Fast & Frugal Gandules Dip Recipe for a Crowd

M y very favorite restaurant in Seattle served all-things delicious Puerto Rican food. Before eating there, I had never encountered anything like the tangy dishes filled with onions, garlic, peppers, lime, and vinegar.

Once we had our first baby and started living more frugally, and then of course once we moved away from Seattle, I decided that I would try to replicate my very favorite dishes as much as possible. Today I’m going to share my Gandules Dip Recipe, a tangy Puerto Rican Bean Dip that’s a snap to make.

Ready to try something fresh, frugal, healthy, and new? Whip up this easy Gandules Dip Recipe, a tangy Puerto Rican bean dip that will wow your guests.

For this dish in particular, the only similar recipes I have been able to find are written in Spanish. Although I’m no translator, thankfully Google is!

I have long been wanting to write this down so I will quit trying to recreate it every time I make it, and of course so I could share it with you.

This is a frugal and unique dish to bring to summer BBQs or to serve at home alongside spicy pulled pork and tortilla chips – perfect if you’re trying to save money on groceries. Or if you’re really adventurous, make your own tostones with fried plantains.

It’s one of my favorite recipe ideas for when it’s too hot to cook.

The recipe is written to serve about 4 people, so be sure to double or triple it for a crowd.

Now, it can be a little intimidating finding these unusual ingredients, so I’ll provide affiliate links below to help along with easier to find alternatives.

The main ingredient is Gandules, also known as pigeon peas. They can sometimes be found either dried or canned in the Hispanic foods section of your grocery store. If you can’t find these, black eyed peas work well as a substitution.

Related article: Is it worth it to make dry beans from scratch? 

A real Gandules Dip Recipe calls for Achiote paste and/or Sazon packets, but we’ll use an approximation, without the MSG.

Just one other note. Fresh lime juice makes this so yummy. I use a citrus reamer to juice the lime, and then pour the juice through a small sieve to strain out any seeds or extra pulp.

Ready to try something fresh, frugal, healthy, and new? Whip up this easy Gandules Dip Recipe, a tangy Puerto Rican bean dip that will wow your guests.

Gandules Dip Recipe

Serves 4

Cost per Serving: $1.12


  •  1 can (15 oz) canned Gandules or 1 cup dry Gandules (May use Black Eyed Peas as  substitute)
  • 2 cups Chicken Broth (If using dry Gandules)
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  •  1/3 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Juice of 1 Lime
  • 1 Small Yellow Onion, Chopped
  • 1 Red Pepper, Chopped


  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 T paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/4 tsp Real Salt


  1. If using canned Gandules, drain and rinse. Then set aside. If using dried Gandules, let soak over night. Then boil Gandules in 2 Cups chicken broth. When Gandules are softened, drain, and set aside and allow to cool.
  2. Add the garlic, olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, and spices to a blender and blend well.
  3. In a bowl, place the onion, pepper and Gandules. Then pour the spice mixture over it.
  4. Put in the refrigerator and serve cold with tortilla chips or homemade Tostones.

While not entirely authentic, our family gobbles this Gandules Dip right up. I hope your family will love it too as a unique and easy-to-make side at your next summer BBQ or get-together!


What’s your signature dish to take to potlucks and BBQs? Share yours in the comments!

shannon Clark, LIFE & FINANCIAL Coach

As a mom, I know what it's like to feel exhausted, overwhelmed by life, and inadequate to meet my children's needs. But I also know you don't have to stay there.

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