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Favorite Puerto Rican Christmas Recipes

Christmas in Puerto Rico combines delicious food, great music and festive merry-making. Typical dishes are roast pork, seasoned rice with pigeon peas, fried plantains, tostones, cooked yam and "pasteles".

Here is a list of infamous list:

Pernil asado

Pernil or lechón asado is prepared by slow roasting the whole pig, seasoned with salt, pepper, oregano, garlic, and small sweet peppers over a wood charcoal fire. If you are out and about, visit Guavate for a real treat. You'll find many shops and trucks where to try this suculent treat.

Arroz con gandules (rice with pigeon peas)

One of my favoriteís dishes, arroz con gandules is a staple at any Christmas gathering and considered the island's national dish. Made with pork, chorizo, red peppers, and olives.

Tostones (fried green plantains)

Served as side dish or appetizer, tostones are made using green plantains, sliced length-wise diagonally, and soaked in salt water for a few minutes before preparation. Then, splices are fried until golden yellow, removed from pan, squashed or flatten and back into the frying pan until crispy. Season with salt or garlic powder or accompanied by a mayo-ketchup tip. It is probably one of the most popular side dishes in the island.

Maduros or amarillos (fried sweet plantains)

We Puerto Ricans love our plantains, amarillos are the tostones siblings, made with ripe plantains. Ripe plantains are sliced into diagonal slices and fried until golden to make a sweet and lightly crunchy snack.


Made of mashed plantains or yucca, filled with meat and other vegetables, wrapped in the leaves of the banana tree. No Christmas dinner canít do without! A Puerto Rican staple, specially during Christmas.


Meaning "little coconut" is a traditional Christmas eggnog-like alcoholic beverage, made with rum, coconut milk, sweet condensed milk, cinnamon and nutmeg.


Tembleque is a form coconut milk pudding. Made with coconut milk, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, and sugar.

Arroz con dulce

Arroz con dulce is a form of rice pudding. Rice is cooked with spices, raisins, sugar, milk, and coconut milk.

Flan de vainilla

Another Puerto Rican dessert staple, a vanilla custard thatís very similar to creme brule, made evaporated and condensed milk, eggs, vanilla, and caramel.

My Fav Recipe Book

Find recipes like this and more in the recipe book Puerto Rican Cookery by Carmen Aboy Valldejuli. My mother gave me this recipe book on my 18th birthday and it has been my staple recipe book ever since.

Did You Know?

Puerto Rico has a larger population in the western hemisphere than Jamaica, Costa Rica, Panama, and the same or more population than 30 of the 50 states of the US.