This collection of 30+ classic authentic Puerto Rican recipes will show you just how flavorful and unique Puerto Rican cooking can be! Keep reading to get the rundown on all of my favorite recipes, including a few treasured family recipes that always impress.
In this post I'm sharing 30+ of my all time favorite Puerto Rican recipes from the blog plus some tips for success with Puerto Rican cooking including:
- a few tips that help develop maximum flavor
- key ingredients in Puerto Rican cooking
- or skip straight to the recipes!
Many of the recipes listed are gluten free and/or vegan.
This post may contain affiliate links; this means if you purchase an item linked, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Click here to learn more about my disclosure policy.
How to develop maximum flavor
Depending on the type of meal you're eating (entree, dessert, etc.), you will notice common flavors and ingredients across many Puerto Rican recipes.
There are a few different seasonings, spice blends and ingredients that are used frequently in these recipes to help develop maximum flavor.
Here are a few you will notice regularly in the recipes below:
- sazon seasoning - this spice blend is used in all kinds of savory Puerto Rican recipes from my mom's arroz con pollo to these alcapurria fritters. It is traditionally made with a mix of dried coriander, cumin, garlic and annatto.
- adobo seasoning - adobo seasoning is another extremely popular spice blend you'll hear of regularly in this culinary adventure. While it's completely unrelated to the also popular latin ingredient, chipotle peppers canned in adobo sauce, it definitely doesn't lack in the flavor department. This spice blend is a mix of dried garlic, onion powder, oregano and pepper.
- sofrito - while the previous ingredients focused on spices, this flavor bomb is made with entirely fresh ingredients. Sofrito is a mixture of peppers, onions, garlic and cilantro, pureed together and used as a base for rice dishes, picadillo and more.
- annatto/achiote oil - achiote oil is made from annatto seeds infused into a neutral oil and when used correctly can give off a beautiful warm color and unique savory flavor.
Key ingredients in Puerto Rican cooking
Growing up my mom used to joke about her diet back in Puerto Rico saying that all she ate was rice and beans. And while that joke isn't entirely true, there are certainly some ingredients that are used more heavily than others, as would be expected on any island.
Here are some popular ingredients that help sustain life on the island and are commonly used in Puerto Rican recipes:
- yucca root
- a variety of other beans
Now that you have some background on what to expect, let's dive in to the recipes! Let's start with an easy staple:
Puerto Rican Sofrito
Learn how to make my family's version of Puerto Rican Sofrito and use it as an easy and flavorful base for stews, rice dishes, and more!
Ingredients: yellow onion, peppers, garlic, cilantro, culantro (optional).
Traditional Puerto Rican Achiote Oil
Achiote Oil is a commonly used Puerto Rican oil infused with annatto seeds or ground annatto powder. This traditional recipe requires only 2 ingredients and less than 30 minutes of your time! This post may contain affiliate links; this means if you purchase an item linked, I may receive a small commission at no extra
Ingredients: vegetable oil, annatto seeds.
5 Minute DIY Sazon Seasoning Spice Blend
Learn how to make this 5 minute DIY sazon seasoning spice blend with a mix of 5 spices. It's perfect for red meat, flavored rice and beans and much more.
Ingredients: ground annatto or turmeric, coriander, cumin, garlic powder, oregano.
5 Minute DIY Adobo Spice Seasoning
This adobo spice seasoning is made with a blend of 5 commonly used spices and helps infuse dishes with flavors of garlic, onion and peppers. It's perfect for red meat, flavored rice dishes, and so much more.
Ingredients: garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, paprika, salt, black pepper.
Scrambled Eggs with Sofrito
Learn how to make perfectly soft and fluffy scrambled eggs with sofrito. They're packed with epic flavor and a healthy serving of veggies.
Ingredients: olive oil, sofrito, sazon, eggs, salt.
Puerto Rican Rice & Beans with Sofrito (Arroz con Gandules)
This recipe for Puerto Rican-style rice and beans (arroz con gandules) is full of authentic flavors, and easy to make. Made stovetop, it's ready within 30 minutes!
