Sancocho is my favorite soup to make when I’m feeling under the weather. In this recipe, we’ll keep it simple and use Costillas (Ribs on the bone), Beef, and Chicken. For the vegetables, we will use a ton of root vegetables, but the star of the show is Calabaza, a type of squash/pumpkin that will not only give the soup its bright yellow color but also add a depth of flavor that is rich and irresistible. Sancocho is a melting pot of flavors, and the taste develops over a few hours. This soup requires patience and a lot of ingredients, so save it for a Sunday or a lazy rainy day.

What is Sancocho?

Sancocho, also known as “Seven Meat Soup,” is a hearty dish originating from the Hispanic diaspora. Traditionally, it features up to seven types of meats and an abundance of root vegetables. My own version of sancocho is inspired by my Puerto Rican background. However, this dish is also prepared in the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Cuba, and Venezuela, and regardless of its place of origin, it’s absolutely incredible.

What type of meat is best for Sancocho?

Add as few or as many meats as you like! For best results, I recommend a minimum of 2 cuts of meat.

Costillas, aka Bone-in Ribs – This is mandatory! (If you eat pork, this is a must.) The ribs add so much flavor to the stew.

Stew Beef Cubes – Make sure you use chuck beef or stewing beef for this recipe! Avoid using steak or a tender cut of beef, as it will break down too quickly.

Stew Pork Cubes – Use any pork that’s suitable for stews, usually already cut at the grocery store into cubes.

Bone-in Chicken – A whole chicken cut up is my favorite! Use what I call “butt pieces” of chicken—the back, legs, wings, etc. Avoid using the breast for this recipe.

Chivo or Goat – This is a great meat to add to Sancocho because it slow-cooks!

Oxtail – Are you an oxtail lover? Well, lucky you! You can totally add a few pieces to your sancocho! The fatty meat makes it so delicious.

Sausage – Sausage is a great addition to Sancocho! Use a Hispanic sausage for the best results.

Smoked Ham – Ham adds so much flavor to stews and is a perfect option for sancocho. If using ham, cut it into 1″ cubes.”

Let’s make Sancocho with @THEMOODYFOODY Toni Chapman

Ingredients You’ll Need for

Some of these ingredients may or may not be accessible or know to you , so click on the hyperlinks to get a visual to use in the grocery store to get everything you need for your sancocho!

  • Meat (Bone in Chicken, Pork Ribs, Stew Beef Cubes, Sausage, Goat will work)
  • Sofrito
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Root Vegetables (Yellow Plantain, Green Plantain, Yuca, Potato, Carrot,)
  • Calabaza *Also known as Kabocha or Auyama. This is the base of the soup, if you can’t find it, use butternut squash, but this is my first option. It’s sold at Hispanic grocery stores or Asian supermarkets.
  • Spices (Sazon, adobo, garlic, pepper, oregano, pepper, chicken bouillon powder)
  • Water
  • Cilantro
  • Culantro *if you can’t find culantro, add more cilantro*


Hearty, flavorful, hispanic soup.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Spanish, Hispanic, Puerto Rican, Caribbean
Servings 8


  • 1 large pot Preferably a Caldero


  • 3-5 lbs Mixed Meat I use chicken, beef, ribs. But you can add almost ANY meat! See notes above
  • 1/4 cupp fresh sofrito
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 whole Carrot Cut into 1"pieces
  • 1 large Yuca Cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 Green Plantain Cut into 1" pieces
  • 2 yellow potatoes Cut into 1" pieces
  • 2-3 heads Corn Heads cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 Yellow Plantain (unripe) Cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 cup Calbaza Cut into 1" pieces
  • 2 tsps Sazon for the sofrito & tomato sauce base

Spices to season the meat

  • 1 packet of Sazon
  • 1 tsp adobo
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp chicken boullion

For the Broth

  • 6-8 cups water or low sodium chicken broth if using water, add in 1/2 tsp of chicken bouillon powder to each cup of water
  • a bunch cilantro
  • a bunch culantro


  • Season the beef, chicken and pork with Sazon, adobo, garlic powder, oregano, pepper, onion powder, and chicken bouillon. Let it marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Heat oil in a large pot, then sauté the sofrito and tomato sauce, adding in 2 teaspoons of Sazon.
  • Add the seasoned beef and pork to the pot and brown on all sides. Set chicken aside.
  • Pour in enough water combined with Maggi seasoning or chicken broth to cover the beef and pork. Simmer until partially cooked. You should cook at medium low heat for about 45 minutes or until beef and pork is partially tender.
  • Next, add in yuca, corn and green plantain, cilantro and cilantro. Add more liquid, as needed. Cook on medium-low heat for another 30 minutes.
  • Add in carrot, potatoes, and Calabaza and Chicken last. Add more liquid, as needed. Let the sancocho simmer on low heat for another 45 minutes-1 hour.
  • Simmer until all vegetables and meats are tender.
  • Check the seasoning and adjust as needed. Add more salt or adobo if needed.
  • Serve with white rice.
Keyword Sancocho, Latin, Puerto Rico, braisedshortribs, puerto rican

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Recipe Rating


  1. Jero from Spain November 2, 2023 at 7:58 pm

    5 stars
    this was so amazing and so easy to follow! DELICIOUS

  2. Sandra November 2, 2023 at 8:55 pm

    Wonderful recipe and well explained. Except for the over abundance of cilantro and recaí, everything else 👌👌👌👌 I think a lot of ppl think more cilantro and culantro is better. It is not. It’s an acquired taste. Ppl get desensitized to its strong flavor. With the fresh sofrito is more than enough. That’s how the best places make it. 💕💕💕💕 Good recipe and explanation!

  3. CLIFFORD M GONZALEZ December 10, 2023 at 12:54 pm

    This recipe rocks!! I’ve already made it twice this past week. Super authentic, it has taken me some time to find a Sancocho recipe my family and I liked, and this is the one! Thank you so much for sharing!

    P.S. : add some lemon to taste when serving. Gives it that little extra flavor