Arroz con Gandules (Rice with Pigeon Peas)

by Erica Dinho on December 29, 2010

Arroz con Gandules

Arroz con Gandules or Rice with Pigeon Peas is a traditional Puerto Rican dish consisting of rice cooked with bacon, sautéed onions, garlic, red and green peppers, tomato, garlic, cumin, annato and cilantro. Most Latin people love arroz or rice. We can’t live without it. We eat rice almost every day and therefore have many different rice based dishes. Anything you can think of and there is a rice based dish for it.

I served the Arroz con Gandules with patacones or tostones, (fried green plantains) and it was a delicious rice dish.

Buen provecho!



(4-6 servings)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup green pepper, chopped
  • 1/3 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 pound bacon or ham, diced
  • 2 cups rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons sazon goya with annato
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 can (15 oz.)pigeon peas
  • Salt and pepper


  1. In a large pan over medium heat, add the oil and the bacon or ham. Sauté for 5 minutes or until the bacon is brown. Remove and set aside.
  2. Add more olive oil, green pepper, garlic, red pepper, onion, salt, black pepper, ground cumin and cilantro. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Add the rice and stir to coat. Add the water, tomato paste and pigeon peas, stir and bring to a boil. Add the bacon and sazon goya. Reduce the heat, cover and cook for about 25 minutes.
  4. Remove the rice from the heat, let it sit covered for 5 minutes and serve.
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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Belinda @zomppa December 29, 2010 at 11:40 AM

Can’t live without rice! What wonderful flavors and color – the cilantro adds the perfect touch.


2 5 Star Foodie December 29, 2010 at 12:32 PM

Sounds like a delicious and satisfying rice dish! The tostones sound so good with it!


3 Ivy December 29, 2010 at 5:36 PM

I am not sure what pigeon peas are. Will google search it later on. The dish sounds awesome.


4 rebecca subbiah December 29, 2010 at 10:43 PM

oh this looks tasty love to make dishes like this

happy new year

Love Rebecca


5 Barbara December 30, 2010 at 7:41 AM

I’ve had this, Erica. (but I bet yours is way better!) And I could eat plantains all day long! Nice balance to serve them with your rice dish.
Happy New Year to you!


6 Sharon Moh December 30, 2010 at 11:09 AM

Wow oh wow this looks so good! I can’t live without rice either, have to have it at least for one meal a day. I love cilantro (puzzled at first at what it was because we call it coriander) and it makes me love any dish instantly.


7 Gera@SweetsFoodsBlog December 30, 2010 at 3:52 PM

I didn’t eat this type of PR rice-dish before – mm worth to try it!

Happy New Year Erica!! :)



8 oceanbeat December 30, 2010 at 5:40 PM

OMG now i’m craving Arroz con Gandules….it’s soooo yummy.


9 Mely (mexicoinmykitchen) December 30, 2010 at 8:14 PM

Wow, I didn’t know it has bacon. So, it must be really good and then adding a side dish of tostones. I had to try it.

Happy 2011 and many blessing to you and your family.

Que la pases muy bien amiga, te envio un abrazo y un beso.



10 Chris December 30, 2010 at 9:12 PM

I can only imagine how great this would taste, Erica! I bet they would go perfect with a great pork roast.


11 Chef E December 31, 2010 at 9:37 PM

I agree with Chris! I love rice too, and have been eating it regularly lately on my new eating plan!

Hope you are feeling well, and I am on to read about that chocolate cake I just saw…my weakness :)

Happy New Year to you and your family!


12 Faith January 2, 2011 at 4:41 PM

What a delicious dish, and it looks absolutely wonderful served with the fried plantains! Happy New Year to you, Erica!


13 tasteofbeirut January 3, 2011 at 10:26 AM

I have seen this dish before but have never tried to make it; it looks delicious with the fried plantains. Would love a taste of it!


14 norma January 5, 2011 at 12:51 PM

You did a great job on my arroz con gandules. I usually ues pork ribs and chorizo.
When I was traveling to Coasta Rica, my friend said that the gandules were for the birds and they did not eat it. I was visiting friends and decided to take gandules with me and my seasonings. I made it for a party and everyone went crazy. As we was leaving for our hotel, I spied one of the guys with the pot on his lap scraping the “pegao” as we like to call it.


15 Erica January 7, 2011 at 12:30 PM

Thank you everyone!


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