A Puerto Rican fiesta without arroz con gandules is not a fiesta. This is a staple dish in our island, especially during the holidays. This is a meatless version of my abuela’s recipe. It requires simple ingredients that are easy to find at your local supermarket.

This recipe is great as a side dish or main dish. It goes well with mofongo and some sautéd veggies. You can use long grain rice but in my household we always use medium grain rica and it works better. For the sofrito you can check my recipe or if you don’t have time to make it, just use the following veggies; onions, green pepper, cilantro, culantro and garlic.



Arroz con Gandules (Puerto Rican – Rice and Pigeon Peas)


  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2-3 tbsp Sofrito or a mix of (onions, green peppers, sweet red pepper, garlic, cilantro and culantro if available)
  • 2 tsp of Sazon
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Oregano (grounded)
  • 1-½ White Medium Grain Rice
  • 1 can Pigeon Peas
  • ½ cup Tomato Sauce
  • 1 or 2 tbsp Olives Stuffed with Minced Peppers
  • 1-½ Water (include the water from the Pigeon Peas can)


  1. Heat oil in a medium, heavy saucepan or caldero over medium-high heat. Add sofrito and sauté for about 3 minutes.
  2. Add sazón, salt and oregano. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add rice to saucepan. Cook, stirring frequently, until coated in oil and toasted, about 1 minute. Stir in pigeon peas, tomato sauce, olives and 1½ cups water; using a wooden spoon, stir once and bring rice mixture to a boil.
  4. Cook, uncovered, until water is evaporated, about 10 minutes. Gently stir rice from bottom up.
  5. Lower heat to medium low and cook, covered, until rice is tender, about 15 minutes.
  6. Remove saucepan from heat. Gently fluff rice with fork.
  7. Cover pan and let stand 5 minutes.

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