If you haven’t cooked with sofrito, are you really cooking? 😉 Just recently I made sofrito, so I knew it was only right that I made Puerto Rican yellow rice with it, which is also known as arroz con gandules.
Growing up, I remember the smell of when the freshly made sofrito hit the oil. My aunt was and still is the queen of making arroz con gandules and I am still trying to figure out her secrets! The intense fragrance of garlic, onion, and pepper filled the room, softly crackling over oil, waiting to be coated over rice.
Also, it may look like a dip, however, it is not. Sofrito is a vegan + plant-based cooking base used in Puerto Rican cooking. It can be used for a variety of cooked dishes, including, rice, beans, stews, and soups.
Because this week I am making a lot of delicious, yet cheap dishes with rice – we’re giving vegan Puerto Rican yellow rice, or arroz con gandules, a whirl. It’s pretty easy to make. It’s gathering up all the ingredients that can be a little complicated, but I got that covered in the cooking notes below.
What If My Rice Is Still Wet/Mushy?
At the end of the cook, if your rice is still wet/mushy, uncover the pot and allow the excess moisture to steam off.
Puerto Rican Yellow Rice (Arroz Con Gandules) Recipe
- If you want your rice to have more salt, just add a pinch of salt or Adobo.
- For less salt, omit any salt and feel free to add less sazon.
- Rinse the rice to remove any debris and starch (don’t skip this).
- You can usually find sazon in places like Walmart, Amazon, or the Latin/Hispanic/Ethnic section of the grocery store.
- Don’t mix the rice until the water has been completely absorbed, or you’ll be left with a sticky/gummy rice.
- I suggest using fresh, homemade sofrito for this recipe if you really want the true experience of Puerto Rican yellow rice. The recipe for the sofrito is here.
- Note: you can buy pre-made sofrito from the store (if you can find it), but it’s not quite as good
- Gandules is pigeon peas, fyi.
- This recipe is completely vegan and plant-based.
- You MUST use a caldero pot.
- 2 cups medium-grain rice
- 3 tablespoons sofrito
- 1 15oz can of gandules
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 5 ounce can of tomato sauce
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1 packet of sazon (con culantro y achiote)
- First, rinse the rice a few times and remove any dirt or foreign pieces.
- Next, heat oil in a pot over medium heat.
- Then, add the sofrito, tomato sauce, and sazon.
- Mix all together and cook for about 4 minutes.
- Add the gandules and rice and mix well with the other ingredients.
- Fill the pot with water until 1 inch above the rice line. Mix again.
- Then, add a pinch of salt to taste. Taste the rice water to check if it’s salted/seasoned enough for you.
- Bring the rice to a boil. Once at a boil, reduce heat to low. Cook uncovered until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice.
- Once mostly dry, gently stir the rice from bottom to top about 1-2 times.
- Cover the pot and cook for about 20 minutes, until rice is tender and cooked through.
Want more Puerto Rican recipes? Check these out:
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