Puerto rican recipes: The 35 BEST Puerto Rican Recipes

30+ Classic Authentic Puerto Rican Recipes

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This collection of 30+ classic authentic Puerto Rican recipes will show you just how flavorful and unique Puerto Rican cooking can be! Keep reading to get the rundown on all of my favorite recipes, including a few treasured family recipes that always impress.

In this post I’m sharing 30+ of my all time favorite Puerto Rican recipes from the blog plus some tips for success with Puerto Rican cooking including:

  • a few tips that help develop maximum flavor
  • key ingredients in Puerto Rican cooking
  • or skip straight to the recipes!

Many of the recipes listed are gluten free and/or vegan.

This post may contain affiliate links; this means if you purchase an item linked, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Click here to learn more about my disclosure policy.

How to develop maximum flavor

Depending on the type of meal you’re eating (entree, dessert, etc. ), you will notice common flavors and ingredients across many Puerto Rican recipes.

There are a few different seasonings, spice blends and ingredients that are used frequently in these recipes to help develop maximum flavor.

Here are a few you will notice regularly in the recipes below:

  • sazon seasoning — this spice blend is used in all kinds of savory Puerto Rican recipes from my mom’s arroz con pollo to these alcapurria fritters. It is traditionally made with a mix of dried coriander, cumin, garlic and annatto.
  • adobo seasoning — adobo seasoning is another extremely popular spice blend you’ll hear of regularly in this culinary adventure. While it’s completely unrelated to the also popular latin ingredient, chipotle peppers canned in adobo sauce, it definitely doesn’t lack in the flavor department. This spice blend is a mix of dried garlic, onion powder, oregano and pepper.
  • sofrito — while the previous ingredients focused on spices, this flavor bomb is made with entirely fresh ingredients. Sofrito is a mixture of peppers, onions, garlic and cilantro, pureed together and used as a base for rice dishes, picadillo and more.
  • annatto/achiote oil — achiote oil is made from annatto seeds infused into a neutral oil and when used correctly can give off a beautiful warm color and unique savory flavor.

Key ingredients in Puerto Rican cooking

Growing up my mom used to joke about her diet back in Puerto Rico saying that all she ate was rice and beans. And while that joke isn’t entirely true, there are certainly some ingredients that are used more heavily than others, as would be expected on any island.

Here are some popular ingredients that help sustain life on the island and are commonly used in Puerto Rican recipes:

  • plantains
  • yucca root
  • gandules
  • a variety of other beans
  • rice

Now that you have some background on what to expect, let’s dive in to the recipes! Let’s start with an easy staple:

color»>Puerto Rican Sofrito

Learn how to make my family’s version of Puerto Rican Sofrito and use it as an easy and flavorful base for stews, rice dishes, and more!

Ingredients: yellow onion, peppers, garlic, cilantro, culantro (optional).

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Traditional Puerto Rican Achiote Oil

Achiote Oil is a commonly used Puerto Rican oil infused with annatto seeds or ground annatto powder. This traditional recipe requires only 2 ingredients and less than 30 minutes of your time! This post may contain affiliate links; this means if you purchase an item linked, I may receive a small commission at no extra

color»>Ingredients: vegetable oil, annatto seeds.

Get the recipe

5 Minute DIY Sazon Seasoning Spice Blend

Learn how to make this 5 minute DIY sazon seasoning spice blend with a mix of 5 spices. It’s perfect for red meat, flavored rice and beans and much more.

Ingredients: ground annatto or turmeric, coriander, cumin, garlic powder, oregano.

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5 Minute DIY Adobo Spice Seasoning

color»>This adobo spice seasoning is made with a blend of 5 commonly used spices and helps infuse dishes with flavors of garlic, onion and peppers. It’s perfect for red meat, flavored rice dishes, and so much more.

Ingredients: garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, paprika, salt, black pepper.

