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Healthy Latin Cooking: Arroz Con Gandules

Updated: Aug 26, 2023

A healthier version of a traditional Puerto Rican dish
Arroz con Gandules with Brown Rice


Let’s face it, Latin cooking isn’t always the healthiest. But you can still enjoy the traditional dishes you love by making a few simple adjustments. This Arroz Con Gandules recipe 🇵🇷 (rice with pigeon peas) uses brown rice instead of white rice...turkey bacon instead or pork fat....low sodium beans and tomato sauce...and Sazon seasoning without MSG. And yes, Abuela would still be proud ❤️.


- 2 tbsp olive oil

- 2 slices of turkey bacon (diced)

- 2 tbsp Sofrito

- 4 oz. tomato sauce (no salt)

- 1 can of Gandules (pigeon peas - low sodium)

- Handful of olives

- 1 tsp. garlic powder

- 1 tsp. cumin

- 1/2 tsp. oregano

- 1/2 tsp. turmeric

- 1 envelope Sazon seasoning (no MSG)

- salt & pepper (to taste)

- 3 cups brown rice

- 4 1/4 cups water


- Soak 3 cups of brown rice in water and set it to the side.

- Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a pot. Add diced turkey bacon and 2 tbsp. of Sofrito.

- Once turkey bacon is cooked add 4 oz. of tomato sauce, 1can of gandules, a handful of olives, 1 packet Sazon seasoning, 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1 tsp/ cumin, 1/2 tsp. of oregano, 1/2 tsp. turmeric and salt & pepper to taste. Stir.

- Drain the water from your brown rice and add the rice to the pot. Stir.

- Add 4 1/4 cups of water to the pot and stir. (Hint: There should be about an inch from the top of the water level to the rice)

- Taste the water/sauce in the pot to see if it needs any more seasoning. Add as needed.

- Bring the pot to a boil, then lower the heat to just above a simmer and let it cook uncovered for about 10 minutes, until the water rom the pot evaporates. Do not stir.

- Cover and place on simmer/low for 20-25 minutes, then stir. (Hint: If the rice is too soft, cook an additional 5-10 minutes uncovered. If it is too hard, add a few tablespoons of water, cover with aluminum foil and the pot cover, and cook an additional 5-10 minutes. Enjoy!

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