One Pot Puerto Rican Rice Recipe

This recipe for hearty One Pot Puerto Rican Rice is easy to make in the oven, on the stove, with a rice cooker, or in an Instant Pot. Fluffy yellow rice, pork sausage, and pepperoncinis make it zippy and delicious, but not too spicy. 

Round out One Pot Puerto Rican Rice with Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken, Chipotle's famous Guacamole, and Black Bean Salsa for a fun and easy weekend dinner with friends. And maybe-- just maybe--a Mojito or two! Come to think of it, rice is so nice, you might want to branch out and master restaurant-style Mexican Rice, or Green Rice, two of my family's favorite rice pilaf recipes.

One pot Puerto Rican rice in blue bowls.
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A little twist on Puerto Rico's national dish Arroz con Gandules, this recipe was given to me by my sister Monica. She's made it so many times that technically she doesn't even use a recipe. But I'm tricky! Eventually I figured it out using her list of secret ingredients, which includes several packets of Goya Sazon and the best pork sausage you can find. Thanks, Monica!

In this recipe, yellow rice, a staple of Latin cuisine, is loaded up with sausage, spices, pepperoncini, corn, and fresh cilantro. (Don't worry--you can use any long-grained white rice--the annatto in the Goya packets will turn the white rice yellow as it cooks.) It's unbelievably good, and like all great recipes, really versatile.

Monica usually finishes this rice pilaf on the stove, but I like baking rice in the oven for fluffy, hands-free results. Just in case, there's instructions for a rice cooker and electric pressure cooker own below, too. Now you officially have no excuse not to try it!

Doubling the recipe to feed everyone on the block? Just click and slide the number next to “servings” on the recipe card below to adjust the ingredients to match how many you’re feeding—the recipe does the math for you, it’s that easy.

Puerto Rican Rice ingredients:

The "secret," to the amazing flavor and color in this recipe is Goya Sazon. This seasoning blend is bright orange and extremely tasty (as MSG so often is). You can buy it at your local grocery store or on Amazon. It's sold in little packets or boxes--look for the Achiote and Culantro flavor. (Achiote is annatto, and culantro is coriander, cilantro seed).

  • Ground pork sausage. Aka ground pork.
  • Onion.
  • Long-grain white rice. Long grain rice, such as Canilla brand, is preferred. You can use medium grain rice (Goya sells it) or basmati rice, too.
  • Pepperoncini. Perfect and not too spicy, pickled peppers make this dish delicious.
  • Pepperoncini juice. From the jar of pepperoncini.
  • Goya Sazon Cilantro-Achiote Seasoning. 4 whole packets, for the recipe.
  • Green Giant brand canned Mexicorn. This is a blend of whole-kernel corn with some peppers added. Del Monte calls it Southwestern Corn.
  • Cilantro. Fresh cilantro for garnish.
    One pot Puerto Rican rice ingredients in various bowls.

Optional ingredients:

  • Gandules. A can of pigeon peas makes it more authentic.
  • Sofritos. This flavorful pepper, garlic, and onion combo is essential to Latin cuisine. Feel free to add some garlic and extra peppers to the mix, when you cook the onions.
  • Frozen corn and peppers. A frozen mix is just as good as canned.
  • Sour cream. A last-minute dollop of sour cream tastes so good on this rice. Have it waiting in the wings for anyone who thinks it's too spicy.
  • Green olives. Pimentos and all. Give them a rough chop and stir them in.

How much Puerto Rican Rice should I make for a crowd?

The amazing thing about this recipe is that it makes a lot of food with just one cup of rice! The recipe makes at least 2 quarts of rice, so at least eight servings of 1 cup of rice per serving.

To make Puerto Rican Rice for 25 adults, use an 8-quart stock pot, triple the ingredients, and add 10 minutes to the baking time (40 minutes total).

Do you have to rinse rice?

Yes! Rinsing the rice before cooking removes extra starch on the outside of the grain. This prevents the rice from sticking together and keeps it fluffy.

To rinse rice, put the raw rice in a bowl and cover it with cold water. Then using your hand, swish the rice around the bowl in a circular motion. Then tip the bowl to drain out the water, being careful not to let any rice escape down the drain.

Repeat the steps several times, until the water runs clear.

Making Puerto Rican Rice in the oven:

Since Monica had no real recipe to follow, I fashioned a version that follows my Restaurant-Style Mexican Rice method. It's simple, delicious, and cooks all in one pot.

  1. First, adjust an oven rack to the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Next, dig out a heavy, oven-safe pot or Dutch oven. Cook the pork and the onion over medium-high heat until the onion has softened and the sausage has almost cooked through, about 5 minutes.
    One pot Puerto Rican rice ingredients cooking a silver pot.
  3. Then remove the onion and pork from the pot with a slotted spoon and transfer it into a bowl. Keep the fat in the pot; you'll need it.
  4. Next, add the rice to the pork fat, stirring frequently until the rice is golden and glossy, about 10 minutes. This coats each grain of rice in grease, which will keep the rice fluffy.
    Uncooked rice in a silver pot.
  5. After that, return the pork and onions to the pot, followed by the water, pepperoncini, pepperoncini juice, Goya seasoning, and corn. Bring the mixture to a boil.
    One pot Puerto Rican rice ingredients being added together in a silver pot.
  6. Cover the pot and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed.  Stir the rice halfway through the cooking time.
  7. Remove the rice from the oven and fluff with a fork. Then stir in the chopped cilantro and serve.

