Puerto Rican recipes are a blend of diverse flavors and cultures that highlight the complex history of the island! The vibrancy of Puerto Rico is evident in its cuisine, which entices foodies from all over the world to come have a taste!
Authentic Recipes From Puerto Rico
If you ever get the chance to visit the island of Puerto Rico, go with an open mind and an empty stomach! Puerto Rico has many native dishes that are a blend of European, African, and Taino flavors.
You will be surprised by how often they use the same ingredients to make widely different meals! For example, they use coconut throughout their cuisine, adding it to drinks, desserts, and savory dishes!
Puerto Rican cuisine is a unique blend of flavors that will dazzle your tastebuds!
- Authentic Recipes From Puerto Rico
- 1. Pernil (Pork Roast)
- 2. Flan (Egg Custard)
- 3. Coquito (Coconut Nog)
- 4. Arepas de Coco (Coconut Fry Bread)
- 5. Rellenos de Papa (Stuffed Potatoes)
- 6. Picadillo (Ground Beef Hash)
- 7. Pasteles
- 8. Mofongo (Mashed Plantain)
- 9. Arroz con gandules (Rice and Peas)
- 10. Asopao de Pollo (Chicken and Rice Stew)
- 11. Arroz con dulce (Rice Pudding)
- 12. Fricase de pollo
- 13. Pastelón (Plantain Lasagna)
- 14. Alcapurrias (Fritters)
- 15. Habichuelas guisadas y viandas (Stewed Beans)
- 📋 Recipe
- Popular Puerto Rican Recipes: Arroz con Dulce (+More Great Dishes!)
- Ingredients US CustomaryMetric
- Equipment You May Need
Read along as we explore all of the delicious cuisines from the tropical island of Puerto Rico!
1. Pernil (Pork Roast)
Pernil is a common Puerto Rican dish that is often served for holidays, birthdays, and weddings. But, it is so delicious that you can make it whenever you want!
Pernil is made from a pork roast. The shoulder is the most common cut of meat used, but the leg or butt can be used as well.
Season your roast with adobo, oregano, paprika, and sazon, and allow it to cook all day. Add some citrus and you have yourself the most delectable and juicy piece of meat you will ever taste!
2. Flan (Egg Custard)
If the tender pernil has you in the mood for an after-dinner dessert, then you will want to try the Puerto Rican sweet treat called flan.
Flan is a thick custard-like dessert that is made with eggs, milk, and caramelized sugar. The finished product is moist and soft. Serve yourself a slice, and be sure to save a piece for later too!
3. Coquito (Coconut Nog)
Remember when I said that Puerto Ricans add coconut to many of their classic dishes? Well, here is dish number one, coquito.
Coquito is a Christmas favorite for adults, sorry kids! This drink contains alcohol, so drinker beware!
Coquito is made with coconut milk, coconut rum, egg yolk, cinnamon, more coconut, and sweetened condensed milk. The final product is a mouthwatering drink that will make your holiday merry and bright!
4. Arepas de Coco (Coconut Fry Bread)
Many Latin American countries have their version of arepas, Puerto Rico is no different! Arepas de coco is a type of fried bread that you can eat alone, dipped in coffee, or topped with seafood salad.
Arepas de coco are fried and crunchy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. This simple dish is made with, yep, you guessed it - coconut! The actual recipe calls for coconut milk, flour, sugar, and a little salt.
5. Rellenos de Papa (Stuffed Potatoes)
Nothing filled me up better than a potato, and if you want to be extra full try the Puerto Rican dish called rellenos de papa or stuffed potatoes.
Rellenos de papas are traditionally stuffed with a meat dish called picadillo (we will talk about that next) but, you can use any meat or cheese to stuff this filling dish.
6. Picadillo (Ground Beef Hash)
Whenever you need ground beef stuffing for any Puerto Rican dish, picadillo is going to be your go-to dish! This savory dish is the best when served inside of some type of shell or coating.
Picadillo is made with ground beef, sofrito, olives, tomato sauce, and spices. I can eat this by the spoonful. Yes, it's that delicious!
Puerto Rican pasteles are hands down one of my favorite dishes from the island. They are a chore to make, but can easily be made in large batches and frozen for an easy meal later.
Pasteles are meat, such as pork or chicken, wrapped in masa dough, then wrapped in banana leaves and boiled to perfection!
8. Mofongo (Mashed Plantain)
Mofongo mofongo, so nice you have to say it twice! The Puerto Rican dish is hearty and delicious and can be made in various ways.
The most common mofongo is made with crunchy pork also called chicharron. The chicharron is mixed with mashed plantains, garlic, and oil.
