was born and raised in Yauco, Puerto Rico, and came to the United States in the late 80′ to early ’90s. Let me tell you that a beautiful woman can cook a Puerto Rican feast that will leave you begging for more.

 

 

 

 

Rice with Pigeon Peas { Arroz Con Gandules } is one of my favorite Puerto Rican recipes usually served on Holidays and special occasions, made with long grain rice, Spanish tomato sauce, sofrito, pigeon peas, green olives, and seasoned with Sazon Seasoning with achiote, kosher salt, and freshly ground peppers.Rice with Pigeon Peas { Arroz Con Gandules } is one of the quintessential rice dishes that every Puerto Rican family has their own method of making. I have chosen a meatless version of the recipe to share with you today below. If you are a vegetarian, omit the chicken broth and use vegetable broth to replace it.

 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. I do not have time to make a homemade sofrito. What can I use to substitute? You can purchase sofrito sauce or Recaito in the international section at your local market.
  2. How do I make homemade sazon seasoning for this recipe without MSG? Combine one tablespoon of fine Kosher salt, turmeric, white pepper, ground coriander, ground annatto, garlic powder, and oregano. Combine ingredients and store in a jar in a cool dark place. 
  3. How long can the Rice with Pigeon Peas be stored in the refrigerator? Once the Rice with Pigeon Peas has completely cooled, you can store this in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.  It can be reheated in the microwave on medium power. Be sure to stir it a few times to fluff and heat evenly. *I also usually place a damp paper towel over the top of it when reheating.
  4. Can I freeze the Rice with Pigeon Peas? Yes, once it has completely cooled, you can pack into freezer bags packed flat to save space and remove all the air. This will keep for a month in the freezer. Thaw it completely, and microwave is as described above.
  5. I do not have chicken stock. Can I use low-sodium chicken broth? If you are in a bind and need regular broth, the ratio will be one cup of regular broth to three water cups. If you only have low-sodium broth, the ratio is two cups low-sodium broth to two cups of water.
  6. Can I add meat to the Rice with Pigeon Peas { Arroz Con Gandules }? Yes, meat can be added. You can add diced ham, or you can add thick fried bacon. You will cook the meat first in the cauldron and then proceed to the first step of the recipe on the card below.
  7. I am a vegetarian. How can I make this recipe for Rice with Pigeon Peas { Arroz Con Gandules } vegetarian friendly? This will be fairly simple to modify. Use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock, do not add the optional meats listed above, and use a vegan sofrito as some do contain meat products at the market.

 

 

 

 

How do I make simple Sorfrito?

  • Two medium to large yellow onions, cut into chunks
  • Two medium green bell peppers, cut into chunks
  • Two medium cubanelle peppers, cut into chunks
  • One medium red bell peppers, cut into chunks
  • Three heads of garlic, peeled
  • Two bunches of cilantro washed and roughly chopped
  • Two bunches of green onion, cut into segments
  • Two packets of Goya Sazón con Culantro y Achiote
  • Kosher salt
  • Cracked black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil

 

 

Method

  1. In small batches, combine the ingredients with a small amount of water into a food processor and pulse until it is the consistency of a slightly more smooth than salsa. Use a  plastic spatula, make to scrape along the food processor’s sides to get all the chunks broken down.
  2. Repeat these steps until all of the ingredients are combined and blended.’
  3.  Place the homemade sofrito in an air-tight container if using immediately or spoon small amounts into icecube trays until frozen. Once frozen, remove from icecube trays and store in airtight freezer bags until ready for use.

 

 

 

 

Rice with Pigeon Peas { Arroz Con Gandules } is one of my favorite Puerto Rican recipes usually served on Holidays and special occasions, made with long grain rice, Spanish tomato sauce, sofrito, pigeon peas, green olives, and seasoned with Sazon Seasoning with achiote, kosher salt, and freshly ground peppers.

Rice with Pigeon Peas { Arroz Con Gandules }

hmccallum
Rice with Pigeon Peas { Arroz Con Gandules } is one of my favorite Puerto Rican recipes usually served on holidays and special occasions, made with long grain rice, Spanish tomato sauce, sofrito, pigeon peas, green olives, and seasoned with Sazon Seasoning with achiote, kosher salt, and freshly ground peppers.
4.67 from 12 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Rest 5 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Puerto Rican
Servings 8 People
Calories 450 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup cubed ham or sliced bacon fried- optional
  • 3 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 1-8- ounce can Spanish tomato sauce
  • ½ cup Sofrito homemade simple sofrito preferred
  • 1 packet Sazon Seasoning with achiote
  • ¼ teaspoon Adobo seasoning
  • 4 cups Chicken stock do not use regular broth broth
  • 2 cups Medium-grain rice rinsed and cleaned
  • 1-16- ounce can Pigeon peas aka gandules rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon Capers aka alcaparras optional
  • 16 Green olives with pimentos
  • kosher salt to own taste
  • freshly ground pepper to own taste

Instructions
 

  • Optional In a medium caldron cook the cubed ham or thick bacon until done. *If using bacon chop the bacon before proceeding to the next step*
  • In a medium rice pot or caldron add the oil, Spanish tomato sauce, homemade sofrito, sazon, and adobo seasoning. Cook ingredients over medium heat for about 4-5 minutes.
  • Add 4 cups chicken stock to the pot or caldron, bring to a light boil, then add 2 cups of rinsed rice, rinsed pigeon peas, olives, capers, kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper to own taste. Cover with a tight-fitting lid.
  • Bring the rice mixture to a boil, cook the rice over moderate heat until most of the liquids are absorbed--about 5 minutes. Once the chicken stock has been absorbed, stir gently from bottom to top – once or twice only, cover with a lid again and turn the heat down to the lowest heat setting.
  • Cook for 20 minutes or until the rice is tender.
  • Let the rice sit for about 5 minutes covered then fluff with a fork.

