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Island Bites: Arroz Relleno (Puerto Rican Rice Casserole)


¿Arroz Relleno?

Arroz Relleno is traditional Puerto Rican dish. This "lasagna-like" dish uses rice instead of noodles. It's made with different meat fillings and cheeses. The cooked rice is also made with different flavors and ingredients. There is only one thing in common; the dish is made with layers of cooked rice filled with savory stewed meat. You can also find variations of this dish in other latin countries.

Italian twist

The flavors in the following Arroz Relleno recipe are non traditional. It is my italian twist on this wonderful latin dish. Buen provecho!


  • 3 cups cooked rice, room temperature
  • 8 oz ricotta cheese
  • 5 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 8 oz basic marinara sauce
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 6 to 8 olives, chopped
  • 8 oz parmesan cheese, grated
  • 8 oz mozzarella cheese (or any cheese combination that you prefer), grated
  • salt & pepper
  • parsley
  • oil


  1. Mix cooked rice and (aprox 6oz) ricotta cheese, half of the grated garlic, parsley and 1/3 of the parmesan cheese. Set aside.
  2. Brown ground beef in a couple tablespoons of oil. Add onions, peppers and garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes. Add half of the marinara sauce, bay leaf, oregano, olives, salt and pepper. Cook at medium-low temperature for about 15 to 20 minutes. Let it cool for about 5 minutes. Mix in the rest of the ricotta cheese.
  3. Spread half of the rice mixture in a previously greased baking pan. Add the meat. Layer 1/3 of the parmesan cheese and half of the mozzarella. Cover with the rest of the rice. Top with the rest of the sauce. Sprinkle the rest of the cheeses.
  4. Bake covered at 375 for about 25 minutes. Then bake uncovered for 5 more minutes.

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IslandBites (author) from Puerto Rico on July 05, 2013:

Thanks for the comment, Thief!

Carlo Giovannetti from Puerto Rico on July 05, 2013:

Great recipe!

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IslandBites (author) from Puerto Rico on April 26, 2013:


Gil Silva from Porto, Portugal on April 26, 2013:

Your recipes have so good aspect! Thanks!

IslandBites (author) from Puerto Rico on April 25, 2013:


Bill Russo from Cape Cod on April 25, 2013:

Thanks for sharing this. It looks delicious.

IslandBites (author) from Puerto Rico on April 24, 2013:


Dil Vil from India on April 24, 2013:

This traditional Puerto Rican dish looks delicious, my mouth is watering as i looked at the cover pic. Good share!

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