Arroz con Jueyes Recipe from Puerto Rico | Rich Flavors and Textures

Arroz con Jueyes

Arroz con Jueyes Recipe from Puerto Rico | Rich Flavors and Textures
Region / culture: Puerto Rico | Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 25 minutes | Servings: 6


Arroz con Jueyes
Arroz con Jueyes

Arroz con Jueyes is a traditional Caribbean dish that combines the rich flavors of crabmeat with the aromatic blend of spices and rice. This dish is a staple in Puerto Rican cuisine, offering a unique taste of the island's culinary heritage. It's a hearty, flavorful meal that brings together the sweetness of crabmeat and the savory notes of sofrito, olives, and annatto oil, creating a colorful and delicious dish that's perfect for any occasion.


The history of Arroz con Jueyes dates back to the indigenous Taíno people of Puerto Rico, who were known to incorporate seafood into their diet. Over time, as the island experienced Spanish colonization and African influences, the recipe evolved, incorporating ingredients like rice, olives, and tomato sauce. This fusion of cultures and flavors has made Arroz con Jueyes a beloved dish in Puerto Rican households, passed down through generations as a symbol of the island's rich culinary history.


How to prepare

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot with a tight-fitting lid.
  2. Add the crabs or crabmeat, recaito, olives, and tomato sauce.
  3. Sauté over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Add the rice and water; bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the rice is cooked.


  • For a spicier version, add chopped jalapeños or a dash of hot sauce to the sofrito.
  • Vegetarians can substitute the crabmeat with jackfruit or hearts of palm for a similar texture.
  • Add peas, bell peppers, or carrots to the rice for additional color and nutrition.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure the best flavor and texture in your Arroz con Jueyes, consider these tips:

- Use fresh crabmeat for the most authentic flavor. If unavailable, canned crabmeat can be a suitable substitute.

- Annatto oil gives the dish its characteristic orange color and a hint of nuttiness. You can make your own by simmering annatto seeds in oil until the oil turns a vibrant orange.

- For the sofrito, using a homemade version will enhance the dish's flavor. Blend onions, bell peppers, garlic, cilantro, and culantro for a fresh, aromatic base.

- Be sure to use a pot with a tight-fitting lid to ensure the rice cooks evenly and absorbs all the flavors.

Serving Suggestions

Arroz con Jueyes can be served as a main dish, accompanied by a side of fried plantains, a fresh salad, or avocado slices to complement the flavors. It's perfect for a family dinner or a special occasion, offering a taste of Puerto Rican cuisine.

Cooking Techniques

The key to perfect Arroz con Jueyes lies in the cooking technique. Sautéing the sofrito, olives, and tomato sauce before adding the rice allows the grains to absorb the flavors fully. Simmering the rice on low heat ensures it cooks evenly without becoming mushy.

Ingredient Substitutions

If annatto oil is unavailable, use a combination of olive oil and a pinch of turmeric for color.

- Replace manzanilla olives with capers for a different tangy flavor.

- In place of parboiled rice, use long-grain white rice, adjusting the water ratio and cooking time as needed.

Make Ahead Tips

Prepare the sofrito and annatto oil in advance and store them in the refrigerator. You can also cook the crabmeat and store it separately. This will save time and make assembling the dish quicker and easier.

Presentation Ideas

Serve Arroz con Jueyes in a large, colorful bowl or platter, garnished with fresh cilantro or parsley. A lemon wedge on the side adds a bright touch and a hint of acidity to balance the flavors.

Pairing Recommendations

Pair Arroz con Jueyes with a light, crisp white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or a citrusy, refreshing cocktail like a mojito to complement the dish's rich flavors.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, add a splash of water or broth and warm it over low heat on the stove, stirring occasionally, until heated through.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A typical serving of Arroz con Jueyes contains approximately 350-450 calories, making it a hearty meal option. The exact calorie count can vary based on the specific ingredients used and portion sizes.


A serving of Arroz con Jueyes is rich in carbohydrates, primarily from the rice, providing the energy needed for daily activities. A single serving contains approximately 45-55 grams of carbohydrates, making it a substantial part of a balanced diet.


