Arroz con Calamari


A beautiful seafood rice dish, much more than the sum of its parts



I’m beyond thrilled to share a recipe that’s not just any dish; it’s a journey back in time, filled with childhood memories. This restaurant-worthy rice has a perfectly balanced flavor with a delightful texture that is pure comfort. Paired with sweet plantains, it’s a delicious duo that has me wanting seconds (actually thirds)!

I was introduced to Arroz con Calamari by Giselle Gonzalez, a proud New Yorker now living in New Mexico. As a kid, Giselle would giggle at her mom’s creation because the rice would mysteriously turn black by the squid ink. The joy of poking fun at a dish that’s now a cherished favorite! 

Giselle shares how this homemade dish holds a special place in her heart, a reminder of Puerto Rico and family traditions. Growing up, tinned fish was a quick fix, a secret ingredient that added a burst of umami to their meals. She’s now excited to see the younger generation embracing this classic.

To whip up this flavorful dish, you’ll need just a handful of ingredients. In a medium pot over medium heat, add oil, sofrito and tomato sauce. Let them mingle and get to know each other. Once heated through, add the star of the show – the tinned cuttlefish in ink. Giselle’s favorites are made by Goya and Iberia. Next add the rice and water and don’t forget to add the seasonings to your liking. Bring it all to a boil. When the rice has absorbed the liquid, dial down the heat to its lowest setting, cover the pot with a piece of foil, followed by the lid. Resist the temptation to peek, and let it simmer for a full 20 minutes.

If you’ve ever had reservations about trying canned fish, let this arroz con calamari be your ticket to savoring this seafood variety. It’s a beautifully balanced dish that’s not too fishy and promises a dang good plate of rice. Cheers to good food and unforgettable memories!

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Arroz con Calamari


  • 1 cup medium grain rice
  • 1 tin cuttlefish (squid) with ink Goya or Iberia brand recommended
  • 1 Tbsp neutral cooking oil
  • 1 Tbsp adobo seasoning
  • 1 envelope sazón
  • 2 Tbsp sofrito
  • 3 Tbsp tomato sauce or 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • sweet plantains & stewed black beans for serving, optional


  • In a medium pot over medium heat add your oil, sofrito and tomato sauce or paste, combine and heat through,
  • Add the tin of cuttlefish/squid, combine and then add the rice. Combine thoroughly then add your water. Add the seasonings to taste.
  • Bring to a boil when the rice has absorbed the liquid bring your flame to the lowest setting cover with a piece of foil fitted over the pot and the cover with your lid. Allow it to cook for 20 mins no peeking.
  • Serve warm with plantains and/or black beans.
Course: Dinner
Region: Latin America
Diet: Gluten Free
Keyword: Crowd-pleaser


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