Asopao Vegetariano (Vegetarian Grain Stew)


Asopao is a traditional rice stew dish in Puerto Rican, Dominican, and other Caribbean households. Our recipe is plant-based and made with bulgur wheat in lieu of rice and packed with yummy vegetables instead of meat or seafood and it’s just as yummy!


2 tablespoons  oil

1 large  onion, diced

1 cup  red bell pepper, diced

2 teaspoon  garlic, mashed

1 teaspoon  parsley, finely chopped

2 cups  tomato sauce

1  juice of lime

2 cups  bulgur wheat

1 cup  lentils

3 quarts  boiling water

3 teaspoon  salt

1/2 cup  carrot, diced

1/4 cup  green olives

1 cup  green peas

1/2 teaspoon  ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon  ground turmeric


  • Heat the oil over medium heat in a 3/4 qt [3 lt] pot. Add onion and mashed garlic and saute until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Mix in lentils and bulgur wheat to cooked garlic and onion for 2 minutes.
  • Add bell pepper, lentils, carrot, peas, green olive, oregano and stir to mix.
  • Pour in half of the boiling water. Add the tomato sauce. Stir to mix well and cover the pot.
  • Simmer, stirring often to avoid the bulgur wheat from sticking to the bottom of the pot, add water from the pot as it becomes necessary to maintain the same level.
  • Once the bulgur wheat has doubled in size, and the grains have opened, season with the remaining salt, or to taste, turmeric, pepper, lime juice, and parsley. Remove from the heat. It should have turned into a thick soup. If you find it to be too dry, stir in more water from the other pot.

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