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A white plate with a wooden spoon on top next to a silver pot of farro-z con gandules and a red and white striped cloth napkin

Farro con Gandules (Farro with Pigeon Peas)

A spin on the classic Puerto Rican dish, this vegan version is made with farro instead of rice.
Course Accompaniments, Side Dish
Cuisine Puerto Rican/Hispanic
Keyword arroz con gandules, farro, gandules, pigeon peas
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 304kcal


  • 4 1/2 qt caldero or dutch oven


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sofrito
  • 1 cup (227 grams) tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons adobo
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sazón (or 1 packet)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups (360 grams) Italian emmer farro (pearled or quick-cooking farro) rinsed and drained
  • 6 manzanilla olives
  • 1 teaspoon capers
  • 2 cups (475 ml) water
  • 15 ounce can (425 grams) gandules (drained and liquid reserved)


  • In a 4 1/2 qt caldero or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
    Once in the pot begins to shimmer, use a cooking spoon to stir in the sofrito. Heat the sofrito until it's fragrant, or for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    After the sofrito becomes fragrant, stir in the tomato sauce. Bring the tomato-sofrito sauce up to a simmer, stirring frequently. 
  • Add the adobo, sazón, granulated onion powder, granulated garlic, oregano, and black pepper to the tomato sauce in the pot, stirring to combine them with the sauce.
    Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer once more.
  • Once the sauce begins to simmer, add the rinsed and drained farro to the pot. Stir the farro into the sauce mixture to coat each grain.
    After you farro is mixed in, add the olives and capers to the pot. 
  • Next, add the water and the liquid you reserved from draining the gandules earlier. 
    Add the gandules to the pot, stirring to combine them with the farro. Allow the liquid in the pot to come to a rapid boil without stirring.
  • Once the liquid is boiling, begin a timer. Allow the liquid to boil for 8-10 minutes, or until the liquid is mostly evaporated.
    When most of the liquid has evaporated and you see some of the farro con gandules peeking through the liquid, give the mixture a good stir. Spread the mixture in the pot so the surface is flat.
  • Lay a piece of aluminum foil over the top of the pot. Push the lid of the pot onto that piece of foil.
    Steam the farro con gandules for 15 minutes, or until the water is completely evaporated and the farro is al dente (meaning it still has a bit of chew to the grain). 
  • Fluff the farro con gandules with a fork or spoon before serving. The dish will be saucier and the grains of farro plumper than arroz con gandules.
    Once fluffed and ready to eat, serve the farro with your choice of protein or on its own with a side salad and/or sliced bread.


Storage Instructions:
Transfer leftover farro to a food storage container and keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze for 2 months. 
Make Ahead Instructions:
  • Prepare the farro con gandules as instructed up to two days ahead.
  • Store the farro in food containers in the fridge and reheat as needed in the microwave or in the oven. 
For Large Parties:
  • Triple or quadruple the ingredients, or make multiple batches of the farro con gandules.
  • Spoon the farro con gandules into a disposable roasting pan and cover it with a layer of aluminum foil. Store it in the fridge until 1 hour before serving it.
  • Thirty minutes before you plan to serve, add a 1/2 cup of water to the pan with the farro.
  • Re-cover the pan with the foil and warm it in a pre-heated 350°F (177°C) oven for 20 minutes, stirring the farro every so often to heat it evenly.
  • Check the farro before removing it from the oven to ensure it's heated throughout. 
Freezing Instructions: 
  • After cooking completely, allow the farro con gandules to cool.
  • Transfer the farro to freezer-storage bags and freeze until solid. Freeze for 2 months.
  • Thaw the farro under refrigeration overnight, or 6 hours.
  • Once thawed, reheat it in the microwave or using the oven method outlined above. 


Calories: 304kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 288mg | Potassium: 479mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 153IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 2mg