Sauces & Marinades to complete your Puerto Rican Meal

The Puerto Rican cuisine is full of bold flavors and lots of diversity, but there are several sauces and marinades that embody the Puerto Rican cuisine and will put you well on your way to an authentic Puerto Rican meal.

Mojo Criollo

In Puerto Rico,  mojo is a garlic herb sauce of finely chopped cilantro or parsley with salt, lots of crushed garlic and olive oil. Black pepper, butter, grated onion, vinegar and any citrus fruit can also be added. It is commonly used on the island as a marinade for chicken roast and as a dip for tostones and other fritters.

10 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 cup onion, minced
2 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
1 cup lime juice, freshly squeezed
2  teaspoon cumin, ground
2 teaspoons oregano, dried
2 teaspoon black pepper, ground
2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
2 teaspoons Pique (Homemade Puerto Rican Hot Sauce)
1 cup olive oil

Heat olive oil over medium heat.
Add garlic and onion. Cook until fragrant (not browned), 30 seconds. Remove from heat,
cool 5 minutes.
Stir in juices and spices. Return to heat and bring to boil for 1 minute.
Bring to room temperature.
Place mixture in blender or food processor. Add cilantro. Blend until smooth.



Sofrito is a blend of various spices, including garlic, recao (culantro), sweet Aji peppers, and olive oil.  It can be bought pre-made at the grocery store, in two versions: with and without tomato.  But the secret to every excellent Puerto Rican meal is the use of a homemade Sofrito.  For Mom’s highly regarded recipe, you can click here to get it and make your own.

Don’t think you need to go to Puerto Rico to find these ingredients.  It can be found in international and ethnic food markets across the US.  Sofrito is used as the base to marinate meats and when cooking legumes, rice dishes, sauces, soups and stews. Put a tablespoon in to the base of your dish or marinade for a really nice flavor.


Adobo Mojado (Adobo Marinade)
This mojado works well on chicken and pork particularly.

12 cloves garlic, peeled
1 ½ tablespoons fine sea or kosher salt
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon achiote powder or paprika
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Pound garlic cloves and salt to a paste using a mortar and pestle.   Add peppercorns and oregano, pounding well after each to incorporate them into paste.  Stir in achiote powder.


Chimichurri Sauce

Puerto Rico’s version of Chimichurri has a special blend of native and imported herbs that gives the product a special smell and flavor attractive to the Caribbean consumer taste. The formula unlike the typical Argentinean Chimichurri is more versatile because of the base in which is created. This is a multiuse sauce. The sauce can not only be used for marinating meats , poultry and seafood, but can also be used for dips, rice, pasta and salads. It can also be used in the elaboration of other creative recipes.  To get some of Puerto Rico’s prized chimichurri sauce for yourself, Click Here.



This is a popular dipping sauce in Puerto Rico.  It used to dip in all of oyur favorite fritters like tostones (fried green plantains) or breadfruit, corn,  and cassava fritters.   It is easy to make and versatile.


1 part ketchup

3 parts mayonnaise

** For some extra punch, consider adding adobo, garlic, sofrito, or hot sauce to taste.


Blend ingredients with a spoon until all mayonnaise lumps are gone.


Guava Sauce

Guava (guayaba) is a tropical fruit with a nice sweet taste to it.  This dipping sauce is perfect for basting ribs or barbecue or as a dipping sauce for fritters or wings.


10 oz. guava paste (cut into large cubes)

1/4 cup white distilled vinegar

1/3 cup water

1 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro (cilantrillo)


Put all ingredients together in a sauce pan and stir constantly over medium-hi heat until all the ingredients have blended well.

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