The eminent, excellent, outstanding and authentic Puerto Rican Salsa Criolla (Salsa Criolla Puertorriqueño)! This delicious and well-known Puerto Rican Salsa is used in a variety of dishes in Puerto Rican cooking. Everything from tostones (fried green plantains) to Chillo en Salsa Criolla (Red Snapper in Criolla Sauce)! Learn and conquer some of our most famous dishes by learning how to easily make this delicious sauce!
If you have never had Salsa Criolla, or even heard of it, then you’re in for a treat!
What is Puerto Rican Salsa Criolla?
First let me start by saying that Puerto Rican Salsa Criolla is a savory, delicious, and easy-to-make sauce!
In Puerto Rican cooking, you will find this sauce used in a multitude of dishes.
It is made with really simple ingredients, most of which you’re sure to already have in your fridge!
How great is that!
Salsa Criolla or criolla sauce is used in savory dishes or to pep up an already yummy dish. It is not a salsa you dunk a raw vegetable or a tortilla chip into.
When you think of this criolla sauce, think more along the lines of green plantains, fish, seafood, mofongo, chicken, beef, pork, and Puerto Rican stuffed peppers.
Popular Puerto Rican Dishes Using Salsa Criolla
Tostones (Fried Green Plantains)
Pechuga de Pollo en Salsa Criolla (Chicken Breast in Criolla Sauce)
Langosta en Salsa Criolla (Lobster in Criolla Sauce)
Chillo con Salsa Criolla (Red Snapper with Salsa Criolla)
Camarones a la Criolla (Shrimps in Criolla Sauce)
Different Variations of Mofongos
Mofongo con Camarones (Mofongo with Shrimps)
Mofongo con Carne Frita (Fried Pork Chunks)
Mofongo Relleno de Pollo (Chicken)
Mofongo Relleno de Mariscos (Seafood Mix)
Mofongo Relleno de Pulpo (Octopus)
Mofongo Relleno de Carrucho (Conch)
Trifongo (Mofongo made with Yuca, Green Plantain and Ripe Plantain)
Note: If you are not familiar with Mofongo (Garlic Plantain Mash) please make sure to check out my Mofongo con Camarones recipe. One of the best dishes you will ever have!
Ingredients for Puerto Rican Salsa Criolla
- 1 onion (thinly sliced and cut into half moons or chopped)
- 1 green pepper (thinly sliced and cut into half moons or chopped)
- 1 yellow or red pepper (thinly sliced and cut into half moons or chopped)
- 8 ounces crushed tomato sauce
- 4 ounces tomato sauce
- ¼ cup pimiento-stuffed olives (cut in half) *optional
- 2-4 garlic cloves (minced)
- 4 ounces of white wine (can substitute with water)
- 2 dry bay leaves
- 3 tablespoons of sofrito
- 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped
- 3 culantro leaves (recao) chopped (hard to find in the states so you can leave them out)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
How to Make Puerto Rican Salsa Criolla
- Over medium heat, add the 2 tablespoons of oil to a large saucepan or caldero.
- Add the onions and peppers, stir and cook until the onions are translucent.
- Add bay leaves, sofrito, culantro (if using), cilantro, garlic, olives, salt, and pepper. Stir.
- Add the crushed tomato sauce and tomato sauce to the pot.
- Add the white wine or water. Stir.
- Cook on medium or medium-low for 30 minutes. Stir every 5 or 10 minutes to make sure the sauce is not sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- You will notice the sauce is thin initially and as it starts to cook, it will thicken. Yummy!
Salsa Criolla is done!
What to Serve and Use with Salsa Criolla
Use this amazing criolla sauce in any of the dishes I mentioned at the beginning of the post. Hyper YUM!
Want something really quick to serve criolla sauce with?
Fry green plantains to make garlic tostones and top them with salsa criolla or serve on the side.
For more Delicious Puerto Rican Recipes:
Puerto Rican Rice and Beans (Arroz con Habichuelas)
Sorullitos (Fried Corn Sticks)
Camarones Empanizados (Fried Battered Shrimp)
Pinchos de Pollo (Bbq Chicken Kabobs)
Puerto Rican Pinchos/Pinchos de Cerdo (Bbq Pork Kabobs)
For a full list of all our Puerto Rican recipes, click → Puerto Rican Recipes
Puerto Rican Salsa Criolla
- 1 onion thinly sliced and cut into half moons or chopped
- 1 green pepper thinly sliced and cut into half moons or chopped
- 1 yellow or red pepper thinly sliced and cut into half moons or chopped
- 8 oz crushed tomato sauce
- 4 oz tomato sauce
- ¼ cup pimiento stuffed olives
cut in half *optional
- 2-4 garlic cloves minced
- 4 oz dry white wine can substitute with water
- 2 dry bay leaves
- 3 tablespoon Puerto Rican sofrito
- 3 tablespoon fresh cilantro
- 3 culantro leaves (recao)
chopped (hard to find in the states so you can leave out)
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- Over medium heat, add the 2 tablespoons of oil to a large saucepan or caldero.Add the onions and peppers, stir and cook until onions are translucent.
- Add bay leaves, sofrito, culantro (if using), cilantro, garlic, olives, salt and pepper. Stir.
- Add the crushed tomato sauce and tomato sauce to the pot.Add the white wine or water. Stir.
- Cook on medium or medium low for 30 minutes. Stir every 5 or 10 minutes to make sure sauce is not sticking to the bottom of the pot.Note: You will notice the sauce thin initially and as it starts to cook, it will thicken.Done!
- Serve Puerto Rican Salsa Criolla with any of the delicious ideas mentioned in post!