Habichuelas Guisadas (Puerto Rican Stewed Beans)

Habichuelas Guisadas (Puerto Rican Stewed Beans) are an essential Puerto Rican side dish whenever you’ve having rice. They’re perfectly creamy, tender, simple to make, and bursting with Latin flavors!

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Habichuelas Guisadas (Puerto Rican Stewed Beans) are an essential Puerto Rican side dish whenever you’ve having rice. They’re perfectly creamy, tender, simple to make, and bursting with Latin flavors!

Habichuelas Guisadas (Puerto Rican Stewed Beans)

Habichuelas guisadas is a recipe that definitely qualifies as an essential Puerto Rican side dish.  If there is white or yellow rice on your plate, there better be some habichuelas!  Otherwise, there’s a problem.  Seriously, don’t even try it.  This is one of those dishes that each cook puts their signature on, kind of like Italian gravy.  You know who made the beans just by eating them.  My Mami’s beans don’t taste like anyone else’s and neither do my Abuela’s.  

Habichuelas Guisadas (Puerto Rican Stewed Beans)

I learned this the hard way when I went off to college and kept feeling like my beans were missing something whenever I made them in my dorm kitchen.  There’s a certain amount of love that flavors this dish when it’s made by Mami & Abuela, and you just can’t replicate that.  It never fails, making habichuelas always remind me of home.

Habichuelas Guisadas (Puerto Rican Stewed Beans)

I hate to admit it, but I hated beans when I was a small child. I would literally pick them off my rice and push them to the side of my plate. I’m not sure how my mom didn’t just give me away to the neighbors for such blasphemous behavior!  These days, I can literally eat rice and beans as a whole meal and be completely satisfied. These are a great Meatless Monday option, as long as you omit the ham.

Habichuelas Guisadas (Puerto Rican Stewed Beans)

This recipe is simple to put together as long as you have some Puerto Rican staples in your pantry.  The beans are stewed in a tomato based broth that’s flavored with country ham, sofrito, sazon & adobo, plus classic Mediterranean ingredients like bay leaves, oregano and olives.  The result is a complex, earthy dish that goes great with rice, or even as a standalone meal. I would definitely suggest that you make more habichuelas than you think you need!  This dish freezes beautifully, and leftovers reheat perfectly in the microwave or on a stove top.


4.97 from 29 votes

Habichuelas Guisadas (Puerto Rican Stewed Beans)

These beans are a Puerto Rican staple, and an essential side dish for rice.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Puerto Rican
Keyword beans, habichuelas
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8
Author Delish D'Lites


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup diced country ham or bacon omit if vegetarian
  • 1/4 cup Puerto Rican sofrito
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • tsp sazón con achiote y culantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 2 cans pink beans (habichuelas rosadas), undrained 15 oz. cans
  • 1/3 cup diced potato, pumpkin and/or baby carrots
  • 8 pimento stuffed olives
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped for garnish
  • Adobo seasoning or salt, to taste


  1. In a medium sized sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped ham and saute for 2-3 minutes, until it starts to caramelize.

  2. Add the sofrito and Sazon seasoning. Saute for 2 minutes, until fragrant.

  3. Add the tomato sauce, oregano, bay leaves, and cumin. Saute for 1 minute.

  4. Add the chicken stock, beans (with their liquid), chopped potato, pumpkin or carrot, olives, and chopped cilantro. Cover and bring the mixture to a boil.

  5. Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Allow the flavors to meld, the beans to become really tender, and the pumpkin/carrots to cook. The mixture should be very creamy and not soupy.

  6. Check for seasoning, and add Adobo or salt if needed.

  7. Serve over white or yellow rice, with an extra sprinkle of cilantro, if desired.

Recipe Notes

You can replace the adobo seasoning with salt and pepper. Adobo has a fair amount of salt, so it's often used as a salt replacement, and flavor enhancer.

Freeze leftover beans in freezer storage bags and keep frozen for up to 3 months.

Habichuelas Guisadas (Puerto Rican Stewed Beans)


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56 Responses

  1. 5 stars
    Great recipe…makes me miss my mom so much! I have one silly question though… once you bring everything to a boil and reduce to a simmer do you then leave it covered or uncovered to continue cooking?

