Aceey’s Vegetarian Arroz con Gandules Recipe (Rice with Pigeon Peas)


Aceey's Veggie Arroz con Gandules

I absolutely adore Puerto Rico! It’s gorgeous, it’s fabulous, and it’s lovely! If you are a cook or a chef, you’d have an amazing time in Puerto Rico. While I was there, I found out how profound the African Slave Trade attributed to many of their national dishes. Puerto Rican cuisine, however, is not spicy 😦 so I have to add cayenne pepper to all my Puerto Rican meals I make at home.

Soraya has an awesome recipe online for the healthy carne version of this dish. There are also many other authentic recipes (with puerco, pork) online. I keep my meat consumption to a bare minimum nowadays so here is my veggie version of Arroz con Gandules.

Aceey's Arroz con Gandules Ingredients


  • 1 cup rice
  • 1/2 cup pigeon peas (dried beans that are cooked or frozen, do not use canned)
  • 2 tbs of canola oil
  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • 1/4 green pepper, diced
  • 8 sprigs of cilantro
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp Goya Sofrito
  • 1 tbsp Goya Recaito
  • 1 teaspoon of Liquid Smoke Concentrate
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 Goya Sazon de Jambon (or you can use a vegetarian meat-flavored bouillion mix/cube)
  • 1/8 tsp Adobo seasoning
  • 1/8 tsp curry powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp oregano
  • 1/8 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Achoite seasoning
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 8-10 spanish olives with pimento
  • 1 1/3 cups water for cooking rice


  • Large pot with tight fitting lid (look up “Dutch oven” or “caldera”)
  • Aluminum Foil to cover pot before putting on lid


1. Sautee onion + bell pepper with oil in dutch oven pot until translucent
Aceey's Arroz Con Gandules

2. Add garlic. Then add all seasonings (except cilantro), capers and olives. Continue to sauté all.
Aceey's Arroz Con Gandules

3. Stir in pigeon peas, add rice. Pour water over mixture.Add cilantro sprigs then bring to a boil for 5 minutes.
Aceey's Arroz Con Gandules

4. Cover pot with foil and then with the lid. Cook under low heat for about 20 minutes.
Aceey's Arroz Con Gandules

5. Remove from heat. Stir rice into a dome formation. Cover again and let rest/steam for 20 minutes.

Aceey's Arroz con Gandules Served

No time for garnishing, I was hungry! Yummy in the tummy!

I served my rice with greens, tostones, and a raw pina colada (I’ll post the recipe for the raw pina colada soon).


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