9. Arroz con gandules (Rice and Peas)
One of the best Puerto Rican side dishes you can have is arroz con gandules. Arroz con gandules is a dish eaten daily, most commonly at lunchtime because it is quick and easy to make!
For this dish, you need rice, pigeon peas, and spices. The finished dish is perfect when served with pernil or arepas!
10. Asopao de Pollo (Chicken and Rice Stew)
Asopao de pollo is a classic Puerto Rican recipe that is often eaten when the weather is cooler, around the holidays. It's a delicious meal that is sure to satisfy everyone in your family!
Hearty asopao de pollo is made with chicken, rice, and spices. Some people add vegetables such as peas or corn to balance it out and make it a full meal!
11. Arroz con dulce (Rice Pudding)
If you are in the mood for a sweet and filling dish, arroz con dulce is your next go-to snack!
Arroz con dulce is a Puerto Rican rice pudding made with rice, ginger, cinnamon, raisins, and drum roll please, coconut!
12. Fricase de pollo
Sometimes we want a meal that is all around savory and melts in our mouth. Fricase de pollo is what you are looking for!
Fricase de pollo is a tasty Puerto Rican recipe made with chicken drumsticks, potatoes, peppers, red wine, and spices. It is slow-cooked until the chicken is so tender it falls off the bone.
13. Pastelón (Plantain Lasagna)
The first time I had this dish I was in shock. It was so amazing that I nearly fell to the floor from excitement! The flavor combination in pastelon is by far the best variety I have ever had!
Pastelon is the Puerto Rican version of lasagna made with plantains, ground beef, onions, peppers, and a generous amount of cheese!
14. Alcapurrias (Fritters)
If you want a simple on-the-go snack, alcapurrias are something you will love! This handheld treat is made with plantains and stuffed with beef, then fried to a crisp!
15. Habichuelas guisadas y viandas (Stewed Beans)
I love having a vegetarian day each week, and these beans are a must-have on days when you aren't eating meat. They are filling and savory.
Habichuelas guisadas y viandas are Puerto Rican stewed beans made with pink beans, potatoes, carrots, and ample amounts of spices. If you want them to not be vegetarian you can easily add chicken stock or bacon!
We would love to know which of these Puerto Rican recipes you found the most mouthwatering! Leave us a comment below and tell us your experience with this flavorful cuisine!
Popular Puerto Rican Recipes: Arroz con Dulce (+More Great Dishes!)
- 1 ½ cups medium grain white rice (see notes)
- 4 cups water (+ more to soak the rice)
- ½ tablespoon ginger (about 1-inch peeled, sliced fresh ginger)
- 2 whole cinnamon sticks
- 6 whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 13.5 oz coconut milk
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup raisins (or golden raisins, or a combination of both regular and sultanas)
- ¼ cup shredded sweetened coconut
- ground cinnamon (optional garnish)
- Place the rice in a medium-sized mixing bowl and cover with cool water, leaving about 2 inches of excess water over the rice. Set aside for an hour to soak.1 ½ cups medium grain white rice, 4 cups water
- Add the 4 cups water to a saucepan with ginger, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and salt then bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes then remove from heat and allow to steep while your rice finishes soaking.4 cups water, ½ tablespoon ginger, 2 whole cinnamon sticks, 6 whole cloves, 1 teaspoon salt
- Once your rice is fully soaked, drain off water and rinse under cool tap water.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove the ginger and whole spices from the boiled water. Add coconut milk and heat to a boil.13.5 oz coconut milk
- When the water reaches a boil, stir in the drained rice, light brown sugar, raisins, and coconut then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes until rice is tender, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking to your pan.½ cup light brown sugar, ½ cup raisins, ¼ cup shredded sweetened coconut
- Transfer the cooked rice into your 9x13 baking pan and spread in an even layer for quick cooling. Once cooled to room temperature, finish chilling in the refrigerator.
- Serve cold, topped with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon.ground cinnamon
Equipment You May Need
- Medium grain rice available in the US are Calrose (a California rice that is great as sushi rice), Nishiki, Goya, River, Cajun Country, and yes even the Arborio rice we love for risotto can work too!
- Other dried fruits can also work in place of the raisins, like cranberries, currants, dried cherries, pitted dates (chopped), and dried apricots (chopped).
- If the rice has absorbed all of the liquid but is not yet tender, add ¼ cup of hot water at a time and heat for a few additional minutes.
- Your arroz con dulce can also be topped with fresh berries, crushed nuts, and whipped cream.
- Toast your coconut flakes in a dry skillet or medium-low heat until fragrant then remove them to a cool plate. The toasted coconut adds depth of flavor that really makes this dessert extra special!
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!
Thanks for coming! Let me know what you think: