Mouthwatering Arroz Con Gandules Recipe

Are you tired of the same old rice and beans recipe? Do you want to add a new twist to your vegan menu? Look no further than this Vegan Arroz Con Gandules recipe!

Arroz con gandules is a classic Puerto Rican staple that has been enjoyed for generations. But this meatless version has all the signature flavors and textures that make this dish so beloved without any animal products.

As an advocate for plant-based living, I believe that food should be nutritious and delicious. And this Vegan Arroz Con Gandules recipe lives up to both of those standards. This dish is not only packed with protein and fiber from the pigeon peas, but it also bursts with flavor from the sofrito, tomato sauce, and spices.

So why not step outside your comfort zone and try something new? This Vegan Arroz Con Gandules recipe is perfect for any occasion, from a casual dinner at home to a holiday feast with family and friends. Let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Vegan Arroz Con Gandules
Vegan Arroz Con Gandules

Are you tired of the same old bland rice dishes? Are you looking for a mouth-watering vegan recipe that will satisfy your cravings and please your taste buds? Look no further than Arroz con Gandules, the signature Puerto Rican rice dish made meatless and vegan-friendly.

This traditional Puerto Rican recipe has been passed down from generation to generation, and now it’s time to add our own spin on it with this vegan version. The combination of fluffy white rice and savory pigeon peas cooked in a vegetable broth infused with flavorful sofrito creates an explosion of flavors in your mouth.

But why should you care about trying a vegan version of this classic dish? For starters, it’s healthier than the traditional recipe which often includes meat-based bouillon cubes or pork. And with the use of vegan butter or margarine instead of animal-derived fats, you can enjoy this dish guilt-free.

Not only is this dish nutritious, but it’s also incredibly easy to make. With just a few simple ingredients and some basic cooking techniques, you can have a wholesome meal ready in no time. Plus, it’s perfect for adding your own personal touch with variations such as adding sliced avocados or roasted bell peppers on top.

So whether you’re a seasoned vegan or simply looking to broaden your culinary horizons, Arroz con Gandules is sure to impress. Its comforting aroma and rich flavors will keep you satisfied for hours on end, making it the perfect dish for any occasion. So why not give this delicious vegan Arroz con Gandules recipe a try today?

Ingredient List

 A colorful plate full of authentic Puerto Rican flavors!
A colorful plate full of authentic Puerto Rican flavors!

Let’s take a look at the ingredients you’ll need to make this delicious vegan Arroz Con Gandules recipe. Don’t worry, most of them are pantry staples that you might already have at home. For this recipe, we’ll use:

  • 1 ½ cups of long-grain white rice
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) of pigeon peas
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 1 red bell pepper (diced)
  • 3 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube
  • 3 cups of water or vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup of capers (drained)
  • 1 tbsp of sea salt
  • 1 tsp of black pepper

The pigeon peas are a staple in Puerto Rican cuisine and they’re essential for the classic arroz con gandules recipe. You can find them canned in your local grocery store or Latin food market. In addition, we’ll also use a vegetable bouillon cube for an extra flavor boost. If you’re opting for a lower-sodium version, you can use low-sodium vegetable broth instead of water.

The Recipe How-To

 Spice up your weeknight dinner with this delicious vegan dish.
Spice up your weeknight dinner with this delicious vegan dish.

Now, it’s time to put all of our delicious ingredients together and make this signature dish. Here are the step-by-step instructions:

Step 1: Prep the Rice and Pigeon Peas

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Add garlic cloves, onions (diced), and a finely chopped red bell pepper. Sauté until the onions are translucent and the vegetables are fragrant, about 5 minutes.

Next, add 2 vegetable bouillon cubes (or powder) and salt to taste. Stir until the bouillon is dissolved. Then add rinsed and drained pigeon peas, a cup of canned tomato sauce, if desired.

Add in long-grain white rice (1:2 ratio with water), and stir to combine all the ingredients. Then add 2 cups of vegetable broth (or water) to the pot.

Step 2: Cook Thoroughly

Bring everything to a rolling boil, then lower the heat to low, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and let it simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the rice is tender and fluffy.

Step 3: Garnish with Capers

After turning off the heat, let it rest for another few minutes before fluffing it up with a fork. Serve hot or warm and add a sprinkle of capers on top for an extra burst of flavor.

