Delicious Arroz Con Gandules Recipe – Try it Today!

Are you tired of the same old rice dishes? Are you looking to add something new and exciting to your dinner repertoire? Look no further than the Meaty Arroz Con Gandules Recipe. This Puerto Rican delicacy is a flavorful blend of rice, pigeon peas, and savory meat that is sure to delight your taste buds.

As a chef who specializes in both Brazilian and American cuisine, I have had the pleasure of experiencing an array of dishes. However, my love for arroz con gandules runs deep. This recipe has been passed down in my family for generations, and I am thrilled to share it with you today.

In this recipe article, we will explore the delightful combination of rice and pigeon peas that makes this dish so unique. I will provide detailed instructions on how to create the perfect blend of flavors that are sure to impress your family and dinner guests. Whether you are a seasoned cook or a beginner, this recipe is easy to follow and preparing it at home will transport your senses to the vibrant streets of Puerto Rico.

So let’s come together and celebrate traditional Puerto Rican cuisine with this delicious Meaty Arroz Con Gandules Recipe. Get ready for an explosion of flavors in every bite!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Meaty Arroz Con Gandules
Meaty Arroz Con Gandules

If you’re looking for a hearty and flavorful rice dish that packs a punch, look no further than my Meaty Arroz Con Gandules recipe. Trust me, this is not your average rice dish!

Firstly, this recipe draws from traditional Puerto Rican cuisine, which is known for its bold and savory flavors. The addition of green peppers, garlic cloves, onions, and tomato sauce create a rich and robust taste that will leave your taste buds dancing with joy.

But that’s not all – we’re also adding in some meaty goodness to make it even more satisfying. The recipe calls for both bacon and ham, both of which add a smoky and savory depth to the dish. And let’s not forget the con gandules (also known as pigeon peas), which are a key ingredient in many Puerto Rican rice dishes. They’ll provide a nutty and earthy taste that perfectly complements the other ingredients.

Another reason to love this recipe is its versatility. It’s great as a main course for dinner or as a side dish at a potluck or barbecue. You can even take it up a notch by pairing it with some roasted pork chops! And if you’re vegetarian or vegan, no worries – just swap out the meat for some vegan-friendly options like ground beef or tofu, and you’ll still have a tasty arroz con gandules on your hands.

In short, this is not your average boring rice dish – it’s packed with flavor and protein that will keep you coming back for more. So why not give it a try? Trust me, your taste buds will thank you.

Ingredient List

 A delicious and colorful plate of meaty arroz con gandules can satisfy any hungry stomach!
A delicious and colorful plate of meaty arroz con gandules can satisfy any hungry stomach!

Before starting to cook, it is essential to have all the ingredients at hand. The Meaty Arroz Con Gandules recipe requires a combination of flavorful ingredients that will bring life to your rice dish. Let’s take a look at what you will need:

Main Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of rice
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 can (8 oz) of tomato sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6 slices bacon, chopped
  • 2 cups ham or roasted pork, cut into small cubes
  • 1 can (15 oz) con gandules (pigeon peas)

Seasonings and Extra Ingredients:

  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 2 tsp. adobo or 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup sofrito
  • (Optional: 1 bouillon cube or 2 tsp chicken flavor Bouillon)
  • (Optional: 6 pimiento stuffed olives, halved)
  • (Optional: 1 tbsp capers)

You can find most of these ingredients in a supermarket or local grocery store near you. The recipe ingredients list shows traditional ingredients used in Puerto Rican cuisine so make sure to look for pigeon peas and con gandules made by Goya for the best results.

The Recipe How-To

 Aromatic herbs and spices combine with the sizzling meat to create a tantalizing aroma.
Aromatic herbs and spices combine with the sizzling meat to create a tantalizing aroma.

Let’s get straight down to business and check out how to make this meaty arroz con gandules recipe that will leave you satisfied and asking for more.

Step 1: Prepare Ingredients

Start by gathering your ingredients- 2 cups of rice, 1 can (15 oz) of pigeon peas, 3 garlic cloves, 1 can (10 oz) tomato sauce, 1 green pepper sliced into strips, 1 onion, 2 slices bacon chopped into small pieces, and a piece of ham about the size of two fingers chopped into small bits.

Step 2: Cook The Sofrito

To make the sofrito or base of our dish, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in the pot you’re using for your arroz con gandules recipe. Add the onion, the chopped bacon, and ham until they start to brown slightly. After a couple of minutes, add the sliced green pepper together with the minced garlic.

Step 3: Stir In Rice And Tomato Sauce

Mix in the rice with your sofrito until all grains are coated. Pour in 2 cups water and one full can of tomato sauce. Gently stir everything together so it’s mixed evenly.

Step 4: Add Pigeon Peas

Add one can of pigeon peas along with their liquid. Carefully stir a couple of times to avoid crushing any peas.