Ingredients: oil, sofrito, gandules, tomato puree, pimento olives, sazon, adobo, vegetable broth, white rice.
Authentic Puerto Rican Arroz Con Pollo
Allow me to introduce you to my mom's classic Puerto Rican Arroz con Pollo; a flavorful one pot dish made with rice, veggies, and chicken.
Ingredients: chicken drumsticks, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne, oil, sofrito, yellow onion, bell pepper, garlic, pimento olives, tomato sauce, cilantro, peas, rice, chicken broth.
Habichuelas Guisadas (Puerto Rican Stewed Beans)
If there's one Puerto Rican dish you have to try, it's my mom's habichuelas guisadas (stewed beans). Made with sofrito, sazon and lots of love, these hearty beans are the definition of comfort when served over a bed of warm rice.
Ingredients: oil, sofrito, sazon, bay leaves, tomato puree, pink beans, vegetable broth, cilantro, salt, pepper.
Pernil (Puerto Rican Pork Shoulder)
Learn how to make Pernil, a traditional Puerto Rican pork shoulder marinated with adobo seasoning, garlic, and lots of fresh oregano.
Ingredients: oil, garlic, oregano, adobo, salt, pork shoulder, orange juice.
Chicharrones de Pollo (Puerto Rican Fried Chicken)
Chicharrones de Pollo is perfectly crispy Puerto Rican fried chicken made with a simple but flavorful marinade and traditional island spices.
Ingredients: oil, garlic, lime, vinegar, sazon, adobo, chicken thighs, flour.
Asopao de Pollo (Puerto Rican Chicken Stew)
Asopao de Pollo is a deliciously hearty Puerto Rican chicken stew made with sofrito, adobo seasoning, and rice. It's the perfect meal for a cold winter night, or whenever you're feeling under the weather.
Ingredients: oil, chicken thighs, adobo, sazon, sofrito, bell pepper, carrot, celery, bay leaf, tomato sauce, chicken stock, rice, peas, pimento olives, lime.
Camarones Guisados (Stewed Shrimp)
Camarones Guisados is a delicious one pot dish made with stewed and sautéed shrimp in a flavorful tomato based sauce. It comes together in under 30 minutes and makes a wonderful weeknight meal served over rice or with fried plantains.
Ingredients: oil, yellow onion, bell pepper, garlic, pimento olives, tomato puree, cilantro, bay leaf, oregano, shrimp.
Pan de Agua (Water Bread)
Pan de Agua (also known as water bread) is a popular bread in the Caribbean. It's easy to make and perfect for sandwiches or served warm with a dab of butter.
Ingredients: active dry yeast, water, white sugar, flour, salt, egg white.
30 Minute Puerto Rican Style Picadillo
This 30 minute Puerto Rican style Picadillo is the perfect weeknight meal. Ground beef is cooked with traditional spices like adobo and sazon, colorful sofrito, pimento olives, and tomato sauce.
Ingredients: oil, onion, bell pepper, sofrito, ground beef, sazon, adobo, bay leaf, tomato sauce, pimento olives.
Empanadillas (fried Puerto Rican turnovers)
These Puerto Rican Empanadillas are made with fried buttery pie dough stuffed with seasoned ground beef, peppers and olives.
Ingredients: flour, butter, sofrito, tomato sauce, ground beef, pimento olives, sazon, adobo, cumin, oregano, oil.
Alcapurria are popular Puerto Rican fritters, made with yucca and plantains, stuffed with picadillo, and fried to perfection.
Ingredients: onion, bell pepper, garlic, cilantro, sofrito, ground beef, tomato sauce, pimento olives, sazon, adobo, cumin, oregano, oil, plantains, yucca root, cooking spray.
Crispy Puerto Rican-Style Tostones
These crispy Puerto Rican tostones are made by smashing and frying green plantains - this recipe couldn't be simpler to make or more delicious!
Ingredients: green plantains, oil, salt, lime, adobo.
Traditional Puerto Rican Mofongo (25 Minutes!)
Mofongo is a popular Puerto Rican dish made with fried green plantains mashed with chicharrones (crispy pork skin) and garlic. It's traditionally served with a red shrimp sauce (camarones guisados) or chicken broth, and makes a super delicious side dish.
