Mamposteao: Puerto Rico’s Love Letter to Leftover Rice & Beans

Mamposteao rice and beans from Puerto Rico

Mamposteao is a time-honored Puerto Rican side dish made with leftover rice, cooked beans, salted pork, sofrito and spices. “It’s like a kitchen sink of ingredients brought together that can stand on their own,” says Michelle Ezratty Murphy, one of our favorite Puerto Rican food cooks. (Check out Michelle’s Grand Prize Award-winning arroz con pollo, the No. 1 dish in our first-ever Familia Kitchen Recipe Contest.) This is another of her crowd-pleasing Boricua recipes. Gracias, Michelle, for sharing your delicioso mamposteao with our Familia Kitchen community.

Watch Michelle make her mamposteao take on Puerto Rican rice and beans. This recipe is so easy to make, and a forever favorite in her home.

The word mamposteao is Spanish slang for mixed together, which is what happens to this dish’s savory, simple ingredients. Mamposteao has long been a Puerto Rican homecook’s way to make the most of day-old rice and beans and fold them into a hearty side that feeds a big group. ”I love to serve mamposteao with plantain maduros (also called amarillos )or crispy-fried tostones. If everyone’s starving, I serve it alongside a main dish like bistec encebollado or chicken fricassee,” she says.

When Michelle and her Puerto Rican husband Pat were growing up on the island, both tell stories about how every kitchen seemingly always had ”a big pot of white rice steaming away on the stove. Rice is the golden ticket to a good plate of Puerto Rican food,” she explains. ”But while white rice and beans are standards, mixing them together and then adding spices, sofrito and pork is how you make Puerto Rican taste buds go next level to an explosive level of flavor. Everyone starts running to the table when they hear this dish is being served.”

Mamposteao can be made a hundred different ways and varies family to family, she explains. Some recipes use ham, pancetta or bacon instead of salted pork. Others add cilantro and tomatoes into the rice. But the two ingredients that are must-haves are ”a good pot of Puerto Rican white rice and sofrito.” (Not sure what sofrito adds to food or how it’s made? You’ve probably tasted it without knowing you were eating it, if you’ve ever had a Puerto Rican dish, says Michelle. Sofrito is a savory blend of mostly aromatics, including (depending on who’s making it) onions, green pepper, aji dulce, tomato, garlic, culantro and/or cilantro, and other spices. Here is Michelle’s sofrito recipe, which is, of course, highly recommended.) 

Mamposteao in the pan for Closeup
Mamposteao is perfect for Sunday cooking: It’s a delicioso mixture of leftover white rice and your favorite beans. And it comes together fast.

”The Perfect Recipe to Make Puerto Rican Memories”

Leftovers are the point of mamposteao, says Michelle. “It’s all about using yesterday’s rice in a way that works for your family. It is a rice dish that will accept any ingredients that you and your family enjoy. We like crispy salted pork, so that is always in our dish. I like keeping it simple with just a few highly flavored ingredients such as spiced tomato sauce, adobo, garlic and of course my homemade sofrito. You can add leftover stewed habichueles or canned pink or red beans — whatever you like. I’ve been making some variation of mamposteao for years, but most recently have developed this recipe so that I can have a recipe to share and also to remember when I don’t feel like experimenting.”

”If you want to bring back memories of your family’s Puerto Rican kitchen when you were younger, or start new memories for your family, mamposteao is the perfect recipe to start. It’s easy, doesn’t take a lot of time to prepare, uses up leftovers so there is less waste, and it’s so versatile. It is a meal in itself, or you can stretch it out and serve as a side.”

Best of all, says Michelle, this mamposteao recipe is one of her husband Pat’s all-time favorites. “I’ll keep this recipe to hold and to share, because it’s Puerto Rican-husband approved, and if it makes him happy enough to go for second and third helpings, then I’m a happy homecook.”

To try more of Michelle’s Puerto Rican family-famous recipes, check out her empanadas filled with picadillo, sweet pastelitos de guayaba, croquetas de jamon with mayoketchup, hearty ropa vieja, alcapurrias with beef filling, and pork pasteles with green bananas and yautía — the ultimate Christmas dish on the island, as every Boricua knows.

Ready to Make Puerto Rican Mamposteao, for the Love of Rice and Beans?

Mamposteao: Puerto Rico’s Celebration of Rice & Beans

Recipe by Michelle Ezratty Murphy
5.0 from 1 vote
Cuisine: Puerto Rican

8 to 10

Prep time


Cooking time




  • 3 cups cooked rice, medium grain

  • 12 oz salted pork, cubed

  • 2 Tbsp achiote oil (achiote seeds sautéed in olive oil: recipe here)

  • 3 cloves garlic, large, minced

  • 1/2 cup sofrito (recipe here)

  • 1 Tbsp adobo

  • 8 oz tomato sauce (Michelle recommends Spanish-style, if available)

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 1 pinch pepper

  • 3 cups pink beans, canned, rinsed and drained

  • 1/4 cup cilantro, for garnish

  • 1/4 cup green onion, for garnish

  • To Make Fresh Rice (Only If You Don’t Already Have Leftovers)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil

  • 2 tsp kosher salt

  • 2 cups rice, medium grain

  • 3 cups water


  • In a heavy pot, sauté the cubed salted pork on medium heat until crispy and all the fat is rendered.
  • Transfer crispy pork to a plate lined with paper towel to drain. Set aside.
  • In a large skillet on medium heat, add achiote oil. Heat for 1 minute.
  • Into the pan with the achiote oil, sautéed garlic while stirring, for 15 seconds.
  • Add sofrito and stir well. Let it cook for 1 minute.
  • Add adobo, tomato sauce, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Add beans, salted pork, and the cooked rice. Stir until all ingredients until well mixed together, like its name suggests. Add additional salt and pepper, to your taste.
  • Garnish with roughly chopped cilantro and green onions.
  • Serve as a side with your favorite Puerto Rican dishes or make it the main dish with a side of plantains and a dinner salad.
  • If You Need to Make Fresh Rice (Only If You Don’t Already Have Leftover Rice)
  • In a heavy pot, add oil and salt. Heat on medium-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add rice. Stir well until all the rice is coated with the oil.
  • Add water. Stir. Bring to a boil.
  • Once the water boils, stir well. Let boil, uncovered, for 1 minute.
  • Cover with a lid, bring heat to low, and simmer for 25 minutes.
  • After 25 minutes, turn off the heat. Remove the lid, fluff the rice from bottom to top, put the lid back on, and allow the rice to naturally steam for another 20 minutes.


  • Mamposteao calls for using leftover rice and already cooked beans, canned or freshly made. Only follow the instructions to make a fresh pos of rice if you don’t already have pre-made rice in your fridge.
  • If you want to go for fancy plating, take a small ramekin or bowl, fill it with mamposteao, invert the bowl over a small plate, and lift the ramekin or bowl to achieve that classic, mounded rice-bowl look.

Like This

More Delicioso Family Recipes & Articles We Think You’ll Like!

You May Also Like

Got a question or suggestion?

Please rate this recipe and leave any tips, substitutions, or Qs you have!

Share Your Thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *