Puerto rican food list: 35 Popular Puerto Rican Foods You Have To Try At Least Once
25 Best Dishes to Get You Eating Like a True Boricua
If you’ve never had Puerto Rican food before, then you’re seriously missing out.
This is because the island of Puerto Rico is home to some of the tastiest food in the world.
Whether in its capitol city of San Juan, or along its dreamy coast, you’ll find a local cuisine full of rich flavors, unique spices, and fresh ingredients.
Puerto Rican food is a true delight for the senses.
Puerto Rican Food Guide
Traditional Puerto Rican Food
But, once you start looking into Puerto Rican foods, you’ll realize that this tiny island nation has a lot of its own unique cuisines.
How do you know which Puerto Rican recipes you absolutely have to try?
This guide will serve as your ultimate introductory course to Puerto Rican food.
Read on to learn about the top Puerto Rican dishes that you have to try.
1. Arroz Con Gandules
Puerto Rican Pigeon Peas & Rice
Let’s start with one of the biggest staples of Puerto Rican cuisine- arroz con gandules. Also known as Puerto Rican rice with pigeon peas.
It is actually Puerto Rico’s national dish. In fact, it’s the dish that many grandparents first teach their grandkids.
The dish itself has an interesting list of ingredients that you probably wouldn’t think to mix on your own.
But trust us, when you try it you’ll wonder how you ever ate rice any other way.
Arroz con gandules consists of white rice, olives, capers, pigeon peas, tomato sauce, bay leaves, sofrito (more on what that is later), and seasoning.
Some people also add bacon fat, pork, or beans to the dish.
Although sofrito isn’t a dish itself, we feel like it deserves a spot on this list because it plays such an important role in many Puerto Rican foods.
Basically, sofrito is a sauce that’s used as a base for a variety of dishes.
While each sofrito recipe varies slightly, the main ingredients are tomatoes, onions, red peppers, green peppers, and ajis dulces peppers.
To make sofrito, you’ll pretty much chop up these ingredients and throw them into a food processor.
The sauce is very tasty, and it helps to make Puerto Rican dishes bright, vibrant and full of flavor.
Do you like mashed potatoes? How about plantains?
If you said yes, then you’ll probably love mofongo. Mofongo is pretty much the American equivalent of mashed potatoes.
In other words, instead of mashing potatoes to create a side dish, Puerto Ricans mash plantains.
Sometimes, they even fry them before mashing them to boost the unique flavor.
The dish is typically mixed with crunchy pork skin, onions and garlic and then stuffed with either chicken, beef, or vegetables.
Mofongo is a very versatile food that both vegetarians and meat-eaters enjoy.
Pernil, Slow Roasted Pig
If you’re a fan of roasted pork, then you’ll love pernil. It’s one of the more popular Puerto Rican foods.
Pernil is an entire roasted pig, which is slow roasted. That’s right, in Puerto Rico they roast the whole thing.
However, you won’t find pernil at most casual restaurants you walk into.
Pernil is typically reserved for big celebrations, special occasions or family functions. It’s also typically enjoyed alongside other classic Puerto Rican dishes, such as arroz con gandules or mofongo.
The pork is generally seasoned with garlic, black pepper, and oregano.
And, many Puerto Ricans know how to cook the pork so tenderly that it slides right off the bone when being served.
If your mouth is watering right now, wait until you actually try this peril recipe.
Pastelon, Classic Puerto Rican Food
If you like lasagna, then you’ll absolutely love pastelón. Pastelón is basically Puerto Rico’s take on traditional Italian lasagna.
However, instead of using pasta sheets and marinara, Puerto Ricans use plantains and ground beef.
But don’t worry, Puerto Ricans like to keep in the best part of lasagna- the cheese.
Typically, the ground beef in pastelón is seasoned with cumin and oregano. The meat is then mixed in with tomato sauce, sofrito, and olives.
If you’re looking for a hearty dinner meal that is both salty and sweet, pastelon is your answer.
Jibarito, Popular Puerto Rican Sandwich
Who doesn’t love a nice, juicy sandwich?
Even though Puerto Rico may not be known for its bread, they sure know how to put together a tasty sandwich.
The jibarito is a Puerto Rican sandwich that consists of steak, garlicky mayo, lettuce, tomato and cheese sandwiched between two slices of mashed and fried plantains, otherwise known as tostones.
Pretty much just imagine a Philly Cheesesteak on steroids, and you have yourself a jibarito.
Honestly, after having one bite of a jibarito, you’ll never be able to eat at Subway for lunch again.
Empanadilla is basically a cute way of saying empanada. In fact, the word translates to “little empanada”.
An empanadilla is a Puerto Rican meat pie deep fried in olive oil that’s either filled with beef, chicken, or cheese.
Basically just think of a pastry, but one that’s super savory.
And, although empanadillas are very similar to empanadas, they do tend to have a thinner crust.
A very popular Puerto Rican street food.
Pasteles, Traditional Puerto Rican Food
Not to be confused with pastelones, pasteles are a dough that’s made from grated plantains, green bananas, yuca, and calabaza squash.
And, just like many other Puerto Rican dishes, pasteles are often stuffed with rice or chicken.
Think of it as sort of like a Puerto Rican tamale, but instead of being made from masa, it’s made with green plantains and yuca.
