These 10 Puerto Rican Cookbooks will transport you to the Island 🏝️

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Hi, I am Chef Zara. In this post, I will guide you through Puerto Rican Cookbooks.

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 💦

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!

Here are 10 Puerto Rican cookbooks in English to inspire you and get you cooking!


1. The Easy Puerto Rican Cookbook

Review 📖

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 ✍️

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

Review 📖

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. 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 ✍️

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 a 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

Review 📖

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 ✍️

Carmen Aboy Valldejuli started her quest to learn everything there is to know about native Puerto Rican dishes 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

Review 📖

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 ✍️

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 brings up in Cayey, Puerto Rico.


5. Con Sabor: My Puerto Rican Cuisine

Review 📖

Con Sabor: My Puerto Rican Cuisine includes over 90 traditional recipes that will allow you to experience the flavors of the islands. 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 make this cuisine so distinct.

About the Author ✍️

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

Review 📖

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 in search of a Puerto Rican cookbook.

About the Author ✍️

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

Review 📖

The Healthy Rican cookbook shows how to make traditional Puerto Rican dishes healthily. It features not only recipes but also advice on picking nutritious ingredients. Author Mayra Luz Colón 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 ✍️

Mayra Luz Colón 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 healthily. 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

Review 📖

Explore the distinct style of Caribbean food 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 ✍️

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

Review 📖

Coconuts and Collards are 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 ✍️

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

Review 📖

Cocina Tropical is a Puerto Rican cookbook that allows you to explore the island’s flavors and rich culinary traditions. Chef Jose Santaella does an excellent job at filling this book with over 100 classic and contemporary recipes, each with its 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 ✍️

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

There’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 ☀

Despite being commonly likened to Spanish, Cuban, Nicaragua, 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, 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 need!



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AUTHOR

Chef Zara is the founder and chief editor for Bakeaholic. She 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 she has never looked back since. She enjoys experimenting with different flavors and combinations, and takes great pride in creating unique recipes that will tantalize your taste buds. When she’s not whipping up something delectable in the kitchen, Chef Zara can be found exploring new culinary delights around the world. Chef Zara holds a Associate of Arts and Sciences from Kendall College and is a sought after private chef. Connect with her on LinkedIn. https://www.linkedin.com/in/chef-zara/

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