Delicious Puerto Rican Rice and Beans Recipe

Are you looking for a hearty and flavorful dish to serve for dinner tonight? Look no further than this Puerto Rican Rice and Beans recipe, also known as Arroz Con Habichuelas. This classic Latin American dish is a staple in many households and restaurants throughout Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. It’s easy to make, budget-friendly, and bursting with both protein and flavor.

The combination of rice and beans provides a complete protein source that will leave you feeling full and satisfied. The rice is cooked with flavorful seasonings such as fresh cilantro, onions, garlic, and fresh oregano. The beans are stewed with smoked ham hock, tomato sauce, and other seasonings until they are tender and bursting with flavor.

This Puerto Rican Rice and Beans recipe is perfect as a side dish or a main course. It’s versatile enough to pair with chicken, gandules (pigeon peas), or even enjoy it on its own. Plus, the leftovers make for a great next-day lunch or dinner option.

So why not add some Latin American flare to your dinner table tonight? Follow this Arroz Con Habichuelas recipe step-by-step, and you’ll have a deliciously authentic Puerto Rican meal in no time!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Puerto Rican Rice And Beans (Arroz Con Habichuelas)
Puerto Rican Rice And Beans (Arroz Con Habichuelas)

Looking for a dish that’s filling, nutritious, and flavorful? Look no further than Puerto Rican Rice and Beans, or “Arroz con Habichuelas.” This classic dish is a staple of Puerto Rican cuisine and for good reason. Here are just a few reasons why you’ll love this recipe.

Firstly, it’s versatile. Whether you’re looking for a hearty main course or a side dish to accompany your favorite protein, Puerto Rican Rice and Beans fits the bill. The combination of long-grain white rice, dried pinto beans, and tomato sauce seasoned with garlic, onion, fresh cilantro, and oregano creates a savory base that pairs well with a range of proteins such as chicken, smoked ham hock or even potatoes.

Moreover, this dish is also budget-friendly while delivering high-quality ingredients. It makes two large pots full enough to feed a family of four without breaking the bank. In fact, dried beans are not only low in cost but nutrient-dense as well, packed with dietary fiber and protein.

This recipe is also easy to customize to fit different tastes or dietary needs whether you want to swap out the ham hock for some pigeon peas or use instant pot instead of the stove top method. Thanks to the many variations of this recipe known as arroz con gandules or arroz blanco con habichuelas guisadas in the Dominican Republic, there’s always something new to try while still getting your rice and bean fix.

Finally, Puerto Rican Rice and Beans is comfort food at its finest. The mix of white rice combined with the tender texture and rich flavor of stewed beans will produce flavors of home that takes us back into childhood memories – making it a true crowd-pleaser at any gathering. Consider adding some capers or green olives for that salty kick if you’re feeling fancy.

In conclusion, Puerto Rican Rice and Beans may be a traditional recipe, but it has an enduring appeal that continues to captivate and satisfy. With its simplicity, versatility, affordability, and comforting taste you will surely come back for another helping of this dish.

Ingredient List

 A colorful plate of Puerto Rican rice and beans will take your taste buds on a tropical vacation!
A colorful plate of Puerto Rican rice and beans will take your taste buds on a tropical vacation!

Here’s a list of all the ingredients you will need to make this delicious Puerto Rican Rice and Beans recipe:

For the beans:

  • 1 pound of dried pinto beans
  • 1 smoked ham hock
  • 8 cups of water
  • 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 small fresh plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh cilantro

For the rice:

  • 2 cups of long-grain white rice
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

For the sofrito:

  • ½ cup chopped onion (about half a medium-sized onion)
  • Two garlic cloves, chopped
  • One small green bell pepper, seeded and chopped,
  • Two ají dulce peppers (optional)
  • One bunch cilantro, chopped (about one cup)
  • One red pepper (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil for cooking

Note that some ingredients might not be readily available in your local store. You can always get them at your nearest Hispanic store or order online.

The Recipe How-To

 A true island favorite, this arroz con habichuelas recipe is packed with flavor and nutrition.
A true island favorite, this arroz con habichuelas recipe is packed with flavor and nutrition.