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Scrambled Eggs with Sofrito

Learn how to make perfectly soft and fluffy scrambled eggs with sofrito. They’re packed with epic flavor and a healthy serving of veggies.

Ingredients: olive oil, sofrito, sazon, eggs, salt.

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color»>Puerto Rican Rice & Beans with Sofrito (Arroz con Gandules)

This recipe for Puerto Rican-style rice and beans (arroz con gandules) is full of authentic flavors, and easy to make. Made stovetop, it’s ready within 30 minutes!

Ingredients: oil, sofrito, gandules, tomato puree, pimento olives, sazon, adobo, vegetable broth, white rice.

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Authentic Puerto Rican Arroz Con Pollo

Allow me to introduce you to my mom’s classic Puerto Rican Arroz con Pollo; a flavorful one pot dish made with rice, veggies, and chicken.

Ingredients: chicken drumsticks, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne, oil, sofrito, yellow onion, bell pepper, garlic, pimento olives, tomato sauce, cilantro, peas, rice, chicken broth.

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Habichuelas Guisadas (Puerto Rican Stewed Beans)

If there’s one Puerto Rican dish you have to try, it’s my mom’s habichuelas guisadas (stewed beans). Made with sofrito, sazon and lots of love, these hearty beans are the definition of comfort when served over a bed of warm rice.

Ingredients: oil, sofrito, sazon, bay leaves, tomato puree, pink beans, vegetable broth, cilantro, salt, pepper.

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Pernil (Puerto Rican Pork Shoulder)

Learn how to make Pernil, a traditional Puerto Rican pork shoulder marinated with adobo seasoning, garlic, and lots of fresh oregano.

Ingredients: oil, garlic, oregano, adobo, salt, pork shoulder, orange juice.

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Chicharrones de Pollo (Puerto Rican Fried Chicken)

Chicharrones de Pollo is perfectly crispy Puerto Rican fried chicken made with a simple but flavorful marinade and traditional island spices.

Ingredients: oil, garlic, lime, vinegar, sazon, adobo, chicken thighs, flour.

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Asopao de Pollo (Puerto Rican Chicken Stew)

Asopao de Pollo is a deliciously hearty Puerto Rican chicken stew made with sofrito, adobo seasoning, and rice. It’s the perfect meal for a cold winter night, or whenever you’re feeling under the weather.

Ingredients: oil, chicken thighs, adobo, sazon, sofrito, bell pepper, carrot, celery, bay leaf, tomato sauce, chicken stock, rice, peas, pimento olives, lime.

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color number-background-color.background-color number-border-color.border-color number-border-width.border-width»/>Camarones Guisados (Stewed Shrimp)

Camarones Guisados is a delicious one pot dish made with stewed and sautéed shrimp in a flavorful tomato based sauce. It comes together in under 30 minutes and makes a wonderful weeknight meal served over rice or with fried plantains.

Ingredients: oil, yellow onion, bell pepper, garlic, pimento olives, tomato puree, cilantro, bay leaf, oregano, shrimp.

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Pan de Agua (Water Bread)

Pan de Agua (also known as water bread) is a popular bread in the Caribbean. It’s easy to make and perfect for sandwiches or served warm with a dab of butter.

Ingredients: active dry yeast, water, white sugar, flour, salt, egg white.

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30 Minute Puerto Rican Style Picadillo

This 30 minute Puerto Rican style Picadillo is the perfect weeknight meal. Ground beef is cooked with traditional spices like adobo and sazon, colorful sofrito, pimento olives, and tomato sauce.

Ingredients: oil, onion, bell pepper, sofrito, ground beef, sazon, adobo, bay leaf, tomato sauce, pimento olives.

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color»>Empanadillas (fried Puerto Rican turnovers)

These Puerto Rican Empanadillas are made with fried buttery pie dough stuffed with seasoned ground beef, peppers and olives.

Ingredients: flour, butter, sofrito, tomato sauce, ground beef, pimento olives, sazon, adobo, cumin, oregano, oil.

