Thanksgiving Day in Puerto Rico is one of the year’s most anticipated holidays. It marks the start of the holiday season and a time to gather with family and friends.
While turkey and stuffing are traditional at Thanksgiving dinner tables around the country, food from the Caribbean adds some much-needed diversity to this meal.
From rice and beans to roast pork, here’s our Puerto Rican thanksgiving food list that you can expect to eat if you join your Puerto Rican family for thanksgiving dinner this year.
1. The Mofongo
First, on our Puerto Rican thanksgiving food list is mofongo. Puerto Ricans love their mofongo, and this dish is made with fried green plantains—and then mashed with garlic, olive oil, and pork cracklings.
Furthermore, the mixture is then shaped into a ball or disk and served with a meat or shrimp stew. Mofongo is usually done as a side dish, but it can also be enjoyed as a main course.
It can be eaten alone, or you can dip the chunk of mofongo in the liquid below to get an extra flavor.
2. Guineos en Escabeche (Puerto Rican Green Banana Salad)
Guineos en escabeche is a Puerto Rican dish made with green bananas. The bananas are boiled, fried, and marinated in a vinegar-based sauce. Guineos en escabeche is usually served as a side dish but can also be eaten as a main course.
Likewise, It’s also widespread to find this Puerto Rican thanksgiving food list on any menu at any restaurant during the Christmas season.
3. Rellenos de Papa (Fried Potato Stuffed With Ground Beef)
Rellenos de papa is a Puerto Rican dish with potatoes stuffed with ground beef, which is then deep-fried. It’s one of the most popular dishes of the Christmas season because of its uniqueness and delicious taste. Hence, our addiction to the Puerto Rican thanksgiving food list.
4. Puerto Rican Style Turkey Stuffing
This dish made our Puerto Rican thanksgiving food list because it’s a Puerto Rican classic Thanksgiving stuffing. It’s made with sofrito, a mixture of sautéed onions, garlic, and green peppers.
As well as ham, olives, and raisins. The result is a flavorful and slightly sweet stuffing that will have your guests asking for seconds.
5. Arroz con Maiz (Puerto Rican Yellow Rice with Corn)
Arroz con Maiz is a Puerto Rican classic and a must-have at any Thanksgiving feast. It’s a Puerto Rican thanksgiving food list made with yellow rice, corn, sofrito, and seasonings. It’s simple to make and can be easily tailored to your liking.
Furthermore, Arroz con Maiz is the perfect side dish on any Puerto Rican thanksgiving food list. You’ll find this food in most homes on the island, and it’s super easy to prepare.
6. Trinidadian Macaroni Pie
Trinidadian Macaroni Pie is a delicious and hearty dish that is perfect for any Thanksgiving feast. This dish contains macaroni noodles, beef, tomatoes, and various spices. The meat is cooked until it is tender and then simmered in the tomato sauce for hours.
Hence, this results in a rich and flavorful dish that will have your guests returning for seconds. You can’t afford to have this Puerto Rican thanksgiving food list on your menu next Thanksgiving.
7. White Rice & Habichuelas Guisadas (Puerto Rican Stewed Red Beans)
This dish is a classic Puerto Rican comfort food and a must-have for any Thanksgiving feast. White rice is simmered in water, and stewed red beans are added to the pot. The beans are cooked until they’re soft and flavorful, and the rice is tender and fluffy.
Subsequently, serve this dish with a side of green plantains for a complete Puerto Rican thanksgiving food list meal. Try topping it off with ground cumin if you want to add some extra flavor and make it more authentic.
8. Puerto Rican Style Macaroni Salad
This Puerto Rican Style Macaroni Salad is a flavorful and easy dish to make! It’s perfect for potlucks, picnics, and summer gatherings. The salad is made with elbow macaroni, mayonnaise, tomato sauce, red onions, green peppers, and cilantro.
Hence, this dish will surely be a hit with your guests, another great choice on our Puerto Rican thanksgiving food list!
9. Cornbread Stuffing via Simply Trini Cooking
Puerto Rican cornbread stuffing is a must-have dish on any Puerto Rican thanksgiving food list. This dish is traditionally made with sofrito, a mixture of garlic, onions, green peppers, and Puerto Rican spices.
The cornbread is then stuffed with meat (usual pork) and baked until golden brown. This delicacy can be served in many ways; fried, boiled, or mixed into salads and soups.
10. Cranberry Mango Pineapple Sauce via Chris De La Rosa
This dish is a Puerto Rican twist on the classic cranberry sauce. The addition of mango and pineapple gives it a sweetness and tropical flavor that is perfect for the Puerto Rican thanksgiving food list. Plus, it’s super easy to make! Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
11. Turkey with Mojo & Sazón Seasoning
One of the most traditional Puerto Rican thanksgiving food lists is turkey. But it’s not your typical turkey. It’s rubbed down with a mojo sauce made of garlic, sour orange juice, olive oil, and cumin.
