Arroz Con Gandules


Arroz con gandules, or rice and peas, are hands down one of my favorite ways to make rice. This is a Puerto Rican classic that I grew up devouring after school at my Puerto Rican friend’s house. It’s so flavorful that you sometimes forget to eat then rest of the other food. Serve it with pernil, ropa vieja or just a fried egg on top and you’re golden!


Serving: 6-8 Cook Time: 30-40 minutes


  • 2 tbs olive oil

  • 1/4 cup sofrito

  • 1 package sazon with annatto

  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce

  • 2 tbs tomato paste

  • 2 cups long grain white rice, washed

  • 1- 15oz can green pigeon peas, drained

  • 3 1/2 cups water or stock

  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin

  • salt to taste


Preheat a large non-stick pot over medium high heat. Cook the sofrito mix with the olive oil until fragrant, about one minute, stirring every few seconds. Add sazon package, tomato sauce and paste. stir until combined. Cook for 2 minutes. Add rice and peas, stir to combine and allow the rice to toast for 2-3 minutes in the mixture. Add water, ground cumin and season to taste.

Bring the rice to a boil, uncovered. Once the water level reaches the rice, reduce heat to the lowest setting and cover for 20-30 minutes or until rice is cooked through. Fluff rice with a fork before serving.


  • Make sure you rinse the water runs clear. This will remove the starches reducing the chances of your rice getting sticky.

  • It’s important you try not to open the lid too often. You only want to check the rice about one or two times tops, to see if it’s cooked all the way.

  • The normal 1:2 ratio for rice doesn’t work for this recipe as the other ingredients add a lot of moisture. I always like to use less water since I can add about 1/4 cup at a time until ready.

  • Try not to mix the rice while cooking, this will create a sticky rice and will ruin the crunchy rice at the bottom.

  • For a meat eater version: Cook some slices of bacon instead of using olive oil. Remove once bacon is crispy and use remaining oil to cook with. Add bacon back to the rice once rice is fully cooked.