And that’s it – you’ve just made vegan Arroz Con Gandules! This recipe makes several servings, but you may find that it will be gone quickly!

Substitutions and Variations

 Take your taste buds on a tropical vacation with Arroz Con Gandules.
Take your taste buds on a tropical vacation with Arroz Con Gandules.

One of the great things about cooking is that there are always ways to play around with a recipe and make it your own. Here are some substitutions and variations you can try when making vegan arroz con gandules:

– Instead of using vegan butter or margarine, you can use olive oil or vegetable oil.

– If you don’t have capers on hand or don’t like their flavor, skip them.

– To make this dish more spicy, add sliced jalapenos or red pepper flakes to the sofrito.

– If you’re not a fan of onions or garlic, you can leave them out.

– Substitute pigeon peas for chickpeas or black beans. You can even use green peas instead!

– For a more authentic Puerto Rican flavor, you can add sazon seasoning to your sofrito mix.

– Use vegetable broth instead of bouillon cubes for a richer flavor.

– Instead of using long grain white rice, try using brown rice for added health benefits.

– For a different twist on this classic dish, try adding diced carrots and celery for extra crunch.

Remember, these are just suggestions! Feel free to experiment and find what works best for you. Whether you prefer the traditional version of arroz con gandules or enjoy putting your own spin on it, there is no wrong way to enjoy this delicious Puerto Rican staple.

Serving and Pairing

 A vegan spin on a classic Puerto Rican dish.
A vegan spin on a classic Puerto Rican dish.

Now that you’ve prepared this mouthwatering Vegan Arroz Con Gandules recipe, it’s time to decide how to serve and pair it. The traditional Puerto Rican way is to serve the arroz con gandules as a side dish to accompany a savory main course. However, this rice dish can also be enjoyed as a stand-alone meal for lunch or dinner.

For a complete meal, consider pairing it with some grilled vegetables or a fresh salad topped with tangy vinaigrette dressing. You can also add some vegan chicken or pork substitutes to the dish to add some extra protein and texture. A refreshing glass of tropical fruit juice or sweet iced tea is an ideal beverage choice to complete the meal.

If you want to add more flavor complexity, you can garnish the Vegan Arroz Con Gandules with chopped cilantro or parsley. You can also sprinkle some hot sauce over it to add some kick and complexity.

This versatile dish pairs well with other Latin American classics like Moro De Guandules, Yellow Rice, Dominican Rice, Spanish Rice, and even Brown Rice. Experiment with different spices, herbs, and alternative ingredients to make it uniquely your own.

Whatever pairing you select for your Vegan Arroz Con Gandules recipe, one thing is certain: your taste buds will be tantalized by this nutritious meatless version of a traditional Puerto Rican staple!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Ready for a fiesta in your mouth? This vegan Arroz Con Gandules will do the trick!
Ready for a fiesta in your mouth? This vegan Arroz Con Gandules will do the trick!

Once you’ve made a big batch of Vegan Arroz Con Gandules, it’s important to store it properly so you can savor its flavors for days to come! Luckily, this recipe is perfect for meal prep, meaning you can easily make a huge pot of it at the beginning of the week and enjoy it throughout your busy schedule. Here are some tips to ensure your leftovers are just as delicious as the original.

To make-ahead:

If you plan on making this dish ahead of time, simply allow it to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to five days or in the freezer for up to one month.

To reheat:

When reheating this dish, be sure to heat it slowly in order to maintain its flavors and texture. You can reheat it either on the stove or in the microwave. To reheat on the stove, add about 1/4 cup of vegetable broth or water to help revive the moisture and prevent sticking. Cover with a lid and reheat over low-medium heat until hot all the way through, stirring occasionally. To reheat in the microwave, scoop your desired amount into a microwave-safe container and sprinkle with a few splashes of vegetable broth or water to create steam. Microwave on high for 60 seconds or until hot all the way through, stirring every 30 seconds.

To store:

This Vegan Arroz Con Gandules recipe is ideal for meal prep because it stores well! After making your batch, simply portion out your desired serving size into individual airtight containers for easy-to-grab meals throughout the week. You can also store any leftover rice and beans together in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days or freeze them for up to six months.

By following these simple steps, you’re sure to keep enjoying this Puerto Rican staple long after its initial creation.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Warm and comforting, this dish is perfect for a cozy night in.
Warm and comforting, this dish is perfect for a cozy night in.

