A Tropical Twist on Rice: Try Our Hearts of Palm Recipe

Heart of Palm Rice, or “Arroz con Palmito,” is a classic Costa Rican dish that’s as vibrant and colorful as the Central American country itself. It’s a filling and flavorful side dish that’s perfect for any meal time, whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

What makes this recipe unique is its use of hearts of palm, which gives the rice a subtle yet rich flavor that’s simply delicious. These tender and delicate vegetable strands are combined with perfectly cooked white rice to create a savory and aromatic dish that everyone will love.

In this article, I’ll show you how to prepare this traditional Costa Rican recipe step-by-step, and provide you with some tips and variations to make it your own. This versatile recipe can be served alongside a variety of dishes such as grilled chicken or fish fillet, but it’s also tasty on its own. And best of all – this dish is easy to make and takes only a few minutes of prep time.

So let’s get started in making Arroz con Palmito – one bite of this deliciously satisfying dish will leave you wanting more!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Arroz Con Palmito (Hearts of Palm Rice)
Arroz Con Palmito (Hearts of Palm Rice)

Get ready to fall in love with one of the most flavorful and unique rice dishes you’ve ever tasted – Arroz Con Palmito, or Hearts of Palm Rice. This dish is like no other, combining tender white rice with the sweet and tangy flavor of hearts of palm. It’s a dish that’s sure to capture your heart and your taste buds.

But what exactly makes this dish so special? For starters, hearts of palm are an incredibly unique ingredient that you won’t find in most rice dishes. When combined with the tender white rice, they add a distinct texture and flavor that is both sweet and savory. It’s a perfect balance that will have you coming back for seconds.

But the real star of this dish is the bechamel sauce, which brings it all together into one creamy, delicious combination. The sauce is made with parmesan cheese, white cheddar cheese, and tomato sauce, making it a rich and savory addition to the already delicious dish.

What’s more? Arroz Con Palmito is incredibly versatile – it can be eaten on its own as a main course or served as a side dish alongside any number of entrees. It pairs especially well with grilled meats, seafood, and vegetables.

And let’s not forget its Costa Rican origins – it’s a dish that’s steeped in cultural history and tradition. By serving up Arroz Con Palmito in your own kitchen, you’re not only indulging in a delicious meal but also paying homage to the vibrant culinary traditions of Costa Rica.

So if you’re looking to try something new and exciting in the kitchen, then look no further than Arroz Con Palmito. Its complex flavors and unique ingredients make it truly one of a kind. Go ahead – give our recipe a try and let it win over your heart with every bite.

Ingredient List

 Take your taste buds on a journey with the flavors of Brazil and try this delicious Arroz Con Palmito!
Take your taste buds on a journey with the flavors of Brazil and try this delicious Arroz Con Palmito!

Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients needed to prepare Arroz Con Palmito, a traditional Costa Rican dish that combines white rice and hearts of palm. For this dish, you will need:

  • 2 cups of white rice
  • 1 can of hearts of palm, drained and cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1 cup of tomato sauce
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley
  • Salt to taste

Some variations may also include adding bechamel sauce or white cheddar cheese to the recipe for a creamier texture. Other additions that can enhance the flavor include a sprinkle of parmesan cheese or cumin.

Hearts of palm can be found in most grocery stores in the canned food aisle, under labels such as “Palmitos” or “Hearts of Palm.” If you prefer fresh hearts of palm or don’t have access to canned ones, you can substitute them with artichokes or king palm.

The Recipe How-To

 Creamy, savory and healthy, this dish is a must-try for all foodies out there!
Creamy, savory and healthy, this dish is a must-try for all foodies out there!

Now comes the fun part – let’s start cooking! Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make Arroz Con Palmito:


  • 2 cups of white rice
  • 1 can (14 oz) of hearts of palm, drained and chopped
  • 1 cup of tomato sauce
  • 1/2 onion finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves smashed
  • 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 4 cups of water
  • Salt to taste
  • Parsley or cilantro for garnish


  1. In a large pot, sauté the onion and garlic in vegetable oil over medium heat until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the tomato sauce, hearts of palm and stir until well combined.
  3. Add in the white rice, and stir for a couple of minutes until it becomes slightly translucent.
  4. Then add the water and season with salt to taste (you can also use chicken or vegetable broth instead for added flavor). Stir well until everything is evenly combined.
  5. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to low heat and cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid. Cook for about 18-20 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender.
  6. Remove from heat and let it rest for a few minutes.
  7. Fluff the rice with a fork and garnish with fresh parsley or cilantro.