Then, it’s seasoned with sazón, a seasoning blend that includes coriander, cumin, garlic powder, and annatto seeds. This gives the turkey a unique flavor that you won’t find anywhere else.
12. Pernil (Puerto Rican Roast Pork)
Pernil is a Puerto Rican classic and one of the most popular dishes served during Thanksgiving. It’s made by marinating a pork shoulder in garlic, oregano, and other spices, then slow roasting it until the meat is fall-off-the-bone tender.
Likewise, serve pernil with rice and beans, tostones (fried plantains), and a green salad for a complete Puerto Rican thanksgiving food list feast!
13. Cranberry Apple Pastelitos (Puff Pastries)
These little Cranberry Apple Pastelitos are the perfect Puerto Rican thanksgiving food list meal! They’re flaky and buttery, with a sweet and tart filling. I love how they’re bite-sized, so you can have as many or as few as you want. Plus, they’re so easy to make!
14. Quesitos (Puerto Rican Cream Cheese Puff Pastries)
Questions are among the most popular pastries on our Puerto Rican thanksgiving food list. They are cream cheese puffs, and they are delicious. I remember growing up, and my mom would always make them for special occasions. Note: quesitos are usually served with a cup of coffee or tea.
15. Strawberry & Cream Cheese Pastelitos (Puff Pastries)
These bite-sized puff pastries are filled with a sweet and creamy strawberry filling. They’re a perfect Puerto Rican thanksgiving food list and also for a holiday party or an after-dinner treat. You can substitute the strawberry filling with any flavor you like, such as pineapple, guava, coconut, or dulce de leche.
16. Fried Plantains (Plátanos Fritos)
The most traditional way to eat this one-of-a-kind Puerto Rican thanksgiving food list meal. It is to dip them in salt and then fry them in oil until they’re crispy on the outside but still soft on the inside. Serve them as a side dish alongside beans and rice!
17. Pumpkin Spice Arroz con Leche (Rice Pudding)
This Puerto Rican thanksgiving food list takes on rice pudding and is made with long grain rice, milk, cinnamon, and nutmeg. It’s the perfect comfort food for a fantastic autumn night.
And it’s easy to make! Combine all the ingredients in a pot and simmer until the rice is cooked. Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon, and enjoy!
18. Mallorca Cakes (Puerto Rican Pumpkin Bread)
These cakes are moist, spiced pieces of bread full of flavor from molasses and pumpkin. They’re pretty easy to make! To start this dish on our Puerto Rican thanksgiving food list, mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl and set it aside.
Then, in another bowl, whisk together all the wet ingredients, then pour into the dry ones while stirring.
19. Pumpkin Hot Chocolate
This Puerto Rican thanksgiving food list takes on hot chocolate made with pumpkin, cinnamon, and cloves. It’s the perfect fall drink to cozy up on a chilly evening.
20. Caribbean Sorrel
This tangy, slightly sweet drink is made with the hibiscus flower. And is a popular Puerto Rican thanksgiving food list choice to sip on during the holidays. You can find it sold pre-made at most bodegas.
Or make your own by boiling water and adding sorrel leaves, ginger, sugar, and lime juice to taste.
21. Coquito (Puerto Rican Coconut Eggnog-ish Holiday Drink)
Puerto Ricans love their coquito, and it shows! This delicious, creamy, coconutty drink is a must on any Puerto Rican thanksgiving food list and at holiday gatherings. And while it may sound complicated to make, it’s pretty simple. Serve chilled, and enjoy!
22. Jamaican-Spiced Pumpkin Pie
This traditional Puerto Rican pumpkin pie is made with a touch of Jamaican spices, resulting in a unique and delicious flavor. The pie crust is made from a combination of some ingredients from scratch. Hence, this Puerto Rican thanksgiving food list will surely be a hit at your next Thanksgiving feast!
23. Tembleque (Puerto Rican Coconut Pudding)
Next on our Puerto Rican thanksgiving food list is tembleque. Puerto Rican tembleque is a coconut pudding that’s creamy, dreamy, and delicious. It’s made with just a few simple ingredients.
Furthermore, the pudding is then chilled and served cold. It’s the perfect treat for a hot day. This Puerto Rican thanksgiving food list meal is usually made the day before.
Thanksgiving, so it’s ideal for those who want to enjoy a stress-free holiday. Plus, it can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it.
