Arroz con Pina Recipe - Vegetarian Food from Panama

Arroz con Pina

Arroz con Pina Recipe - Vegetarian Food from Panama
Region / culture: Panama | Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 30 minutes | Servings: 4 | Vegetarian diet


Arroz con Pina
Arroz con Pina

Arroz con Pina, a delightful and refreshing beverage, is a unique twist on traditional rice-based drinks. This recipe combines the creamy texture of rice with the tropical sweetness of pineapple, creating a perfect drink for hot summer days or as a special treat. Its versatility allows for both non-alcoholic and alcoholic versions, making it suitable for all ages and occasions.


The origins of Arroz con Pina can be traced back to various cultures that have long combined rice with fruits and spices to create nourishing and refreshing beverages. This particular recipe draws inspiration from traditional Latin American and Asian drinks, where rice is a staple ingredient in both meals and beverages. Over time, the fusion of pineapple with rice has become a beloved combination, celebrated for its refreshing taste and energizing properties.


How to prepare

  1. Slowly bring rice and pineapple to a boil.
  2. Simmer until the rice is well cooked but not dry (approximately 30 minutes).
  3. The mixture should be wet and soft, but not runny.
  4. Add the mixture, milk, sugar, and ice (and rum) to a blender; use 1 cup of milk for every 0.5 cup of rice mixture.
  5. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  6. For a stronger pineapple taste, add whole pieces of pineapple while blending.


  • Experiment with adding different fruits, such as mango or coconut, to create new flavor profiles. For a thicker, dessert-like version, reduce the amount of milk and serve it with a spoon, topped with chopped nuts or a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure the best flavor and texture for your Arroz con Pina, consider the following tips:

- Use a high-quality, long-grain rice for a smoother blend.

- Fresh pineapple juice is preferable for a more vibrant taste, but canned juice can work in a pinch.

- Adjust the sugar according to the sweetness of your pineapple juice and personal preference.

- For a creamier texture, blend the mixture thoroughly until completely smooth.

- If using rum, opt for a light rum to not overpower the delicate flavors of the pineapple and rice.

Serving Suggestions

Serve Arroz con Pina chilled, garnished with a slice of pineapple or a sprig of mint for an extra touch of elegance. It's perfect as a refreshing drink on a hot day, as a unique dessert beverage, or as a festive addition to brunches and gatherings.

Cooking Techniques

The key technique in preparing Arroz con Pina is blending the ingredients to a smooth and creamy consistency. For those preferring a bit of texture, blend less and leave small pieces of pineapple or rice in the drink.

Ingredient Substitutions

For a dairy-free version, substitute the milk with coconut milk or almond milk. If fresh pineapple juice is not available, canned juice or even chunks of fresh pineapple can be used, adjusting the sugar as needed.

Make Ahead Tips

Arroz con Pina can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. If it separates, simply stir or blend again before serving.

Presentation Ideas

Serve in tall glasses with a colorful straw, and garnish with fresh pineapple wedges or mint leaves. For a festive occasion, rim the glasses with sugar or coconut flakes.

Pairing Recommendations

Arroz con Pina pairs wonderfully with spicy foods, as the sweetness of the pineapple provides a cooling balance. It also complements light desserts, such as fruit tarts or sorbets.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. While Arroz con Pina is best enjoyed cold, it can be gently stirred or blended again if separation occurs.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

The calorie content of Arroz con Pina can vary widely based on the ingredients used. A typical serving, made with whole milk and without rum, averages around 150-200 calories. Adjusting the type of milk or adding rum will alter the calorie count accordingly.


A serving of Arroz con Pina primarily provides carbohydrates, with the rice and pineapple juice contributing the most. Carbohydrates are essential for energy, making this drink a good option for a quick boost. The exact carbohydrate content will vary depending on the specific ingredients used, especially the type of milk and the amount of added sugar.


The fat content in Arroz con Pina is relatively low, primarily coming from the milk. Using low-fat or non-dairy milk alternatives can further reduce the fat content, making this a light and refreshing option suitable for those monitoring their fat intake.


Protein levels in Arroz con Pina are minimal, as the main ingredients are not significant sources of protein. However, the milk adds a small amount of protein to the drink, which can be increased by choosing a higher-protein milk alternative.

