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.

Puerto Rico has always been known for a very strong vibrant  historical food culture that combines influences of 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 and pigeon peasThe 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 of the local markets in the ethnic foods section to make the recipe easier.

rice and pigeon peas 3I’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.

Rice and Pigeon PeasMany recipes for Rice with Pigeon Peas { Arroz Con Gandules } are similar with 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 Virgina for inspiring this fabulous recipe today.

Virgina my ex-fiances mom was born and raised in Yauco, Puerto Rico, and came to the United States in the late 80′  to early 90’s. Let me tell you that beautiful woman can cook a Puerto Rican feast that will leave you begging for more.

rice and pigeon peas 2Rice 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 simply omit the chicken broth and use vegetable broth to replace.

Rice with Pigeon Peas { Arroz Con Gandules }

  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1-8-ounce can of Spanish tomato sauce
  • 1/2 of a cup of sofrito
  • 1 packet of Sazon Seasoning with achiote
  • 1/4 of a teaspoon of Adobo seasoning
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 cup of chicken broth
  • 2 cups long grain rice
  • 1-16- ounce can of pigeon peas aka gandules rinsed
  • 16 green olives
  • kosher salt to own taste
  • fresh ground pepper to own taste


  1. In a medium rice pot or caldron add the oil, tomato sauce, olives, sofrito, sazon, and adobo seasoning. Cook ingredients over medium heat for about 4-5 minutes.
  2.  Add 3 cups of water, and 1 cup of chicken broth to the pot or caldron, bring to a light boil, then add 2 cups of long grain rice, rinsed pigeon peas, olives, kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper to own taste.
  3. Bring the rice mixture to a boil,  cook the rice over high heat until most of the water is absorbed. Once the water has been absorbed, stir gently from bottom to top – once or twice only, cover and turn the heat down to lowest heat setting.
  4. Cook for 30 minutes or until the rice is tender.
  5. Let the rice sit for about 5 minutes covered the fluff with a fork.

© Heidy L. McCallum and The McCallum’s Shamrock Patch,2016- 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material or photos without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner are strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Heidy L. McCallum and The McCallum’s Shamrock Patch with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. You may not copy and paste recipes to share on Social Platforms.


Rice with Pigeon Peas { Arroz Con Gandules } pinterest



  1. 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!!


  2. 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!!


    • 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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