Creating vegan arroz con gandules is easy, but perfecting the recipe may take some time. With that said, here are a few tips that will help ensure your arroz con gandules comes out perfectly every single time.

Firstly, make sure you are using long grain white rice for this recipe. This type of rice is ideal as it won’t become mushy when cooked with the other ingredients.

To enhance the flavor of your dish, you can also use homemade sofrito instead of store-bought. Homemade sofrito made with fresh ingredients undoubtedly adds depth and richness to the dish.

When cooking the rice with other ingredients, remember to stir it only once or twice after adding the liquid. Frequent stirring can cause the rice to overcook and become mushy.

If you’re looking to add some crunchiness to your dish, consider topping it off with some capers. These small and tangy flavors will surely add an interesting texture to your arroz con gandules.

Finally, if you end up having leftovers or want to organize everything in advance, refrigerate separately any leftover vegetables or sauce and the rice. Reheat them separately so that they do not lose their distinct flavours when reheated together.

Using these tips, you’ll be able to create an incredible vegan arroz con gandules dish every time!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Vegan Arroz Con Gandules Recipe is proof that you don’t have to sacrifice taste and flavor when choosing a plant-based diet. With its rich blend of spices, textures, and aromas, this dish is bound to impress even the most discerning of palates. By using the ingredients and tips mentioned above, you can make a nutritious and delicious Puerto Rican-inspired rice dish that is easy to prepare and guaranteed to please. Whether you’re looking for a tasty weeknight dinner or an impressive main course for a special occasion, this vegan arroz con gandules recipe has got you covered. So go ahead; give it a try, impress your friends and family, and enjoy some mouth-watering flavors that are sure to leave you wanting more.

Vegan Arroz Con Gandules

Vegan Arroz Con Gandules Recipe

Rice with pigeon peas! A favorite of mine growing up in a Puerto Rican home 🙂 again, I'm only a 16 year old guy trying not to starve due to a carnivore mom so cut me some slack! **The nutritional value Recipezaar calculated is COMPLETELY off. trust me.*
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Servings 2 cups cooked rice
Calories 513.3 kcal


  • 2 cups extra long grain canilla white rice, from Goya
  • 2 3/4 cups vegetable broth or 2 3/4 cups stock
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cubes, with or 1 without salt
  • 1 (5 g) packet sazon con azafran seasoning, from Goya
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 small onions or 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, and enough to saute
  • 1 (15 1/2 ounce) can pigeon peas
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • vegan butter or margarine, to saute


  • *****Notes: In some cases, the rice is not perfect after cooking. If rice is too wet but soft, continue cooking in 4 minute intervals until perfect. If rice is hard, add some tablespoons of broth and continue cooking in 4 minute intervals. If texture resembles mashed potatoes, throw out and start over.
  • In a larger saute pan with lid, add equal parts of butter and olive oil to saute vegetables. Turn stove to medium heat. Dice onion, garlic, and seed and dice red bell pepper. Saute bell pepper and onion for about 3 minutes. Add garlic, saute for another 40 seconds. Add 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Add 1 cup of rice with the vegetables, mix to combine and coat the rice with oil and butter mixture. Saute shy of 1 minute.
  • Add two cups of vegetable broth and the other cup of rice. Drain gandules and capers, add to rice and broth. Add bouillon cube, Sazon Con Azafran, 1 teaspoon of sea salt, and capers. Add last cup of broth and stir to combine extremely thoroughly for even cooking of the color and flavor. Add one tablespoon of oil, less if mixture is already oily. Stir. Turn on high heat and bring to a boil. Allow rice to boil uncovered on high heat until most of the liquid above the rice is absorbed (but rice is not completely done or dry). This should take about 10 minutes. Next, cover lid and turn heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes. Fluff with fork, turn heat off, cover and let sit for at least 10 minutes. Serve hot.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 176gCalories: 513.3kcalCarbohydrates: 99.6gProtein: 20.6gFat: 3.8gSaturated Fat: 0.7gSodium: 381.6mgFiber: 13.5gSugar: 1.4g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Caribbean, Easy, Egg-free, Free Of..., Grains, Lactose-free, Long-Grain Rice, Puerto Rican, Rice, Vegan
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