The 10 Best Puerto Rican Cookbooks that will transport you to the Island ๐Ÿ๏ธ

As featured in FoodNetwork, GoodHouskeeping, PBS, and Cosmopolitan- Bakeaholicmama is the leading cookbook authority.
Updated on:

puerto rico cookbook

Spread the love

Hi, I am Chef Zara. In this post, I will guide you through the best Puerto Rican Cookbooks. Join me on this journey of taste and discovery.

I love discovering new food and cooking with friends and family. One of the most common questions that I often get is for cookbook recommendations. I have created this guide for friends, family, and new friends alike. I hope that you enjoy our site.

Bring the beach and the flavor to your home ๐Ÿ’ฆ

The primary flavor profile in Puerto Rican dishes is sweet and salty, but it’s also known for being meaty and bold due to the abundant use of herbs and spices. Sofrito and adobo are the two most distinct seasonings. Sofrito, a blend of peppers, onions, garlic, and cilantro, is frequently used as a base for many Puerto Rican recipes. Adobo is a dry seasoning traditionally made from salt, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, black pepper, cumin, and usually some lime juice or vinegar. It’s typically used to flavor meats, poultry, and sometimes even vegetables. Achiote is another notable ingredient. This reddish-yellow oil is made from annatto seeds, and it gives rice and other dishes a distinctive flavor. Welcome to the Island! (check out our guide on the Best Island Cookbooks)

Here’s the 10 best Puerto Rican cookbooks in English to inspire you and get you cooking!


1. The Easy Puerto Rican Cookbook: 100 Classic Recipes Made Simple

What the Readers Are Saying ๐Ÿ‘‚

โ€œI’ve made a few recipes so far (shrimp salad, avocado and crab salad, cheesecake popsicles, churrasco, and chimichurri). Our family has loved it all! Don’t hesitate to get this book if you want accessible, easy, TASTY Puerto Rican food.โ€ -Yehieli

Review ๐Ÿ“–

The Easy Puerto Rican Cookbook has 100 traditional recipes simplified to help you cook your favorite Puerto Rican dishes at home. This easy Puerto Rican cookbook has it all, including 30-minute recipes, one-pot dinners, slow-cooker meals, and more. It focuses on whole foods, so you’ll get delicious flavors of traditional recipes using fresh and healthy ingredients.

This book also includes recipes for some Puerto Rican staples and tips on what ingredients to stock up on so you can be ready to cook your favorite Puerto Rican dishes whenever you like.

About the Author โœ๏ธ

Tony Rican is the man behind the “Average Gourmet Guy,” a cooking channel on YouTube. His cooking style is fun and simple, with easy recipes that any home cook can make. Before settling down, he spent 15 years on the road as a professional wrestler. Becoming a father inspired him to reconnect with his Puerto Rican heritage and explore his roots through its cuisine. He now uses his cumulative life experiences to inspire others to learn how to cook.


2. Puerto Rico True Flavors

Puerto Rico True Flavors
$39.95
Buy Now
09/21/2022 09:42 am GMT

What the Readers Are Saying ๐Ÿ‘‚

 โ€œThis book is fantastic. I’m Puerto Rican and me and the whole family Love the recipes from this book. The recipes are outstanding. I have given this book to others as gift and they all love it. It has just about all the traditional Puerto Rican food and how to cook them the traditional way.โ€ – J. Gonzales

Review ๐Ÿ“–

Whether you’re looking for the ultimate guide to Puerto Rican cuisine or simply want to expand your cooking repertoire, Puerto Rico True Flavors is the book for you. It’s beautifully illustrated and filled with celebrated Chef Wilo Benet’s fresh take on classic Puerto Rican seafood recipes (check out our guide on the Best Seafood Cookbooks). The book also includes a how-to section with images, as well as an ingredient glossary. It’s simple and approachable, inspiring any home cook to delve into and enjoy the robust and authentic flavors of Puerto Rican dishes.

