Arroz con habichuelas, or Puerto Rican Rice and beans is a dinner classic made with rice, beans, tomato sauce, seasonings, and green Spanish olives.
To make this rice delicious, make your own sofrito, find the right ingredients, and use a caldero (cast-iron) pot if possible.
You can use a regular pot, however, a caldero will help create a crispier crust on the bottom (the best part).
No worries, though. A regular pot is fine, too.
What If My Rice Is Too Mushy/Wet?
Don’t fret – this can be fixed! At the end of the cook, if your rice is too mushy or wet, uncover the pot and allow excess moisture to evaporate.
In contrast, if the rice is undercooked, just add more water – about a tablespoon or so, and cook it for another five minutes. Here’s a general rice rule:
- 1 cup of white rice = 1 cup of water
- 1 cup of brown rice = 1.5 cups of water
What Kind Of Rice To Use?
You’ll find that either medium-grain or long-grain rice is used in Puerto Rican-style rice. Although I grew up eating medium-grain rice, I used long-grain rice for this recipe, instead.
I love using long-grain rice because is stays fluffy and they separate more (aka less of “sticky rice” texture). I also find long-grain rice easier to cook with.
Either way, use any kind of rice your prefer – besides, you’re the one who is going to eat it.
Dry Beans Or Canned Beans?
In this recipe, I used dry beans. Depending on what I currently have on hand, I’ll switch between dry or canned.
Go for either one. Cooking from dry bean will take longer. Canned beans is a great option if you’re pressed for time or just don’t want to stick around in the kitchen for too long.
Feel free to use either canned or dry beans. Up to you.
Dry beans will take a bit longer to cook since they must be soaked overnight and cooked for at least an hour to become tender.
But, it’s worth it. Dry beans are cheaper and you can use the reserved bean water for your rice. Extra flavor alert!
If you’re using canned beans, just be sure to drain and rinse your beans before using them in the recipe.
Where To Buy Sazon And Adobo Seasoning?
Sazon and adobo are popular Puerto Rican seasonings that show up in most Puerto Rican dishes. This includes stews, rice, casseroles, and beans.
Most big-box grocery stores will carry these seasonings alongside your traditional seasonings and spices (salt, pepper, chili powder).
However, if you’re unable to locate these seasonings there, check if the grocery store has an “ethnic” or Latin-food section.
If you want to make your own Puerto Rican spices, check these out:
Just a side note: I’ve found sazon seasoning at The Dollar Tree – check there. Give them a ring before you head over to the store. If you can find sazon seasoning at The Dollar Tree – take advantage!
For me, sazon seasoning is cheaper at The Dollar Tree than at the local grocery store.
How To Make Sofrito?
Sofrito is a base made from aromatic vegetables and used in Puerto Rican recipes including soups, stews, rice, and beans.
There are some varieties of a sofrito recipe. For mine, I use easy-to-find ingredients including green bell peppers, red bell peppers, onion, garlic, and cilantro.
All you need to do is peel, de-seed, chop, then blend your ingredients. Here’s the full recipe for sofrito.
Let’s spice up our lives with arroz con habichuelas.
Arroz Con Habichuelas
- 2 tablespoons vegetable/canola oil
- 1/2 cup sofrito
- 4 ounces tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon adobo seasoning
- 2 teaspoon sazon
- 2 cups white long grain rice
- 1 can pink/red kidney beans (or 1 cup cooked beans)
- 2 cups of water
- First, rinse the rice a few times and remove any dirt or foreign pieces. Rinse until water is no longer cloudy. Then, drain the water from the rice.
- Add the rinsed rice and cooked/canned beans to the pot and mix with the other ingredients. Fill the pot with 2 cups of water, about 1 inch above the rice. Add a pinch of salt.
- Without a lid, bring rice to a boil at medium-high heat. Cook until liquid has been mostly cooked off. Then, gently mix rice from side to center. Reduce heat to low and cover the caldero/dutch oven with a lid.
- Cook the rice for an additional 20 minutes until rice is tender and cooked through.
- If you do not have a caldero/cast-iron pot, a non-stick rondeau or saucepans will work.
- For less salt, omit any salt and feel free to add less sazon.
- If you want your rice to have more salt, just add a pinch of salt or Adobo.
- I used basmati long-grain white rice for this recipe.
Did you try out this Arroz Con Habichuelas recipe?