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.

A plate of rice and beans

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:

Many of the recipes listed are gluten free and/or vegan.

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 seasoningadobo 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 oilachiote 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.
A bowl of sazon seasoning

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:

  • plantains
  • yucca root
  • gandules
  • a variety of other beans
  • rice

Now that you have some background on what to expect, let’s dive in to the recipes! Let’s start with an easy staple:

Staples

sofrito in a jar

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).

A jar of achiote oil

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.

A bowl of sazon seasoning

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.

A bowl of adobo seasoning

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.

two bottles of hot sauce on a white counter

10 Minute Pique (Puerto Rican Hot Sauce)

Pique is a style of Puerto Rican hot sauce made with peppers, vinegar, garlic, oregano, and peppercorns. It requires just 10 minutes of prep, and a few days on the counter to develop maximum flavor. 

Savory Rice Dishes

a plate of arroz con pollo

Authentic Puerto Rican Arroz Con Pollo

My mom’s classic Puerto Rican Arroz con Pollo! This flavorful one-pot dish is made with rice, veggies, and chicken. An authentic Puerto Rican arroz con pollo recipe with simple, easy-to-follow instructions and mouthwatering, traditional Puerto Rican flavor. Tips included for how to season the dish and achieve perfectly crispy Pagao rice at the bottom of the pot.

A plate of rice and beans

Puerto Rican Rice & Beans with Sofrito (Arroz con Gandules)

These Puerto Rican Rice and Beans (also known as arroz con gandules) are naturally vegan and gluten free and are loaded with flavor and protein.

a plate of yellow rice with sausages

30 Minute Arroz con Salchichas (Yellow Rice with Sausage)

Arroz con salchichas (aka yellow rice with sausages) is an easy and delicious one-pot meal that comes together in just 30 minutes. This Puerto Rican version is made with sofrito, pimento olives, and vienna sausage. 

Plantains

mofongo on a plate

Traditional Puerto Rican Mofongo (25 Minutes!)

Learn how to make homemade Puerto Rican mofongo with this quick and easy recipe – a delicious dish with green plantains, chicharrones, and lots of garlic!

a plate of Alcapurria

Homemade Alcapurrias (Puerto Rican Fritters)

If there’s one thing that Puerto Ricans do best, it’s fritters! Learn how to make these alcapurrias at home. The dough (masa) is filled with flavorful homemade picadillo (the meat filling), and the assembly plus frying process are easy! 

A plate of tostones

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!

a plate of sweet fried plantains

Sweet Fried Plantains (Maduros)

Sweet Fried Plantains (also known as Maduros) are a popular Puerto Rican dessert and snack, made with fried brown plantains.

A bowl of plantain fries

15 Minute Plantain Fries

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.

a jibarito on a plate

30 Minute Jibarito (Plantain Sandwich)

This 30 minute Jibarito is made with fried plantains instead of bread and filled with all of your favorite sandwich ingredients. It’s a truly delicious piece of Puerto Rican American culture, full of unique flavor and texture. 

a baking dish of pastelón on a counter

Pastelón (Baked Plantain Lasagna)

Pastelón is a traditional Puerto Rican dish made with layers of fried sweet plantains, picadillo ground beef, and melty shredded cheese. Often called ‘Puerto Rican lasagna’, this baked dish has the perfect combination of crispy, creamy, sweet & salty. 

Meat and Seafood

A plate of empanadillas

Empanadillas (fried Puerto Rican turnovers)

These Puerto Rican Empanadillas are made with fried buttery pie dough stuffed with seasoned ground beef, peppers and olives.

picadillo in bowls on a white table

30 Minute Puerto Rican Style Picadillo

This 30 minute Puerto Rican style Picadillo is loaded with traditional spices, olives, and sofrito, making it the perfect weeknight meal.

pernil with arroz con gandules on a plate

Pernil (Puerto Rican Pork Roast)

Learn how to make Pernil, a traditional Puerto Rican pork leg or shoulder marinated with adobo seasoning, garlic, and lots of fresh oregano. 

a plate of Puerto Rican fried chicken

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. 

a plate of pinchos de pollo

Pinchos de Pollo (Puerto Rican Chicken Skewers)

Today we’re making one of my favorite street foods, Pinchos de Pollo. These Puerto Rican chicken skewers are made with a blend of traditional spices, garlic, and vinegar. 

A bowl of asopao de pollo

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.

a bowl of stewed shrimp

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. 

Habichuelas (Beans)

habichuelas guisadas on a plate

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. 

frijoles negros with rice on a plate

Puerto Rican Style Stewed Black Beans (Habichuelas Negras)

These Puerto Rican style stewed black beans (habichuelas negras) served with white rice are a staple to island cuisine. Made with sofrito and adobo seasoning, they are infused with Puerto Rican flavor and make a fabulous meal.

Breads

A plate of pan de agua with butter

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. 

A sweet bun on a plate with a bite taken

Pan de Mallorca (Puerto Rican Sweet Bread)

Pan de Mallorca is a super fluffy and soft Puerto Rican sweet bread made with eggs. They have a truly addicting texture and make a wonderful side to just about any meal. 

Sweets

A plate with a slice of flan

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.

a plate of quesitos

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.

guava pastelillos on a plate

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! 

tembleque on a plate

Puerto Rican Tembleque (Coconut Pudding)

Tembleque (“wobbly” in spanish) is a classic Puerto Rican coconut pudding made with coconut milk, cornstarch, cinnamon and sugar. It’s appropriately named for its wiggly appearance and deliciously smooth texture. For best results, chill the dessert in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving.

shaved ice in a glass

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.  

a bowl of arroz con leche

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!

A bowl of coconut rice pudding

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.

Cocktails and Drinks

milk pouring into a mug

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.

a glass of coquito on a counter

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. It’s a creamy yet light, cinnamon & nutmeg infused cocktail. Please remember to always drink responsibly, 

Two Virgin pina coladas

10-Minute Piña Colada Recipe (A Classic Puerto Rican Cocktail)

This refreshing blended Piña Colada recipe comes together in just 10 minutes and is the perfect way to cool down on a hot summer day. It’s a classic Puerto Rican cocktail that will have you feeling like you’re on a beach on the island.

a piña colada on the rocks on a yellow counter

Pina Colada on the Rocks

Today we’re making a velvety smooth pina colada on the rocks using pineapple juice, coconut milk, rum and a squeeze of lime. 

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!

Salima written in cursive
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a plate of sweet fried plantains

Puerto Rican Recipes: Maduros (Sweet Fried Plantains)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 6 reviews
  • Author: Salima Benkhalti
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert, Snack, Side
  • Method: Fried
  • Cuisine: Puerto Rican, Latin
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

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 really is. If you make a recipe please reach out on Instagram or leave a comment below and let me know what you think!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 34 brown plantains
  • 1 cup vegetable or canola oil


Instructions

  1. Start by peeling your plantains and cutting diagonally into 1 inch sections. Preheat your oil in a heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat.
  2. Once the oil is hot, gently add in your plantain chunks, making sure not to crowd the pan too much. Your pan should have enough oil to almost cover the slices, so add more if needed. Fry the slices for 5-8 minutes, making sure to flip them every few minutes until golden brown all around.
  3. Remove the slices and cool on a paper towel lined plate. Enjoy!

Happy cooking!

Salima