Arroz Con Gandules

arroz con gondules
arroz con gondules

Today we look at how to make arroz con gandules or what some people call Puerto Rican rice. This may not be a “traditional” side dish for the holidays for many but in my partly Puerto Rican household it is a must! It is commonly served in Puerto Rican households for any special occasion whether it be Christmas, a birthday or Thanksgiving. Honestly my family and I don’t need much of a reason to make this. It is my favorite Latin rice dish of all.

If I had a “last meal” this would definitely have to be at the top of my list! Although, I would insist that they use this arroz con gandules recipe, hehe.

arroz con gondules aka puerto rican rice

To me it is comfort food that brings back many memories. One of my best and earliest memories was making arroz con gandules with my mother as a child. This is one of the dishes I would like to teach my lovies how to make because cooking is a huge part of my culture. I would like them to know and love all the cultures that make them who they are. It doesn’t matter if you are Puerto Rican or not I think you will greatly enjoy this Puerto Rican rice.

Give it a try and it may become a new holiday tradition for you as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

Arroz Con Gandules

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Recipe by Course: Recipes


Prep time


Cooking time



Arroz con gandules is a delicious dish made of rice, pigeon peas, and pork.


  • 2 cups long grain rice

  • 4 cups boiling water

  • 2 cubes Sofrito or 2-3 Tbs store bought Sofrito* (please make your own ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 2 packets Sazon with Azafran

  • Salt to taste for water

  • 1 cup Spanish Olives

  • 1 can Gandules (Brown Pigeon Peas).*

  • Adobo (to taste to season while cooking)

  • 2 tbsp oil

  • Ham slice diced *optional (I did not use)*


  • Wash and drain rice, set aside
  • Heat oil in a large saucepan on medium heat
  • Add sofrito and mix in
  • Add sazon packets and mix in with oil and sofrito
  • Add Gandules, rice and olives and mix well for a minute or so
  • Put water to boil in a saucepan, add salt to taste
  • When water boils add to rice mixture and combine
  • Bring to a boil and to allow to boil over med high till water evaporates to where you can see rice through it (roughly 10 minutes)
  • Lower heat and simmer covered until water is absorbed and rice is cooked through.


  • *You can easily use fresh Gandules by soaking them overnight[br] *If you are using ham just add when you add seasonings to mix in


  1. Nora Rodriguez

    Is there a big difference if I use gandules Verde from the can? I cannot find the brown one.

  2. Nora Rodriguez

    Is there a big difference if I use gandules Verde from the can? I cannot find the brown one.

  3. Hey, I always wanted to make this! I was just wondering what brand of rice do you typically use to make this? I usually use Jasmine rice, but I just wanted to know you use.

  4. Hi Nicole. Just want to thank you for posting this recipe. It’s easy and tastes a lot like what I remember my great grandma making. I do have a question in regards to the gandules. I live in so cal and I can’t find the Goya gandules secos that I used to buy. I can only find gandules verdes. Where do you buy your gandules? I even checked the Goya website and couldn’t find them. Thanks so much, and you’re right, the sofrito from scratch makes it way better!! Best, Kelly L.

    • Hi Kelly!
      Sorry I did not see your post right away. I am so glad you enjoyed the recipe. It is not always easy to find them in the can but I have found then in Shop Rite and you may have more luck finding them dried in the bag and then you can soak them overnight and use them. I saw Amazon sells them by the dozen in cans (GOYA). If you have any Latino markets near you that may prove a better find as well. I hope this helps. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I finally did find them on Amazon. Thanks. I found the GOYA brand but also another brand – Grace? Have you heard of that? The GOYA cans are a pack of 12 – but the cans are 29 oz instead of small 15 oz cans. I guess you could open them and freeze half? The cans of the Grace brand are 24 packs of 15 oz cans. I don’t know … I hesitate to buy the Grace brand because everyone always says GOYA and I’ve never heard of Grace. But this is just my musing. Sorry! Thanks for your help. And again, thanks for the recipe. I’ve already made it a couple of times.

  5. Do the beans go in with the rice and olives? I don’t see where it mentions it in the recipe.

  6. Hey sweetness! I printed out your recipe as I think not only would I love it, but so would Eirianna and Nya!! Just a quick question. . . . if I buy sofrito, where would I find it? Do you have a favorite brand? Miss you!! XXOO

    • Hi there! First off I MISS you, we must remedy that! You can find “Sofrito” in the frozen Latin section where they have Goya products but I do encourage you to make your own (see recipe) for superior well everything but the store one will get you by. I hope you and the ladies enjoy it. XOXO

  7. I was introduced to this dish when I was in college, and a friend of mine cooked it for me. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. Delicious goodness! After turkey and stuffing, I’m going to want something different for my taste buds. Thanks for reminding me of this simple yet amazing dish. Love!

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