11 Puerto Rican Dishes That You Can Have For Lunch

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If you’re yet to try Puerto Rican cuisine, you are seriously missing out. Each and every bite of any Puerto Rican dish is a flavor fiesta in your mouth.

11 Puerto Rican Dishes That You Can Have For Lunch

Mixing together traditional influences from Europe, Africa, America, and the Caribbean, you really can’t get much better. 

And if you’re looking for your next food fix, we’ve got you covered. Below you’ll find tons of taste bud tantalizing recipes that are sure to have your mouth watering and your belly rumbling. 

So, what are you waiting for? Check them out now. 

Lunchtime Puerto Rican Recipes 

1. Empanadillas 

Does a deep-fried buttery and crispy dough stuffed to the brim with seasoned beef, peppers, and olives sound good to you? Of course, it does. 

This traditional Puerto Rican meal is sure to have you hooked after the very first bite.

There’s something about that flaky and crispy pastry paired with that unforgettable Picadillo filling that is to die for. 

This recipe calls for ground beef which is juicy and delicious, but you could also opt for several other fillings too.

Shrimp and lobster are two very popular options on the island! 

2. Rellenos De Papa (Papas Rellenas)

Roughly translated, Rellenos De Papa is known as stuffed potatoes. And the name in itself is enough for me.

Yes, please, I’ll take 10! 

Honestly, if you’re looking for a small yet filling option for your lunch you won’t find a recipe that tastes nicer.

Mashed potato croquettes are filled to the brim with a delightful picadillo (also known as a ground beef hash.)

They are crunchy and golden brown on the outside and yet super creamy on the inside with that burst of juicy and tender meat flavor.

And best of all, they take only 35 minutes to cook and prepare. 

3. Tostones 

Plantains are a staple ingredient in many Puerto Rican dishes, and once you taste them it won’t take you long to figure out why.

For those that might not be aware, plantains can be compared to bananas. They’re not quite the same, but they have many similarities. 

And these unripe and starchy snacks are double-fried to create the wonder that is tostones.

Once cooked, they’re almost similar to french fries. Season with salt and serve with garlic sauce for dipping for the best and most scrumptious results. 

4. Pasteles De Masa Con Cerdo

Pasteles De Masa is a Puerto Rican traditional Christmas treat, but feel free to try this delightful dish year-round.

Describing this labor-heavy wrapped meal is actually quite difficult. But I’ll give it my best attempt. 

A combination of green plantains, green bananas, kabocha pumpkin, and yautia are wrapped in banana leaves and then boiled to create a truly unique experience. 

For something this delicious, you’ll just have to try the recipe out for yourself. It is beyond words. 

5. Mofongo 

With a total cooking time of just 20 minutes, this recipe is equally as easy and effortless as it is mouth-watering and delicious. 

To create this classic Puerto Rican dish, you’ll be using mashed fried plantains, crunchy and crispy pork skin, and a hearty helping of garlic.

This creates a textural dream of soft, creamy, and crunchy, all in one. 

Then you can opt to serve it with a hot side of chicken broth, or for a more American twist you can serve it with your favorite meat. 

6. Pernil 

I’ll warn you now, you’ll want to make this a day ahead of time as it really benefits from a long time in the oven.

But this slow-roasted melt-in-your-mouth Puerto Rican pork will be well worth the wait. 

It is heavily spiced and seasoned and so you can be sure it will be packed full of flavor. And you can serve it for lunch any way you want.

Pop some veggies and potatoes beside it, stick it between a sandwich, or sprinkle it over a salad…the possibilities are endless. 

7. Pollo Guisado 

This Puerto Rican chicken stew is sure to warm the cockles of your heart and soothe the soul.

It is the perfect option for those colder nights as a true winter warmer. It’s super filling and bursting with flavor, so you really can’t get any better. 

The chicken is juicy and tender and you’ll also add a few of your five-a-day to the diet. It takes just 15 minutes to prep and then an additional 55 minutes to cook.

But the beauty of this is that you can batch-cook it and then heat it back up later in the week for a quick and easy meal. 

8. Arroz Con Pollo 

This one-pot dish is a classic Puerto Rican favorite, and for good reason too. It is packed to the brim with delicious flavor.

You’ll be using rice, veggies, and succulent and juicy chicken to create this delightful dish. 

The dish is incredibly seasoned and the rice has this crispy texture to it which is unlike anything you’ll have ever tried.

And don’t be fooled, this meal is much heartier and more filling than it looks. 

9. Chicharrones De Pollo 

Chicharrones de pollo is essentially Puerto Rico’s version of popcorn chicken. And it’s an absolute wonder to behold and scoff down. 

The chicken is crispy, crunchy, and golden brown on the outside, yet surprisingly juicy and tender on the inside. And then don’t get me started on the marinade. 

The marinade used to create these bite-sized blessings uses a blend of several different ingredients such as garlic, lime, sazon, and adobo. 

10. Alcapurria 

These popular Puerto Rican fritters are typically made with yucca and plantains which are then stuffed full of picadillo and then deep-fried. 

The outside is the perfect shade of golden brown and when you bite down you’ll get this satisfying crisp to the fritter.

But once inside, you’re welcomed by an aromatic and perfectly spiced meaty filling that is succulent, juicy, and tender. 

Taking just ten minutes to cook, but an hour to prepare, they are a little fiddly to create, but they are definitely worth it once you tuck in.

And you can always batch-cook these bad boys so that in the future all you need to do is dunk them into the fryer. 

11. Camarones Guisados

This delicious stewed shrimp recipe can be whipped together in just under 30 minutes making it the ideal choice for a quick and easy lunch.

And what’s more, it’s one of the best-tasting dishes around. 

Succulent, juicy, and flavorsome shrimp is stewed in a rich and well-seasoned tomato-based sauce. 

While this can be easily eaten as it is, I recommend serving it over rice or with fried plantains.

Or for a more American twist, you could serve it with french fries. 

Final Thoughts

You really can’t go wrong with Puerto Rican cuisine. It takes influence from many different places and yet tastes so unique.

You can be sure that with any of the recipes mentioned in this article, you’ll be left with a licked-clean plate and a bursting belly. 

Each recipe uses bold flavors and amazing textures.

And there are a variety of cooking times, so regardless of whether you’re looking for a quick and easy lunch or not, there will be an option for you.