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Alcapurria

Alcapurria are popular Puerto Rican fritters, made with yucca and plantains, stuffed with picadillo, and fried to perfection.

Ingredients: onion, bell pepper, garlic, cilantro, sofrito, ground beef, tomato sauce, pimento olives, sazon, adobo, cumin, oregano, oil, plantains, yucca root, cooking spray.

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Crispy Puerto Rican-Style Tostones

These crispy Puerto Rican tostones are made by smashing and frying green plantains — this recipe couldn’t be simpler to make or more delicious!

Ingredients: green plantains, oil, salt, lime, adobo.

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background-color number-border-color.border-color number-border-width.border-width»/>Traditional Puerto Rican Mofongo (25 Minutes!)

Mofongo is a popular Puerto Rican dish made with fried green plantains mashed with chicharrones (crispy pork skin) and garlic. It’s traditionally served with a red shrimp sauce (camarones guisados) or chicken broth, and makes a super delicious side dish.

Ingredients: green plantains, oil, garlic, chicharron.

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Plantain Fries

Learn how to make these perfectly crispy plantain fries at home in a matter of minutes! They’re a fun spin on French fries, made with a classic Puerto Rican ingredient.

Ingredients: green plantains, oil.

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Sweet Fried Plantains (Maduros)

Sweet Fried Plantains (also known as Maduros) are a popular Puerto Rican dessert and snack, made with fried brown plantains. 

Ingredients: brown plantains, oil.

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Puerto Rican Café con Leche

Start the day off right with a warm cup of traditional Puerto Rican café con leche, made with Puerto Rican coffee, sugar and steamed milk. This traditional Latin drink can be found at any given time in panaderías, restaurants and home kitchens across the island.

Ingredients: coffee, water, milk, sugar.

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Authentic Puerto Rican Quesitos (in 30 minutes!)

Today we’re making a popular Puerto Rican dessert called Quesitos that are made with puff pastry and cream cheese. Quesitos come together in under 30 minutes and are perfect served hot with a cup of café con leche or tea as a treat for breakfast or dessert.

Ingredients: cream cheese, puff pastry, egg, sugar, water, confectioners sugar.

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color»>Pastelillos de Guayaba (Guava Pastries)

Pastelillos (also known as pastelitos) de guayaba are Puerto Rican pastries made with guava paste, cream cheese, and puff pastry. They are super easy to make and only take about 30 minutes!

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Puerto Rican Flan Recipe

Today we’re making my mom’s Puerto Rican flan recipe. This classic dessert consists of a lusciously creamy custard filling topped with homemade caramel.

color»>Ingredients: white sugar, evaporated milk, whole milk, vanilla extract, salt, eggs.

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Puerto Rican Salted Coconut Flan

Today we’re making Puerto Rican Salted Coconut Flan; a twist on my mom’s popular custard like dessert with a homemade caramel base.

Ingredients: sugar, salt, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed coconut milk, eggs, vanilla extract.

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Pan de Mallorca (Puerto Rican Sweet Bread)

color»>Pan de Mallorca is a super fluffy and soft Puerto Rican sweet bread made with eggs, bread flour and yeast. They have a truly addicting texture, fun recognizable shape, and make a wonderful side to just about any meal.

Ingredients: active dry yeast, whole milk, eggs, white sugar, butter, bread flour, powdered sugar.

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Arroz con Leche

This Puerto Rican style Arroz con Leche is a comforting dessert made with long grain rice, whole milk, butter, brown sugar and spices. It’s surprisingly easy to make at home and comes together in under an hour!

Ingredients: white rice, cinnamon sticks, cloves, nutmeg, whole milk, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon.

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Puerto Rican Coconut Rice Pudding (Arroz con Dulce)

This coconut rice pudding, or arroz con dulce recipe, is a comforting, traditional Puerto Rican dessert made with canned coconut milk, rice, and sweet spices. For best results, soak the short grain rice for 2 hours before cooking. This allows the rice to cook evenly in the liquid without becoming mushy.