Vitamins and minerals

Pineapple juice is a good source of vitamin C and manganese, providing a nutritional boost to this beverage. Depending on the milk used, Arroz con Pina can also contribute calcium and vitamin D, essential for bone health.


Common allergens in Arroz con Pina include dairy (from the milk) and potentially gluten (from certain brands of rice). To make this drink allergen-friendly, opt for gluten-free rice and non-dairy milk alternatives.


Arroz con Pina is a relatively healthy beverage option, offering carbohydrates for energy and vitamins and minerals from the pineapple juice. By adjusting the milk and sugar content, it can be tailored to fit various dietary needs and preferences.


Arroz con Pina is a versatile and delightful beverage that combines the creamy texture of rice with the tropical sweetness of pineapple. With its simple preparation and nutritional benefits, it's a perfect choice for a refreshing drink or a light dessert. By following the tips and variations provided, you can customize this recipe to suit any occasion or dietary preference.

How did I get this recipe?

I can still recall the sense of amazement I felt when I first saw this recipe for Arroz con Pina. It was a warm summer day, and I was visiting my dear friend Maria in her cozy kitchen. We were chatting and catching up when she suddenly pulled out a handwritten recipe card from a stack of papers on her counter.

Maria had a twinkle in her eye as she handed me the card and said, "I think you'll love this one, mi amiga. It's a family recipe for Arroz con Pina - a delicious rice pudding with pineapple. It's been passed down through generations, and it's always a hit at our family gatherings."

I took the card from her hands and studied the ingredients and instructions carefully. As I read through the recipe, memories flooded back to me of my own grandmother's kitchen and the delicious aromas that always emanated from her stove.

Maria must have noticed the nostalgic look on my face because she smiled and said, "I remember when I first learned to make this dish from my abuela. She taught me the importance of using fresh ingredients and cooking with love. I hope you enjoy making it as much as I do."

With a grateful heart, I thanked Maria for sharing the recipe with me and promised to give it a try soon. Little did I know that this simple act of kindness would lead to a lifelong love affair with Arroz con Pina.

The following weekend, I gathered all the necessary ingredients and set to work in my own kitchen, following the instructions on the recipe card to the letter. The sweet scent of simmering coconut milk and cinnamon filled the air, transporting me back to my grandmother's cozy kitchen once again.

As the rice cooked and absorbed the flavors of the pineapple and sugar, I couldn't help but smile at the thought of the joy this dish would bring to my own family. I knew that this recipe would become a staple in my own kitchen, just as it had been in Maria's and her grandmother's before her.

When the Arroz con Pina was finally ready, I scooped out a generous portion into a bowl and took a hesitant first bite. The creamy rice pudding was perfectly sweet and tangy, with chunks of juicy pineapple adding a refreshing twist to the classic dessert.

I closed my eyes and savored the flavors, feeling grateful for the bond that cooking had created between me and the women who had passed down this recipe through the generations. I knew that this dish would not only nourish my body but also my soul, connecting me to my roots and the memories of loved ones long gone.

From that day on, Arroz con Pina became a regular feature on my family's dinner table. My children grew to love the sweet and comforting dessert, and I found joy in sharing the recipe with friends and neighbors who marveled at its unique flavors.

As the years passed, I continued to make Arroz con Pina, adding my own little twists and variations to the original recipe. Each time I cooked the dish, I felt a sense of pride and gratitude for the women who had taught me the art of cooking with love and tradition.

Now, as I sit in my own cozy kitchen, surrounded by the familiar scents of cinnamon and pineapple, I can't help but smile as I think back to that fateful day when Maria first shared the recipe with me. I am grateful for the memories it has created and the connections it has fostered, and I know that Arroz con Pina will always hold a special place in my heart.

And so, dear reader, I urge you to seek out the recipes that have been passed down through your own family, for in them you will find not just ingredients and instructions, but a link to your past and a source of comfort and joy for the future. Cook with love, cook with tradition, and let the flavors of the past guide you on a culinary journey that will nourish both body and soul. Buen provecho!


| Long-grain Rice Recipes | Panamanian Desserts | Panamanian Recipes | Panamanian Vegetarian | Pineapple Juice Recipes | Rum Recipes |

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