And there you have it! A deliciously satisfying Arroz Con Palmito that’s both easy and flavorful! Don’t forget to pair it with your favorite roasted meat dishes, grilled chicken or shrimp for an added touch of delicious flavor.

Substitutions and Variations

 Get ready to impress your guests at your next dinner party with this tasty and exotic recipe.
Get ready to impress your guests at your next dinner party with this tasty and exotic recipe.

Are you looking to switch things up with this Arroz Con Palmito recipe? There are plenty of substitutions and variations you can make to tailor the dish to your preferences.

If you’re not a fan of hearts of palm or simply don’t have any on hand, try integrating artichokes or king palm instead. These ingredients will offer a similar texture and flavor. You can also add other vegetables like mushrooms or corn to enhance the dish.

Looking for a low-carb option? Try using palmini noodles in place of the white rice. This noodle-like ingredient is made from hearts of palm and has only 20 calories per serving, making it an excellent substitution for those watching their carb intake.

To add some extra flavor, try sprinkling some parmesan cheese or white cheddar cheese on top just before serving.

For a creamier texture, substitute the tomato sauce with a bechamel sauce. The creamy flavor complements the hearts of palm well.

If you’re looking to make this recipe vegan or vegetarian, simply switch out the vegetable oil for your preferred oil substitute and use a non-dairy milk (like almond milk) in place of the whole milk in the bechamel sauce.

The possibilities are endless with this dish, so don’t hesitate to experiment and find your own unique twist on this classic Costa Rican recipe!

Serving and Pairing

 The combination of the tender hearts of palm with fluffy steamed rice will take your senses to paradise.
The combination of the tender hearts of palm with fluffy steamed rice will take your senses to paradise.

This Arroz Con Palmito dish is so versatile that you can pair it with a wide variety of dishes. Here are some ideas to make your taste buds dance:

– Pair it with grilled meats: The subtle flavors of the hearts of palm rice make it an incredible complement to juicy grilled steaks, chicken thighs or pork chops. It’s like having a party in your mouth.

– Have it with a fresh salad: Arroz Con Palmito is rich in flavor and texture and makes for the perfect match for a light and simple salad. Try something with crisp greens, cucumbers, and cherry tomatoes.

– Serve it as a side dish: The hearty and filling nature of this dish makes it ideal for serving as a side dish alongside your favorite main course meal. Serve it alongside grilled vegetables or roasted potatoes, and you’re onto a winner.

– Enjoy it on its own: You could also serve this dish as your main course. Its robust flavor is satisfying enough to be enjoyed all by itself.

If you’re looking for alternatives to enjoy with Arroz Con Palmito, try some traditional Costa Rican dishes like “con pollo” — mixed with chicken breasts — “arroz cremoso”, or king palm soup. Or, if you’re feeling more experimental, why not try pairing this dish with artichokes, palmini salad or corn salad?

This Arroz Con Palmito recipe is very versatile when it comes to wine pairing as well. For instance, white wines such as Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay will enhance both the texture and the slightly tangy hints from the tomato sauce. A full-bodied red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon will nicely bring out those savory notes from the bechamel sauce and caramelized onions.

No matter what you decide to pair Arroz Con Palmito with, one thing’s for sure; once you’ve tasted this delicious dish, you’ll never want to go back to plain white rice again.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A perfect accompaniment for grilled meats or seafood, this dish is versatile and easy to make.
A perfect accompaniment for grilled meats or seafood, this dish is versatile and easy to make.

Transforming simple ingredients into a satisfying and flavorful dish is what makes cooking so enjoyable. But what happens when you don’t have the time to make a meal from scratch? This is where the make-ahead, storing and reheating options of this Arroz Con Palmito (Hearts of Palm Rice) Recipe come in handy.

One of the great things about arroz con palmitos rice is that it stores and reheats incredibly well. It makes an excellent meal-prep option and can be made ahead of time on weekends for quick weekday lunches or dinners. To keep it fresh, store the rice dish in airtight containers or resealable bags in the refrigerator for up to four days.