Pasteles are also typically wrapped in a green banana leaf instead of a corn husk. The banana leaf gives the dish a nutty flavor.
Also, while you can find this dish year-round, it’s usually one of the most popular Puerto Rican dishes at Christmas time.
Tostones, Puerto Rican Fried Plantains
Tostones are made of thick slices of fried plantains. (In case you haven’t noticed, Puerto Ricans love cooking with plantain).
Puerto Ricans start by frying the green plantains in vegetable oil, then flattening them, and then refrying them again.
You can basically think of tostones as french fries, but hardier.
And like french fries in the United States they are commonly served as a side dish with practically every main course.
Tostones are typically served with a dash of salt and with mayo-ketchup, (if you haven’t tried combining mayo and ketchup before, stop what you’re doing and try it now) fresh garlic, and fresh spices.
Puerto Ricans also typically serve tostones with a side of arroz con gandules or rice and beans.
Some Puerto Ricans even like to dip their tostones right into their food, especially into rice and beans.
A delicious combination!
As you can see, a lot of Puerto Rican dishes are hearty and savory. But, that doesn’t mean they don’t make a great desserts in Puerto Rico.
In fact, Puerto Rico is home to one of the most famous desserts in the world- flan.
Flan is a bit like creme brulee and a bit like cheesecake. In other words, it’s absolutely delicious.
Just like cheesecake, there are different kinds of flavors of flan to enjoy.
But in Puerto Rico, the most popular flavor is flan de queso. This type of flan is most similar to cheesecake and uses cream cheese.
You can also get flan de naranja (flan flavored with oranges), dulce de leche flan (flan made with sweet milk), and many more flavors.
Flan is the perfect Puerto Rican dessert because it’s enough to satisfy your sweet tooth without putting you in a complete food coma.
Coquito, Traditional Puerto Rican Holiday Drink
Of course, we can’t talk about delicious Puerto Rican food without talking about the island’s most famous sweet drink, coquito.
If you’re a fan of eggnog, then coquito is totally for you.
Coquito means “little coconut”, and it’s an eggless rum cream that contains coconut milk, coconut cream, vanilla, and sweetened condensed milk.
It’s also typically served with a cinnamon stick, and just like eggnog, coquito is a holiday favorite.
Get your Coquito recipe here.
12. Cafe Con Leche
Cafe con Leche
While coquito is enjoyed during the holiday season, cafe con leche is a drink that’s enjoyed year-round by Puerto Ricans.
When people think of coffee and Latin American countries, they often think of Colombia.
However, coffee is a huge staple on the isalnd and finding a delicious cup of Café Yaucono, a popular Puerto Rican coffee, is quite easy.
13. Coco Rico
Coco Rico Puerto Rican Soda
Coco Rico is essentially Puerto Rico’s version of Coca Cola.
In other words, it’s the perfect drink for cooling off on a hot summer day, even when you know that you should really be drinking water.
Coco Rico is a carbonated beverage that tastes like coconut and has a lightness to it that’s similar to 7 Up.
And just like Coca Cola, you can find Coco Rico pretty much all over the place, from restaurants to grocery stores to drug stores.
It is such a popular latin soda, the brand can even be found in some spots in the US now too.
So the next time you’re in the grocery store, keep your eyes peeled.
In addition to drinking a Coco Rico plain, you can also make a pretty mean mojito using Coco Rico as a base.
14. Arroz Con Dulce
Arroz con Dulce
If you still haven’t had your fix after indulging in all of the savory rice dishes Puerto Rico has to offer, then you need to get your hands on some arroz con dulce.
It is a sweet coconut Puerto Rican rice pudding that consists of rice, coconut milk, cinnamon, sugar, cloves, and nutmeg.
It’s also typically garnished with raisins and cinnamon sticks.
After a bite of arroz con dulce, you’ll never want to eat a dessert that doesn’t contain rice in it again.
If arroz con dulce isn’t enough to satisfy your sweet tooth, then you should also try tembleque.
Tembleque is a creamy coconut pudding that is made from cornstarch, sugar and coconut milk. Or you can buy Tembleque mix to instead.
Although it’s very similar to arroz con dulce, tembleque has a much smoother consistency.
It’s typically topped with cinnamon for an extra punch of rich flavor, and although served year-round, it’s most popular during the Christmas season.
16. Rellenos de Papa
Rellenos de Papa
If you’re all plantain-ed out and you’re craving some good ol’ potatoes, then you have to try rellenos de papa.
Rellenos de papa are potatoes stuffed with, you guessed it, meat. The outer layer is fried, making it extra crispy and delicious.
And, the great thing about this food is that it makes the perfect snack that you can find pretty much anywhere, from restaurants to food trucks.
Also, the meat filling isn’t just any meat filling. It’s called picadillo, and it’s made from ground beef, sofrito, adobo, olives, tomato sauce, garlic powder, and oregano.
The meat is then stuffed into the potato ball and deep-fried.
17. Pollo Guisado
While Puerto Rican cuisine uses a lot of pork in their dishes, they definitely still know what they’re doing when it comes to chicken.
Pollo guisado is a perfect example of this.
Pollo guisado is a chicken stew that’s made from a variety of ingredients including adobo, garlic, sofrito, oregano, cilantro, and other seasonings.
