Thanksgiving Recipes in Puerto Rico

Thanksgiving Recipes in Puerto Rico - Pavochon

With Thankgiving Dinner just around the corner here in Puerto Rico, it’s time to start thinking about which recipes you’ll be preparing to share at your  table this year. If you’re looking for traditional Thanksgiving Recipes in Puerto Rico – you’re in the right spot!

While many Thanksgiving recipes in Puerto Rico are similar to the main-land, they more often than not have a little Puerto Rican flavor added in for spice. Take, for instance, the classic Thanksgiving Turkey. Many locals here in Puerto Rico prepare Pavochón. Pavochón is a roast turkey dish, named for the way it’s prepared – marinated and slow-cooked – just like the Caribbean classic Lechón (slow-roasted suckling pig – a delicacy for any meat-lover). The result of the marinade and slow-roast, results in a Turkey that is savory and intense, satisfying even the hardest to please of guests.

Here is our favorite Pavochón Recipe, for your stash of  Thanksgiving Recipes in Puerto Rico.


Prep Time:
30 minutes
Cook Time:
2 hours, 30 minutes
Total Time:
3 hours


  • 1 head of garlic (cloves separated and peeled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 3 Tablespoons adobo
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 14-pound turkey


1. Mash the garlic cloves and salt into a paste using a pilòn (mortar and pestle).

2. Add the peppercorns and adobo and crush the ingredients into the paste.

3. Stir in the olive oil and apple cider vinegar.

4. Rub the mixture under the turkey’s skin, inside the cavities, and then rub the rest of the mixture on top of the skin.

5. Roast the turkey according to the manufacturer’s recommended time and temperature. A 14 to 16 pound turkey will take about 2 to 2 1/2 hours to cook.

Serves: 14-18 people.

Thanksgiving Puerto Rican Side Dishes

And for side dishes for your Puerto Rican Thanksgiving, we recommend the following:

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