Arroz con Gandules (Rice with Pigeon Peas)

Margaret G


This is the "official dish" of Puerto Rico. It was taught to me by my "brother from another mother," Julio. No Carribean family gathering is without this at the dinner table. I use brown rice for mine, because it is more nutritious. You can also use arborio or regular long grain white rice. Adjust water and cook time accordingly.
Check out my homemade sofrito recipe for the base of this dish.


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5 Min
45 Min
Stove Top


  • 2 Tbsp
    cooking oil or bacon fat
  • 4 oz
    cubed ham or cooked pork
  • 3
    cubes of sofrito (recaito)
  • 2 c
    long grain rice, uncooked
  • 1 can(s)
    gandules (pigeon peas) or kidney or black beans, undrained
  • 4 c
    water or chicken broth or combo (add extra 1/4 cup for brown rice)
  • 1 pkg
    sazon con culantro y achitoe
  • 1/2 can(s)
    tomato sauce (the small can- optional)
  • 10
    green olives or 2 tbs capers (optional)

How to Make Arroz con Gandules (Rice with Pigeon Peas)


  1. In a large saucepan, or preferably a cast aluminum caldero, Heat oil or bacon fat on med-hi. Add ham or pork and saute until almost browned.
  2. Add sofrito cubes and saute, thawing and breaking up the cubes until it is darker and translucent. About 3 minutes.
  3. Add rice and stir continuously, lightly browning the rice, taking care not to burn. About 1 minute.
  4. Add beans with juice, water/broth, and Sazon. Bring to a boil. Allow water to boil almost away (no need to stir, just let it do its thing), to about the same level of the rice or just below.
  5. Add tomato sauce and olives/capers, if using. Give one final stir to incorporate, and cover.
    Lower heat to med-low and let simmer 30 minutes. 37 if using brown rice.
    Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. stir, then enjoy!

Printable Recipe Card

About Arroz con Gandules (Rice with Pigeon Peas)

Course/Dish: Rice Sides
Main Ingredient: Rice/Grains
Regional Style: Puerto Rican
Other Tag: Healthy

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