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Nourishing Rice (Arroz de Sustancia)

Nourishing Rice (Arroz de Sustancia) - A Family Feast

This recipe for Nourishing Rice or ‘Arroz de Sustancia’ is a delicious side dish that can be served with our Pork Medallions Portuguese recipe that we shared yesterday!

In Portugal, this rice is sometimes eaten as a meal and so they call it Arroz de Sustancia, or ‘nourishing rice’ for that reason!  Long grain white rice is seasoned with onions, carrots and garlic that has been sautéed in bacon fat and olive oil, with additional flavors from diced prosciutto and a touch of tomato paste.

Nourishing Rice (Arroz de Sustancia) - A Family Feast

The flavors in this nourishing rice are the perfect complement to any pork main dish, but it is especially delicious alongside a dinner of our Pork Medallions Portuguese and our Marinated Green Beans with Cilantro and Garlic.  This recipe makes enough to serve at a large family meal, but you can easily cut the recipe in half for a smaller family if you’d prefer.  (But it’s so delicious, you won’t mind having leftovers if you make the full recipe!)

Adapted from The Food of Portugal.

Nourishing Rice (Arroz de Sustancia)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 8 servings

Nourishing Rice (Arroz de Sustancia)


  • 3 tablespoons bacon fat or pork lard
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups chopped onion (1/4 inch diced)
  • 1 ½ cups chopped carrots (1/4 inch diced)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ¼ pound thin sliced Prosciutto diced into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 cups of any broth (chicken, beef or vegetable or a combination)
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups long grain white rice
  • Salt only as needed to taste (the prosciutto provides saltiness to the dish so additional salt may not be needed)


  1. In a medium to large pan with a tight fitting cover, over medium heat, place bacon fat and oil. Once hot add onions, carrots and garlic and sauté six minutes. Add Prosciutto and tomato paste and stir. Cover and lower heat to lowest setting and cook covered for 25 minutes.
  2. Remove lid, raise heat, add broth and pepper and bring to a boil. Add rice and when the mixture just starts to come back to a boil, cover and lower heat to lowest setting.
  3. After 20 minutes remove from heat, fluff with fork and taste. Salt now if needed and let sit five minutes, and then serve.

You may also like:

Pork Medallions Portuguese

Pork Medallions Portuguese - A Family Feast

Marinated Green Beans with Cilantro and Garlic

Marinated Green Beans with Cilantro and Garlic - A Family Feast


  1. […] Pork Medallions Portuguese are terrific served alongside our Nourishing Rice (Arroz con Sustancia) and Marinated Green Beans with Cilantro and Garlic – both recipes coming to A Family Feast this […]

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