About the Author โœ๏ธ

Chef Wilo Benet is a top Puerto Rican chef. His passion for food enabled him to travel around the world and cook for celebrities, athletes, and politicians. Wilo is passionate about preserving the core of Puerto Rican cuisine through technique, presentation, and better sourced ingredients. Amid his hectic schedule as chef, entrepreneur, consultant, and television personality, he is known as someone who always extends his hand to help others with advice, food, time, and resources.


3. Puerto Rican Cookery

Puerto Rican Cookery
$16.89
Buy Now
09/21/2022 09:46 am GMT

What the Readers Are Saying ๐Ÿ‘‚

โ€œI bought this cookbook as a gift, but I have owned a copy for over twenty years. It is the cookbook that you often see all over in Puerto Rico, it comes in both English and Spanish (Cocina Criolla). There are many more Puerto Rican cookbooks out on the market, but this is one of the first cookbooks to highlight Puerto Rican cuisine on a global aspect. The recipes are delicious and authentic. Highly recommend it!โ€ – Palacio

Review ๐Ÿ“–

Some would classify Puerto Rican Cookery as one of the cornerstones of Puerto Rican cookbooks. Even though it was first published in 1983, this is a book you’ll turn to time and time again for authentic recipes in Puerto Rican cooking. The late chef Carmen Aboy Valldejuli, effectively breaks down traditional Puerto Rican dishes into easy-to-understand and easy-to-follow instructions so that even a beginner cook can successfully recreate the dish.

About the Author โœ๏ธ

Carmen Aboy Valldejuli started her quest to learn everything there is to know about native Puerto Rican dishes with with her husband. Carmen wrote several cookbooks out of her desire for her readers to taste the real flavors of Puerto Rico and other places. Even after her passing many years ago, Carmen Aboy Valldejuli is still regarded as one of the primary authorities on Puerto Rican cuisine.


4. A Taste of Puerto Rico: Traditional and New Dishes from the Puerto Rican Community

What the Readers Are Saying ๐Ÿ‘‚

โ€œThis book has brought back my childhood memories! The recipes are great and easy to follow and taste like Momma made them! I would recommend “A Taste of Puerto Rico” to anyone wanting to experience the unique flavors of real Puerto Rican cooking!โ€ -Natalie Oramas

Review ๐Ÿ“–

A Taste of Puerto Rico: Traditional and New Dishes from the Puerto Rican Community is a true Puerto Rican cookbook, made complete with culinary history and recipes for any gourmand to enjoy. This cookbook beautifully presents the rich culture of Puerto Rican cuisine and goes beyond its stereotype by featuring over 200 recipes that illustrate the richness and variety of Puerto Rican dishes. From appetizers, soups, seafood, and poultry to traditional stews, sauces, and marinades, this cookbook will not disappoint.

About the Author โœ๏ธ

Yvonne Ortiz writes for Gourmet, Cook’s Illustrated, and the New York Times, as well as El Diario NY, the oldest and largest national Spanish-language daily newspaper in the United States. She now resides in Jersey City, New Jersey, having been born in New York City and brought up in Cayey, Puerto Rico.


5. Con Sabor: My Puerto Rican Cuisine

What the Readers Are Saying ๐Ÿ‘‚

โ€œThis is such an amazing cookbook! The recipes look so delicious and easy to follow! All of the traditional Puertorican recipes that we grew up with! Can’t wait to make these recipes!โ€ – Christina Roman

Review ๐Ÿ“–

Con Sabor: My Puerto Rican Cuisine includes over 90 traditional recipes that will allow you to experience the flavors of the islands (check out our guide on the Best Maltese Cookbooks). Expect to see classics like Arroz Con Pollo, Flan, and Habichuelas among many others. A detailed list of ingredients and step-by-step instructions, combined with vibrant photos, make following the recipe simple, even for novice home cooks. This Puerto Rican cookbook also includes an overview of Puerto Rican seasonings, one of the elements that makes this cuisine so distinct.

About the Author โœ๏ธ

Isabel Veguilla was born in Jersey City, New Jersey to Aibonito, Puerto Rico-born parents. She comes from a big family, where gatherings are always made complete with delicious food. She writes as a way to commemorate homestyle cooking, food, family, and fun.


