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arroz con gandules traditional puerto rican rice with pigeon peas inside a caldero recipe

Arroz con Gandules

Arroz con Gandules is the best Puerto Rican rice dish that is filled with FLAVOR. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine Caribbean, Puerto Rican
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 People


  • 3 cups medium grain rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 can gandules (pigeon peas) drained
  • 1/2 cup cured salted pork chopped
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sofrito
  • 6 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 packet sazon culantro y achiote
  • 10 whole spanish olives
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • salt for taste


  1. Start by adding the vegetable oil to the caldero or large pot and set the stove heat to medium. Toss in your chopped cured salted pork into the pot and cook until it is fried. Remove the cured salted pork and set aside but keep the grease in the caldero. 

  2. Next, add your sofrito, tomato sauce, sazon culantro y achiote, cumin, spanish olives, and gandules to the caldero. Cook and stir the mixture for about 3 to 4 minutes. In addition, add your water and bring to boil. Rinse your medium grain rice to remove starch. 

  3. Lastly, add your medium grain rice and the fried cured salted pork and stir everything gently. Place a sheet of foil covering the top opening of the caldero and cover with lid. Cook the Puerto Rican rice for 30 minutes over medium heat without opening the lid at all. Fluff rice and add salt for personal taste. 

Recipe Notes

 1. For perfect water amount, make sure the rice is below liquid amount by 1 inch before placing the foil and caldero lid. 

2. Do not wash the starch off of the rice if you prefer your rice sticky.