Some people add vegetables, while others leave them out.
This is another island dish where the chicken is cooked so tenderly that it slides right off the bone.
Alcapurrias, Puerto Rican fried snack
In Puerto Rico, alcapurrias are often sold on corners by street vendors, and they are a perfect, filling, mess-free treat to enjoy while you sit back and take in the sun and sand on any of the island’s beautiful beaches.
The outside shell of an alcapurria is made from a mixture of plantains or unripe bananas mixed with a mashed root vegetable.
The most common filling for alcapurrias is picadillo, but some people use crab meat, chicken, or another protein.
Although the exterior recipe is fairly universal, fillings can vary immensely from cook to cook.
19. Asopao de Gandules
Asopao de Gandules is a dish that’s actually popular across the whole Caribbean and not just on the island of Puerto Rico.
It’s essentially a blend of pigeon peas, rice, soup, and some kind of protein (usually pork shoulder, chicken, or seafood).
The closest thing to compare it to would probably be gumbo.
And while there are many variations of the asopao dish even within Puerto Rico, the most popular combines chicken, tomato, oregano, olives, garlic, onion, and a variety of other seasonings called asopao de pollo.
20. Habichuelas Guisadas
If you’re looking for the perfect side dish, habichuelas guisadas is your answer.
Habichuelas guisadas are basically a version of baked beans but done the Puerto Rico way.
The beans are seasoned with sofrito, tomato sauce, and Sazon.
If you love mofongo, then it’s time to extend your palet a bit and try trifongo.
Trifongo is basically the same thing as mofongo, but instead of being made from green plantains, it’s made from sweet plantains.
This is also probably a good time to note that if you try to make any of these dishes at home, the type of plantain you choose is very important.
If the recipe calls for green plantains, don’t think you can get away with substituting sweet plantains or green bananas. A ripe plantain and unripe plantain will most definitely change the dish.
The recipe just won’t be the same!
We simply couldn’t leave Bacalaitos off this list of best foods from Puerto Rico.
Bacalaitos are a traditional Puerto Rican fried fritter made from breaded salted cod fish.
To make it many common Latin American ingredients, including sazon seasoning, sofrito, and adobo seasoning are typically used.
The term Bacalaitos comes from the standard Spanish word bacalao, which translates to “salt cod”.
23. Arroz con Pollo
Arroz con Pollo
Each latin country, region, town, and family has its version of this delicious dish.
Many Puerto Ricans debate that arroz con pollo originated from Puerto Rico instead of Spain.
Arroz con pollo is a Puerto Rican favorite, and their arroz con pollo uses annatto oil and beer to give the yellow rice dish flavor, similar to how saffron is used to season and color the rice.
24. Tres Leches
Tres Leches con Coco
The tres leches cake is a very light sponge cake that is soaked in three different types of milk: condensed milk, evaporated milk, and thick cream.
It is a very popular dessert dish in many parts of Latin America and is often made during festivals and family celebrations.
In Puerto Rico, the cake is often soaked in coconut liqueur and rum. Sometimes they even pour in coffee on top to get that tiramisu-like flavor from the cake.
Bowl of Puerto Rican Sancocho
Sancocho is one of Puerto Rico’s oldest dishes and remains quite popular today.
Sancocho is a Puerto Rican root vegetable stew. It’s usually made with meat but the main ingredient is root vegetable.
Taro root, yucca, yautía, and sweet potato are root vegetables and tubers are commonly used with plantains and calabaza added.
Bonus: Tropical Fruits
Various Tropical Fruits from Puerto Rico
Puerto Ricans love their tropical fruit!
It would be a travesty to visit Puerto Rico and not partake in its vast offering of tropical fruits.
You’ll find mangos, guayaba, pineapples, maracuya, coconuts just to name a few.
Start your day of with some fresh fruit or incorporate them into your cocktail of choice.
No judging here just be sure to enjoy them before you board that plane home.
Are You Ready to Try Puerto Rican Food?
Puerto Rican Dish
As you can see, there are a lot of Puerto Rican foods that you have to try.
And f there aren’t any Puerto Rican restaurants close by, all you have to do is buy the right ingredients and start your Puerto Rican cooking journey!
Fortunately, we are here to help. Visit our online store and shop for all the Puerto Rican foods and drinks you’ll need.
And if you think Puerto Rican food is a foodie’s dream, then be sure to check out the best desserts from Puerto Rico.
Our blog is all about sharing our love of Latin American foods & drinks. We will bring you articles and recipes of the very best Latin American & Spanish cuisine. Amigofoods was founded in 2003 and is the largest online grocery store offering a wide variety of hard to find freshly imported foods & drinks from all over Latin America and Spain.
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27 Most Popular Puerto Rican Foods Of All Time 2022
Puerto Rican foods always stimulate the curiosity of tourists when coming to this beautiful island nation. They want to experience firsthand the flavors and quintessence of incredible Puerto Rican cuisine.
Before tasting them in person, you need to prepare a list of famous and typical Puerto Rican dishes. It will help you get the basics and a first look at the dishes before trying them. Let’s read this post to get all the helpful information.
There are many delicious foods you can find in Puerto Rican cuisine.