6. Puerto Rican Vegan Cookbook

Puerto Rican Vegan Cookbook
$25.00
Buy Now
09/21/2022 10:01 am GMT

What the Readers Are Saying ๐Ÿ‘‚

โ€œI would recommend this cookbook to anyone! Jacinia is a creative chef who’s put together amazing recipes that anyone can cook. I love the focus on food that is simple, healthy, and filled with sabor.โ€ -Elena S.

Review ๐Ÿ“–

The Puerto Rican Vegan Cookbook has over 65 dishes that are both flavorful and nutritious. This cookbook contains low-salt, low-oil adaptations of classic Puerto Rican meals. Each page has images that serve as a simple step-by-step reference to making delicious, vegan Puerto Rican dishes. In case you can’t get Latin seasonings at your local market, this book will teach you how to make them yourself. Jacinia’s friendly approach makes this a must-have for any vegan (or non-vegan) in search of a Puerto Rican cookbook.

About the Author โœ๏ธ

Jacinia Perez is a Puerto Rican vegan minimalist from Newark, New Jersey. Her YouTube channel, suitably called “Minimalist Vegan Lifestyle,” focuses on cooking, DIY projects, budgeting, and organization. She is a vegan advocate who utilizes her skills to raise awareness of alternative lifestyles that may have a good influence on both individuals and the community.


7. Healthy Rican: Put the Latin Spice in Your Healthy Life! 

What the Readers Are Saying ๐Ÿ‘‚

โ€œSo, so, so delicious. Not only does Mayra share some of the tastiest Puerto Rican favorites ever – but she’s made them healthier (and even better) than the original. Plus, I learned a lot about nutrition and foods that combine well (or not so well) together.โ€ -Susan

Review ๐Ÿ“–

The Healthy Rican cookbook shows how to make traditional Puerto Rican dishes in a healthy way. It features not only recipes but also advice on picking nutritious ingredients. Author Mayra Luz Colรณn acknowledges that each individual is unique and has various needs, thus this book caters to those who follow paleo, gluten-free, and even vegan diets. This Puerto Rican cookbook uses a holistic nutrition approach with the goal of encouraging readers to favor healthy options and thoughtful meal preparation.

About the Author โœ๏ธ

Mayra Luz Colรณn was raised in Puerto Rico where she was introduced to various exotic delicacies, wild fruits, and nature. She then gained an interest in natural alternatives and cooking at a tender age. Mayra is currently a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach who made it her goal to eliminate dull foods and replace them with delightful options for ordinary people who want to eat healthy. She is also behind the Healthy Rican brand, offering tasty Puerto Rican recipes and seasonings to homes around the world.


8. Puerto Rican Cuisine in America: Nuyorican and Bodega Recipes

What the Readers Are Saying ๐Ÿ‘‚

โ€œThe food tastes like the food I grew up with. I have been begging my mom and grandma for recipes for years, but of course they didn’t use formal measurements! I am now able to bring food that I love to my kids and can actually pass down the recipes!โ€ -TX

Review ๐Ÿ“–

Explore the distinct style of Caribbean food (check out our guide on the Best Trinidad Cookbooks) through 250 family-favorite recipes featured in Puerto Rican Cuisine in America: Nuyorican and Bodega Recipes. Nuyorican refers to Puerto Rican in New York. From savory entrees to decadent sweets, this Puerto Rican cookbook is packed with a variety of classic recipes. Readers can also enjoy the ideal Puerto Rican feast with the help of 90 delectable drink recipes and suggested wine pairings for each dish. Moreover, this cookbook also contains anecdotes about Puerto Rico’s history and culture that give a chance to learn beyond Puerto Rican cuisine.

About the Author โœ๏ธ

Oswald Rivera was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, and reared in New York City. He is a US Marine Corps Combat Veteran as well as the author of several novels and cookbooks.


