Puerto Rican Vegan Sancocho

Puerto Rican Vegan Sancocho

Puerto Rican Vegan Sancocho is a one-pot recipe, easy to make, and filled with Caribbean flavors. A vegan version of the traditional stew that is common in Latin American Cuisine.

What is sancocho?

Firstly, let’s talk about the word sancocho. The word comes from the Spanish verb sancochar (meaning “to parboil” in English), and it’s a traditional stew very common in Latin American countries, like the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. It originated in the Spanish Canary Islands as a fish-stew soup. Canary islanders who immigrated to Latin America brought sancocho to Latin America.

In Puerto Rico, sancocho is traditionally made up of beef tips, beef stock, and a variety of roots and veggies that are both native to the island and to Africa. Sancocho is usually made when there’s a big celebration, on rainy days or when you have a “parranda”.

Sancocho is a very hearty and comforting dish. Great for the fall and winter. Undoubtedly, the best way of eating sancocho is with white rice, bread, and avocado.

What do you need to make sancocho?

To make this Puerto Rican Vegan Sancocho Recipe you need to make a few adjustments to the original recipe. Living in Washington state makes it difficult to find traditional Puerto Rican ingredients. Especially green plantains and some roots. I discovered an Asian market nearby and they carry cilantro (recao), taro root (batata), yams, kabocha squash, and plantains. Here is the list of ingredients for your vegan sancocho:

  • Green Plantains, cassava, taro root, yams, kabocha squach
  • Culantro (recao), Cilantro
  • Dry Oregano, bay leaves, cumin, and other herbs of your choice.
  • Potatoes, carrots, potatoes, corn
  • Mushrooms – to replace the meat. You can use your favorite meat alternative
  • Sofrito – Sofrito is an aromatic blend of vegetables, herbs, and spices used to flavor beans, fish, meats, rice, and stews. Sofrito is the base for most Puerto Rican dishes! Get the recipe here Puerto Rican Sofrito.
  • Sazon, adobo, veggie broth, tomato sauce
  • Achiote oil or olive oil – Get the recipe for the achiote oil here Puerto Rican Rice Pasteles – Vegan

Tips for making sancocho:

  • Feel free to add or replace the veggies and roots depending on your preference.
  • For a thicker to thinner stew adjust the broth and water. Add more broth for a soup-like consistency or less for a thicker stew.
  • Peel the roots, potatoes, and plantain carefully. Then place them inside a large pot with veggie broth to prevent browning.
  • For this recipe, I used purple yam. Since purple yam is very sweet the sancocho tastes sweeter. To avoid that use white batata or replace it by adding more potatoes.
  • Take the time to make the sofrito. A sancocho without sofrito is not a sancocho.
  • Cook mushrooms for 8 minutes, then set aside and add at the end to prevent them from getting mushy.
  • If you can’t find cilantro (recao) add more cilantro or replace it with Italian parsley.

In conclusion, If you give this recipe a try, let me know what you think! Leave a comment below. Also, don’t forget to take a picture and share it on my Facebook page or tag it #thehungrydragonfly on Instagram! I love seeing your creations!

Other Puerto Rican recipes you will love:

Vegan Quesitos – Puerto Rican Cream Cheese Pastries

Puerto Rican Vegan Bacalaitos; Bacalaitos Veganos

Coquito de Almendra – Receta de Puerto Rico / Puerto Rican Coquito

Puerto Rican Tostones – Fried Plantains

Sorullitos de Maiz Veganos-Puerto Rican Corn Fritters Vegan


Puerto Rican Vegan Sancocho

Puerto Rican Vegan Sancocho

Puerto Rican Vegan Sancocho is a one-pot recipe, easy to make, and filled with Caribbean flavors. A vegan version of the traditional stew that is common in Latin American Cuisine.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Latin American
Servings 8 people


  • 1 Caldero


  • 4 tbsp achiote oil or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sofrito
  • 1 pound bottom mushrooms
  • 5-6 cups veggie broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 green plantain, peeled and chopped into 1-inch circles
  • 1 large cassava (yuca), peeled and chopped
  • 1 yam (batata), peeled and cubed
  • 1 large taro root (yautia) *see notes
  • 2 large yellow potatoes, cubed
  • 1-2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 corn cobb, sliced into 2-inch circles
  • 1 cup kabocha squash or butternut squash
  • 1 tbsp or eaach adobo and sazon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 of each handful of cilantro and culantro (recao)
  • 1/4 tomato sauce


  • Carefully peel the roots and veggies and add it to a large bowl filled with the veggie broth.
  • Preheat a large caldero or Dutch oven to medium heat. Add oil, sofrito, and sauté for a few minutes. 
  • Add mushrooms and sauté for 8 minutes, remove mushrooms and set aside.
  • Add roots and plantains with broth, herbs, seasonings, and water to the caldero or Dutch oven.
  • Cook for 8 minutes, then add corn, bay leaf, tomato sauce, and kabocha squash. Cook for 25 minutes or until veggies and roots are tender. Add mushrooms and stir to incorporate.
  • Serve with white rice, avocado, and bread. Enjoy!


*I recommend you to use white batata because purple yam or ube is very sweet and will make your sancocho very sweet. If you can't find white batata replace it with more potato. 
Keywords Puerto Rican Food, sancocho, stew, vegan sancocho

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