Delicious Puerto Rican recipes you can make at home.
It’s no secret, spring is a great time to visit Puerto Rico. Its lush jungles, rivers, dry forests and miles of beautiful coastline make it the perfect destination for anyone seeking a tropical island getaway. For individuals interested in getting immersed in local culture, Puerto Rico is the perfect spot for that too. The island boasts lively music, friendly people, and – most importantly – delicious food.
We know nothing beats the real thing, but you can make delicious Puerto Rican meals at home.
Here are a few irresistible Puerto Rican recipes that highlight everything great about Puerto Rico! They can be served separately or together as a traditional Puerto Rican meal.
Sofrito is a mixture of garlic, cilantro, onions, and peppers. Often, the recipes are like heirlooms, each one is a little different. This one calls for parsley, oregano, and cumin.
- 2 red bell peppers seeded and chopped
- 1 large Spanish onion, roughly chopped
- 2 cups fresh cilantro, leaves and stems
- 2 cups fresh Italian parsley, leaves and stems
- ½ cup fresh oregano, leaves and stems
- 20 garlic cloves, peeled
- 3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
Purée all of the ingredients until smooth. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 275F for five minutes to dry out a little. Transfer the sofrito to a small airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.
Puerto Rican Tostones (Fried Plantains)
This is an easy and delicious side dish that can take the place of other sides like rice or potatoes. Tip: make sure to use the green plantains for this recipe – just fry, smash, and re-fry.
- 5 tablespoons oil for frying
- 1 green plantain
- 3 cups cold water
- Salt to taste
Peel plantain and cut it into 1-inch chunks. Heat oil in a large skillet. Place plantains in oil and fry on both sides, approximately 3 1/2 minutes per side. Remove plantains from the pan and flatten by using a plate and pressing down. Dip plantains in water and return to hot oil for 1 minute on each side. Salt to taste and serve immediately.
Puerto Rican Asopao de Pollo
This traditional Puerto Rican stew with rice includes chicken thighs, garlic, green olives, and adobo seasoning. It’s a simple recipe with great flavor. Tip: incorporate a little sofrito to really make the dish stand out.
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 serving light adobo seasoning
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 1/2 cups medium-grain rice
- 2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth1 bay leaf
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
- 1 cup frozen petite peas, thawed
- 1 cup sliced pimento-stuffed green olives
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Season chicken with pepper and adobo seasoning. Then, heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Combine green pepper, red pepper, onion, garlic, and tomato paste in the hot oil, until they softened slightly, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove vegetables from the pot and set aside.
Next, pan fry chicken in the same pot until browned, 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Return cooked vegetables to the pot. Add rice, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, bay leaf, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to simmer until rice is tender and chicken is no longer pink inside (about 20 minutes).
Add peas and olives and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and discard bay leaf. Stir in cilantro and serve.
Tembleque, a Puerto Rican staple, is a dome-shaped dessert that’s simple to make. Just heat ingredients on the stove, mold, chill and enjoy!
- 2 (14 ounce) cans coconut milk
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup cornstarch1 pinch ground cinnamon
Combine coconut milk, sugar, and salt together in a saucepan, stir. Then, spoon a few tablespoons of the coconut milk mixture into a small bowl and stir in cornstarch to dissolve. Next, pour back into the mixture in the saucepan.
Bring the mixture to a boil, stir constantly. Cook until smooth and thick, about 5 minutes. Pour coconut milk mixture into molds, and cover. Refrigerate until cold and firm, about 3 hours to 2 days.
To serve, run a knife around the edge of the mold and flip onto a plate. Garnish with cinnamon.
Our tropical garden inn features two on-site restaurants – one that serves authentic Puerto Rican recipes every night. We also offer packages and tours for adventurers of all kinds. For more information – or to book your room – visit our Packages and Tours pages or contact us.