Starch-Based Delicious Puerto Rican Dishes
You will feel hungry after a trip to explore the scenic spots when traveling in Puerto Rico. Therefore, starchy foods are what you need most right now to recharge and relieve hunger quickly.
1. Arroz con Gandules – Puerto Rican Rice With Pigeon Peas
Recharge with a plate of Arroz con Gandules instantly.
There is nothing better than enjoying this Puerto Rican lunch recipe during your next trip. Arroz con Gandules is an old recipe and is associated with the country’s wet-rice agriculture history.
It has been around since the 16th century when Puerto Rico adopted rice cultivation. Moreover, Puerto Ricans call it mixed rice because it makes use of available foods and is cooked with two or more ingredients.
The chef will cook white rice with pigeon peas and sofrito to add distinctive color and rich flavor. This food is an essential component in special occasions such as Thanksgiving and Christmas.
2. Arroz Mamposteao – Puerto Rican Rice And Stewed Beans
You will not feel hungry again with a yummy plate of Arroz Mamposteao.
You will go crazy with this attractive dish with the combination of white rice and red kidney beans. However, the key ingredient that makes this food so appealing is sofrito, made with onions, garlic, peppers, and cilantro. It will make the rice more flavorful.
Rice is an indispensable element in the daily life of Puerto Ricans. This particular recipe is the result of changing the white rice and making use of leftover stewed red beans. Today, this food is favored by many restaurants in Puerto Rico.
3. Quesitos – Cream Cheese-Filled Pastry Twist
The creamy and smooth taste of cheese will bring you a new feeling.
There is no explicit claim about the origin of this delicious pastry. However, there are many views that European colonists brought to Latin America and the Caribbean when they colonized these lands.
This flaky dessert has a distinctive sweetness with a honey-covered exterior and a cheese-filled interior. This food is Puerto Ricans’ favorite choice to sip on with a cup of coffee in the morning.
4. Pastelon – Puerto Rican Plantain Lasagna
You will fall in love with the attractive taste of Pastelon on the first try.
Pastelon will be the great Puerto Rican breakfast recipe you have been looking for. It is a typical food of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. You will feel the sweetness of ripe plantain and the salty taste of seasoned ground beef in this food.
New York City, where the Italians and Puerto Ricans clashed, is the home of this food beginning with the letter “P”. You can choose another variation as the plantain will be made into lasagna pasta sheets and combined with eggs and semolina.
If you are a vegetarian and want to eat Pastelon, you can choose its vegetarian version. Meats will be replaced with mushrooms and various vegetables.
5. Tostones – Fried Green Plantain
Do not forget to order Tostones to eat with friends when coming to Puerto Rico.
Plantain is native to Southeast Asia and was brought to the Caribbean in the early 16th century. Tostones are known as deep-fried green plantain, invented by the Dominican Republic. The “T-something” name of this food takes after the Spanish word “toston” for fried dishes.
The chef will fry the plantain until it has an eye-catching golden color and a satisfying crispness. It tastes better when served with mayo-ketchup sauce. Another variation is made from breadfruit and is called Tostones De Pana.
6. Platanos Maduros – Fried Sweet Plantain
Sipping a cup of coffee with sweet platanos maduros is a great idea.
You will be immersed in the seductive sweetness of Puerto Rican Platanos Maduros. This food is not only popular here but also in Cuba and other Caribbean countries. It is a product of Indian cuisine, and Spanish colonists brought it to the Caribbean.
The food is a healthy option as ripened plantains are fried in vegetable oil. It is pretty similar to Tostone, but do not confuse them. Plátanos Maduros will have a milder sweetness and less crunch and firmness than Tostone.
It is time to taste incredible Platanos Maduros right now.
Watch this video: Goya platanos maduros review
7. Aranitas – Plantain Fritter
Aranitas is an excellent choice to enjoy with a few beers.
Aranitas is another excellent recipe made from the plantain of Puerto Rican cuisine. Its name means “little spiders”, but do not be afraid because there are no spiders in the food. Its small protruding legs look like spiders, hence the name Aranitas.
Actually, these fried green plantains are shredded and deep-fried with cilantro and garlic. The food has an eye-catching yellow color, like French fries. When you order this food, you will be served with a delicious garlic sauce.
Mofongo – Mashed Fried Plantains
Fill your stomach with an excellent plate of Mofongo.
It would be a huge miss if Mofongo were not on this list. Plantains are its main ingredient, but they will be mashed and marinated with olive oil and garlic before frying. The flavor will be more varied with the appearance of meat and shrimp.
This savory dish was born from the Angolan way of mashing starchy foods. It is native to Central and Western Africa and was introduced to Puerto Rico in the 1500s when African slaves arrived.
Learn some awesome information about Mofongo.
Watch this video: What is mofongo
9. Rellenos de Papa – Stuffed Potatoes
I am sure you will love the crispness of the crust and the richness of the filling of Rellenos De Papa.
Potatoes are a common ingredient in American cuisines. In Puerto Rican, people often use chopped potatoes to eat with soup. Rellenos De Papa is a recipe where potatoes play an essential role.
This dish is a variation of the croquettes of Latin American cuisine. The chefs will stuff a mixture of ground beef, adobo, sofrito, and other seasonings into mashed potatoes and fry them in hot oil until a nice golden brown color is achieved.
