Latin American,  Quick & Easy,  Vegetarian

Instant Pot Arroz con Gandules

Hi guys! Some of you have been asking me for veggie-friendly recipes, and you ought to know you’ve been heard! I have a lot of delicious rice, bean, and curry recipes that I can’t wait to share with you. Here’s an Arroz con Gandules (rice with pigeon peas) recipe that’s a Latin American classic, adapted from Ambitious Kitchen. You should be able to find pigeon peas in cans. Be on the lookout for the Goya brand. You will also need Sazon seasoning, which you can get either on Amazon, your latino grocer, or the ethnic aisle of your grocery store. Some brands contain MSG, but I got mine off Amazon, which does not contain MSG. If you have never had Sazon, you are missing out! That stuff is addicting, and I put it on everything: popcorn, beans, potatoes, chicken… you name it. If you love beans and rice, give this a try! It’s quick, easy, and delicious. What more can we ask for, am I right? 



Serves 5-6

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1/3 cup pasilla pepper, finely diced (can sub green bell pepper)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely minced
  • 1 8-oz can no salt added tomato sauce
  • 1 15-oz can pigeon peas in liquid 
  • 1 tablespoon Sazon seasoning
  • Few grinds of black pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cups Basmati rice* 


* Note: You should be able to substitute other types of rice, but you will have to use less liquid. I haven’t tried other varieties, so you’ll have to ask Google!


These are the brands I use that I like! I prefer the Sazon seasoning without MSG. You can choose what suits your taste.



  • Rinse rice in a colander until water runs clear. Set aside. 
  • Turn on sauté mode on your Instant Pot. Add 1 tablespoon oil and sauté onions and pepper until they begin to turn lightly golden.
  • Add garlic and continue to sauté until garlic turns golden brown. 
  • Add cilantro, tomato sauce, pigeon peas along with their liquid, Sazon seasoning, black pepper, water and lastly the rice. 
  • Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes, then wait for 10 minutes for the slow-release. Now you can manually release the rest of the pressure.
  • Using a fork, fluff up the rice from the edges and drizzle in the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. This will help the rice stay glossy and beautiful. Serve with beans, meat, or eat on its own! So delicious!



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