International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Arroz con Gandules

Pot of arroz con gandules

(Puerto Rican rice and pigeon peas)

Image by Jose Kevo

Average: 4.4 (34 votes)

If you're going to cook Puerto Rican, you better know how to make arroz con gandules. No holiday dinner or family get together is complete without this hearty side dish of rice and pigeon peas.

Infused with the flavor of sofrito and sazón, a well-cooked pot will form a much desired crust on bottom called the pegao.

4 to 6 servings


  • Olive oil -- 3 tablespoons
  • Sofrito -- 1/4 cup
  • Sazón -- 1 tablespoon
  • Tomato sauce -- 1 cup
  • Stock or water -- 3 cups
  • Rice -- 2 cups
  • Gandules (pigeon peas), drained -- 1 (15-ounce) can
  • Pimento-stuffed olives, sliced into rounds -- 1/4 cup
  • Capers -- 1 tablespoon
  • Salt and pepper -- to taste


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high flame. Add the sofrito and sazón and saute for 3 or 4 minutes, or until cooked down.
  2. Stir in the tomato sauce and cook, stirring, for another 2 or 3 minutes.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover tightly and simmer for 15 to 18 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and let rest, covered, for another 5 to 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve immediately.

Arroz con Gandules Variations

  • Add some chopped ham to the sofrito.
  • Most recipes call for medium-grain, or Valencia-style, rice. But you can use long or short-grain rice too.


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