Other Savory Puerto Rican Foods You Should Try
If you want a different experience, the other great savory recipes in this section will be options you should not take lightly. I hope you enjoy all of these recipes when you visit Puerto Rico.
10. Bistec Encebollado – Steak and Onion in Puerto Rican Style
If your favorite food is steak, you need to try Bistec Encebollado. It is a simple yet delicious recipe for home cooks, containing steak, onion, and seasonings. In fact, “bistec” means “steak” in Spanish.
The most important step in this recipe is marinating. After mixing sliced beef with seasonings, you should spend at least 30 minutes letting it rest in the fridge so the flavor can blend.
For serving, you can enjoy it with beans or lentils, steamed fluffy rice, or sprinkle some herbs on the top to make the dish more appealing.
11. Pollo Guisado – One-Pot Chicken Stew
Fill your hungry stomach with a plate of yummy Pollo Guisado.
Your Puerto Rican dinner recipes cannot be complete without this scrumptious Pollo Guisado. The chicken will be stewed for a certain amount of time with sofrito, achiote, adobo, and other spices until the right softness is reached.
The types of vegetables will depend on individual preferences. This signature recipe originated in Puerto Rico and spread to the cuisine of the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and other neighboring countries. It appears regularly in the daily meals of Central and South America.
12. Pinchos Morunos – Pork Kebab
You can enjoy this fantastic Pinchos on the streets of Puerto Rico.
Pinchos are one of the many famous dishes of Spanish cuisine. Unlike the Pinchos version that is somewhat like the Spanish Turkish Kebab, pork, chicken, or beef is skewered on sticks and grilled over charcoal for the Puerto Rican version.
In particular, Puerto Ricans have combined fresh plantain or mashed dried plantain to add more flavor to this food. It is a popular fruit in this country.
13. Bacalaitos – Codfish Fritter
You will not be able to resist these crispy and delicious Bacalaitos.
Bacalaito or salted codfish fritter is a typical snack or appetizer from this gorgeous island nation. In particular, it appears at many beaches to serve tourists and at festivals in Puerto Rico. Don’t miss this Puerto Rican street delight when you’re in the country!
It is native to Africa and was present in Puerto Rico when Spanish explorers arrived. The main ingredient of this food is codfish, and you will feel the crispy outside and the chewy and tender inside when biting cod fritters.
14. Chicharrones – Fried Pork Rinds
You should not miss these delicious fried pork rinds.
Chicharron is a food that is not only famous in Puerto Rico but also popular in many other countries in Latin America as well as the world. This crunch and stimulating fried pork rinds originated in Spain and spread to many places.
Because of its popularity, there are many different variations of Chicharron. The city of Bayamon is known as the “city of Chicharron” because it is the largest producer of Chicharron in Puerto Rico. You can find Chicharron in fried rice in this country.
15. Empanadillas – Puerto Rican Dumplings
You can choose between savory or sweet Empanadillas to enjoy.
Empanadillas are many variations of the Empanada dish that originated in Spain. This recipe is a specialty of Galicia in Northwest Spain. A cookbook called Llibre del Coch published in 1520 in Catalan records the recipe for Empanadas with seafood filling.
Puerto Rico’s Empanadilla comes in various fillings, from savory to sweet. The outer dough is a combination of flour, eggs, and larb. This dish usually has a unique red or orange color and has a beautiful nutty flavor.
Although it is similar to Empanadas, the Puerto Rican version has a thicker crust. Its two main seasonings are Sofrito and Achiote. Sofrito is a combination of onions, garlic, olive oil, and coriander. Achiote uses nutty, sweet, and earthy spices.
16. Alcapurria – Dough Fritter And Meat Filling
Stimulate your taste buds with Alcapurria before enjoying main dishes.
Alcapurria is an irresistible Caribbean appetizer that always appears on the table of Puerto Ricans. This dish is made up of two main parts including the dough layer and the meat filling. Grated bananas are the main ingredients that make up the dough.
There are many different variations of this wonderful dish. You can opt for a version with a masa made with green plantain and squash. You can change the taste with crab meat of sausage filling.
Gather With Family Puerto Rican Christmas Foods
Christmas is always an important occasion of the year. This is the time when family members gather together for a cozy party. You might enjoy these signature recipes if you go to Puerto Rico for Christmas.
17. Pernil Asado – Roasted Pork
It is time to stimulate your taste buds with incredible Pernil Asado.
The most commonly eaten meat food at Christmas in Puerto Rico is Pernil Asado. You can easily find this food at the mountainside of Cayey in the Lechoneras of the Guavate region. This food is also popular in Cuba with its Cuban sandwich and Venezuelan version.
Chefs often use pork shoulder to prepare this food. The pork will achieve great tenderness when it is slow-cooked for a few hours, and the rind is perfectly crispy.
18. Morcilla – Blood Sausage
Morcilla is a unique recipe you should try when traveling to Puerto Rico.
If you like blood sausage, Morcilla is a recipe you should not miss. It is native to Spain and was introduced to Puerto Rico during the colonial period. In Spain, blood sausage in different regions has various historical meanings.
If you enjoy Andalusian blood sausage, you are eating remnants of the Middle Eastern regime in Spain. The Northern version of Morcilla will bring a new world vibe. The unique flavor of it is perfect to accompany it when drinking wine.
