Recaito…the start to great Puerto Rican Cuisine

Recaito Ingredients~

I started this blog, sometimes SAVORY, to share my love of cooking. As you know, (or don’t know), I love to bake. My baking blog is called, Baking is my Zen. Sharing savory recipes in addition to sweet ones was something I’d wanted to do. Finally…doing it.

Being from Puerto Rico, (came to U.S. when I was three), I will be sharing some of the Puerto Rican dishes that my mom made throughout the years. She was a good cook. My dad would occasionally cook, and, I must say, he was one heck of a cook. He was especially known in the family for his Pernil, (Roast Pork). It was so flavorful!  He also made a fabulous Fricase de Pollo, namely, Chicken Fricasse.

Confession…I don’t cook much latin food. I am so americanized. I cook mostly American and Italian food. On this blog, I anticipate posting several of my favorite Latin dishes.

Recaito is used in Puerto Rican savory dishes. Without it, it’s just not Puerto Rican food. Recaito is a combination of aromatic ingredients which is then sautéed in some olive oil for about 10-15 minutes. It’s used as a flavor base for rice, stews, soups, etc. I make Recaito from scratch. Besides the great taste, the smell is so fresh, so down-to-earth real. Ah, so good! The aroma of the Recaito transports me to the island of Puerto Rico.

Recaito ingredients in food processor-


While food shopping one day (years ago), I saw a jar of Recaito on the store shelf. I was surprised to see that one could buy this. I thought…”what a great time saver”. Well, I was underwhelmed when I tasted it. Product was not a keeper. I will continue making Recaito from scratch. If you want to get a real sense of what authentic Puerto Rican food tastes like, please…make your own Recaito.

Recaito v.s. Sofrito. What’s the difference? The short answer…Sofrito includes tomatoes.

I don’t use culantro in my Recaito recipe because it’s not always available. So, I increase the amount of cilantro in the recipe as a substitute. I add red pepper for color, which is my rendition. Recaito is green in color, but I add the red pepper for a pop of color.

Here are pronunciations to a few of the ingredients listed in making Recaito.

Recaito – Pronounced [reh-kah-EE-toh]

Sofrito – Pronounced [soh-FREE-toh]

Ajicitos Dulces – Pronounced [AH-hee-see-tos DOOL-sez]

Cubanelle pepper – Pronounced [kyū’bə-nĕl’]

Check out other bloggers who made Recaito:

Cuca’s Puerto Rican Kitchen

Foodie Lady

Just A Girl and Her Knitting Needles

Joyful Girl Makes

When I was young, my folks endearingly called me Carmencita. Thus, the name of this recipe was born.

Carmencita’s Puerto Rican Recaito Recipe

By Carmen Ortiz of sometimes SAVORY


Yield: approximately 1 cup


1 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut in quarters
8 cloves garlic, peeled
9 ajicitos dulces cut in quarters, seeded removed. (I keep most seeds in)

1 cubanelle pepper, cored, seeded, and cut in chunks
1 large bunch cilantro leaves (aka coriander leaves), coarsely chopped, including stems. About 1 ½ cups packed

1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded, cut in chunks. (My addition)


Peel and cut onion in quarters.

Peel garlic cloves.

Cut ajicitos dulces in quarters . Remove seeds. (I keep most of the seeds in)

ajicitos dulces (for Recaito recipe)

Core, seed and cut cubanelle pepper in chunks.

Measure out 1 1/2 cups, packed cilantro leaves and stems. Coarsely chop.

cilantro (for Recaito recipe)

Core, seed and cut red bell pepper into chunks. The red pepper is my addition.

Recaito ingredients

FOOD PROCESSOR: Add the onion, garlic, ajicitos dulces, cubanelle pepper, cilantro with stems, and red pepper to food processor. Add ingredients in batches if your food processor is small.

Pulse until finely chopped.

Recaito ~ ingredients in food processor

Spoon out the Recaito into an air-tight container and store covered in refrigerator. Keeps for about three to five days.


Storage: Freezes well. Put Recaito in small freezer zip-lock bags and freeze.

Freezing Recaito

When ready to use, no need to thaw. Just add about 2 tablespoons Recaito (more or less to your preference) to oil in a pan and sauté for about 10-15 minutes on low heat, mixing occasionally. Recaito is now ready as a savory base to your latin food dish.

This is my first savory blog post on Puerto Rican cuisine. This year, I look forward to sharing many more Puerto Rican dishes using Recaito. Viva Puerto Rico!


Guitar - Puerto Rico

Sometimes SAVORY…cooking is art revealed

NOTE: Dessert recipes can be found on my dessert blog, Baking is my Zen.

Photography by Carmen Ortiz ~All Rights Reserved.

Not to be used without permission.



About sometimes SAVORY

My passion is baking...but, I also like to cook. I have a dessert blog called, Baking is my Zen, with Wordpress and Blogger. Currently using wordpress, but, there are many recipe photo tutorials on the blogger account.
This entry was posted in Flavor Base, Puerto Rican Cuisine and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Recaito…the start to great Puerto Rican Cuisine

  1. I love the cilantro, so I’m eager to try this recipe!

Comments are closed.