Step 5: Cook And Simmer

Bring the pot to a boil and immediately reduce to low heat. Place the pot cover on top and continue cooking for between 20-25 minutes, or until your rice is perfectly cooked through.

Step 6: Let It Rest And Settle

Once time’s up turn off your stove element source but keep your pot covered for another ~10 minutes. Doing so will allow it to simmer and let the flavors marry each other.

Step 7: Plate And Serve

Serve alongside some roasted pork or anything of similar taste and consistency. Enjoy your arroz con gandules recipe as a standalone dish, with some fried plantains, or whatever you feel like it goes well with!

By following these simple steps to the T, you should be able to surprise your friends and family by preparing a traditional Puerto Rican rice dish. Don’t forget to share this delicious gandules rice recipe with them too!

Substitutions and Variations

 It's time to go on a flavorful journey to Latin America with this classic Puerto Rican dish.
It’s time to go on a flavorful journey to Latin America with this classic Puerto Rican dish.

Don’t let a shortage of ingredients stop you from trying this delicious Meaty Arroz Con Gandules recipe. While the recipe calls for very specific ingredients, there are some substitutions and variations that you can make to ensure that your dish turns out just as tasty.

If you can’t find pigeon peas, substitute with black beans or kidney beans. You could also use any variety of protein such as ground beef, pork chops or even chicken instead of the bacon and ham. For a vegan version of arroz con gandules, leave out the meat and replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth.

If you prefer Spanish rice or yellow rice, go ahead and swap it for white rice in this recipe – both will work just fine. And if you want to give your dish an extra kick, add a few dashes of hot sauce or chili flakes.

For those with dietary restrictions or preferences, there are plenty of variations to try as well. Try making “Gandules Apastelado,” a casserole-style dish that combines seasoned pigeon peas with mashed plantains and topped with bacon. Or, use grain rice instead of white rice for a nuttier texture.

Whatever variation or substitution you choose, don’t be afraid to experiment and make it your own. The beauty of arroz con gandules is its versatility – it can be modified to suit anyone’s taste preferences while still retaining its traditional flavors.

Serving and Pairing

 This delicious rice and pigeon peas blend is slow-cooked to perfection for enhanced flavor.
This delicious rice and pigeon peas blend is slow-cooked to perfection for enhanced flavor.

When it comes to serving and pairing my Meaty Arroz Con Gandules Recipe, I suggest a simple yet delicious approach. This hearty and flavorful rice dish can very well be the star of your meal, but you can also serve it as a side dish alongside other Puerto Rican or South American staples.

If you’re serving the dish as the main course, feel free to add a salad or some roasted vegetables on the side for some added nutrition and color. The arroz con gandules pairs perfectly with roasted pork, pigeon peas, or even fried plantains for added texture and crunch.

For those looking for a more traditional Puerto Rican approach, serving my Meaty Arroz Con Gandules recipe alongside some fried pork chops will definitely hit the spot! You can also add some hot sauce or fresh cilantro for a classic Puerto Rican touch.

When it comes to beverage pairing, the options are endless. This bold rice dish pairs well with fruity cocktails like a classic Piña Colada or light beer such as Corona or Modelo Especial. For those who prefer non-alcoholic beverages, ice-cold soda or fresh fruit juices with lots of citrus notes make an excellent accompaniment to this savory dish.

Remember that every great meal is made even better when shared with good company. So gather your loved ones around the table and enjoy this tasty Meal Arroz Con Gandules recipe paired with your favorite drink. Bon Appétit!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 With every spoonful, the succulent meat and flavorsome rice create a harmonious melody of taste in your mouth.
With every spoonful, the succulent meat and flavorsome rice create a harmonious melody of taste in your mouth.

One of the best things about arroz con gandules is that it tastes even better when reheated. This means you can double, or even triple, the recipe and have delicious leftovers for days.

To make ahead, cook the rice, ham, and pigeon peas separately from the sofrito and tomato sauce. Combine everything in a large baking dish and refrigerate until you’re ready to cook. You can also freeze the dish for up to 3 months.

When ready to serve, let the dish come to room temperature while preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C). Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until heated through.

To reheat individual portions, place them in a microwave-safe bowl with a tablespoon or two of water. Cover with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap and heat on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Leftover arroz con gandules pairs well with crispy pork chops or ground beef for a hearty meal. You could also turn it into Spanish fried rice or yellow rice by adding some scrambled eggs, diced onions, and frozen peas.

Overall, arroz con gandules is a versatile and forgiving recipe that’s perfect for meal prep or feeding a crowd. So go ahead and make a big batch – you won’t regret it!

Tips for Perfect Results

 The chunky pieces of meat will leave you feeling satisfied, and the aromatic spices will make your taste buds dance!
The chunky pieces of meat will leave you feeling satisfied, and the aromatic spices will make your taste buds dance!