When it comes to reheating your arroz con palmito leftovers, there are two options: microwave or stovetop. To reheat in the microwave, place the desired amount of rice in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 1-2 minutes or until warmed through. Stir occasionally during heating to ensure even reheating.

For those who prefer using the stove, consider adding a splash of water or broth to help rehydrate the rice as it cooks. In a saucepan, add a tablespoon of water or broth per cup of rice, then stir and heat over medium-low heat until warmed through. The added liquid will help prevent the rice from getting too dry while also enhancing its flavor profile.

Overall, arroz con palmitos is a versatile dish that can be made ahead of time for convenience without compromising taste or texture. With these tips and tricks for storing and reheating leftovers, you can enjoy this meal anytime with ease!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Bring some Latin American flare to your meal today with this delicious and authentic dish.
Bring some Latin American flare to your meal today with this delicious and authentic dish.

As a chef specializing in Brazilian and American cuisine, I have cooked Arroz Con Palmito (Hearts of Palm Rice) on many occasions. Throughout my experience with this dish, I’ve learned some useful tips on how to get the best results.

Firstly, it’s important to use high-quality ingredients. Freshly grated parmesan cheese and white cheddar cheese can make a big difference in the final taste of the dish. Therefore, I always recommend buying these cheeses whole block form rather than pre-grated.

Secondly, be sure to cook the rice properly. The rice should be fluffy and not too sticky. One effective way to ensure perfectly cooked rice is to rinse it thoroughly before cooking. This will remove any excess starch which can cause the rice to stick together.

When sautéing onions for this recipe, I always recommend using a good quality vegetable oil. Additionally, finely chopped onions will help them to caramelize evenly and add more depth of flavor to the dish.

One of my favorite flavors in this recipe is the palm hearts, which can be found canned or fresh. If you’re using fresh ones, be sure to rinse them under cold water before slicing them thinly.

Finally, after baking, you might want to let arroz con palmito rest for 5-10 minutes before serving so that it sets nicely and doesn’t fall apart when you serve it into portions.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to make an amazingly delicious arroz con palmito every time!

Bottom Line

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In conclusion, if you’re looking for a delicious and unique side dish to add to your repertoire, then my recipe for Arroz Con Palmito is definitely worth trying. With its combination of tender hearts of palm and perfectly cooked white rice, this Costa Rican dish is sure to become a favorite.

One of the things that makes this recipe so special is the subtle blend of spices and herbs that give flavor to every bite. From the cumin hearts to the bay leaf parsley, each ingredient plays an important role in creating a taste sensation that’s one-of-a-kind.

Furthermore, this dish is versatile enough to pair with a wide range of other foods. Whether you want to serve it alongside roast chicken or as part of a vegetarian meal with a salad or even artichokes or king palm, Arroz Con Palmito is always a perfect match.

And finally, with my tips for perfect results and suggestions for substituting and varying ingredients, you can easily make this dish fit your personal preferences.

So why not give Arroz Con Palmito a try today? Your taste buds will thank you!

Arroz Con Palmito (Hearts of Palm Rice)

Arroz Con Palmito (Hearts of Palm Rice) Recipe

This recipe comes from the Costa Rican Typical Foods cookbook We had this at one of the places we stayed at and this is as close to their recipe as I can find.
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine South American
Calories 296.8 kcal


  • 3 cups white rice, cooked
  • 1 (13 3/4 ounce) can hearts of palm, drained and diced (palmito)
  • 2 cups bechamel sauce
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 cup white cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 teaspoon breadcrumbs


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Combine palmito and bechamel sauce. In a large deep pyrex dish, put a layer of 1/3 rice, then a layer of 1/3 bechamel sauce, then a layer of 1/3 tomato sauce and top with 1/3 cheese. Repeat layers three times. Garnish with parmesan and bread crumbs.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 159gCalories: 296.8kcalCarbohydrates: 51.2gProtein: 9.7gFat: 5.8gSaturated Fat: 3.4gCholesterol: 16.1mgSodium: 548.6mgFiber: 3.2gSugar: 2.2g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Easy
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Dora is a chef well-versed in Brazilian and American cuisine. After a hard day's work in the kitchen of her restaurant, she finds the time to jot down recipes for her food blog. Her recipes are sure to delight foodies everywhere, as she strives to make each one unique and enjoyable to read.