24. Arroz con Gandules (Puerto Rican Rice with Pigeon Peas)
This is a classic Puerto Rican dish and a must-have for any Puerto Rican thanksgiving food list. The rice is cooked with pigeon peas, sofrito, garlic, ham, and green olives.
It’s seasoned with cumin, saffron, and annatto (achiote) oil, giving it its characteristic yellow color. Finally, serve this dish with some roasted pork for a complete meal.
25. Puerto Rican Style Potato Salad
This dish is a must on any Puerto Rican thanksgiving food list and gathering! It’s a delicious mix of boiled potatoes, mayo, onions, olives, and green peppers. Further, this dish is usually served cold or at room temperature. The best way to enjoy this dish is to use it as a side with roast pork.
26. The Pasteles
Puerto Rican pasteles are a holiday staple. These handheld pies are made with masa harina (corn flour). Stuffed with various fillings (pork, chicken, or beef) and then wrapped in banana leaves before being boiled.
And the result is a fragrant, flavorful, and unique dish that’s perfect for any Puerto Rican thanksgiving food list.
27. Boriqua Rice and Beans
This dish is a Puerto Rican Thanksgiving staple. It’s a simple dish of rice and beans, but it’s so flavorful and satisfying. The key to making this Puerto Rican thanksgiving food list a great word is to use good quality ingredients.
Then, use long grain rice and simmer the beans until they’re nice and soft. Serve with a little bit of sofrito on top for extra flavor.
A Puerto Rican thanksgiving food list is not complete without pionono. This dish is made with green plantains peeled, boiled, and then mashed.
Once the plantains are mashed, they are formed into a log shape, filled with meat or vegetables, and then fried. Pionono is usually served with a side of Puerto Rican rice and beans.
29. Asopao de Camarones
This hearty shrimp soup is a filling dish that’s perfect for a cold winter day. It’s made with sofrito, a traditional Puerto Rican thanksgiving food list seasoning, and typically served with white rice on the side.
Other variations of this dish include gandules con garbanzos (pigeon peas and chickpeas) or callaloo (a type of leafy green).
Alcapurrias are fried fritters typically made with green bananas, yautía, and taro. The batter is usually made with a flour or cornstarch base, and then it is fried until it is golden brown.
Alcapurrias are often served with a dipping sauce, such as ketchup or mayonnaise. Another excellent choice for any Puerto Rican thanksgiving food list.
31. Arroz con gandules
Arroz con gandules is a rice dish that is cooked with pigeon peas. It is often seasoned with sofrito, a blend of aromatic herbs and vegetables. A delightful Puerto Rican thanksgiving food list!
32. Chicken Salad
This Puerto Rican thanksgiving food list is fried cheese, which is so good. The cheese is melted and then formed into little balls. They are then coated in batter and fried until golden brown.
Then, serve with a dipping sauce of your choice. I prefer ketchup, but mayonnaise works well too.
Papas Guisadas: These are made from tender boiled potatoes, onions, bell peppers, garlic, salt, and pepper that have been slowly cooked for about 20 minutes.
33. Queso Frito (Fried Cheese)
This dish is usually made with yellow cheese, but you can use any cheese you like. The key is to make sure the cheese is well-seasoned before frying it. You can use a stovetop or an electric fryer to fry the cheese.
Furthermore, serve with a dipping sauce of your choice. Queso Frito is done as a side dish on most Puerto Rican thanksgiving food lists and at most Puerto Rican restaurants. Some typical spices for this dish are Aji, Mayonnaise, Ketchup, and Hot Sauce.
34. Mofongo con Gandules (Mashed Plantains with Pigeon Peas)
Mofongo is typically served as an appetizer on the Puerto Rican thanksgiving food list in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic cuisine. It consists of fried green plantains mashed with garlic, pork cracklings, or bacon lard.
Toppings such as olives, capers, peppers, chicken broth, and hard-boiled eggs are also used in some variations of mofongo. Depending on what region they’re from or how traditional they want their mofongo to be.
35. Tostones (Fried Plantains)
Tostones are a famous Puerto Rican thanksgiving food list made with fried plantains. They are usually served as an appetizer or side dish but can also be eaten as a main course.
Tostones are typically caused by frying green plantains that have been smashed flat. Once golden brown, they are removed from the oil and allowed to cool.
36. Bacalaitos (Fish Cakes)
This Puerto Rican Style Potato Salad is a must-try dish for your Puerto Rican thanksgiving food list! It’s packed with flavor, thanks to the addition of sofrito, and it’s sure to be a hit with everyone at the table.
Puerto Rican Thanksgiving is a unique and memorable holiday. While the food may not be traditional, it is delicious. If you want something new to try this year, consider one of these Puerto Rican thanksgiving food lists. You will not be disappointed!