Puerto Rican Rice and Beans (Arroz con Habichuelas)

“Nuyorican” is a mish-mash of the terms “New York” and “Puerto Rican” and refers to the descendants of people that migrated from Puerto Rico to New York, especially those raised or still living in the New York city area. This is my good friend’s mother, Sylvia’s, famous rice and beans. Her version of this Puerto Rican classic was gift to us New Yorkers. There is nothing more Caribbean than rice and beans.

Arroz con Habichuelas – Puerto Rican Rice and Beans

This recipe uses red beans instead of traditional pigeon peas. Seasonings like Sazon and Adobo powder will bring the Caribbean right into your kitchen and an endless stream of requests for this recipe.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Brunch, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Caribbean, Puerto Rico
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • 2 metal saucepans (not nonstick)



  • 14 oz Can of red beans (habichuela coloradas), undrained
  • 3 tbsp Olive oil
  • 5 tbsp Onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 3 tbsp Tomato paste
  • ½ Chicken bullion cube or ½ tbsp paste
  • 1 can Water, in emptied bean can
  • 1 tbsp Sazon seasoning (or 1 packett)
  • 4 tbsp Cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Adobo seasoning

White Rice

  • 2 cups White rice
  • tbsp Lime juice
  • Salt, to taste


Habichuelas (Beans)

  • Saute onions and garlic in 1 tbsp oil until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in Sazon, Adobo, bullion cube and tomato paste. Add can of beans with liquid, refill can with water and add that as well. Bring to a boil, stirring to ensure tomato paste is dissolved. Boil for a few minutes stirring and then turn heat to low and simmer without a cover until liquid thickens and becomes glossy, anywhere for 45 minutes to an hour. Careful not to allow all the liquid evaporate. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve over rice or next to it.

Arroz Blanco (White Rice)

  • Rinse rice under running water thoroughly in a colander. Squeeze a tiny bit of lime juice onto the rinsing rice.
  • Using a very light saucepan (to create crust around rice), bring 3 cups water, 1 tbsp lime juice, 1 tbsp olive oil and salt to a boil. Stir in rice, return to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to very low. Cook until rice is tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Turn off heat and let stand for a couple of minutes. Stir in 1 tbsp of olive oil and lightly salt to taste. Remove soft rice from pan leaving any crust that may have formed on bottom and side. Scrape any crust (called con-con) into a separate bowl and serve both hot.


Calories: 496kcal | Carbohydrates: 102g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 0.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 197mg | Potassium: 684mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 212IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 4mg

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