9. Coconuts and Collards: Recipes and Stories from Puerto Rico to the Deep South

What the Readers Are Saying ๐Ÿ‘‚

โ€œVon Dรญaz has assembled a terrific book of traditional Puerto Rican food plus some of the best the American Southern cooking. You cannot go wrong with these two cuisines!โ€ -M. Feliciano

Review ๐Ÿ“–

Coconuts and Collards is jam-packed with recipes and stories about growing up as a Latina in the Deep South. Inspired by her grandmother’s 1962 copy of Cocina Criolla, a pillar of Puerto Rican cookbooks, author Von Diaz showcases classic Puerto Rican dishes blended with her own Southern experiences. This cookbook features dishes that have been updated and lightened for modern palates and suggests vegetarian alternatives. Overall, this is a compelling story about rediscovering heritage through food that is near and dear to the heart.

About the Author โœ๏ธ

Von Diaz was born in the Puerto Rican town of Rio Piedras. She is a New York-based writer and radio producer. Von is a self-taught cook who uses stories and multimedia to explore Puerto Rican food, culture, and identity. Her work has been featured in various well-known publications.


10. Cocina Tropical: The Classic & Contemporary Flavors of Puerto Rico

What the Readers Are Saying ๐Ÿ‘‚

โ€œSome of the most creative and fascinating recipes are in Cocina Tropical! Get this book and read through it as soon as it arrives. There are some terrific food combinations. A lovely photographic detail on every page. this one should be in the cookbook library of anyone who enjoys eating (and drinking!) different ingredients and ideas. A real gem of a book that highlights the best of Puerto Rico.โ€ – E. Flynn

Review ๐Ÿ“–

Cocina Tropical is a Puerto Rican cookbook that allows you to explore the islandโ€™s flavors (check out our guide on the Best Guam Cookbooks) and rich culinary traditions. Chef Jose Santaella does an excellent job at filling this book with over 100 classic and contemporary recipes, each with their own interpretations and beautiful photos of well-loved Puerto Rican dishes. Cocina Tropical truly encapsulates the flavors of Puerto Rico, past and present.

About the Author โœ๏ธ

Jose Santaella is a prominent Puerto Rican chef, caterer, entrepreneur, and author. He has collaborated with acclaimed chefs around the world. His love for cooking, combined with this unique personality, has led him to become one of the most celebrated chefs in Puerto Rican cuisine.


Final Thoughts

Thereโ€™s so much more to Puerto Rico than meets the eye. Beyond the beauty of its mountains and beaches is an incredible culinary adventure waiting to be experienced. May these Puerto Rican cookbooks inspire you to keep on exploring the wonders of this beautifully rich cuisine. As they say in Puerto Rico, Dale duro! Good luck!


More about Puerto Rico Cooking โ˜€

Despite being commonly likened to Spanish, Cuban, Nicaragua (check out our guide on the Best Nicaraguan Cookbooks) and Mexican food, Puerto Rican cuisine is distinct all on its own.

Puerto Rico’s rich history has played an important role in shaping what Puerto Rican cooking is today. Puerto Rican cuisine, also known as Cocina Criolla, is the result of the beautiful island’s adaptation to Spanish, African (check out our guide on the Best African Cookbooks), Taino, and American influences over time.

Bold ingredients, flavors, and cooking techniques combine to result in a unique cuisine that shouldn’t be missed. Whether you’re longing to recreate a specific Puerto Rican recipe or simply want to widen your cooking repertoire, we hope you found what you needed!


Spread the love

Recommended Latin American Cookbook Reviews

Recommended Island Cookbook Reviews

Thanks for spending your time with us. I hope that you found this post informative and enjoyable. If you would like to see more cookbook reviews, please sign up for the Bakeaholicmama Newsletter.

Photo of author

AUTHOR

Chef Zara is the founder and chief editor for Bakeaholic. He loves bringing smiles to people with the delicious visuals, smells, and tastes of food. Chef Zara's passion for baking started at a very young age, and he has never looked back since. He enjoys experimenting with different flavors and combinations, and takes great pride in creating unique recipes that will tantalize your taste buds. When heโ€™s not whipping up something delectable in the kitchen, Chef Zara can be found exploring new culinary delights around the world.

Leave a Comment

Free Freezer Meals Cookbook- Prepare 10 Healthy Meals in just 30 minutes

X