Healthy Puerto Rican Recipes

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

Staff Picks

Slow-Cooker Arroz con Pollo (Chicken & Rice)

Rating: 5 stars 4
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.

Bacalao Guisado (Puerto Rican Fish Stew)

Rating: 5 stars 8
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.
By Scott Rosenbaum

Asopao de Gandules (Pigeon Pea Stew)

Rating: 5 stars 1
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.
By Verónica Quiles Maldonado

Pressure-Cooker Chicken & Rice (Arroz con Pollo)

Rating: 4 stars 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.
By Hilary Meyer

Arroz con Pollo

Rating: 4 stars 12
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.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Tostones with Mayo-Ketchup Dipping Sauce

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.
By Jessica van Dop DeJesus

Camarones a la Criolla (Shrimp in Creole 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.
By Wendy Lopez

Caramel Cream Cheese Custard (Flan de Queso)

Rating: 4.5 stars 4
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.
By Scott Rosenbaum

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).
By Illyanna Maisonet

One-Dish Chicken & Rice (Asopao de Pollo)

Rating: 4 stars 9
This Puerto Rican one-dish chicken and rice stew is rich in flavor.
By Scott Rosenbaum

Plantain Soup (Sopa de Platanos)

Rating: 3.5 stars 2
Shredded plantains and fresh cilantro combine in a refreshing Puerto Rican soup.
By Scott Rosenbaum

Guanimes con Berenjena Guisada (Guanimes with Stewed Eggplant)

Guanimes are made with masa harina (corn flour), which you can find in most grocery stores. They are traditionally served alongside stewed salted codfish (bacalao); this vegetarian version features stewed eggplant and ajíes dulces, small peppers that resemble habaneros but are sweet, not hot. Read more about this recipe.
By Verónica Quiles Maldonado
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Inspiration and Ideas

Sopa de Calabaza Rostizada (Roasted Pumpkin Soup)
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.
Ensalada de la Huerta con Vinagreta de Guayaba (Harvest Salad with Guava Vinaigrette)
This salad marries the flavors of cooked and raw ingredients, celebrating the wide array of produce that is grown and harvested at OtraCosa, a small communal farm in Caguas, Puerto Rico, and on neighboring farms. Read more about OtraCosa.
Dulce de Papaya con Jengibre y Cúrcuma (Candied Green Papaya with Ginger & Turmeric)

Papaya is one of the most common fruits grown in Puerto Rico. Here, the unripe fruit is candied, transforming it into a dessert that is often served with queso de país, a soft white farmer's cheese. The slices are traditionally prepared over an open fire, but we've translated the recipe for an indoor kitchen. Soaking the papaya in a baking soda solution prevents it from falling apart when cooked. The leftover spiced syrup is delicious added to cocktails or drizzled over ice cream. Read more about this recipe.