Dominican Sancocho Recipe is a hearty three meat stew filled with robust flavors of sazon, adobo and packed with hearty bites of yucca, plantain and corn.
One of my favorite ways of experience different cultures is through their food. Of course I would love to have a best friend in every cultural group to share insights, history and recipes with me..but honestly, I just gotta jump in and go for it and hope for the best.
Sancocho Dominicano is a flavor adventure
I felt the same way when I made this Dominican sancocho. I was watching an episode of an Anthony Bourdain show and instantly felt intrigued! After all, he was the one that influenced us to adventure outside of Istanbul and enjoyed a traditional Turkish Breakfast, so naturally I took his opinions seriously. Thanks Tony!
This Sancocho recipe is a new one for me. So new, that I didn't realize the effect of making it would have on others. And let me mention, this is a very humble abode to the people of the Dominican Republic and to the countries national dish. Only served and made for special occasions, think weddings or large family parties, I knew I was stepping in big shoes...HUGE! Should I have the guts to make such a respected stew? Yes, and why not, right? This is how we learn and how we experience, by jumping right in head first and going for it.
Dominican stew has layers of flavor
So let's break down what sancocho is, and please, any feedback, suggestions, corrections- I'm all ears! This is why I love learning and sharing food and culture, so we all can educate each other!
The Sancocho Dominicano I made is a three meat stew filled with yucca, plantains and butternut squash. I seasoned the meat with adobo spices, including my homemade sazon seasoning and added big flavors of sofrito and bouillon to the stock.
The root vegetables is what I had the most fun with, some I couldn't find at my local mercado so I stuck to root vegetables that were available, such as butternut squash and yucca. The hearty vegetables can last in the stew for re-heating and at the same time soaks up all the delicious stock that just gets better the longer the sancocho sits.
I couldn't find some of the traditional root vegetables that would normally go into the sancocho recipe. If all you can find is sweet potato, add that, and corn is found everywhere, so that's an easy addition.
So how did I do? Let's break it all down! Once everything in, the Dominican stew is smooth sailing and lasts for several meals!
1)First, add all the adobo spices together in a bowl and mix well. Then do the same with the sazon. Then season the chicken thighs and pork bones with adobo, sazon seasoning, salt and pepper.
2) Drizzle olive oil in a large dutch oven and sear the pork bones and chicken on both sides until outside is golden brown. Then add sausage and sear on both sides.
3) Next, add 2 heaping tablespoons of sofrito to the pot, stirring a bit to coat everything. Add 8 cups of water and 2 chicken bouillon cubes (or I use a few teaspoons of concentrated stock instead) and stir everything together. Bring stew to a boil and then simmer for about 20-30 minutes or until the chicken cooks through.
4) While stew simmers, prep the vegetables. Yucca has a very thick waxy exterior, so take your time peeling and cut into large 1-2 inch pieces. Do the same with the plantain, butternut squash and corn.
5) Then add yucca, plantains and corn and continue cooking stew for 10 minutes until they begin to soften. Then add the butternut squash and a handful of fresh cilantro. Season with salt and pepper and taste for seasoning. Place a lid on a stove with a bit staying open and continue to cook the stew for another 20-30 minutes or until all the vegetables are cooked through and tender.
6) Serve stew with sliced avocado, fresh cilantro and rice (optional).
More hearty stew recipes
Dominican Sancocho (Three Meat Stew)
- Small bunch of cilantro and parsley
- ½ red onion roughly chopped
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 jalapeno seeded and roughly chopped
- 1 bell pepper seeded and roughly chopped
- 1 Tb salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon black pepper or a few turns from your pepper grinder
Meat and Soup Base
- 3-4 pork bones
- ½ lb Kielbasa sausage or any smoky sausage, cut into ½ inch slices
- 4 chicken thighs bone in and skin on
- 8 cups of water or chicken stock
- 2 chicken bouillon cubes if not using stock
- 2 plantains peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 butternut squash peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 medium sized yucca peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 ears of corn peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
- Fresh sprigs of cilantro
- Sliced avocado
- Fresh cilantro
- Lime wedges
- Rice optional
- First, add all the adobo spices together in a bowl and mix well. Do the same with the sazon. Then season the chicken thighs and pork bones with adobo,sazon, salt and pepper.