Nutrition

Serving: 01Calories: 450kcalCarbohydrates: 0gProtein: 0gFat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0gMonounsaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 0mgPotassium: 0mgFiber: 0gSugar: 0gVitamin A: 0IUVitamin C: 0mgCalcium: 0mgIron: 0mg
Keyword Arroz Con Gandules, Pigeon Peas, Rice, Rice with Pigeon Peas
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Rice with Pigeon Peas { Arroz Con Gandules } is one of my favorite Puerto Rican recipes usually served on Holidays and special occasions, made with long grain rice, Spanish tomato sauce, sofrito, pigeon peas, green olives, and seasoned with Sazon Seasoning with achiote, kosher salt, and freshly ground peppers.

 

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19 Comments

  • Reply
    Moros y Cristianos | The McCallum's Shamrock Patch
    December 30, 2020 at 11:43 am

    […] Rice with Pigeon Peas { Arroz Con Gandules } is one of my favorite Puerto Rican recipes usually served on holidays, and special occasions, made with medium-grain rice, Spanish tomato sauce, sofrito, pigeon peas, green olives, capers, and seasoned with Sazon Seasoning with achiote, kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper. […]

  • Reply
    Tammy Martin
    October 6, 2020 at 4:18 pm

    When do you add the olives? You have it in both 1 and 2 so I am unsure.
    Thanks
    Tammy

    • Reply
      hmccallum
      October 7, 2020 at 9:41 am

      Sorry about that! Apparently, when I made an update I missed that. You will technically add it in step 3 now. I have added an optional step for those who would like meat in their recipe. I hope that helps. Have a great day and thank you for bringing that to my attention.

  • Reply
    Alexis Colon
    August 27, 2020 at 4:26 pm

    Hello, how would I adjust the liquid for brown rice ?

    • Reply
      hmccallum
      August 28, 2020 at 12:10 pm

      Good day, Alexis. I would say the results would be fairly simular, However, I would suggest looking at the package and reading what they suggest for their brand and just adjusting it from there. I hope this helps you! Enjoy!
      Heidy

  • Reply
    Relina
    August 16, 2020 at 8:34 am

    This was an excellent recipe. It reminds me of my grandmother’s Arroz Con Gandules. Well done. The directions were awesome and believe you me I followed them to the letter.

    • Reply
      hmccallum
      August 28, 2020 at 12:08 pm

      Thank you, Relina! I enjoy hearing the results! Have an awesome day.
      H

  • Reply
    Brooke
    July 14, 2020 at 7:29 pm

    Ugh, my rice stuck to the bottom of the pan while on high heat-absorbing water. What did I do wrong? Should I have added oil to the pot?

    • Reply
      hmccallum
      August 28, 2020 at 12:07 pm

      I am sorry to hear that Brooke.

  • Reply
    Lynette
    July 27, 2019 at 11:42 am

    No lid while boiling? That threw me off! Did I miss it in the instructions?

    • Reply
      hmccallum
      July 30, 2019 at 10:18 am

      Good morning, Lynette please see the recipe card as it mentions covering with a lid. Thanks for asking though. Have a wonderful day.

  • Reply
    Nanaimo
    November 20, 2018 at 9:14 am

    I’m going to make this week.let see what happens if I can follow it right.Im crossing my fingers with this. Thanks for sharing looks great..

    • Reply
      Heidy McCallum
      November 29, 2018 at 11:51 am

      Hi, Nanaimo, did you make it? Let me know if enjoyed it! Have a great day.

  • Reply
    Sharon Hudson
    December 17, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    I’m making this today and in the picture it look’s like dices of tomato is in the rice but not in the ingredients what is the red chunks in the picture??

    • Reply
      Bianca Kelley
      March 28, 2018 at 11:22 pm

      Peppers or pimento murron
      Comes canned in Spanish section

  • Reply
    Elizabeth Campos
    November 15, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    Thank you for sharing this recipe!

    Many years ago I sat with my God Mother, who made the best arroz con gandules.
    Unfortunately each time I tried to replicate it something. I gave up making it until I discovered your recipe. Just the way I remembered it. Thank you for bring those memories back, the rice came out delicious!!

    • Reply
      Heidy L. McCallum
      November 20, 2017 at 2:51 pm

      AWW, this is one of the best compliments I have had in ages Elizabeth, Thank you, I am so happy to hear this.

  • Reply
    Pete Murway
    July 13, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    Heidy, Thank you for posting this wonderful dish! My question is, what are pigon peas and where do you find them? I’m just board with the meals I’m making and looking for something new and flavorfull Thanks much!!

    • Reply
      Heidy L. McCallum
      July 13, 2016 at 4:07 pm

      Hi, Pete, I am in Florida so they are easily found in our markets, however, if you have a Spanish market or ethnic section in your own market you should be able to find them easily. If you can not you can always use another bean and it will taste a bit different but still be delicious!

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