13 Puerto Rican Vegetable Side Dishes you must try

Puerto Rican food is a vibrant reflection of its rich cultural heritage, offering a feast of flavors that represent the island’s unique culinary traditions. In this article, we will explore 13 must-try Puerto Rican vegetable side dishes that are delicious, authentic, and perfect for a flavorful meal.

From traditional recipes to easy and healthy options, Puerto Rican cuisine has something to offer every palate. Whether you’re a fan of authentic Puerto Rican dishes or simply looking to explore new flavors, these vegetable side dishes are sure to impress.

Puerto Rican Rice and Beans with Sofrito (Arroz con Gandules)

Arroz con Gandules, also known as Puerto Rican rice and beans, is a classic and beloved dish in Puerto Rican cuisine. It is made with sofrito, a flavorful base of peppers, onions, garlic, and cilantro, along with rice and pigeon peas. This dish is a staple in Puerto Rican households and is often served as a side dish with various main courses. The combination of aromatic sofrito and the earthy flavors of rice and beans make it a hearty and satisfying vegetable side dish.

Puerto Rican Rice and Beans with Sofrito (Arroz con Gandules)

Authentic Puerto Rican Flavor

Arroz con Gandules showcases the vibrant flavors of traditional Puerto Rican cuisine. The sofrito, made with fresh ingredients like peppers, onions, garlic, and cilantro, adds a burst of aromatic richness to the dish. The combination of savory sofrito, tender rice, and wholesome pigeon peas creates a satisfying and flavorful side dish that perfectly complements any main course.

Easy Arroz con Gandules Recipe

Making arroz con gandules at home is easier than you might think. To prepare this delicious side dish, start by sautéing the sofrito ingredients until they are fragrant and golden. Then, add the rice, pigeon peas, and water, and let it simmer until the rice is cooked and fluffy. The result is a mouthwatering dish that will transport you to the sunny beaches of Puerto Rico with every bite.


Mofongo is one of the most iconic Puerto Rican dishes that embodies the traditional flavors of the island’s cuisine. This delicious vegetable side dish is made from mashed fried green plantains, creating a unique and savory experience for your taste buds.

To make mofongo, green plantains are fried until they turn a beautiful golden brown color. They are then mashed with garlic and other seasonings, infusing the dish with aromatic flavors. The result is a hearty and satisfying dish that can be enjoyed as a main meal or as a flavorful side dish.

One of the great things about mofongo is its versatility. While it can be enjoyed on its own, it can also be enhanced with additional toppings such as chicken, lobster, bacon, or shrimp, creating a delicious and filling main course. However, mofongo also makes a perfect accompaniment to chopped vegetables, showcasing its role as a traditional Puerto Rican side dish.

Whether you’re a vegetarian or simply want to experience the rich flavors of Puerto Rican cuisine, mofongo is a must-try. Its combination of mashed plantains, garlic, and spices creates a dish that is both comforting and full of mouthwatering taste. The blend of textures and flavors in mofongo truly represents the culinary delights of Puerto Rico.

Mofongo recipe


Tostones are a popular Puerto Rican side dish made from unripe green plantains. These crispy plantain snacks are a delightful addition to any meal and a staple in Puerto Rican cuisine.

To make tostones, start by slicing the unripe green plantains into thick rounds. Then, fry them until they turn golden brown. Once fried, remove the plantains from the hot oil and flatten each piece using a tostonera or the bottom of a glass. After flattening, the plantains are fried again until they become delightfully crispy.

Tostones are typically served as a side dish alongside various main courses. They add a satisfying crunch and delicate sweetness to each bite. Sprinkling them with sea salt enhances their flavor, creating a savory contrast to the natural sweetness of the plantains.

These Puerto Rican fried green plantains are not only delicious, but they also showcase the versatile nature of plantains, which can be enjoyed at different stages of ripeness. Tostones provide a unique culinary experience that you won’t want to miss.

Tostones recipe


Puerto Rican cuisine is a treasure trove of flavorful vegetable side dishes that embody the rich traditions and culinary delights of the island. From the staple arroz con gandules to the iconic mofongo and crispy tostones, these popular Puerto Rican side dishes offer a taste of authentic Puerto Rican cuisine.

Whether you’re a vegetarian or simply looking to explore new flavors, Puerto Rican vegetable side dishes are a must-try. They showcase the vibrant and diverse flavors of Puerto Rican vegetables, elevating them into culinary masterpieces that will leave you craving for more.

Indulge in the aromatic sofrito-infused arroz con gandules, savor the delicious mashed plantains of mofongo, and enjoy the addictive crunch of tostones. These dishes not only delight your taste buds but also transport you to the beautiful island of Puerto Rico, where the art of cooking is a celebration of culture, family, and tradition.

So, whether you’re planning a Puerto Rican feast or simply looking to add some authentic flair to your meals, venture into the world of Puerto Rican vegetable side dishes and experience the true flavors of this captivating cuisine.


What are some traditional Puerto Rican vegetable side dishes?

Some traditional Puerto Rican vegetable side dishes include arroz con gandules (rice and beans), mofongo (mashed fried plantains), and tostones (fried green plantains).

Are these Puerto Rican vegetable side dishes easy to make?

Yes, these dishes are relatively easy to make with simple ingredients and straightforward cooking techniques.

Can I make these Puerto Rican vegetable side dishes healthy?

Absolutely! You can make these dishes healthier by using less oil, opting for whole grain rice, and adding extra vegetables for added nutrition.

Are these recipes authentic Puerto Rican cuisine?

Yes, these vegetable side dishes are authentic representations of traditional Puerto Rican cuisine and its vibrant flavors.

Which Puerto Rican vegetable side dishes are the most popular?

Arroz con gandules, mofongo, and tostones are some of the most popular and beloved Puerto Rican vegetable side dishes.

Can I make these Puerto Rican side dishes vegetarian-friendly?

Yes, many of these dishes can easily be made vegetarian by omitting meat-based toppings or substituting them with vegetarian alternatives.

Are these vegetable side dishes considered traditional Puerto Rican sides?

Yes, these dishes have been enjoyed as traditional Puerto Rican sides for generations and are deeply embedded in the culinary heritage of the island.

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