Gandinga Recipe

Explore the authentic taste of Puerto Rico with our Gandinga Recipe. Learn to create this flavorful delight and savor a taste of the Caribbean.



  • Cuisine: Puerto Rican
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Servings: 4
  • Calories: 200 calories

Gandinga is a cherished and flavorful Puerto Rican dish that holds a special place in the island's culinary heritage. This traditional dish is known for its hearty and robust flavors, making it a favorite among locals and a must-try for visitors looking to explore the diverse world of Puerto Rican cuisine.

At its core, gandinga is a dish made primarily from pork or chicken entrails, specifically the liver and heart. These ingredients might sound unconventional to some, but they are transformed into a mouthwatering delicacy through a combination of seasonings and cooking techniques that have been perfected over generations.

The dish typically starts with the cleaning and cutting of the entrails into bite-sized pieces. These are then sautéed with a fragrant mixture of onions, bell peppers, and garlic, creating a savory base for the dish. The magic of gandinga lies in its robust sauce, which consists of tomato sauce, vinegar, and a blend of spices like oregano, cumin, and paprika. This sauce infuses the entrails with a harmonious blend of tanginess and earthy flavors, while the simmering process ensures they become tender and succulent.

Gandinga is often served over a bed of fluffy white rice or alongside crispy tostones (fried green plantains). Its rich, savory taste is a testament to Puerto Rico's culinary heritage, showcasing the island's ability to transform humble ingredients into a dish that delights the palate and nourishes the soul. It's a symbol of Puerto Rican culture, inviting everyone to savor the unique flavors and traditions of this vibrant Caribbean island.


Discover the sizzling secrets of Puerto Rican cuisine with our mouthwatering Gandinga Recipe! Dive into bold flavors and rich traditions today!


  • 1 pound of pork or chicken entrails (liver and heart)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Method Instructions

  1. Begin by cleaning the entrails thoroughly. Rinse them under cold water and remove any excess fat or membranes. Cut them into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet or pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, bell pepper, and minced garlic. Sauté until the onions become translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add the cleaned entrails to the pan and cook for about 5-7 minutes until they start to brown.
  4. Pour in the tomato sauce and white vinegar, then add the dried oregano, ground cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
  5. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until the entrails are cooked through and tender. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  6. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed. You can add more vinegar or spices according to your preference.
  7. Once the gandinga is cooked to your liking and the sauce has thickened, remove it from the heat.
  8. Serve your delicious gandinga over a bed of white rice or with some tostones (fried green plantains) for a traditional Puerto Rican meal.
  9. Enjoy your homemade gandinga.

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Serving gandinga is a delightful experience, and it's traditionally enjoyed as a hearty, flavorful main dish in Puerto Rican cuisine. Here's how to serve gandinga:

  1. White Rice: The most common way to serve gandinga is over a bed of fluffy white rice. The rice acts as a neutral base that complements the bold and savory flavors of the dish. Simply scoop a generous portion of gandinga onto a plate and serve it alongside a serving of rice.
  2. Tostones: Another popular accompaniment to gandinga is tostones, which are fried green plantains. These crispy and slightly sweet plantains provide a wonderful contrast to the rich and savory gandinga. You can serve a few tostones on the side or arrange them around the gandinga on the plate.
  3. Pickled Onions: Many people enjoy gandinga with pickled onions on the side. These pickled onions add a tangy and slightly sweet element that pairs well with the dish. You can make pickled onions by marinating thinly sliced red onions in vinegar, sugar, and a pinch of salt for a few hours before serving.
  4. Garnishes: To enhance the presentation and flavor, consider garnishing your gandinga with fresh cilantro or parsley leaves. These herbs add a touch of freshness and color to the dish.
  5. Hot Sauce: If you like a bit of heat, provide some hot sauce or ají on the side. Puerto Rican hot sauces can range from mild to fiery, so you can choose one that suits your spice tolerance.
  6. Serving Platter: If you're serving gandinga to a group, you can present it on a large serving platter or in a deep dish. This makes for a beautiful centerpiece at gatherings and allows everyone to help themselves.


  1. Cleaning the Entrails: Properly clean the pork or chicken entrails, especially the liver and heart. Rinse them thoroughly under cold water to remove any blood or impurities. Trim away excess fat and membranes for a cleaner taste.
  2. Marinating: You can marinate the cleaned entrails in a mixture of vinegar, garlic, and a pinch of salt for about 30 minutes before cooking. This step can help reduce any strong flavors and tenderize the meat.
  3. Seasoning: Don't be shy with the seasonings. Gandinga is known for its bold and robust flavors. Adjust the spices and seasonings to your taste, but do include essentials like oregano, cumin, and paprika for that authentic Puerto Rican flavor.
  4. Vinegar Balance: Be mindful of the vinegar-to-tomato sauce ratio. It's what gives gandinga its characteristic tanginess. Adjust the amount of vinegar to suit your preference, but don't overdo it, as it can become too sour.
  5. Simmering: Allow the gandinga to simmer over low heat. This slow cooking process allows the flavors to meld together and the entrails to become tender. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  6. Taste Testing: Taste the gandinga as it cooks and adjust the seasonings if needed. You can add more salt, pepper, or vinegar to achieve the desired flavor profile.
  7. Accompaniments: Serve gandinga with classic accompaniments like white rice and tostones. The contrast of textures and flavors between the rich gandinga and these sides is delightful.
  8. Garnishes: Fresh cilantro or parsley leaves make for a lovely garnish, adding a pop of color and freshness to the plate.
  9. Hot Sauce: Provide hot sauce on the side for those who enjoy extra heat. Puerto Rican hot sauces, like ají, can be a fantastic addition to gandinga.
  10. Storage: If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Gandinga often tastes even better the next day as the flavors continue to meld.

Ingredient Substitutes

If you're looking to make gandinga but need ingredient substitutes, here are some options you could try:

  1. Meat Substitutes: If you prefer not to use pork or chicken entrails, you can substitute with other proteins like chicken breast or thigh meat, pork loin, or even tofu for a vegetarian version. While it won't be traditional gandinga, the flavorful sauce can work well with these alternatives.
  2. Vinegar: White vinegar is commonly used in gandinga, but you can substitute it with apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar for a slightly different flavor profile.
  3. Tomato Sauce: If you don't have tomato sauce, you can use tomato paste diluted with a bit of water. Alternatively, you can blend fresh tomatoes into a puree as a fresh substitute.
  4. Bell Pepper: If you're not a fan of bell peppers or don't have any on hand, you can omit them or use other sweet peppers like banana peppers or cubanelle peppers for a milder flavor.
  5. Spices: While oregano, cumin, and paprika are traditional spices, you can experiment with other seasonings like smoked paprika, chili powder, or ground coriander for unique flavor variations.
  6. Garlic: If you're out of fresh garlic cloves, you can use garlic powder as a substitute. Remember that 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder is roughly equivalent to one clove of garlic.
  7. Olive Oil: Substitute olive oil with vegetable oil, canola oil, or any cooking oil of your choice.
  8. Rice Alternatives: Instead of white rice, you can serve gandinga with brown rice, quinoa, or even cauliflower rice for a lower-carb option.
  9. Tostones Substitute: If you don't have green plantains or prefer a different side dish, consider serving gandinga with steamed or roasted vegetables, yuca, or sweet potato fries.


As you savor the delectable flavors of gandinga, you've embarked on a culinary journey through Puerto Rican tradition. Share the love and flavor with your loved ones, and keep the spirit of this vibrant cuisine alive. Buen provecho!

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