Ingredients: rice, coconut milk, ginger, cinnamon sticks, cloves, nutmeg, brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins.

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background-color number-border-color.border-color number-border-width.border-width»/>Shaved Ice (Piragua)

Shaved ice (also known as Piragua in Puerto Rico) is a classic dessert made with shaved ice and a sweet, usually fruity topping.

Ingredients: ice, sweetened condensed coconut milk, coconut milk, cinnamon.

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Puerto Rican Coquito

This Puerto Rican Coquito is a classic cocktail made with seasonal spices, coconut and rum, giving it a taste similar to eggnog. 

Ingredients: cinnamon sticks, rum, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla extract, sweetened condensed coconut milk, coconut milk, shredded coconut.

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Pina Colada Recipe

Brighten up your life with these tasty virgin piña coladas that come together in under 10 minutes!

Ingredients: pineapple chunks, coconut cream, ice, lime, maraschino cherries.

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Pina Colada on the Rocks

Today we’re making a velvety smooth pina colada on the rocks using pineapple juice, coconut milk, rum and a squeeze of lime.  

Ingredients: pineapple juice, coconut milk, rum, lime.

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I hope you found some inspiration in this list of Puerto Rican recipes! While this isn’t a complete list, I think it captures just how special the cuisine is. If you make a recipe please reach out or leave a comment below and let me know what you think!

Print

Ingredients

Scale

  • 3-4 brown plantains
  • 1 cup vegetable or canola oil

Instructions

  1. Start by peeling your plantains and cutting diagonally into 1 inch sections. Preheat your oil in a heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat.
  2. Once the oil is hot, gently add in your plantain chunks, making sure not to crowd the pan too much. Your pan should have enough oil to almost cover the slices, so add more if needed. Fry the slices for 5-8 minutes, making sure to flip them every few minutes until golden brown all around.
  3. Remove the slices and cool on a paper towel lined plate. Enjoy!

Keywords: maduros, sweet fried plantains

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Tag @salimaskitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #salimaskitchen

Happy cooking!

Salima

El Boricua, a bilingual , cultural publication for Puerto Ricans

Pernil
Al Horno

How can you cook
the best pernil ever?

The number one rule is to do it the old
fashioned way and don’t change a thing.

It’s the traditional holiday meat and it’s
EASY as 1 — 2 — 3
If need to take a dish to a gathering take this. It costs a little more
but it so simple to make and it is so dramatic! Everyone will say you
are a great cook.

Buy a pork ‘shoulder picnic
cut.’ It looks like the picture below. Notice it has a nice layer of
fat or cuero on top. If you don’t find this particular piece then buy
any large chunck of pork. This is the prefered cut because it has the
fat on top to make cueritos.

All it needs is lots of
garlic (powder is ok), black papper, oregano, and salt. Sprinkle the
meat and bake. How easy is that?

Note: Season the meat one day ahead and refrigerate
(if you are short on time just season and cook).

7 lbs. pork shoulder — picnic cut (with fat)
9 garlic cloves (You may use powder garlic or ground garlic sold in
glass jars — 1 tsp. equals one clove.)
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon crushed oregano
1½ tablespoons olive oil
1½ teaspoon salt

Crush the garlic in a pilón. If you don’t have
a pilón (shame on you!) crush the whole garlic with the side
of a wide knife then dice the pieces. In a small bowl mix together the
garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, and olive oil. Mix well.

Wash the meat and pat dry.

With a sharp knife cut the fat away
from the meat, leaving an edge attached and keeping it all in one piece.
Start at the wide end and go to the narrow end. You don’t have to separate
it completely — just leave enough still conected so that you can flip
the fat over to the side while you season the meat itself. The fat will
be placed over the seasoned meat and will cook over the meat giving
it more flavor. Season the side of the fat that goes over the meat with
a bit of the seasoning also — just that one side by running your hand
on it. The other side — the top — should only have salt.

