Arroz con Gandules (Rice with Pigeon Peas) 🌱 w/ Chef Eliott (Vegan & GF)

Today on the show I learned a Puerto Rican vegan dish from Chef Eliott. @chefeliott 

He is a passionate chef, culinary storyteller and beloved culinary teacher. Stay tuned for his 100% plant based online cooking classes coming soon. Just watch out LIVE video below to see what a fun and great teacher he is! I learned some things too. 

Here is his family recipe- I changed it a little with the ingredients I had. But the secret I think was how Chef Eliott cooked the rice. Unlike Mexican rice I’m used to, Puertoricans don’t like their rice sticky and overcooked. Grains should be separated and have a little bite to them. 

Pay attention to directions when cooking the rice. Like Chef Eliott said, it could take a few times to get it right, but he guided me and I wrote down everything he taught me here, so you can get it too. 

Arroz con Gandules (rice with pigeon peas) 


(Serves 6-8)

  • 2 T Olive oil 
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 1 Green pepper, chopped ( I used yellow)
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/4 c chopped Cilantro
  • 2 c Basmati rice 
  • 1 T Tomato paste
  • Red wine vinegar, few splashes
  • One can of Goya pigeon peas (or 2 c cooked black beans)
  • 3-4 c water
  • Goya Sazon (or ground annatto seeds, or I used mix of cumin, turmeric, saffron, paprika, ancho Chile powder)
  • Salt & pepper


  1. In a large pot with lid (5qt at least- large), sauté onions in oil a couple minutes. 
  2. Then, add garlic and peppers. Cook a couple more minutes, then add the cilantro. 
  3. Now add the rice and cook a little. Add tomato paste and cook it a few minutes. Add a few splashes of red wine vinegar. 
  4. Next, add the beans. 
  5. Add water and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Taste and add more salt or seasonings if needed. 
  6. Boil for a couple minutes, about 5 min. until you can see the rice again. Water should evaporate a bit. 
  7. Then, cover pot with heat turned off for 8-10 minutes. After 8-10 min. remove lid, stir once and taste to see if rice is soft. It will keep cooking as it sits. This is where rice is an art and it gets better as you make it more often. 
  8. Now, let it rest another 10 minutes. This is crucial! The texture gets better as it rests. 
  9. After 10 minutes it is perfect to eat. Perfect in temperature and texture. 

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