These are the the staples that I try and keep in my pantry and frig. If you keep these up you can make almost anything with the addition of a few items.

Latin Pantry

  • Sazon You can typically find it in the Latin food aisle of your supermarket or at your local Latin grocer.

If you cannon find it  you can make your own blend of seasonings, equal parts salt, garlic powder, cumin, corriander and annato.  Other possible additions include onion powder, tomato powder and saffron.   1 1/4 tsp equals 1 envelope of Sazon.

  • Sofrito Here you can find my homemade recipe.  If purchasing sofito at a store a few things to know.

You can typically find it in the Latin food aisle. It is Goya brand, but Goya makes 2 different kinds a red and a green.  You want the green which is labled “Recaito” even though the red says “Sofrito”.  Traditionally Puerto Rican “sofrito” does not have tomato in it.  Just think GREEN.

If you are in the Tulsa area. The supermarket’s jars tend to be very small.  You can find larger jars and all other kinds of interesting foods at the Asian Market Nam Hai at 21st and Garnett.  They keep them on a shelf above the refrigeration bins, towards the produce.  You can also find Goya Adobo and Sazon there, I think that maybe on a rack between the fishmarket and produce. When you walk in go right.  The market is disorganized and has a funny smell because of the seafood market in the back, but you can find some really interesting ingredients there.

  • Canned Beans
  • Rice
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Plantains
  • Olives
  • Capers
  • Cooking Ham
  • Roasted Red Peppers
  • Chorizo
  • Raisins
  • Salted Cod
  • Yucca
  • Ground Beef
  • Bay Leaves
  • Oregano
  • Adobo

Cooking Staples

  • Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Olive Oil
  • Chicken Broth
  • Milk
  • Butter
  • Grated Parm Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Canned tomatoes, crushed, whole and fire-roasted
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Crushed Red Pepper
  • Ground Cumin
  • Dry Pasta
  • Soy Sauce
  • Ginger

In a bind here are some great substitutes:

  • 1 Tbs balsamic or red wine vinegar for 1/4 cup of red wine
  • Parmesan cheese for Asiago
  • Plain low-fat yogurt for sour cream or buttermilk
  • Cottage cheese for ricotta
  • Angle hair pasta or linguine for Asian noodles
  • Worcestershire sauce for fish sauce
  • 3 Tbs egg substitute for 1 large egg white (vice versa)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric for 1/s teaspoon saffron.
  • 3 Tbs cocoa plus 1 Tbs butter for 1 ounce semisweet chocolate.

Baking Staples

  • Flour
  • baking soda
  • baking powder
  • sugar
  • brown sugar
  • powdered sugar
  • corn syrup
  • nuts
  • coco powder
  • chocolate chips
  • milk
  • eggs
  • frozen fruit
  • frozen pastry, sheets or pie shells

You can find more at


  1. Maggie Sue says

    Just moved to Puerto Rico and find your site super informative and inspiring. Keep it up!

    Humacao, PR (formerly Seattle, WA)

  2. Priscilla says

    Hi. Thanks for the authentic recipe. Although, im not spanish yet love love this dish. I would choose over potatoes any day!! Ive made sofrito and froze into ice trays. I use it often. Green ofcourse;) Please add me to your mailing list.

  3. says

    I found your site on an internet search for Puerto Rican recipes. I will give your fried rice recipe a try and see if it resembles the “arroz chino de PR” that I remember from my childhood years.
    Thanks for all the work you have done to make this website a success.
    Belen Olmo

  4. Nahir says

    Hi Meseidy,
    I am a fellow Puerto Rican living in San Antonio Texas. Looking for great recipes I found your site. It is awesome!
    You are representing our cooking in an excellent way. Keep it up and please add me to your mail list.
    Thank you!
    Nahir Miranda

  5. Claudia Rowe says

    I just found your website and I love it!
    Please put my email on your list.
    Thanks so much.
    Claudia Rowe
    La Center, WA

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