Make very deep slits all over the meat and season the
meat making sure that seasoning goes into all the slits. Put the fat
back over the meat to look the same as before it was cut and sprinkle
it with salt.

Refrigerate the shoulder, covered with plastic wrap,
for 24 hours (if you are short on time bake at this time)

Let the meat get back into room temperature before cooking,
if it was refrigerated. (About one hour).

Place the meat in a deep pan with the fat side up.
There will be a lot of grease so be sure to use a deep pan that is at
least 2″ deep. The fat side up will make nice crunchy «cueritos.»
Do NOT cover with foil.

Preheat the over for at least 30 minutes before placing
the meat inside. Cook in a 400º oven for one hour, then reduce
temperature to 300º for about 4 hours or so — DO NOT TURN
MEAT
. When the meat is done, you can prick it on the side witha
fork to see if it shreds. If the «cuerito is not crispy enough
for your satisfaction, then leave it in the oven and raise the temperature
again to 400º and cook another 15 or so until it is crispy. It
will crisp fast so keep your eye on it.

Remove the meat from the oven and let it rest on the
counter for about 20-30 minutes before carving.
To carve, remove the cuerito completely and set aside. Carve the meat
and then cut the cuerito into pieces and place over the meat. If you’re
going to take this to a party put it in an oven-safe container and put
it back in a 200º to keep it warm, DON’T COVER IT because the crispy
cueritos will get soft if you do. Cut the cuerito and serve meat with
a piece of cuerito on each place. Enjoy!

Tips . . .

If using a meat thermometer, it will be ready when
it reaches 185ºF.

If the picnic cut is not available just buy a pork shoulder — it won’t
have the fat and you won’t get any cueritos — but it will be delicious.

On-line question .
. . question from a reader. I’m making pernil al horno but I have a
20.something lb pork shoulder-picnic cut. Do I double the seasoning
and does the cooking time change if so what is the cooking time and
temps?

Yes, double the ingredients for sure.
The cooking time is more or less the same.
When I am cooking I start the pernil at least 7 hours early ( I always
cook big perniles).
Cook at 400 degrees for one hour. Lower to 300 for 6 hours or so. Check
it after 5 hours by pulling with a fork from the side of the meat. See
if it tears easy, if it does then it’s done. If you think it’s ready
then just lower the temperature to 200 degrees so it stays warm until
you are ready to serve. NEVER cover the pernil with
foil or you won’t have cueritos.

Grill instructions

In the summer we cook our pernil outside on the grill.
We do this to prevent the house from heating up. Follow all the instructions
above. Put your pernil in a deep pan. But do cover with foil to prevent
burning the meat — this means no cueritos. Put the pan on the grill.
Cook a bit longer than if using the oven. Cook on high for the first
half hour and then on low heat. Keep your eye on it.

Should you have any leftover meat you can make a stir
fry with left over rice and the meat. Or — make pernil tacos. Yum!

Dice up the leftover meat.
Add a bit of oil to a large frying pan and heat the meat, add sliced
onion. Once the onions are soft, add left over rice. Cook until the
rice is hot.

 

EL
BORICUA Home Page

Recipe
Index

 

Puerto Rican Rice Recipes — Cooking Recipes

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Need a list of rice recipes? If so, this list of Puerto Rican rice recipes is for you!

Easy Rice Recipes They are great at meal planning, saving money and sticking to a gluten-free diet.

In addition, Puerto Rican rice recipes are a staple at Latina Mom Restaurant.

Enjoy this complete list of rice recipes you can make at home! (Be sure to check out the other recipes added to this list.)

Follow us

Pinterest!

Spanish rice for beginners!

This basic Puerto Rican rice recipe is the starting point for making Puerto Rican food!

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Light and airy with a hint of sweetness!

White Corn Rice is a super easy meal that pairs well with fish!