After trying Morcilla, don’t forget to give other countries’ variants some love, too. For example, Verivorst is a blood sausage in Estonian cuisine made from pig’s blood and an array of spices. You can find this dish during Christmas celebrations.
19. Coquito – Puerto Rican Eggnog
Gathering with family for Christmas with Coquitos is a beautiful experience.
If you are going to Puerto Rico for Christmas, a Coquito is something you should not miss. This delicious coconut dessert is pretty similar to the famous eggnog, but it contains coconut instead of egg. Moreover, Nutella and pistachio are also added to enhance the taste.
Many argue that it was brought to the Caribbean by the Spaniards when they colonized the area. It was created when the Spaniards added rum and coconut cream to eggnog. Today, it has become a well-loved beverage in Dominican and many Caribbean countries.
Coquito comes in many different variations with countless substitutes.
Discover the reasons why Puerto Ricans eat Coquito at Christmas.
Watch this video: Why puerto ricans drink coquito during christmas time
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It Is A Pity To Skip The Puerto Rican Desserts
It is time to enter the dessert paradise of Puerto Rican cuisine. You will have the chance to indulge in the incredible flavors of sweet and refreshing desserts in this section.
20. Tres Leche – Puerto Rican Milk Cake
It is an excellent choice to eat a Tres Leche after each meal.
If you are looking for an excellent Puerto Rican dessert recipe, I highly recommend ordering Tres Leches immediately. It is a signature sponge cake with a wonderfully spongy texture and a smooth whipped cream topping.
A little coconut milk will bring the island flavor to the dish. If you want more taste, you can buy a Coquito Tres Leches cake which contains 3 types of milk and rum. This food was born when the recipe for soaked-cake dessert was invented in Mexico in the 19th century.
This is the result of the cultural exchange of European and American cuisines. It appeared on Nestle milk cans in the 1940s, and it became more widely known. Nestle established many subsidiaries in South American countries to produce this cake in the 1930s.
21. Bizcocho De Ron – Puerto Rican Rum Cake
Pineapple rum cake will bring the characteristic flavor of alcohol for you.
Rum cake is an essential dessert recipe for special occasions in Puerto Rico. It is a combination of fruit, such as pineapple, apple, raisin, and so on, rum, and a little ice cream. This food is prevalent in all countries in the Caribbean.
Bizcocho de Ron is a common name for rum cake in Puerto Rico. These fantastic cakes appeared in the US in the 1970s. In particular, you can get drunk if you overeat rum cake since its alcohol content is more than 5 percent.
22. Arroz Con Dulce – Sweet Rice Pudding
Soothe your mouth with a sweet rice pudding.
You will regret skipping this sweet Arroz con Dulce of Puerto Rican cuisine. It is a form of rice pudding with a silky texture and nutty flavor. In particular, coconut milk brings a new breeze to the fantastic food.
Originally, rice pudding was a delicacy for royalty and the rich as imported rice was expensive. Royal chefs created this food for kings and queens on special occasions. It was not sweet at first, and it was not until the 15th century that sugar was added.
23. Majarete – Corn Pudding
You will forever remember the gentle taste and distinctive aroma of corn in Majarete.
It is time to refresh your taste buds with this sweet and silky majarete. It is a popular type of corn pudding in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba. This dessert is said to have originated in Venezuela during the colonial period.
The appealing and natural taste of corn will awaken your taste buds. Not only that, the appearance of coconut milk enhances the flavor and fatness of this scrumptious dessert. Therefore, do not miss the chance to try it.
Go to the kitchen to make delicious Majarete right away.
Watch this video: How to make puerto rican majarete
24. Pastelillos de Guayaba – Guava Pastries
Guava pastries with soft dough and sweet guava paste will not let you down.
Pastelillos De Guayaba has always been the favorite choice of Puerto Ricans for festivals or essential celebrations. Moreover, bakeries in Puerto Rico also commonly sell this food. The outer pastry dough layer will wrap the sweet guava paste filling.
This food is the pride of Puerto Rican cuisine. Unlike today’s version, the original Pastelillos De Guayaba did not have cheese. To make the guava paste, the guava is peeled and seeded before being ground and cooked to make paste.
25. Flan de Queso – Cheese Flan
The sweetness and enticing silky texture of Flan De Queso will captivate you in no time.
Flan originated in the Roman Empire when they raised chickens and collected eggs. The Romans combined eggs with cream to make a custard, known as “flado”. Originally, flan was made according to savory dishes with meat and fish.
Versions with honey and caramelized sugar are made. Gradually, it was developed with the addition of citrus fruits and almonds. The sweet Puerto Rican version of Flan De Queso is a well-known dessert in the Caribbean region. The locals consider it a must-have for Thanksgiving.
26. Pan de Mallorcas – Sweet Bread Rolls
The softness and sponginess of Mallorca will leave a deep impression in your mind.
Many tourists choose Mallorca as a sweet dessert when coming to Puerto Rico. This pastry is a traditional dessert of Spanish food culture and is popular in many European countries. This recipe was introduced to Puerto Rico by the Spaniards.
These cakes have a rather characteristic spiral shape and are made of powdered sugar. You can go to a bakery to enjoy this food with the best taste. There are some variations when it is eaten with butter or combined with ham, eggs, and cheese.
