Share

Mama’s Chickpeas in Sofrito with Arroz con Gandules

My mama’s delicious vegetarian Puerto Rican inspired recipe: chickpeas in sofrito served with arroz con gandules (rice with pigeon peas). Delicious and packed with plant-based protein! This recipe is sponsored by BUSH’S® Beans.

Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins

chickpeas in sofrito in a bowl with a title underneath

There’s something special and nostalgic about food that’s passed down through generations. This particular recipe is from my Puerto Rican mama and is a fun twist on her traditional rice and beans, a recipe I grew up on.

When I was visiting her a few weeks ago, she mentioned this new recipe for me to try: chickpeas in sofrito! She said it was absolutely delicious and that the texture of the chickpeas added a unique creamy flavor profile. I told her I would make it as soon as I got home and when I did, I just couldn’t get enough! So of course, I had to share the recipe with all of you.

chickpea in sofrito in a bowl

First, let’s talk about ingredients in chickpeas in sofrito:

Chickpeas (also known as Garbanzo Beans):I use BUSH’S® Garbanzo Beans in this recipe because I know they’re high-quality and delicious. They also have an organic and low-sodium version. YUM.

chickpeas in sofrito in two bowls next to a can of chickpeas and two forks

Sofrito: in Spanish, sofrito means sauce, and it’s very traditional when it comes to Puerto Rican foods. My version is a mixture of garlic, onion, green bell pepper, cilantro and tomato sauce. Some do it with fresh tomatoes and culantro, but this is how I normally make it.

Sazon: Sazon is a very popular Puerto Rican spice. The downside of most sazon is that it contains MSG, so I’ve included a homemade DIY sazon in the notes section of the recipe. I still use packets because they are easy for me to find and the flavors are 100% similar to what I’m used to. It’s really up to your personal preference but there is also one on Amazon without MSG here. ALSO sazon seasoning is literally my favorite thing EVER.

chickpeas in sofrito in two bowls next to three small dishes of spices

Green pigeon peas: Green pigeon peas are INCREDIBLE and very, very good for you. Unfortunately they are difficult to find. Don’t worry though — if you want to use frozen peas instead that’s totally an option and I’ve included how to use them in the recipe notes section below!

White Basmati Rice: This is our favorite kind to use because of how fluffy the rice gets. It shouldn’t be that difficult to find, but please don’t try and sub another rice. Or if you do, just know that cooking times differ. For instance, brown rice can take up to 45 minutes.

chickpeas in sofrito in a bowl topped with avocado

I love to make this and serve with avocado slices and tostones. It’s a delicious plant-based meal that’s easy to meal prep for the week, or serve to a crowd. I hope you love this recipe as much as we do!

See how to make the chickpeas in sofrito:

If you like this recipe, you might also like:

Mama’s Puerto Rican Chicken and Rice (Arroz con Pollo)

Mom’s Authentic Puerto Rican Rice and Beans

Butternut Squash, Chickpea & Lentil Moroccan Stew

Healing Lemongrass Chickpea Thai Green Curry with Toasted Coconut Brown Rice

Nourishing Yellow Chickpea Pumpkin Curry with Coconut Brown Rice

Mama's Chickpea in Sofrito with Arroz con Gandules

5 from 6 votes
Course Dairy Free, Dinner, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword chickpeas in sofrito
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
My mama’s delicious vegetarian Puerto Rican inspired recipe: chickpeas in sofrito served with arroz con gandules (rice with pigeon peas). Delicious and packed with plant-based protein!

Ingredients

  • For the sofrito (for the chickpeas):
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ cup very finely diced yellow onion
  • ½ cup very finely diced green bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup finely diced cilantro
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup tomato sauce (from one 15 oz can -- reserve extra sauce for rice)
  • 3 teaspoons (2 packets) Sazon (see note in recipe for how to make your own)
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans BUSH’S® Garbanzo Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 ½ cups low sodium vegetarian broth (or water)
  • For the rice:
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup very finely diced yellow onion
  • 1/3 cup very finely diced green bell pepper
  • ¼ cup finely diced cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup no salt added tomato sauce
  • 3 teaspoons (2 packets) sazon seasoning (see note in recipe for how to make your own)
  • 1 (15 oz) can green pigeon peas** (see note in recipe for a sub)
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups basmati white rice
  • To garnish:
  • Extra fresh chopped cilantro
  • Avocado slices
  • Tostones

Instructions

  1. First make your Sofrito: Sofrito in Spanish means sauce -- very traditional in many of the main staple foods in Puerto Rico: Add olive oil to a medium pot and place over medium heat. Once oil is hot, add in onion, green bell pepper, cilantro and garlic. Saute until onions are translucent and green peppers soften, about 2-4 minutes. Bring heat to low and add tomato sauce, sazon and simmer for 2-3 minutes until sauce comes together. 
  2. Add in the chickpeas beans and broth and simmer uncovered over low heat while you cook the rice, stirring occasionally, so that the spices infuse with the beans. If you notice the liquid getting too low, it probably means you were simmering at too high of a heat, but no worries you can simply add another ½ cup water or broth.
  3. While the chickpeas are simmering with sofrito, start making the rice: Add oil to a medium pot and place over medium heat. Once oil is hot, add in onion, green pepper, cilantro and garlic. Saute until onions are translucent and green peppers soften, about 2-4 minutes. Bring heat to medium-low and add tomato sauce, sazon and simmer for 2 minutes until sauce comes together. 
  4. Next add in entire can of pigeon peas (with the liquid -- DO NOT DRAIN) add 3 cups water, and bring to a boil. Once it boils, stir in 2 cups of rice, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 20 minutes or until rice is tender.
  5. Taste both the rice and adjust seasonings as necessary, including adding more salt.
  6. How to serve: add rice and beans to a bowl with extra sauce from the beans, garnish with cilantro and a few avocado slices -- serve with tostones if you’re feeling like a true Puerto Rican! Serves 4-6.

Recipe Notes

*IF YOU WANT TO MAKE HOMEMADE SAZON:
If you want you can make homemade sazon! This is an excellent, flavorful option to have at home. For this entire recipe you will need the following: 1/2 tablespoon ground coriander, 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin, 1/2 tablespoon ground annatto seeds (or sub turmeric), 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Mix together everything in a small bowl. For the chickpeas you'll need 1 tablespoon and for the rice you'll need 1 tablespoon of this DIY sazon spice mixture.

**NOTE IF YOU DO NOT HAVE PIGEON PEAS FOR THE RICE:
If you do not have pigeon peas, which are traditional, you can use green peas instead. Simply increase the water in the recipe by ½ cup (so you’d have 3 ½ cups total). After you bring water to a boil you can add 1 cup of frozen peas and the rice.

Nutrition
Serving size: 1 serving
Calories: 459kcal
Fat: 6.1g
Saturated fat: 0.4g
Carbohydrates: 87.8g
Fiber: 10.3g
Sugar: 4.4g
Protein: 13.9g

Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen Photography by: Yoga of Cooking

Never miss a recipe!

Never miss a recipe!

Join our list and you’ll receive a free download of our Top 15 most loved recipe creations for free.

Leave a comment & rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

48 comments

Show Comments
Share
You might also like
  • Stay inspired everyday
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
This error message is only visible to WordPress admins

Error: API requests are being delayed for this account. New posts will not be retrieved.

There may be an issue with the Instagram Access Token that you are using. Your server might also be unable to connect to Instagram at this time.

Send this to friend