I’m excited to share my recipe for Puerto Rican Rice and Beans with you! This dish is a staple in Puerto Rico and is loved by people all over the world. It’s hearty, flavorful, and perfect for any occasion. Here’s how to make this delicious recipe yourself:


  • 1 pound dried pinto beans
  • 1 smoked ham hock
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • Salt and ground pepper to taste
  • 2 cups long-grain white rice

Step 1: Soak Beans Overnight

In a large pot or bowl, cover the pinto beans with water and let them soak overnight. Drain and rinse the beans before cooking.

Step 2: Cook the Beans

In a large pot, add the soaked pinto beans and smoked ham hock. Add water to cover the beans by an inch. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 1 hour or until the beans are tender but not mushy.

Step 3: Make Sofrito

In a pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil and sauté garlic, onions, peppers until they are softened (approximately five minutes). Then add tomatoes and cook for another five minutes or until they release their juice. Lastly add oregano and cilantro. Sautee for two more minutes.

Step 4: Add Rice

Once the bean mixture is tender enough, remove ham hock – this should be discarded. After that in another large pot with a tight-fitting lid, heat up your choice of oil until it begins to shimmer. Add the sofrito you just made and sauté for five minutes until the flavors are combined. Then pour in 2 cups of rice and stir so everything is cohesive.

Step 5: Measure Your Bean Mixture into Rice Pot

Next, add the cooked beans into the pot with rice mixture, pour enough water to cover the surface of the rice, then season with salt and pepper (you can also add some capers if you want). Stir everything together until well incorporated.

Step 6: Cook

Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid, reduce heat to low, and simmer until both rice and beans are fully cooked (about 25-30 minutes).

Step 7: Serve

Once your delicious arroz con habichuelas has finished cooking, garnish with fresh cilantro leaves on top before serving.

Enjoy your Puerto Rican Rice and Beans!

Substitutions and Variations

 This dish features a delightful blend of long-grain rice and tender pink beans, in a mouthwatering tomato sauce.
This dish features a delightful blend of long-grain rice and tender pink beans, in a mouthwatering tomato sauce.

Are you looking for creative ways to change up the flavors in this traditional Puerto Rican dish? Look no further! The beauty of arroz con habichuelas is its versatility. Here are some substitutions and variations to consider:

– Meat: While smoked ham hock is a classic meat option for this dish, you can also use chicken or beef for a different flavor profile. You could even go vegetarian and skip the meat altogether.

– Beans: Red or pink beans are typically used in this recipe, but you can experiment with other types of beans, such as black or pinto beans.

– Rice: Long grain white rice is the traditional rice used in arroz con habichuelas, but you could try using brown rice or even quinoa for a healthier alternative.

– Vegetables: Add fresh veggies such as bell peppers or onions to the dish to give it an extra boost of flavor.

– Spice level: If you want a spicier version of the dish, add some jalapenos or hot sauce.

– Sofrito: Sofrito is a flavorful puree of fresh herbs and vegetables used in many Latin American dishes. You can find it at most grocery stores, or make your own by blending onion, garlic, green bell pepper, cilantro, and oregano together.

No matter which substitutions and variations you choose to use in your arroz con habichuelas recipe, make sure to adjust cooking times and measurements accordingly to get your desired taste and texture.

Serving and Pairing

 The beans add a touch of sweetness and soft texture, while the rice soaks up all of the savory goodness.
The beans add a touch of sweetness and soft texture, while the rice soaks up all of the savory goodness.

Once your Puerto Rican Rice and Beans (Arroz con Habichuelas) recipe is ready, you can serve it hot and fresh, as it is a dish best enjoyed when warm. This dish is perfect as a main course for lunch or dinner. It can also be a great accompaniment to other entrees such as grilled meat, chicken or fish.

For a healthier option, you can pair this rice and beans dish with fresh veggies such as lettuce, sliced tomatoes, cucumbers or avocados. You can also add some sliced jalapeños or pickled capers to give your serving an extra tangy and spicy kick.