Follow the directions to make delicious Pan de Mallorcas.
Watch this video: Pan de mallorcas
27. Brazo Gitano – Swiss Rolls
The sponginess and sweetness of these sponge cakes will blow you away.
Brazo Gitano is tied to the history of Puerto Rico and was brought to the island during the Spanish colonial era. A Spaniard named Enrique Franco Rey is said to have first created this food in Puerto Rico in 1850.
Its name “Brazo Gitano” means “gypsy arm”. It is a sponge cake roll with guava jelly inside. The surface of the cake is covered with a layer of confectioner’s sugar. Sweetness is the dominant flavor of this dessert.
Let’s Start Your Journey!
It is time to satisfy your taste buds with the great Puerto Rican food on this list. I have had great culinary experiences here, and now it is your turn. Delicious dishes are waiting for you to discover. Let’s go!
Before you go, do not forget to share this article so that more people know about these excellent foods. Also, your contributed ideas are precious to me, and I look forward to seeing them in the comments section.
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Table of Contents
- Starch-Based Delicious Puerto Rican Dishes
- Other Savory Puerto Rican Foods You Should Try
- Gather With Family Puerto Rican Christmas Foods
- It Is A Pity To Skip The Puerto Rican Desserts
- Let’s Start Your Journey!
Latin America: Puerto Rican cuisine
Puerto Rican cuisine
Puerto Rico belongs to the Caribbean Creole gastronomy, which combines
ingredients, cultures and recipes of the native Taino Indians, Spanish
conquistadors and African slaves. The basis of Puerto Rican cuisine is formed by
pork, dishes from which can be found on any menu, as well as rice, beans,
seafood and, of course, fragrant spices. Below are eight of the most
memorable dishes of Puerto Rico, which most fully characterize the cuisine of the island.
(mofongo) is the king of Puerto Rican cuisine. it
the dish is of West African origin and is made from such starchy
foods like plantain and/or cassava. As a rule, bananas are fried for its preparation.
deep-fried, then knead in a mortar with garlic, animal fat and spices. In round-shaped dishes, mofongos give the desired look to the half of the ball. Puree is served with chicken or meat broth and a variety of additives:
boiled vegetables, beef or pork steaks, shrimp, crabs or other
(lechon) — roasted suckling pig, one of
unsurpassed Puerto Rican pork dishes, always present on
tables during family weekends and at local restaurants. Piglet being prepared
in the traditional way on a spit over coals with annatto for 3 hours,
pre-marinated in a mixture of garlic, rosemary, parsley, oregano, pepper, salt and orange
juice. The main idea is tender soft meat and delicious crispy skin.
(a sopao) is the official national dish of Puerto Rico,
which is a thick soup with chicken, bacon pieces and rice, which is invariably
is present on the New Year’s table in every home in the country, because all Puerto Ricans love soups. In various variations
chicken can be replaced with pork, beef, seafood, among others
ingredients also use olives, tomatoes, onions, garlic, finely chopped green peppers and spices.
perch (chillo frito)
— fragrant sea bass seasoned with spices and herbs and fried
whole until crispy. Restaurants specializing in fish
dishes, most often served with banana toast.
can-can (chuletas can
can) — pork chops on the ribs with a mandatory
layer of fat. The original recipe belongs to the restaurant Juan Vera, where these
chops were cooked for the first time in 1957 year. Give rich flavor to the dish
seasonings of oregano, achiote, onion and garlic powder and paprika, in which the meat
kept for about 4 hours.
(pastelon) — a type of lasagna cooked with
layers of sweet banana puree and ground beef with tomato sauce. Mixture
sweet and salty flavors with notes of Caribbean spices make this dish
unique and unforgettable.
(salmorejo) is one of the most popular
Puerto Rican seafood dishes. It is a kind of gazpacho soup with
minced crab stew, and can be found in most coastal
eateries and cafes.
Rice with beans
with beans (Arroz con
gandules) is a national dish that
cooked with ham, pork, chorizo, red peppers and olives. Undoubtedly,
in composition, it resembles Spanish paella, but in its preparation
Caribbean spices are used, so the taste is different.
Read more about Puerto Rican cuisine here .
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Puerto Rican rice recipe — Cooking recipes
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This quick Puerto Rico One Pot Rice Recipe is easy to cook in the stovetop or on the stove top cooking. Fluffy yellow rice, pork sausage and pepperoncinis make it smooth and tasty without being overly spicy.
Top with One Pot Puerto Rican Rice with Braised Chicken, the famous Chipotle Guacamole and Black Bean Sauce for a fun and easy weekend dinner with friends. Or maybe, just maybe, a Mojito or two! Come to think of it, the rice is so good that you can branch out and dominate restaurant-style Mexican rice or green rice, two of my family’s favorite rice pilaf recipes.
After a bit of damage to Puerto Rico’s national dish, Arroz con Gandules, my sister gave me this recipe. He’s done it so many times he technically doesn’t even use the recipe. But I’m complicated! I finally figured it out using his secret ingredient list, which includes multiple packs of Goya Sazon and the best pork sausage you can find. Thanks monica
This recipe for yellow rice, a staple of Latin cuisine, is full of sausages, spices, pepperoncini, corn and fresh coriander. (Don’t worry, you can use any long grain white rice; annatto in Goya packets will cause the white rice to turn yellow during cooking. ) It’s incredibly good, and like all great recipes, it’s really versatile.