Now that you have all the ingredients and are ready to prepare the dish, I will share with you some essential tips for perfect results.

Firstly, be mindful of the type of rice you’re using. When it comes to Arroz con Gandules, it is best to use medium-grain rice. This type of rice retains its shape and texture after cooking and absorbs flavors well. Avoid using long-grain or basmati rice as they can become too fluffy and lose flavor.

Secondly, before adding the rice into the pot, rinse it thoroughly in cold water until the water runs clear. This process removes excess starch from the rice and prevents it from becoming sticky.

Thirdly, do not lift the lid while cooking. Keeping the lid on ensures that the steam remains inside, resulting in perfectly cooked rice that is fluffy and tender.

Fourthly, let the rice rest after cooking for about 5-10 minutes with the lid on. This will further enhance its texture and allow it to absorb any remaining flavors from other ingredients.

Finally, when serving Arroz con Gandules, make sure to fluff it up gently with a fork to separate any clumps that may have formed during cooking. This will ensure an even distribution of all ingredients throughout the dish when serving.

In summary, paying attention to these tips will guarantee that your Arroz con Gandules turns out delicious, flavorful, and perfectly cooked – a treat for your taste buds!


Now that we have gone through the essential parts of this recipe article, let’s move on to Frequently Asked Questions or FAQs. In this section, I will answer some of the inquiries that you might have about the ingredients, method, and serving suggestions for this Meaty Arroz Con Gandules Recipe. By doing so, I hope to make it easier for you to prepare and enjoy this savory Puerto Rican rice dish.

Why does my arroz and gandules keep coming out soggy?

When rice absorbs more water than it needs, it becomes mushy or soggy. This happens because the grains split open, transforming the texture and producing an unpleasantly starchy, gummy outcome.

Why does my arroz con gandules come out sticky?

Have you ever wondered why your rice turns out sticky instead of fluffy? The culprit is often the amount of liquid used. To avoid this, aim for an even ratio of medium grain rice to water. By following this simple trick, you can guarantee a perfectly fluffy batch of rice every time.

What are Puerto Rican arroz con gandules made of?

Arroz con gandules is a beloved dish from Puerto Rico that brings together tender pork, fluffy rice, and flavorful pigeon peas in one pot with the addition of sofrito. It’s a classic staple of Puerto Rican cuisine commonly served alongside succulent roasted pork.

Is arroz con gandules good for you?

One of the most beloved dishes from the Caribbean is Arroz Con Gandules or Rice with Pigeon Peas. This Puerto Rican specialty is not only delicious but also packed with fiber, making it a nutritious addition to any meal, especially when prepared properly.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Meaty Arroz Con Gandules recipe is a delicious and satisfying meal that combines different flavors and textures to make a perfect rice dish. With easy-to-find ingredients such as rice, water, tomato sauce, garlic cloves, green pepper, onion, bacon, ham and con gandules, you can prepare this recipe at home without breaking the bank.

Whether you’re a fan of Puerto Rican cuisine or looking for new ways to spice up your weekly menu plan, this recipe is definitely one to try. It’s a traditional Puerto Rican dish that has been enjoyed for generations and has made its way into many households worldwide.

I hope that with the ingredient list, recipe how-to, substitutions and variations, serving and pairing, make-ahead, storing and reheating tips provided in this article, you can make this Meaty Arroz Con Gandules recipe with ease in your kitchen. You’ll be able to enjoy the delicious combination of flavors – from roasted pork to pigeon peas – while indulging in the warm and comforting texture of rice.

So what are you waiting for? Get ready to dive into a bowl of Puerto Rican rice perfection – arroz con gandules. Bon appétit!

Meaty Arroz Con Gandules

Meaty Arroz Con Gandules Recipe

This is a direct copy of the recipe on the can of Goya Green Pigeon Peas aka Gandules Verde and it is so delicious!! I usually use 1/2 cup of the ham because it is slightly healthier, but have also used smoked turkey breast.
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Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Puerto Rican
Calories 395.9 kcal


  • 2 slices bacon or 1/2 cup ham, chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 15 ounces goya green pigeon peas, undrained
  • 1 packet sazon goya con culantro y achiote
  • 1/2 cup goya tomato sauce
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups rice, I use Uncle Ben


  • Heat a large pot over medium heat.
  • Add bacon(ham), onions, green pepper and cook for 3 minutes.
  • Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes longer.
  • Add remaining ingredient, except rice and bring to a boil.
  • Stir in rice; cover.
  • Simmer for 2 minutes or until rice is tender.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 228gCalories: 395.9kcalCarbohydrates: 74.9gProtein: 15.8gFat: 3.7gSaturated Fat: 1.1gCholesterol: 3.9mgSodium: 139.4mgFiber: 9.2gSugar: 1.3g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Beans, Easy, Rice
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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.