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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Habichuelas Guisadas (Puerto Rican Stewed Beans)
These beans are a Puerto Rican staple, and an essential side dish for rice.
- 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
- 1½ 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
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.
Add the sofrito and Sazon seasoning. Saute for 2 minutes, until fragrant.
Add the tomato sauce, oregano, bay leaves, and cumin. Saute for 1 minute.
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.
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.
Check for seasoning, and add Adobo or salt if needed.
Serve over white or yellow rice, with an extra sprinkle of cilantro, if desired.
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.
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?
I leave it covered otherwise it will evaporate too much.
This recipe was beyond amazing !! Some home made sofrito makes ALL the difference in the world.
Great recipe. I don’t eat pork so I added smoked Turkey instead. This recipe is a family favorite.
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.
Yes you can easily double this recipe.
I am wondering if this recipe would work for canned gandules or canned garbanzo? What do you think? If so, any adjustments needed?
Yes either one would work wonderfully! You can follow the same recipe. Check out my garbanzo recipe here: Garbanzos Guisados (Puerto Rican Stewed Chickpeas)
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.
Thank you so much!
Another version is with spanish chorizo instead of ham and pieces of fried sweet plantains instead of pumpkin.. oh my God!!!!
Delisia con chorizo
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!
These beans are DELICIOUS! I especially like the addition of olives. Very satisfying.
Is it ok to make with pinto beans? Thanks in Advance!
Made the beef stew last night and it was just like my Titi would have made it!! Thank You!!
Can I use this recipe in a old school pressure and still get the results of a creamy caldo?
Love your recipes!
Quick question I have a can of pink beans and a can of red kidney beans… can I mix the two?
Thank you! Yes you can!
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.
Thank you so much!
Can I replace pink beans for dark red kidney?
Hi! I soaked dried beans overnight. Do I need to tweak anything because they are not from the can? Thanks!
You’ll have to cook them longer, so keep an eye on the liquid levels as they cook. Add more if needed.
Put it in a pressure cooker until they soften! Most of the time it takes 20-30 minutes then add the ingredients as directed.
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?
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.
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!
Whoops I’ll fix that, thanks! It’s 2 tablespoons.
Awesome, thank you!
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.
Hi there, I updated the recipe, thanks for the call out!
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.
Could I substitute the sweet potato for regular potatoes? Or would that affect the taste?
You sure can Maddie, that would be delicious. I’ve done that, and I’ve also used butternut squash or calabaza (kabocha squash)
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.
awesome! I’m so honored!!! Glad you enjoyed the recipe!
How would you freeze the leftovers?
You can just cool it and freeze it in zip lock bags.
You can just cool it and store it in plastic freezer bags. That’s what I do 🙂
I made this for dinner earlier in the week. These are the best stewed beans I have ever had. Thanks for the recipe.
Y si tienen patitas de cerdo muchisísimo mejor!
Can you make from dried beans?
Yes, but you have to add much more liquid.
Thank you sounds delish, I would love to do it for my next dinner, do you know how many servings?
This recipe serves 4-6
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?
Hi B, thanks! Are you referring to empanadas?
Did you drain the can of beans before adding to the pot?
Nope I don’t drain them Erika, but that’s personal preference.
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.
Celeste, I’m so glad you loved it! I love the sweet potato addition! Buen provecho!