Puerto Rican Sancocho

Sancocho is a healthy, hearty broth-based soup that can be found throughout the Spanish Caribbean, as well as in Latin America.

Puerto Rican Sancocho
Puerto Rican Sancocho
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Sancocho is a traditional broth, often considered a soup or stew, in several Latin American cuisines like the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Cuba, Honduras, Ecuador, Panama, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela. It usually consists of large pieces of meat, tubers and vegetables served in a broth.

This recipe gives you the choice between beef and pork. Because of all the starches and meat in this dish, this stew tends to be thick and rich. Some of the vegetables will fall apart, giving it a porridge consistency. This is a good thing.

The first people to cook this flavor stew were from the Spanish Canary Islands as a fish-stew soup, Canary Islanders who immigrated to Latin America are believed to bring it to the island with them. As the recipe began to travel to different parts it eventually reached Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rican Variations

In Puerto Rico, sancocho is considered a fairly rustic dish. It is made with chicken and smoked ham (Sancocho de gallina), top round beef (sancocho), pork feet with chickpeas (sancocho de patitas), beef short ribs with chorizo, or fish, shellfish, and salted cod cooked in coconut milk and ginger with rice dumplings (Caldo Santo).

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There are several versions and every household has its own take on sancocho, but a true Puerto Rican sancocho always calls for corn on the cob, a variety of tubers, squash, green bananas, and meat. The hearty stew is served with a small bowl of rice, pique criollo, tostones, and bread.

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Puerto Rican Sancocho

Puerto Rican Sancocho

Recipe Author : Mike Gonzalez
This flavorful Puerto Rican Beef Sancocho is packed with tender bites of beef, pork, chicken, and vegetables in a rich broth. Buen Provecho!

Please Rate this Recipe

5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Puerto Rican
Servings 8 servings
Calories 434 kcal


  • 1 med yuca
  • 1 med white yautia taro root
  • 1 green plantain
  • 1 yellow sweet plantain
  • 10 oz calabaza pumpkin or kabocha squash
  • 2 fresh ears sweet corn
  • 1 lb pork or beef stew meat trimmed of excess fat and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 lb boneless chicken thighs trimmed of excess fat and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 ½ tbsp salt plus more to taste
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil plus more as needed
  • ½ cup sofrito
  • 10 cups pork or beef stock
  • 3 dried bay leaves
  • 1 cup Spanish chorizo thinly sliced
  • white rice for serving


  • Peel and cut the yuca, yautia, green plantain and yellow plantain into 1-inch pieces.
    1 med yuca, 1 med white yautia, 1 green plantain, 1 yellow sweet plantain
  • Scrape out the seeds, then chop the calabaza, skin on, into 1-inch pieces.
    10 oz calabaza
  • Put each ingredient in a separate bowl, adding water to cover vegetables in order to prevent them from turning brown while you prepare the rest of the soup.
  • Husk the corn, then slice it into 2-inch-thick segments. Set aside.
    2 fresh ears sweet corn
  • Season pork (or beef) and chicken with 1/2 tablespoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
    1 lb pork or beef stew meat, 1 lb boneless chicken thighs, 1 ½ tbsp salt, ¼ tsp black pepper
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large pot over medium-high. Add the pork and brown on all sides for 5 minutes.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a clean, large bowl, then add the chicken to the same pot, and brown on both sides for another 5 minutes, adding oil as needed if the pot gets dry. Transfer with a slotted spoon to the same bowl as the pork.
    1 tbsp olive oil
  • Reduce heat to medium and add sofrito to the pot, scraping up any browned bits of meat and incorporating them into the mix. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until liquid has evaporated and mixture darkens in color.
    ½ cup sofrito
  • Return the pork, chicken and any accumulated juices to the pot. Add the stock, bay leaves and remaining 1 tablespoon salt, and bring to a boil over high heat.
    10 cups pork or beef stock, 3 dried bay leaves
  • Once simmering, reduce heat to medium-low and cook uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • To keep the vegetables from falling apart, add each one in order of firmness, cooking each for 5 minutes before adding the next.
  • Begin with the yuca, then yautia, green plantain, yellow plantain, calabaza and corn, cooking the yuca for a total of 30 minutes and the corn for only 5 minutes.
  • Add chorizo and stir well to incorporate. Cook for another 10 to 15 minutes over medium-low heat until meat and vegetables are tender and break easily with a fork.
    1 cup Spanish chorizo
  • Adjust salt to taste, and serve with fresh bread or white rice on the side.
    white rice


Calories: 434kcal
Keyword Beef, Chicken, Pork, Sancocho, Stew
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Other Recipes That Go Well With Sancocho

Sofrito Recipe from Cocina Criolla
The Puerto Rican cooking base for just about everything.
Check out this recipe
Sofrito Recipe from Cocina Criolla
Leche de Coco Fresca ~ Fresh Coconut Milk
Leche de Coco Fresca is a Puerto Rician recipe for Fresh Coconut Milk. A good rule of thumb to remember is that 1 coconut will make 2 cups of Fresh Coconut Milk.
Check out this recipe
Leche de Coco Fresca ~ Fresh Coconut Milk

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  1. 5 stars
    Love the way you wrote the instructions. There is no need to flip back and forth between the ingredients and instructions. The recipe is pretty close to how my mother used to make sancocho.
    Thanks for the memories.


  2. 5 stars
    I use all the ingredients above to make Sancocho. I especially love the corn on the cob. I enjoy my Sancocho with white rice, Tostones and a slice of Aguacate. Perfect dish for a rainy day. =)


  4. Recipe looks almost like mine except that I don’t add a yellow plantain. Tbf, I see that being added here in the states than in Puerto Rico. I should say, atleast in Loiza we don’t add yellow plantains as it’ll make it too sweet.

    I serve mine with a small bowl of rice or tostones and a niece slice of aguacate 😋

  5. I will be making this in the next day or so…I have made it before but I just want to try a new twist on the way others make it, and your version sounds on point so I’m happy to try it!


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