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Puerto Rican Rice and Beans (Arroz y Habichuelas) served in a large white platter and topped with fresh chopped cilantro.
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4.78 from 22 votes

Puerto Rican Rice and Beans

Puerto Rican Rice and Beans or "Arroz y Habichuelas" is a traditional rice dish made with medium or long grain rice, red beans and seasoned with Puerto Rican seasonings.  Excellent side dish to practically any meal!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Puerto Rican
Keyword: Puerto Rican Food, Puerto Rican Rice
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Calories: 510kcal
Author: Mexican Appetizers and More


  • 2 cups medium or long grain rice I used Goya brand medium grain rice
  • 1 15.5 ounce can of red or pink beans I use Goya
  • 3 tbsp sofrito
  • 1 ounce pork fat cut into small cubes
  • 2 ounces ham steak cut into small cubes
  • 1 packet of Sazon with Culantro and Achoite found in the Latin section of most supermarkets
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 8 green pimiento olives optional
  • handful of fresh chopped cilantro
  • 2-3 sprigs of chopped fresh culantro optional but flavors rice deliciously if you can find in your area
  • 1 tbsp of vegetable oil


  • In a cauldron (caldero) or dutch oven over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, saute pork fat for 3 minutes.Add ham and saute for 2 minutes.
    Add 3 tablspoons of sofrito and stir.  Cook together with ham and pork for 3 minutes.
  • Add sazón packet and chicken bouillon to pot.  Stir, lower heat and cook for 3 more minutes.
    Add the can of red or pink beans (save can of beans).  Stir.
    Note:  No need to drain beans, however, I do for my Puerto Rican Rice and Beans.
  • Fill the can the beans came in with water (15.5 ounces of water) and add to pot.
    (NOTE:  This is when you would add the pimiento olives, cilantro and culantro as well if using).
    Saute for 3 minutes on medium high heat.
  • While beans are sauteing, rinse two cups of white rice in water until water runs pretty clear, about 3 rinses.
    (This removes the talc coating (peril) that helps preserve the rice)
  • Add rice to pot and stir with a large spoon.
    Add salt to taste.  (I use about a teaspoon)
    *TIP:  You know you have added enough water to rice when a large spoon is almost fully covered by the liquid in pot.
  • Cook for about 5 minutes on high heat or until liquid has dried out.
  • Stir rice with a large spoon, cover immediately with a lid and lower heat.  (Do not worry about the "pegao" that has built on the bottom of the pan, avoid stirring so hard as to remove pegao from bottom, we do not want the pegao to be distributed into the rice)  Cook for 15 minutes on medium low.
    (Note:  Once you have stirred and covered rice DO NOT REMOVE lid to check on rice until it is time to check on it again or rice will stun and remain hard grain and pretty much never cook the right way!)
  • After 15 minutes, remove lid and stir again (rice will be even drier now, which is good!), cover pot and cook for another 15 minutes.
    Remove lid and stir again.  Rice is done and should be dry, not wet and sticky.
  • Top with chopped fresh cilantro.  Enjoy!


Key to making any Puerto Rican rice is to use a "caldero" or a cooking cauldron.  A caldero is made of cast iron and allows the rice to cook uniform and also creates a crispy bottom layer to caldero known as "pegao."  Do not use a non stick saucepan to make Puerto Rican rice as it will not cook the same at all.  If you do not have a caldero, use a dutch oven instead.


Serving: 6g | Calories: 510kcal | Carbohydrates: 94g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 659mg | Potassium: 135mg | Fiber: 3g | Vitamin C: 4.5mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 5.1mg