- Drizzle olive oil in a large dutch oven and sear the pork bones and chicken on both sides until outside is golden brown. Then add sausage and sear on both sides.
- Next, add 2 heaping tablespoons of sofrito to the pot, stirring a bit to coat everything . Add 8 cups of water and 2 chicken bouillon cubes (or I use a few teaspoons of concentrated stock instead) and stir everything together. Bring stew to a boil and then simmer for about 20-30 minutes or until the chicken cooks through.
- While stew simmers, prep the vegetables. Yucca has a very thick waxy exterior, so take your time peeling and cut into large 1-2 inch pieces. Do the same with the plantain, butternut squash and corn.
- Then add yucca, plantains and corn and continue cooking stew for 10 minutes until they begin to soften. Then add the butternut squash and a handful of fresh cilantro. Season with salt and pepper and taste for seasoning. Place a lid on a stove with a bit staying open and continue to cook the stew for another 20-30 minutes or until all the vegetables are cooked through and tender.
- Serve stew with sliced avocado, fresh cilantro and rice (optional).
I will hurry and try this one . really sounds welcoming.
This is not Dominican Sancocho, this is a modern version. Sancocho doesn't have Kielbasa sausage, it's something you add as you like. The traditional is: Pork, chicken, beef, even smoked pork you can add. I learned that from my grandmother,. Plus I am and old fashioned Dominican that like to cook like old time, with lots of flavor.
Thank you for the comment, Nora!
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Donna V says
I am so confused. I have read several recipes and watched many videos specific to the Dominican version in preparation for making this. Some have used corn and carrots, others have said that they are not authentic to the Dominican version. Others have said that the liquid should be greenish but no green leafy anything should show in the final dish. Any thought?
Hi Donna! I am not Dominican so I can not speak for the authenticity of how the stew is supposed to be. I did research and included the links in the recipe so because I did that..mine could be less authentic because I also used what I could find. Overall it is a fantastic full flavored and full layered stew..green broth or not 🙂
I am Dominican and it really depends on the family preference for eating vegetable and meat as long as you stick to the basics for flavor it should taste amazing, in my family we use these ingredients as well as potatoes carrots and other veggies wich I'm honestly not sure how to translate. however if you take the plantain and the cilantro once they are soft and blend them it will make it nice and thick and not leafy
Hello Jasmine! Thank you so so much for the cooking tip!! I will certainly try blending the plantain ..that sounds so good!
Hey thanks for posting ! One of my favorites to add is taro root (also known as yautia or malanga ). I live in NYC SO it's easy to find.
Different types of sweet potatoes are good too . Pretty much any tuber or squash can work !
Hi Nick! Didn't know taro would work in this...thank you for sharing!
Michael Simmons says
Aloha! Thank you for the great recipe, Samantha! It reminds me of my late grandmother, who used to cook it and bring this huge container to our home all the time. I’ve always wanted to learn more about Dominican food.
Although it seems a common mistake, yucca is a totally different plant.
Yuca is the tuber from the Cassava plant - where you get Tapioca Pearls. It is the 3rd-most important staple crop in the world.
Yucca is part of the Agave family - related to the plant Tequila is made from. Though some of the species have edible parts, they seldom are eaten. By the way, Tequila is not made from Yucca, it comes from the Blue Agave plant.
The Yucca plant looks like a palm tree, while the Yuca plant looks like a marihuana plant with extra leaves!!!
Thank you for the clarification!
So There says
It is not yucca. It is yuca.
I have seen both spellings actually...thank you for mentioning that.
Today was the first day I ever tried this stew , and it was awesome !
It is so so good, hearty and full of all sorts of vegetables! Thank you Tonya!
Thank you! I just came back from Dominican Republic and am just preparing an article about things to do and eat. I will definitely try this recipe out :)! Well done. Have a great day!
Thank you!!! Wow what a fun trip! Looking forward to seeing your article as well!
Try Kabocha squash, it tastes just like auyama and easy to find in SoCal.
Thanks Lucy!! I will 🙂
Adam J. Holland says
That is one beautiful bowl of goodness!
Thank you Adam 🙂