Get the recipe

Use leftover ham for this rice recipe!

Spanish Ham Rice is a staple in most Hispanic households, especially around Christmas when they make Puerto Rican ham!

Get the recipe

Spanish rice recipe for kids!

Sausage Rice (Viennese Sausage Rice), a favorite of Hispanic kids, is a cheap rice recipe for those on a budget (or those who love Viennese sausage like me!!).

Get the recipe

The perfect recipe for dinner!

Use boneless or boneless chicken for a delicious and juicy chicken rice recipe!

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Easy BRAT diet rice recipe!

This rice and milk recipe is an easy rice recipe for an upset stomach!

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Coconut milk adds flavor to a sweet rice recipe!

The coconut milk in this Puerto Rico rice recipe is subtle! You get hints of sweet coconut while enjoying the true sofrito flavor that Spanish rice makes!

Get the recipe

Delicious three milk rice pudding recipe!

Tres Leches Rice Pudding takes your favorite flavors of Latin «milk pie» and brings you a gluten-free dessert recipe for the best rice pudding recipe you can make at home.

Get the recipe

Delicious rice with delicious bite-sized pieces of tilapia!

Spanish rice can be made in a thousand ways. This Easy Spanish Rice Recipe adds loads of healthy protein by adding Tilapia Fish to the Fish Rice Recipe!

Get a prescription

What are rice grains?

Buying rice can be a little tricky if you don’t know what it is Differences between short, medium and long grain rice ,

Here are common grains of rice found in local markets:

  • short rice — The shorter the grain, the stickier the rice will be. Short grain rice will produce sticky rice. Short grain rice will always stick to each other. Just use short rice for sticky rice recipes like sushi, rice pudding, or risotto.
  • medium rice – Want chewy rice but not the stickiest? Medium grain rice is an intermediate product of short and long grain rice. More common in Latin recipes are recipes like asopoa, arroz con gandules, or even arroz con leche if you want to use what you have on hand.
  • Long Grain Rice — My favorite type of rice to make Puerto Rican rice recipes or any Latin rice recipe. Long grain rice is the least sticky and produces light, fluffy grains that don’t stick together. Long grain rice is what is used to make pilaf recipes, just like regular Spanish rice!

Here is a list of favorite rice brands in the Hispanic community!

(The following links are affiliate links).

The best rice recipes start with the right grain of rice!

Cuban Rice, also known as Congri or Black Swamp Rice

Which grain of rice should I use?

Cooking rice is like pasta in that there is a lot of variety. For the following recipes, you can mostly use long grain rice, except for risotto or rice pudding recipes.

How much rice should I buy?

I always say long grain rice is a must at home! Here is my shopping list for rice:

  • 20 lb long grain
  • 10 lb medium grain
  • 1 lb short grain (and I only buy it when I know I’m making risotto or rice pudding).

Rice is very affordable and can be bought in bulk to save as much as possible.

How much rice should I use?

2 cups of long grain rice will generally serve a family of 4 with enough per second (this will vary depending on family serving size). For my family of 7, I usually make 2 1/2 cups of white rice or 3 cups of Spanish rice or rice with other ingredients.

Should rice be rinsed?

Yes yes yes !!! You must rinse the rice if you want light, non-glutinous rice!

Washing rice removes starch. Starchy rice is what makes rice sticky!

The only exception is when you want sticky rice dishes such as risotto, rice pudding or glutinous rice, popular in Asian recipes.

How do I wash my rice?

To rinse rice, place required amount of uncooked rice in a deep bowl and cover about an inch with water. With clean hands, almost massage the rice (think of it as kneading). Shake the rice for a few seconds, then close one end with your hand and tilt the bowl so the water can run out, or drain the rice through a very fine mesh strainer.

Repeat this process 3-4 times until the water is clear. (Or of course!)

You can even start your rice by letting your rice sit in a bowl of water for 5-10 minutes while you cook the rest of the dish, then rinse it out.

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