Healthy Puerto Rican Recipes

Find healthy, delicious Puerto Rican recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Arroz con Pollo

Rating: Unrated
9
Arroz con pollo, or chicken cooked with rice, is a common dish in Spain, Latin America and the Caribbean. We use quick-cooking brown rice here to help you get this on the table in just 40 minutes. Serve with a mixed green salad tossed with cilantro-lime vinaigrette.

Slow-Cooker Arroz con Pollo (Chicken & Rice)

Rating: Unrated
1
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.

Puerto Rican Fish Stew (Bacalao)

Rating: Unrated
5
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, so we opt for fresh fish in this quick version. Serve with crusty rolls to soak up the juices.

Pressure-Cooker Chicken & Rice (Arroz con Pollo)

Rating: Unrated
3
Satisfy your Mexican-food craving with this healthy recipe. Just dump all your ingredients into an electric multicooker, such as the Instant Pot, in this easy recipe for flavorful arroz con pollo.

Caramel Cream Cheese Custard (Flan de Queso)

Rating: Unrated
3
Every panaderia (bakery) in Puerto Rico has many flavors of flan, from vanilla to guava. Reduced-fat cream cheese gives this version a rich, comforting texture.

Puerto Rican Sofrito

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. Try it in Mofongo Dressing for Thanksgiving (see Associated Recipes).

Plantain Soup (Sopa de Platanos)

Rating: Unrated
2
Shredded plantains and fresh cilantro combine in a refreshing Puerto Rican soup.

Yuca-Scallion Mofongo

Rating: Unrated
1
In the Caribbean, mofongo--dumpling-like balls--are made with plantains, but in this Puerto Rican-inspired healthy recipe, yuca is cooked and mashed to a doughlike consistency with scallions, bacon, chicken broth and garlic, then formed into balls. Serve as a side dish to braised, grilled or roasted meat.

Garlic-Roasted Pork (Pernil)

Rating: Unrated
5
Though traditional Puerto Rican cuisine may favor fatty cuts of pork with the skin on, lean cuts like pork loin are just as delicious with the intense garlic rub in this recipe. Serve warm with red beans and rice. Leftover slices make a good sandwich.

Classic Flan

Making restaurant-quality flan at home is easier than you think, and our version is healthier, too! With just a few ingredients, you'll have a satisfying dessert that's sure to impress.

One-Dish Chicken & Rice (Asopao de Pollo)

Rating: Unrated
8
This Puerto Rican one-dish chicken and rice stew is rich in flavor.

Island Red Beans (Habichuelas Coloradas Grandes)

Rating: Unrated
1
Cilantro, chiles and garlic add rich flavor to kidney beans in this Puerto Rican staple. Leftovers are wonderful reheated for lunch.

Inspiration and Ideas

Spanish Rice with Pigeon Peas

About the size of regular peas, pigeon peas are grown in the south and are available both fresh and canned. You can find them in Hispanic food specialty stores. This one-skillet side dish combines the peas with Spanish rice and is ready in just 30 minutes.

Puerto Rican Mofongo Dressing with Salami

Chunks of hard salami add a salty-tangy edge and toothsome texture to Puerto Rican mofongo dressing. Serve this savory stuffing along with turkey and the rest of your Thanksgiving spread.