This one-pot chicken dinner, inspired by the traditional dish of Spain and Latin America, comes together easily in the crock pot. The instant brown rice is added near the end, to keep it from overcooking.
Juicy cuts of chicken get cooked alongside rice, onion, tomatoes and broth in this irresistible one-pot dish that pulls inspiration from the Puerto Rican arroz con pollo. For added fiber, brown rice stands in for the white rice typically used.
Bacalao, salted dried codfish, is the defining ingredient in traditional Puerto Rican fish stew, but salt cod requires overnight soaking and several rinses in cool water before it can be used. We opt for fresh fish in this quick version. Serve with crusty rolls to soak up the juices.
In this riff on a healthy grain bowl recipe, we use cauliflower rice instead of another whole grain like brown rice to cut back on carbs and load up on veggie servings. A simple citrusy drizzle, inspired by Cuban mojo sauce, finishes these vegan rice bowls, perfect for lunch or dinner.
In Cuba, lechon asado (roast pork) is marinated in mojo, a citrus-herb sauce. In this Instant-Pot pork recipe, the pressure cooker infuses similar flavor into pork shoulder. No pressure cooker? Braise the meat in a large pot in a 300 degrees F oven for 4 to 5 hours.
This simple vegetarian stew makes a hearty and inexpensive main course. It showcases fresh pigeon peas (gandules verdes), which are a staple in Puerto Rico. The small, round legume is similar in size to an English pea. Serve this with rice, tostones (fried plantains) or viandas (steamed or boiled root vegetables). Read more about this recipe.
Shrimp and rice get a tropical-fruit makeover in this healthy 400-calorie dinner. Instead of rice, we've combined riced cauliflower and coconut milk for light coconut rice topped with spicy shrimp and a juicy mango-avocado salsa to cool it all down. Squeeze on some fresh lime juice before digging in to take this easy meal to the next level.
Ground beef cooked with tomatoes and briny olives can be found all over Latin America. This is a favorite Cuban variation served over plantains, starchy vegetables that look like giant bananas. You can also serve the picadillo over rice or potatoes, so this easy dinner recipe is versatile too.
In this island-inspired fish recipe, celery, bell pepper, tomatoes and wine complement the shrimp and fish. Serve this healthy fish recipe with brown rice, couscous or quinoa to soak up the fragrant sauce.
Channel the flavors of Puerto Rican cooking by simmering shrimp in a rich tomato sauce laced with cumin, oregano, sofrito and garlic. Known as salsa criolla, this sauce comes together easily and can be used to cook a variety of meats and seafood.
Tostones, crispy smashed fried plantains, are a beloved treat in Puerto Rico and the rest of the Caribbean. Enjoy them as an appetizer or serve them as a side with a plate of rice and beans. Read more about tostones.
Prepeeled pineapple, presliced peppers and onions and fresh pico de gallo help this quick, healthy dinner recipe come together in a flash. Chicken tenders are a good substitute for the steak if you prefer. Blend up some margaritas and call it a party.
El Departamento de la Comida in Puerto Rico is a nonprofit collective that supports small-scale, decentralized local food projects. This comforting and nourishing soup is one of their classics and was served often at their restaurant until it closed in 2017. It is traditionally prepared with Caribbean pumpkin, which grows abundantly in Puerto Rico. It has a sweet taste similar to butternut squash and is often used in soups and stews. Read more about the nonprofit collective.
A complex marinade including ginger, lime, cinnamon and habaneros makes these oven-baked drumsticks delightfully savory with a spicy kick. A simple cabbage slaw, which comes together in minutes, is the perfect accompaniment.
Jamaican pepperpot soup is usually a long-simmered preparation made with tough cuts of meat and vegetables. This version uses quick-cooking sirloin instead to get it on the table fast. If you're not a fan of beef, try the soup with shrimp instead.
A homemade simple syrup fragrant with delicate rose petals is an easy way to elevate cocktail hour. Find dried rose petals online, or in the bulk herb section of well-stocked supermarkets and natural-foods stores.
These slow-cooker beans are super flavorful and tender. To save time, process the garlic cloves in a small food processor instead of mincing them by hand. You can also make this a day ahead and refrigerate overnight to give the flavors more time to mingle. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves, if desired.
This is a traditional way that fish is served in Jamaica that is similar to the escabeches of the Spanish-speaking islands. It is traditionally served with bammy (also spelled bammie), a cassava flatbread, but I like to eat it with rice to better soak up the marinade. This recipe makes four cups of pickled vegetables: You can use it all or reserve some and use the leftovers as a complement to other fish or meat dishes or in sandwiches. Read more about this recipe in the article This Tangy Escovitch Fish Connects Jamaica to Its Spanish Past.
Sofrito is a flavorful cooking base for all sorts of dishes. It has countless variations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. This Puerto Rican sofrito contains tomatoes, onions, garlic, bell pepper and cilantro. Make a batch to use for flavoring rice, stews and much more.
Mango, bell peppers, and black beans combine with whole-wheat couscous in this Caribbean-inspired grain salad. The ginger-lime dressing has a touch of cayenne pepper and provides just the right amount of zing!
Jamaican jerk chicken is traditionally marinated at least overnight and then grilled low and slow for fall-apart tenderness. Here, we coat chicken in store-bought seasoning but cook it in a pan for a faster version. Searing pineapple caramelizes its natural sugars and releases some of its juices—making for a more flavorful salsa that plays beautifully with the seasoning on the chicken.
These burgers have a true crab flavor that isn't masked by fillers or strong seasoning. Serve on a bun with tartar sauce or with a lemon-juice-dressed salad of greens, sprouts and sliced peaches. This recipe works best with convenient pasteurized crabmeat, usually found in the refrigerated case near the fish counter. If you prefer lump crabmeat, cut it into small, uniform pieces.