Making Puerto Rican Rice on the stovetop:

  1. Instead of moving the pot to the oven in step 5 of the recipe, just cover the rice, turn the heat down to low, and simmer until the rice is tender and all the liquid has been absorbed by the rice, about 20 minutes.
  2. Remove the rice from the oven and fluff with a fork. Then stir in the chopped cilantro and serve.

One pot Puerto Rican rice in a silver pot.

Making Puerto Rican Rice in a rice cooker:

  1. Follow the recipe instructions up to step 4 using a pot on the stove. After bringing the rice to a boil, move everything into a rice cooker.
  2. Using the manufacturer's instructions, cook the rice, or press the "white rice" button, which should automatically gauge the amount of time the rice needs to cook.
  3. When the rice cooker beeps, fluff the rice with a fork and mix in the fresh cilantro.
    One pot Puerto Rican rice in blue bowls.

Instant Pot Puerto Rican Rice:

Note: because Instant Pots and other electric pressure cookers release virtually no liquid as they cook, you should cut the amount of water in half, following a 1:1 rice to water ratio.

  1. On the sauté function, cook the pork and the onion, stirring frequently, until the onion has softened and the sausage has almost cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  2. Next, stir in the rice, and keep stirring for several minutes, until the rice is coated with fat and starting to turn slightly golden.
  3. Then add the water, pepperoncini, pepperoncini juice, Goya seasoning, and corn. Close the lid, set the steam release to "seal".
  4. Depending on the type of machine you have, manually set the cooking time to HIGH for 8 minutes. If your machine has a "Rice" smart program, you can use that. Turn any "keep warm" function off.
  5. Do a natural release to depressurize your pressure cooker. When the float valve drops, open the pot, fluff the rice with a fork, and mix in the fresh cilantro.
5 from 3 votes

One Pot Puerto Rican Rice Recipe

This recipe for hearty One Pot Puerto Rican Rice is easy to make in the oven, on the stove, with a rice cooker, or in an Instant Pot. Fluffy yellow rice, pork sausage, and pepperoncinis make it zippy and delicious, but not too spicy.
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword corn, rice
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 207kcal
  • 1 pound ground pork sausage
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice rinsed
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup sliced pepperoncini
  • 1/4 cup pepperoncini juice from jar
  • 4 packets Goya Sazon Cilantro-Achiote Seasoning
  • 1 (11 ounce) can Green Giant Mexicorn drained
  • 1 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • Adjust an oven rack to the center position and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a Dutch oven or large oven-safe stock pot, cook sausage and onion until the sausage is mostly cooked through and the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, reserving the fat in the pot.
  • To the reserved fat, add rice and sauté, stirring frequently, until light golden in color, about 10 minutes.
  • Stir in cooked pork and onion, water, pepperoncini, pepperoncini juice, Goya seasoning, and corn. Bring to a boil.
  • Cover, transfer to oven, and bake until rice is tender and all liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and fluff with a fork. Fold in cilantro and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 207kcal

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  1. Eva12

    Yes, chicken can be used. I cook in the kven with the chicken. A favorite of mine is to use Spam. As Spam is salty, and olives are salty, use no salt.

  2. Cheryl Couture

    Hi
    This sounds amazing. Could I substitute brown rice for white?

    1. meggan

      Hi Cheryl, yes! You can. I am sure you can. I haven’t made it with brown rice myself (yet) so I don’t know the exact baking time. I am sure it will take a little longer. I would add 10 to 15 minutes to the baking time (40 to 45 minutes total) and check it at that point. It may need a little more time. It should not, however, need more liquid… I don’t think. But I haven’t made it. I HAVE made my Mexican Rice with brown rice and that didn’t need additional liquid, just another 10-15 minutes of baking time. Good luck! I’ll test this when I can, with brown rice. Thanks. -Meggan

  3. Becky

    THIS IS AWESOME!5 stars

  4. Steven

    We made this last night… hadn’t had it in a few months. It is so good, and surprisingly pretty easy. We will probably make it a lot this summer since we are growing cilantro in our garden. This is my go-to recipe.5 stars

  5. Colleen Stransky

    Would love to Pin this recipe but can’t find the icon to do so.  Can you help, please?

    1. Meggan

      Hi Colleen, first off, I’m sorry for the delay in my response! Second of all, I’m sorry that you weren’t able to pin this recipe the way you should be able to. The program that we use for the pin buttons isn’t working right now, so until there is a fix, I added this recipe under “more recipes you’ll love.” It is the first one listed, and you should be able to click on the red P in the upper left corner of the image to pin it. Let me know if you have any other questions! -Meggan

  6. Peyton Adkins

    Loved this! used it as the main dish and turned out great. What do you think about using chicken as an alternative to the pork? Not sure how much it’d change the taste5 stars

  7. Janet Shannon

    Greetings,

    We don’t eat pork. Is there another sausage the would provide the “same” result?

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