In terms of beverages, this Puerto Rican classic pairs incredibly well with a refreshing glass of mango juice, fruity sangria or even a light beer. For those who prefer non-alcoholic drinks, lemonade or iced tea will complement the flavors of your arroz con habichuelas perfectly.

When it comes to presentation, you can top off your Puerto Rican Rice and Beans with fresh cilantro leaves and slices of juicy plum tomatoes to give it a colorful and appetizing look. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different plating styles or garnishes to make your dish stand out.

Overall, Puerto Rican Rice and Beans is an incredibly versatile dish that pairs well with many different foods and drinks. Whether you’re serving it as a main course or as a side dish at a party, this classic meal will always leave you feeling satisfied and full of flavor.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Garnished with fresh cilantro, this Puerto Rican staple is as beautiful as it is delicious.
Garnished with fresh cilantro, this Puerto Rican staple is as beautiful as it is delicious.

I know how busy life can get and sometimes preparing a meal can be daunting. This Puerto Rican Rice and Beans recipe is great for those who love to make meals ahead of time, or need leftovers for the week.

For those who want to make-ahead, the rice and beans can be stored separately in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. When you’re ready to eat, simply reheat the rice and beans separately in the microwave or on a stovetop.

If you want to store the leftovers all together, mix the rice and beans together and store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. To reheat, simply microwave or warm it up in a saucepan with a splash of water on low heat until heated thoroughly.

To freeze your Puerto Rican Rice and Beans, store it in an air-tight container or resealable freezer bag, labeled with the date, for up to three months. To reheat from frozen, simply place the frozen rice and beans into a microwavable container and reheat on medium-high for around 6-8 minutes or until heated through.

One recommendation would be to add fresh cilantro and a few capers when reheating your dish for that extra pop of flavor. Alternatively, using this as a base for other dishes makes meal planning easy – use leftover chicken or gandules (pigeon peas) to add protein or serve alongside arroz blanco (white rice) for a comforting lunch or dinner.

By storing your Puerto Rican Rice and Beans properly, you’ll have delicious leftovers ready to eat whenever you need them!

Tips for Perfect Results

 The aroma of onions, garlic, and bell pepper will fill your kitchen and have
The aroma of onions, garlic, and bell pepper will fill your kitchen and have

As a chef, I understand the importance of getting the perfect result in every dish that I cook. For this Puerto Rican Rice and Beans recipe, there are a few tips and tricks that can help ensure that your meal is flavorful and delicious.

1. Use Fresh Vegetables: Fresh veggies such as onions, garlic, bell peppers, plum tomatoes, and cilantro play an important role in providing the base flavor for this dish. Try to use fresh produce instead of canned or pre-cut options.

2. Soak Your Beans: Before cooking your dried pinto beans, soak them overnight. This helps to soften them and shorten the cooking time.

3. Add Salt at the End: Adding salt too early to your rice and beans can make them tough or mushy. Instead, wait until the end of cooking to add salt and adjust according to taste.

4. Experiment with Seasonings: While this recipe calls for oregano and ground pepper, feel free to experiment with other seasonings such as cumin or smoked paprika to change up the flavor profile.

5. Don’t Overcook the Rice: When cooking rice on its own, it’s important not to overcook it as it will become too soft and sticky. Follow the instructions carefully and use a timer to ensure it’s cooked perfectly.

6. Taste as You Go: Throughout the cooking process, be sure to taste your dish and adjust seasonings as needed. This will help ensure that you end up with a perfectly seasoned dish.

7. Serve Hot: This dish is best when served hot off the stove or out of the Instant Pot to preserve its texture and flavors.

By following these tips and tricks, you can achieve a perfect pot of Puerto Rican Rice and Beans that will impress everyone at your dinner table!


As I hope you found through the ‘Tips for Perfect Results’ section of this recipe article, preparing this mouth-watering Puerto Rican Rice and Beans dish is no rocket science. But as with any recipe, when you try it out for the first time or deviate from the instructions, some uncertainties may crop up in your mind. Here I have gathered and answered the most common FAQ that may come up while preparing this comforting and classic delicacy. Read on to find your answers!

What is arroz con habichuelas made of?