Monica usually cooks this rice pilaf on the stovetop, but I love baking the rice in the oven for smooth results. Just in case, below are instructions for a rice cooker and an electric pressure cooker. Now officially you have no excuse not to try it!
Puerto Rican Rice Ingredients:
The «secret» to this recipe’s incredible flavor and color is Goya Sazon. This seasoning blend is bright orange and extremely aromatic (as MSG usually is). You can buy it at your local supermarket or on Amazon. Sold in small packs or boxes: look for Achiote and Culantro. (Achiote is annatto and coriander is coriander, coriander seeds).
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- Pork sausage. Aka ground pork.
- Long grain white rice. Long grain rice such as the Canilla brand is preferred. You can use medium grain rice (Goya sells it) or basmati rice.
- Pepperoncini Fine and not too spicy, marinated peppers make this dish delicious.
- Pepperoncini juice. From a pitcher of pepperoncini.
- Goya seasoning Cilantro-achiote seasoning. 4 whole packets, as per prescription.
- Canned Green Giant Mexicorn brand. This is a mixture of whole corn with pepper. Del Monte calls it southwestern corn.
- Coriander Fresh coriander for decoration.
- Pigeon Peas A can of peas makes it more authentic.
- Roasted This delicious combination of pepper, garlic and onion is essential for Latin cuisine. Feel free to add some extra garlic and pepper to the mixture when cooking the onions.
- Frozen corn and pepper. Frozen mix is just as good as canned.
- Sour cream. A tablespoon of last minute sour cream tastes great on this rice. Make anyone who thinks this is too spicy wait backstage.
- olives Peppers and all. Give them a rough piece and stir.
How much Puerto Rican rice should I make for the crowd?
The amazing thing about this recipe is that it produces a lot of food with just a cup of rice! The recipe cooks at least 2 liters of rice, at least eight servings of 1 cup rice per serving.
Make Puerto Rican Rice for 25 Adults , use 8 quart pot, triple ingredients and add 10 minutes to cooking time (40 minutes total).
Do you have to rinse the rice?
Yes! Rinsing rice before cooking removes excess starch from the outside of the grain. This prevents the rice from sticking and makes it fluffy.
To rinse rice, place uncooked rice in a bowl and cover with cold water. Then, using your hand, shake the rice around the bowl in a circular motion. Then tilt the bowl to drain the water, being careful not to let the rice run down the drain.
Repeat steps several times until water runs clear.
Make Puerto Rican Rice in the Oven:
Since Monica didn’t have any real recipe that I could follow, I developed a version that follows my restaurant-style Mexican rice method. It’s simple, delicious, and cooks everything in a pot.
- First adjust the oven rack to the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Then remove a heavy, oven-safe pot or roasting pan. Cook the pork and onion over medium heat until the onion is soft and the sausage is almost done, about 5 minutes.
- Then remove the onion and pork from the pan with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl. Keep the fat in the pan; you’ll need it
- Then add the rice to the pork fat, stirring frequently, until the rice is golden and shiny, about 10 minutes. This coats each grain of rice with grease, which will keep the rice fluffy.
- Then return the pork and onion to the pot, then the water, pepperoncini, pepperoncini juice, goya and corn. Bring the mixture to a boil.
- Cover the pot and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed. Stir the rice halfway through cooking.
- Remove the rice from the oven and fluff with a fork. Then add chopped cilantro and serve.
To make Puerto Rican rice on the stovetop:
- Instead of moving the pot to the oven in step 5 of the recipe, simply cover the rice, lower the heat and simmer until the rice is soft and all the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. about 20 minutes.
- Remove the rice from the oven and fluff with a fork. Then add chopped cilantro and serve.
Make Puerto Rican Rice in a Rice Cooker:
- Follow recipe instructions to step 4 using stovetop. After cooking the rice, move everything to the rice cooker.
- Cook the rice following the manufacturer’s instructions, or press the «white rice» button, which should automatically measure the time it takes to cook the rice.
- When the rice cooker beeps, beat the rice with a fork and mix with fresh coriander.
Puerto Rican Instant Rice:
- In the saute function, cook the pork and onion, stirring frequently, until the onion is tender and the sausage is almost cooked through, about 5 minutes.
- Then add the rice and continue to stir for a few minutes until the rice is greasy and starts to brown slightly.
- Then add water, pepperoncini, pepperoncini juice, goya and corn. Close the lid, adjust the steam release to «seal».
- Depending on the type of your machine, manually set the cooking time to HIGH for 8 minutes. If you have Rice Smart Program installed on your computer, you can use it. Disable any «keep warm» feature.
- Perform a natural reset to depressurize your pressure cooker. When the float valve falls, open the pot, fluff the rice with a fork, and mix in the fresh coriander.
American Type Cook Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 45 minutes Total Time: 50 minutes Servings: 8 servings Calories: 207 kcal
- 1 pound pork sausage
- 1 Average bulb, sliced by cubes
- 1 cup of washed long -grain white rice
- Coriander & Annatto Seasoning Goya Sazon
- 1 tin (11 ounces) Mexican Green Giant, drained
- 1 cup chopped fresh coriander
- Set the oven to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.