There are just some recipes that have the power to take you back to simpler days. For Puerto Ricans, one of those dishes is arroz con gandules (aka rice and pigeon peas.) Arroz con gandules is the ultimate comfort food and just exudes family and comfort. Combine flavors of garlic, peppers, pork belly, and olives with deliciously fluffy rice (and sometimes crunchy, if you’re able to master the art of pegao.) Every family makes their arroz con gandules a little bit differently, so keep reading to see how we create this cozy and tasty dish. 

Ingredients:

2 cups of white rice (short grain)

2 1/2 cups of water

1 can of gandules verdes (green pigeon peas)

1/2 cup of sofrito (For homemade sofrito use this recipe or if using premade use this)

6 strips of thick cut bacon

1/2 cup of green olives, cut in halves

1 small can of tomato sauce

arroz con gandules

Instructions

  1. In a large pot cook the 6 pieces of bacon until crisp. Set aside the bacon to be used later, and keep about 2 tbsp of the drippings in the pot.
  2. Add the half cup of sofrito to the drippings and cook for about 3-4 minutes.
  3. To the same pot add in the rice and water and bring to a boil.
  4. Once the ingredients are boiling add the tomato sauce, gandules, and olives. Mix the ingredients, cover with a lid, and bring to a simmer.
  5. Allow the rice to simmer for about 30-35 minutes, or until the rice is fluffy and cooked. Add the bacon and serve.
  6. If you want your rice to have a nice pegao, a crunchy layer of toasted rice found at the bottom on the pot, then allow the rice to cook for a few minutes longer after all of the rice has been fully cooked. Do not stir it until it is ready.

Arroz con gandules