A staple dish for dinner is the Puerto Rican Rice and Beans, also known as Arroz con Habichuelas. This popular recipe mainly consists of rice, tomato sauce, seasonings, green Spanish olives, and beans.

What does arroz con habichuelas mean?

A common staple in Latin American cuisine is Arroz con Habichuelas, which consists of rice and beans. While this recipe originates from Puerto Rico, it has variations and adaptations in other Latin American countries.

What is the Puerto Rican word for rice and beans?

When it comes to Puerto Rican cuisine, one cannot overlook the significance of arroz y habichuelas, which happens to be a beloved staple in the cuisine.

Is Mexican rice the same as Puerto Rican rice?

Rice is a staple food in many cultures, and each region has its unique way of preparing it. Mexican rice is known for its bold flavor and heat, while Puerto Rican rice is milder but still full of taste. The latter is enhanced using herbs and spices like cilantro and oregano, making it fragrant and flavorful without being spicy. This yellow rice recipe is perfect for those who love the taste of rice but want to avoid the heat.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Puerto Rican Rice and Beans (Arroz Con Habichuelas) recipe is a classic dish that will take your taste buds on a journey to the Caribbean. The combination of rice, beans, tomato sauce, seasonings, and fresh veggies will leave you feeling satisfied and wanting more.

One of the best things about this recipe is its versatility. You can switch up the type of beans used or even add chicken or pigeon peas (known as gandules in Puerto Rico). And let’s not forget to mention how easy it is to make with an instant pot.

So, whether you’re looking for a comforting dinner classic or want to try out a new rice dish, this recipe has got you covered. Don’t hesitate to give it a try – your taste buds (and stomach) will thank you for it.

Puerto Rican Rice And Beans (Arroz Con Habichuelas)

Puerto Rican Rice And Beans (Arroz Con Habichuelas) Recipe

The recipe is very flexible in the type of chiles used. Blend a couple of types for complexity. The dish is also great for splashing on your favorite hot sauce too. You can also add beer instead of water when things are looking a bit too dry. It also can be fun to mix in a few different types of beans, like black beans and pintos. It isn't a requirement to use a pressure cooker, but it is fast and the flavor from the ham hock to the beans is greater. From: the First Bay Area Chile Heads HotLuck
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Puerto Rican
Servings 1 pot full
Calories 1587.9 kcal


  • 4 cups water
  • 8 ounces smoked ham hock
  • 1 cup dried pinto bean
  • 1 cup uncooked long grain white rice
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 dash sesame oil
  • 1/2 onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, smash and chop
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 (15 ounce) can peeled plum tomatoes, drain reserve juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons capers


  • Place the water and ham hock in a pressure cooker, check to make sure the steam release holes are clear and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add the pinto beans and cook 20 minutes more.
  • Add the rice, and when the pressure cooker"hisses," cook for another 5 minutes.
  • While the rice and beans cook, heat the oil in a large skillet and saute the onion and garlic until the onion becomes translucent.
  • Add the red pepper, jalapeno peppers, oregano and tomatoes, stirring and chopping as you go.
  • Add 1/4 cup of the reserved tomato juice, half of the salt and half of the pepper.
  • Lower the heat and simmer 15 minutes.
  • After the rice and beans have cooked, remove the ham hock, slice off 2 ounces of lean meat and reserve.
  • Add the cooked rice and beans to the pepper-tomato mixture in the skillet.
  • Stir in the reserved ham hock meat, 2 Tbs of the cilantro, the capers and the remaining salt and pepper.
  • To serve: Spoon into bowls and garnish with the remaining cilantro.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 2041gCalories: 1587.9kcalCarbohydrates: 306.8gProtein: 61.9gFat: 13.7gSaturated Fat: 2.3gSodium: 1753.7mgFiber: 43.8gSugar: 26g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Beans, Black Beans, Caribbean, Long-Grain Rice, Meat, Onions, Peppers, Pork, Pressure Cooker, Puerto Rican, Rice, Savory, Spicy, Stove Top, Vegetable, Weeknight, White Rice, Winter
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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.