Arroz con Gandules (Rice with Pigeon Peas)

Arroz con Gandules (Rice with Pigeon Peas)

Rice: A Must-have Staple

Arroz con gandules (rice with pigeon peas) is one of favorite staple meals of all time. But not just because it’s so easy to make and is so delicious, but because I learned this recipe during a time of celebration after years of agony.

After being married for 2 years, my husband and I decided that we wanted to try and have a baby. With very little success, we went to the doctor for a check-up and advice. Well, we find out that I had an advanced case of PCOS. I talk more about it in this post.

Well, after our first failed fertility attempt, I couldn’t do anymore…I was tired. I was working a full-time job, going to school full-time, and volunteering several days a week at my church. And because my husband was working a job that had him in a different city from week to week, that meant I had to fly to where he was to “make a baby” at specific times.

Enough was enough.

So, 4 years after we stopped trying I got pregnant!!! What! I was so excited!!! Beyond excited!! I’ll tell you more about that later.

The week we found out we were pregnant, my husband got stationed oversees and an amazing friend asked me to come stay with her until he returned…I said yes.

This is where I learned to make Arroz con Gandules y platanos fritos. The first time I tasted it all I could do was chew, shake my head, and dance at how good such a simple dish was. Gandules aka pigeon peas was at the start of the dish. I had never heard of gandules before.

It is a green to yellow-ish brown bean that can be found canned, frozen, or dried. It is used in many ethnic dishes, but I’ll just talk about how I use it the most. You can buy it at most grocery stores in the international isle. I usually buy the Goya canned version. This makes for a fast, and easy meal.

Another ingredient you may or may not be familiar with is Sazon, from Goya also. Sazon is a Latin seasoning that is, quite literally, good on everything. There are different flavors, but for this recipe I like to use the one with coriander and tomato. But experiment with different flavors to find your favorite.

Like many Latin dishes, this rice in cooked with olives. Ok, ok….here’s a little something about me…I HATE olives. The taste of that and dill pickles makes me want to cry!! But this rice is NOT the same without it. Believe me. I tried.

The olives gives it just enough…enough what? I don’t know, but it’s just right.

What Latin rice dishes do you make?


Arroz con Gandules

May 3, 2018
: 5 min
: 15 min
: 20 min
: Easy


  • 1 can gandules (pigeon peas)
  • 2 packets sazon
  • 2 springs cilantro
  • 1/4 C green olives + juice
  • 1 C jasmine or long grain rice
  • 1 1/2 C water or vegetable broth
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • Step 1 In a medium pot over medium-high heat, combine the gandules (with the juice), cilantro, sazon, and olives (with the juice). Boil until liquid reduces to half.
  • Step 2 Add the rice, water/broth, and olive oil. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes with the lid on.
  • Step 3 After 15 minutes, remove from the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes without the lid.
  • Step 4 Now you have Arroz con gandules! Enjoy!

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