Ingredients: green plantains, oil, garlic, chicharron.
Learn how to make these perfectly crispy plantain fries at home in a matter of minutes! They're a fun spin on French fries, made with a classic Puerto Rican ingredient.
Ingredients: green plantains, oil.
Sweet Fried Plantains (Maduros)
Sweet Fried Plantains (also known as Maduros) are a popular Puerto Rican dessert and snack, made with fried brown plantains.
Ingredients: brown plantains, oil.
Puerto Rican Café con Leche
Start the day off right with a warm cup of traditional Puerto Rican café con leche, made with Puerto Rican coffee, sugar and steamed milk. This traditional Latin drink can be found at any given time in panaderías, restaurants and home kitchens across the island.
Ingredients: coffee, water, milk, sugar.
Authentic Puerto Rican Quesitos (in 30 minutes!)
Today we're making a popular Puerto Rican dessert called Quesitos that are made with puff pastry and cream cheese. Quesitos come together in under 30 minutes and are perfect served hot with a cup of café con leche or tea as a treat for breakfast or dessert.
Ingredients: cream cheese, puff pastry, egg, sugar, water, confectioners sugar.
Pastelillos de Guayaba (Guava Pastries)
Pastelillos (also known as pastelitos) de guayaba are Puerto Rican pastries made with guava paste, cream cheese, and puff pastry. They are super easy to make and only take about 30 minutes!
Puerto Rican Flan Recipe
Today we’re making my mom’s Puerto Rican flan recipe. This classic dessert consists of a lusciously creamy custard filling topped with homemade caramel.
Ingredients: white sugar, evaporated milk, whole milk, vanilla extract, salt, eggs.
Puerto Rican Salted Coconut Flan
Today we're making Puerto Rican Salted Coconut Flan; a twist on my mom's popular custard like dessert with a homemade caramel base.
Ingredients: sugar, salt, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed coconut milk, eggs, vanilla extract.
Pan de Mallorca (Puerto Rican Sweet Bread)
Pan de Mallorca is a super fluffy and soft Puerto Rican sweet bread made with eggs, bread flour and yeast. They have a truly addicting texture, fun recognizable shape, and make a wonderful side to just about any meal.
Ingredients: active dry yeast, whole milk, eggs, white sugar, butter, bread flour, powdered sugar.
Arroz con Leche
This Puerto Rican style Arroz con Leche is a comforting dessert made with long grain rice, whole milk, butter, brown sugar and spices. It's surprisingly easy to make at home and comes together in under an hour!
Ingredients: white rice, cinnamon sticks, cloves, nutmeg, whole milk, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon.
Puerto Rican Coconut Rice Pudding (Arroz con Dulce)
This coconut rice pudding, or arroz con dulce recipe, is a comforting, traditional Puerto Rican dessert made with canned coconut milk, rice, and sweet spices. For best results, soak the short grain rice for 2 hours before cooking. This allows the rice to cook evenly in the liquid without becoming mushy.
Ingredients: rice, coconut milk, ginger, cinnamon sticks, cloves, nutmeg, brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins.
Shaved Ice (Piragua)
Shaved ice (also known as Piragua in Puerto Rico) is a classic dessert made with shaved ice and a sweet, usually fruity topping.
Ingredients: ice, sweetened condensed coconut milk, coconut milk, cinnamon.
Puerto Rican Coquito
This Puerto Rican Coquito is a classic cocktail made with seasonal spices, coconut and rum, giving it a taste similar to eggnog.
Ingredients: cinnamon sticks, rum, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla extract, sweetened condensed coconut milk, coconut milk, shredded coconut.
Pina Colada Recipe
Brighten up your life with these tasty virgin piña coladas that come together in under 10 minutes!
Ingredients: pineapple chunks, coconut cream, ice, lime, maraschino cherries.
I hope you found some inspiration in this list of Puerto Rican recipes! While this isn't a complete list, I think it captures just how special the cuisine is. If you make a recipe please reach out or leave a comment below and let me know what you think!Print