Arroz Con Gandules

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Arroz Con Gandules
Story and Photos by Felix Arroyo

In a world full of spices and flavors, where meals can make a person feel like it was prepared solely for them, Ari Rivera, a senior majoring in forensic science, chooses to create the most recognized and popular Puerto Rican dish, Arroz con Gandules.

Rivera, originally from Killeen Texas, has been a President’s Ambassador, served as a writer and former news editor for The Rattler and presently works for Residence Life.

After receiving her bachelor of arts degree in English-communications arts, Rivera returned to St. Mary’s to complete a second undergraduate degree in forensic science.

She hopes to find a position in San Antonio as a blood splatter analyst and eventually go on to work for the F.B.I. Rivera appreciates the community atmosphere at St. Mary’s and the many ways to get involved with the university and local community.

For Rivera, Arroz Con Gandules is a special dish since her father is Puerto Rican (her mother from Guam).

“I enjoy making food from both of their backgrounds. Both feature rice cooked in different ways combined with vegetables,” says Rivera.

Although her older sister is the one who first taught her how to prepare this dish, Rivera believes that she can now do it much better.

Known by friends for creating creative and colorful desserts, Rivera enjoys preparing this dish because wants to show that she can create a meal as well.

Rivera, who also enjoys baking, notes that her favorite dish, red velvet cupcakes which go great with this dish, always brighten her day she says as she serves.


  • small handful of roasted ham chunks
  • 1 tsp of Olive oil
  • 1 pack Sazon con achiote
  • Adobo seasoning
  • 1 tsp of Tomato sauce
  • Gandules (one can per 4-6 people)/ pigeon peas
  • white rice (one cup per 4-5 people)
  • water (one cup per every cup of rice)
  • 1 can of Vienna sausage
  • 1 pack of galdo de tamato con sabor de pollo
  • 1 T of cut salad olives
  • 1 tsp of roasted bell peppers
  • 1½ T of Recao/sofrito


Set a medium sized pot to heat medium and then pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place sliced ham into pot stir and let simmer for 5 minutes. Place cut Vienna Sausages in and let simmer for another minute. Pour 1½ tablespoon of ricao/sofrito into pot. Pour 1 teaspoon of tomato sauce and 1 tablespoon of salad olives. Cut 1 teaspoon or small handful of roasted bell peppers and toss into pot. Pour one can of gandules/pigeon peas into pot fill cant with water and pour into pot. Drop one pack of Sazon con achiote and 1 pack of galdo de tamato con sabor de pollo into pot.  Sprinkle adobo seasoning to slightly coat the top of the sauce in pot. Pick up pot and mix or slightly shake to mix ingredients. Run water over 1 cup of rice to get rice clean and then pour into pot with a separate cup of water as well. Stir contents and let sit till rice turns a gold color and till rice is soft not wet. Serves 4-5 people.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: