Recaíto or recaío is a cooking base used to build the flavor in Puerto Rican recipes such as rice and beans, stews, and soups. It is made from different green herbs and vegetables found locally and in Latin countries, like culantro and ají dulces, a type of sweet chili pepper. This cooking stock adds a refreshing, spicy, and slightly sweet flavor to dishes.

Recaito: Puerto Rican Cooking Stock [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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  • 3 green bell peppers
  • 3 onions
  • 2 bunches of cilantro
  • 2 bunches of culantro (see notes)
  • 2 handfuls of ají dulces (sweet chili peppers) seeded (see notes)
  • 1 head of garlic peeled
  • 1/4 cup oil


  1. Roughly chop the green peppers, onions, cilantro, culantro, and ají dulces into medium sized pieces so that they fit inside the food processor.
  2. Remove seeds from the green peppers and ají dulces.
  3. Place all ingredients into a food processor/blender and blend it to desired consistency, either smooth or chunky.
  4. Store recaíto in a glass jar and refrigerate immediately or pour into an ice cube tray and freeze.
  5. The ice cube tray makes it easier to portion out the mixture for cooking.
  6. To use the recaíto in other recipes, heat a pan with oil. Depending on the amount of food you are going to cook will determine how much recaíto you will need to add. 1-2 tablespoons or one frozen cube is enough for two servings of food. Cook recaíto until fragrant which is about 2-3 minutes. Put remaining recipe ingredients in the pan and follow the recipe instructions for cooking.


Culantro is an herb that has long leaves with spiky edges and has a stronger cilantro-like scent compared to actual cilantro. Ají dulces or sweet chili peppers are small round shaped peppers that are green, red or yellow in color and are sweet in flavor. They look just like habanero peppers. You can find both ingredients in your local Latin supermarket.


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