Instant Pot Arroz con Gandules are a quick and complete weeknight meal! Using pantry staples, you’ll have this dinner on the table in just a half hour!
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Well hi there. It’s been a week. I’m here in Seattle waiting for the National Guard to come secure our state, with a pantry full of canned goods and toilet paper. I’ve gone through every emotion this week—happy to have time to sleep in, terrified that the situation is serious enough to warrant closing schools for 6+ weeks (they’re saying that this is a very minimum, likely longer), concerned about friends and family who are in the “target” demographic, thankful that Irving can work from home and that our family is relatively safe, warm, and well fed. It has been a roller coaster. As I’ve been thinking about our current situation, and this blog, I’ve decided to try to share some real time recipes that I’m making for my family from my pantry over the next few weeks. Can we spruce them up when we have access to more fresh groceries? Sure. But in the meantime they will be just fine in their basic pantry glory. And if you’re reading this from the post-apocalyptic future….. “Hi!” If you’re here that means we’ve all survived, and I’m so glad you’ve found my blog!
Arroz con Gandules
Arroz con Gandules translates to rice with pigeon peas. Pigeon what? Yep, you heard me correctly, pigeon peas. Irving introduced me to this dish years ago and it’s always been a favorite! It’s a traditional rice and beans dish from the Caribbean. In fact, I shared a Jamaican version of it here before, from a vegan cookbook author. And while Irving typically makes his on the stovetop, I’ve figured out an Instant Pot version that makes it perfect for a weeknight dinner (you know I love making rice in my Instant Pot). This might not be the most traditional way of making it, but I’ve received Irving’s stamp of approval, so that’s authentic enough for me!
What are Gandules?
Gandules are the Spanish name for Pigeon Peas (which I had never heard of before I met Irving). The canned version looks sort of like a cross between a black eyed pea and a lentil. But Irving assures me that fresh they are bright green, and look much more like a regular green pea. Their texture is definitely firm, and more like a bean. So they’re somewhere in the middle.
Gandules might not be a pantry basic in your house….but they are in mine. If you don’t have them, feel free to substitute another bean like black beans or kidney beans. I like to buy pre-sliced olives to keep on hand for a quick and easy addition into our bean dishes, or even pasta sauce! And we always have jumbo bags of Costco rice in our pantry. Cilantro is a great addition to freshen this dish up, but if you don’t have it, things will still be ok. If you are able to go to the store, or you have some growing in your garden, definitely add it!
Vegan Meals Made with Pantry Basics
These recipes are either made entirely from shelf stable items, or very close to it! I like to think that in an emergency we can all makes subs as needed, like using cayenne pepper in place of fresh jalapeños, onion powder for fresh onions, etc. These also make great weeknight meals when you don’t have time to run to the store!
- Vegan Black Bean Soup
- Chickpea Stir Fry with Pineapple (15 Minute Meal!)
- Pumpkin Curry Soup
- Almond Butter Red Curry Noodles
- Oil Free Vegan Refried Black Beans — Frijoles de Cabo
- Balsamic Bean Salad
- Chickpea Salad with Lemon and Shallots + a Trip to Brooklyn
- Vegan Chilaquiles with Chickpeas from Veggie Inspired
- Restaurant Style Vegan Lentil Soup
- Pasta with Vegan Vodka Sauce — Nut Free!
- Homemade Vegan Boxed Mac and Cheese
- Instant Pot Quinoa with (optional) Coconut, Lime, and Cilantro
Just. Keep. Cooking.
So we’ll get through this. We’ll cook through our pantries and surprise ourselves with our creations. I’ve already got a few more that I’ve planned for my family, and I’ll be sure to take pics and share with all of you. We’ll do lots of baking! And we’ll have a story to tell our grandkids someday. Leave a note in the comments below and let me know how you’re doing….and let me know if you have a chance to try my Arroz Con Gandules!!!
Arroz Con Gandules
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups long grain rice
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 can (15 ounces) gandules (see notes)
- 1 cup sliced green olives with pimentos (I use a 5 ounce jar)
- 2 cloves garlic (sliced in half)
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup cilantro, rough chopped (1 large handful)
- Place the oil into the liner pan of the Instant Pot.
- Add the rice, paprika, cumin, and salt, and stir well.
- Set the Instant Pot to saute.
- Saute until fragrant, a few minutes, while stirring.
- Turn the saute feature off.
- Add the gandules, olives, garlic, and water.
- Give a good stir to incorporate. Set the Instant Pot to cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. Set the valve to sealing.
- Allow to natural release for 10 minutes, and then release the remaining pressure carefully.
- Carefully remove the lid. Find the pieces of garlic and smoosh them with a fork and stir into the rice.
- Add the cilantro and stir well.