Delicious Discoveries: The 11 Best Puerto Rican Cookbooks

Discover the best Puerto Rican cookbooks

Puerto Rican cuisine is a vibrant and flavorful culinary tradition that combines a variety of influences to create unique and delicious dishes. If you’re looking to dive into the world of Puerto Rican cuisine, having the right cookbook can be invaluable. In this article, we will explore some of the best Puerto Rican cookbooks available, highlighting their features and what sets them apart. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or new to the kitchen, these cookbooks will provide you with authentic recipes and a deeper understanding of Puerto Rican food.

1. Puerto Rico True Flavors by Chef Wilo Benet

Considered the bible of Puerto Rican cuisine, Chef Wilo Benet’s Puerto Rico True Flavors is an essential addition to any cookbook collection. This comprehensive cookbook delves into the heart of Puerto Rican cuisine, offering a wide range of traditional recipes that showcase the island’s culinary heritage. From classics like Arroz con Pollo (Chicken with Rice) to lesser-known gems like Mofongo (Mashed Plantains), Chef Wilo Benet provides step-by-step instructions and valuable insights into the flavors and techniques that define Puerto Rican cuisine.

2. Puerto Rican Cooking by Carmen Aboy Valldejuli

Another classic cookbook, “Puerto Rican Cookery” by Carmen Aboy Valldejuli, takes readers on a journey through the rich culinary traditions of Puerto Rico. First published in 1954, this book has stood the test of time and remains a popular resource for both Puerto Ricans and food enthusiasts worldwide. It covers a wide range of dishes, including soups, stews, rice and bean recipes, and delicious desserts. With its detailed instructions and extensive collection of recipes, Puerto Rican Cookery is an excellent choice for those who want to explore the depth and breadth of Puerto Rican cuisine.

3. The Essential Cuisines of Mexico by Diana Kennedy

While not exclusively focused on Puerto Rican cuisine, “The Essential Cuisines of Mexico” by Diana Kennedy includes a comprehensive chapter on Puerto Rican cooking. Known for her expertise in Mexican cuisine, Diana Kennedy provides valuable insights into the similarities and differences between Mexican and Puerto Rican culinary traditions. This cookbook offers a unique perspective on Puerto Rican food, introducing readers to the flavors and techniques that have shaped the island’s cuisine. With its emphasis on authenticity and culinary exploration, The Essential Cuisines of Mexico is an excellent resource for those interested in the diverse influences that have shaped Puerto Rican cuisine.

4. Coconuts and Collards: Recipes and Stories from Puerto Rico to the Deep South by Von Diaz

“Coconuts and Collards by Von Diaz takes a contemporary approach to Puerto Rican cooking, exploring the intersection of Puerto Rican and Southern cuisines. This cookbook tells the story of the author’s upbringing in Puerto Rico and her journey to embrace her cultural heritage while living in the American South. Through a collection of recipes and personal stories, Von Diaz showcases the fusion of flavors and ingredients that result from the blending of Puerto Rican and Southern culinary traditions. This cookbook is a testament to the evolving nature of food and the way it reflects cultural identity.

5. Taste of Puerto Rico: Traditional and New Dishes from the Puerto Rican Community by Yvonne Ortiz

For those looking for a cookbook that celebrates the diversity of Puerto Rican cuisine, “Taste of Puerto Rico” by Yvonne Ortiz is an excellent choice. This cookbook goes beyond traditional dishes and explores the evolving food scene within the Puerto Rican community. Focusing on both traditional recipes and creative adaptations, Yvonne Ortiz highlights the dynamic nature of Puerto Rican cuisine. From classic favorites to innovative twists, Taste of Puerto Rico offers a wide range of recipes that reflect the changing tastes and influences within the Puerto Rican culinary landscape.


Exploring the best Puerto Rican cookbooks is a gateway to the vibrant and diverse world of Puerto Rican cuisine. From timeless classics like “Puerto Rico True Flavors” and “Puerto Rican Cookery” to contemporary and innovative approaches like “Coconuts and Collards” and “Taste of Puerto Rico,” these cookbooks offer a wealth of knowledge and inspiration. Whether you’re interested in traditional recipes, modern adaptations, or the fusion of culinary traditions, these cookbooks will take you on a flavorful journey through the rich tapestry of Puerto Rican cuisine. Embrace the flavors, techniques, and stories that make Puerto Rican cuisine truly unique, and enjoy the process of creating delicious dishes that celebrate this vibrant culinary heritage.


What makes the Puerto Rican cuisine unique?

Puerto Rican cuisine is known for its vibrant flavors, spice blends and creative use of ingredients. It combines elements from African, Spanish and indigenous Taino cultures, resulting in a diverse and distinct culinary tradition.

Are these cookbooks for beginners?

Yes, many of the featured cookbooks provide detailed instructions and step-by-step guides, making them suitable for both novice and experienced cooks. They offer a range of recipes for different skill levels and provide valuable insight into the techniques and flavors of Puerto Rican cuisine.

Can I find vegetarian or vegan recipes in these cookbooks?

Yes, several of the recommended cookbooks include vegetarian and vegan recipes that showcase the plant-based side of Puerto Rican cuisine. They provide options for those with dietary restrictions or preferences so that everyone can enjoy the flavors of Puerto Rico.

Are the ingredients for Puerto Rican recipes readily available?

Many of the ingredients used in Puerto Rican cuisine are readily available in most grocery stores. Staples such as rice, beans, plantains, and various spices can be found in the international or Latin food sections. Some cookbooks also offer alternatives or substitutions for hard-to-find ingredients.

Can I modify these recipes to suit my tastes?

Absolutely! Puerto Rican cuisine is versatile, and these cookbooks often encourage experimentation and personalization. Feel free to adjust seasonings, spice levels, or ingredients to suit your taste preferences and dietary needs. Cooking is all about creativity and making dishes your own.

Do these cookbooks only focus on traditional recipes?

While some cookbooks emphasize traditional recipes, others offer a mix of traditional and modern adaptations. They may explore innovative twists on classic dishes or showcase the evolving culinary landscape within the Puerto Rican community. This variety provides options for those seeking both authenticity and culinary exploration.