Your New Thanksgiving Menu Re-Imagined by Your Mama, Tias and Abuela

Pernil Pigeon Peas Rice

We all can agree that the Hispanic Thanksgiving menu is way much different than your traditional North American Thanksgiving menu, in fact if we could describe how a Latinx table looks in el Día de Acción de Gracias, we could say it’s a prelude to Christmas Dinner.

Our abuelas, tias and our mothers pretty much substituted everything traditionally served during the holiday, and with their magical super sazón gave that Latin flair we all love. With statement dishes like pernil, moro de guandules, pastelitos, and ensalada de papa, our tables look like a buffet. At this point we are pretty sure you are getting hungry, find below two mouthwatering staples of a the Hispanic Thanksgiving menu that you definitely need to include in your gathering. 

The pernil is our Hispanic version of roast pork shoulder and usually substitutes the turkey. 


Pork shoulder with bone 

Garlic cloves


Adobo seasoning

Black pepper

Corn oil

White vinegar

Sazon goya


The night before Thanksgiving, peel garlic and smash it in a Pilón until you have a paste and then set it aside. Rinse pork in warm water and stab multiple slits of approximately one inch deep. Place the meat inside a roasting pan with the skin side down. Rub the seasoning to the pork and also make sure it goes in each slit. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate.

On Thanksgiving day, at least four or five hours after your party arrives, take your pork out of the fridge and cook it in your oven. For the first two hours set oven at 275°F and cook covered. After the two hours turn pork over and set oven at 350°F continue cooking for two or more hours uncovered.

Dominican Moro de Guandules

Pernil Pigeon Peas Rice

This dish from the cuisine of the Dominican Republic is the perfect compliment of your pernil. Moro is a rice cooked with onions, bell peppers, garlic, tomato paste, celery, thyme, orégano, and green pigeon peas.


Olive oil 



Capers (optional)


Pitted olives cut into halves (optional)

Thyme leaves

Chopped cubanelle or bell peppers



Pigeon peas 

Tomato sauce



Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a caldero or iron pot and add the cilantro, celery, capers, garlic, olives, thyme, peppers, oregano and salt and cook and stir for a minute. Add the peas, also while stirring. Once well heated, add water, tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Stir in rice and simmer over medium heat, stirring regularly. When all the water has evaporated cover with a tight-fitting lid and simmer over very low heat. Wait 15 minutes, uncover, stir in the remaining oil. Move the rice from the bottom to the top so it cooks uniformly. Cover again and simmer another 5 minutes until the rice is firm but tender inside. Serve with your pernil.

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