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puerto rican rice and beans

Mom's Authentic Puerto Rican Rice and Beans

Mom's authentic Puerto Rican Rice and Beans with savory homemade sofrito and sazon. You'll love this incredibly flavorful, comforting homemade meal that will fill your home with unbelievably delicious smells. The perfect recipe to serve a crowd or just savor leftovers for a few days!
Course Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword puerto rican rice and beans
Prep Time 6 hours
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 8 hours
Servings 6 servings
Author Monique of AmbitiousKitchen.com

Ingredients

  • For the beans:
  • 1 pound dry pinto or pink beans, sorted and damaged beans removed (about 2 cups dried beans), soaked overnight for 6-8 hours, no longer
  • 6-8 cups water or vegetarian broth
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • For the sofrito (for the beans):
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ cup finely diced yellow onion
  • ½ cup finely diced green bell pepper
  • ¼ cup finely diced cilantro
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup no salt added tomato sauce (from one 15 oz can -- reserve extra sauce for rice)
  • 3 teaspoons (2 packets) Sazon Culantro ey Achiote* (see note in recipe for how to make your own)
  • For the rice:
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup finely diced yellow onion
  • 1/3 cup 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 Culantro ey Achiote* (see note in recipe for how to make your own)
  • teaspoon adobo (or just a pinch)
  • 1 (15 oz) can Goya Green Pigeon peas** (see note in recipe for a sub)
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups basmati white rice

Instructions

  1. STEP 1: Soak the beans and bay leaf for 6-8 hours in 6-8 cups of water or broth; you want about 1 inch of liquid on top of the beans. I recommend soaking your beans for no more than 8 hours. You can soak at room temperature.
  2. STEP 2: After you soak the beans, bring beans to boil for 1-2 minutes, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer gently for 1-2 hours or until beans are tender and soft. The last half hour that your beans are cooking you can begin to make your sofrito (see below), or once the beans are done cooking you can turn the heat off and allow the beans to sit while you cook your sofrito. It’s just up to your advancement level of cooking and preference. REMOVE THE BAY LEAF BUT DO NOT DRAIN THE BEANS. The liquid is essential to the recipe!
  3. STEP 3: How to make Sofrito (for 1 pound beans): Sofrito in spanish means sauce -- very traditional in many of the main staple foods in Puerto Rico: Add oil to a medium skillet 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 3-5 minutes. Bring heat to low and add tomato sauce, sazon and simmer for 2-3 minutes until sauce comes together. Add your sofrito to the beans (remember you were not supposed to drain the beans) and simmer uncovered over medium low heat for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, so that the spices infuse with the beans. After that, turn the bean off and cover so that they keep the heat while you finish making everything else. They should stay hot enough for an hour or so.
  4. STEP 4: While the beans 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 3-5 minutes. Bring heat to medium-low and add tomato sauce, sazon and adobo and simmer for 2 minutes until sauce comes together. Next add in entire can of pigeon peas (with the liquid -- DO NOT DRAIN) and 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. STEP 5: Once beans and rice are done, taste both 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. You can also add hot sauce if you like a little heat. Serves 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 and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Mix together everything in a small bowl. For the beans 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 ½ cups of frozen peas and the rice.