The EASIEST Spanish Rice you will ever make


Before my hubby proposed to me, he took me home to meet his family.  My late father-in-law was Cuban and came over from Cuba as a young boy. My mother-in-law is Puerto Rican & also came over as a young child.  She was the youngest of 16 children in her family. Can you imagine birthing 16 kids?  *shivers*

I’m pretty sure they were apprehensive about their son being with someone from Hawaii. I remember my hubby trying to explain to them my nationality.  Hawaii is a melting pot with a very small population being 100% pure Hawaiian. Most people are a mix of things: Hawaiian, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Filipino, Samoan etc.  I happen to be a mix of things.

Anyhow as most initial introductions go, it was awkward and uncomfortable, mostly for me.  I remember my ex sister-in-law calling the house and my mother-in-law whispering into the phone trying to give her a description of what I looked like.  *chuckles* As most of you know from following me on Instagram or SnapChat, my hubby is fair skinned, dark hair and dark eyes.  Totally opposite of him, my brother-in-law is caucasian in complexion, dirty blonde hair and blue eyes.  FYI neither of them are adopted. lol 

To keep everything in context, my ex sister-in-law is white as snow with reddish blonde hair.  So you can imagine how, brown skinned me, stood out like a sore thumb at the house.  Anyway, right from jump they decided to have a dinner with my brother-in-law, his then wife and my hubbys God-parents. 

I remember my late father in law asking me if I wanted a steak because they were making Spanish food.  He said it wouldn’t be a problem because he was making one for my ex sister-in-law since she didn’t eat Spanish food.  I declined because I was brought up eating a lot of different kinds of food, Spanish food being one of my faves. I shared with him that one of my best friends from College, Cybilee, was Puerto Rican & her family made some awesome Puerto Rican dishes.  

But does she really eat Spanish food?


So as they laid out the spread of Spanish food, I helped myself to all of it.  I remember this vividly.  All of their eyes almost popped out of their heads as I started to eat pasteles and gandule rice (Spanish rice w/ pigeon peas)  Perhaps they thought I was lying or just being polite when I said I ate that kind of food but after clearing my plate, they knew I was a keeper.  

In fact, when I was pregnant, my inlaws would cook me Spanish food, freeze it and over night it to me all the way from Jersey.  Every time we would go and visit my in-laws, I would watch them cook. They both cooked equally amazing.  My mother-in-law cooks more from feel and taste. My late father-in-law cooked from a cookbook, which he gave to me before passing. 

Over the years, I have taken what I learned from them and put my easy lazy girl spin on it. Because as you well know, I love to eat but I hate slaving in the kitchen.  The following recipe is my take on my mother-in-laws Spanish rice with gandule beans (pigeon peas). It’s super easy, inexpensive to make and delicious.  Recently, my mother-in-law traveled from Jersey to attend RJ’s graduation, I made this rice for our bbq and she LOVED it.  Let me also add that she’s extremely picky about how food tastes so since she ate a lot of it, I know it’s a winner…like me!  lol 




Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Course: Side Dish
Servings: 12 people


  • 7 cups long grain rice
  • 1 container of Goya Sofrito found in the frozen section
  • 1 packet of Goya Sazon - Achiote & Culantro flavor
  • 7.5 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 can Pigeon Peas drained
  • 4 T butter
  • pinch of pepper
  • A large pot


  • In a large pot on medium melt the butter for about a minute
  • Add the rice and brown slightly about 2 minutes
  • Add the entire container of Goya Sofrito and cook till sofrito is completely thawed in the rice
  • Add 1 packet of Goya Sazon, pigeon peas and chicken broth.
  • Stir well
  • Lower heat to simmer and cook approximately 40 min till rice liquid is completely gone and rice is fluffy


Serve with Roast pork and plantains
Can also be made with pork that is sauteed before adding everything else. 


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