    1. 4 stars
      Hello , delicious recipe, hope I’m not too late with this question for the beans. If I wanted to double the recipe, would I just double the amount of all the ingredients ? Thanks in advance.

  2. I am wondering if this recipe would work for canned gandules or canned garbanzo? What do you think? If so, any adjustments needed?

  3. 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I make my own homemade sofrito and adobo so as to bypass the MSG and salt. Needless to say the final product is “chef kiss” delish. The addition of the bay leaves is the key.
    Had to add the fact that growing up I too loathed the beans, but my brother didn’t. I would try to be sneaky and transfer all mine into his plate, but abuela always knew. Thankfully she wasn’t insulted, and now I cant get habichuelas on my plate enough.

  4. 5 stars
    Another version is with spanish chorizo instead of ham and pieces of fried sweet plantains instead of pumpkin.. oh my God!!!!

  5. 5 stars
    This is absolutely amazing! I am in love with this recipe! Thank you so much for posting. I, too added sweet potato and extra calabaza! cheers!

  6. 5 stars
    Love your recipes!
    Quick question I have a can of pink beans and a can of red kidney beans… can I mix the two?

  7. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious. Followed the recipe exactly except added chipotle in Adobe sauce for spice. I am Puerto Rican and make rice and beans regularly but this was so much better than anything I’ve made. Reminds me of my Abuela’s beans.

  8. Hi! I soaked dried beans overnight. Do I need to tweak anything because they are not from the can? Thanks!

    1. Put it in a pressure cooker until they soften! Most of the time it takes 20-30 minutes then add the ingredients as directed.

  9. 5 stars
    Is there a prepared sofrito at the grocery or is it always home made. If not at the grocery, do you have a good recipe for it? What other meat can be used beside country ham?

    1. Goya sells a jarred version that is available in most supermarkets. You can find my homemade recipe here. Puerto Rican Sofrito I’ve also used diced bacon or a ham jock instead of diced ham, that works nicely. You can omit the meat all together if you like.

  10. I want to make this today with my pernil I just put in the oven. I’m as white as the snow so I’m hoping I don’t mess this up to bad. How much cilantro did you use?? It is not in the ingredients list. Thank you!

      1. Ok what’s up with the green olives? I see them in the picture but not the recipe. Are they Typically a staple of Habichuelas Rosadas? I’m trying to imitate a recipe that I enjoy from my favorite Puerto Rican restaurant and I believe they do have small green olives.

  11. 5 stars
    Delicious. I replaced the sazón due to the harmful ingredients. Instead I used my own Achiote oil. I cooked the beans from dry for awhile before using your recipe. And, I replaced the canned tomatoe sauce with liquified heirloom tomatoes. Takes longer than the canned tomatoes to cook with the sofrito but worth it to avoid canned and processed food.

  12. 5 stars
    My resident Puerto Rican LOVES this recipe. He says they remind him of the habichuelas my mother in law (his mom) makes. That’s the best compliment ☺ I have made it twice and no disappointments. The only tweak I made is no bay leaf or ham since I don’t normally have those on hand.

          1. 5 stars
            I made this for dinner earlier in the week. These are the best stewed beans I have ever had. Thanks for the recipe.

  13. 5 stars
    Love this and have eaten it my whole life. Even though I am only half Puerto Rican, my fathers side was born there. But, we always used potatoes and only white rice. I like to make patellilos. Do you have a good recipe for those?

  14. 5 stars
    Hi Jannese,
    I just made this recipe and it is amazing. I made it a little differently, because I didn’t have the exact ingredients, my Sazon was without Annotto, I had no Bay Leaves, and I used enough ham and sweet potatoes and added the rice to the pot to make it a one pot meal. It is delicious. The best beans I ever ate were in Puerto Rico, so thanks so much for this recipe.

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I’m Jannese, Founder of Delish D’lites

I’m a Puerto Rican girl living in paradise (Florida), and the creative mind behind Delish D’Lites. I love sharing my family recipes and travel inspired cuisine! My favorite things include collecting passport stamps, twerking to Latin music, and kissing puppies. Follow along on social.