The fats in Arroz con Jueyes come mainly from the annatto oil and the natural fats found in crabmeat. A serving typically contains about 10-15 grams of fat, with a mix of saturated and unsaturated fats. Using lean crabmeat and controlling the amount of oil can help manage the fat content.


Crabmeat is an excellent source of high-quality protein, essential for building and repairing tissues. A serving of Arroz con Jueyes provides roughly 20-25 grams of protein, making it a satisfying meal that supports muscle health.

Vitamins and minerals

This dish is a good source of various vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C from the tomato sauce and sofrito, as well as iron and zinc from the crabmeat. It also provides calcium and potassium, contributing to bone health and proper muscle function.


The primary allergen in Arroz con Jueyes is shellfish, specifically crabmeat. Individuals with shellfish allergies should avoid this dish. Additionally, it's important to check the ingredients of the sofrito and other components for potential allergens.


Arroz con Jueyes is a balanced dish, offering a good mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, along with essential vitamins and minerals. It's a flavorful, nutritious meal that can fit into a balanced diet when consumed in moderation.


Arroz con Jueyes is a flavorful, nutritious dish that showcases the best of Puerto Rican cuisine. With its rich history, vibrant flavors, and versatile serving options, it's a delightful meal that brings a taste of the Caribbean to your table. Whether you're a seasoned cook or a beginner, this recipe offers an opportunity to explore new flavors and cooking techniques, making it a must-try for anyone looking to expand their culinary repertoire.

How did I get this recipe?

I remember the sense of anticipation I felt when I first discovered this recipe for Arroz con Jueyes. It was many years ago, back in my youth, when I was just beginning to experiment with different flavors and ingredients in the kitchen. I had always been fascinated by the culinary arts, and had a natural talent for cooking that seemed to run in my family.

One day, while visiting a local market in Puerto Rico, I stumbled upon a vendor selling fresh crab meat. The smell of the seafood was intoxicating, and I knew I had to purchase some and create a dish with it. As I browsed through the market, I came across a group of women who were gathered around a large pot, stirring and chatting animatedly. Intrigued, I approached them and asked what they were making.

One of the women, an elderly señora with a twinkle in her eye, told me they were preparing Arroz con Jueyes, a traditional Puerto Rican dish made with crab and rice. She explained that the dish was a favorite among locals, and that each family had their own unique twist on the recipe. I was immediately captivated by the idea of creating my own version of this beloved dish, and asked the señora if she would be willing to share her recipe with me.

With a knowing smile, she agreed to teach me the secrets of Arroz con Jueyes. We spent the entire afternoon together, as she guided me through the process of cleaning and preparing the crab, cooking the rice to perfection, and infusing the dish with a medley of herbs and spices. As we worked side by side, she shared stories of her own grandmother, who had passed down the recipe to her many years ago.

I listened intently, absorbing every detail and technique she imparted to me. By the time we finished cooking, the sun had dipped below the horizon, casting a warm glow over the market. The señora ladled generous portions of Arroz con Jueyes into bowls, and we sat down to savor the fruits of our labor.

The first bite was a revelation. The flavors of the crab, rice, and spices melded together in perfect harmony, creating a dish that was both comforting and exotic. I knew then and there that this recipe would become a staple in my culinary repertoire, a dish that I would pass down to future generations.

Over the years, I have continued to refine and perfect my recipe for Arroz con Jueyes. I have added my own personal touches, experimenting with different varieties of crab, herbs, and seasonings. Each time I prepare the dish, I am transported back to that day in the market, when I first discovered the magic of Arroz con Jueyes.

I have shared the recipe with friends and family, who have all marveled at the unique flavors and textures of the dish. They often ask me where I learned to make such a delicious meal, and I smile knowingly, thinking of the señora who first introduced me to the wonders of Arroz con Jueyes.

As I grow older, I find comfort in the knowledge that this recipe will live on, cherished and beloved by those who come after me. It is a testament to the power of food to connect us to our roots, to our heritage, and to the memories of those who have gone before us. And every time I prepare a steaming pot of Arroz con Jueyes, I am reminded of the señora who taught me how to make this incredible dish, and grateful for the culinary journey that she set me on so many years ago.


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