Home Caribbean Puerto Rican Island Comfort in a Bowl: The Art of Puerto Rican Stewed Beans

Island Comfort in a Bowl: The Art of Puerto Rican Stewed Beans

A Journey into the Heart of Puerto Rican Cuisine with Habichuelas Guisadas: A Simple, Nutritious, and Flavor-Packed Dish That Warms the Soul.

Habichuelas Guisadas (Puerto Rican Stewed Beans)
Habichuelas Guisadas (Puerto Rican Stewed Beans)

Habichuelas Guisadas, or Puerto Rican Stewed Beans, is a culinary embrace that welcomes you with warmth and flavor. A humble yet vibrant dish, it brings together beans, aromatic vegetables, herbs, and spices in a savory stew that’s more than just a side – it’s a celebration of Puerto Rican culture. This recipe offers a delightful dance of textures and flavors, promising to take your taste buds on a tropical vacation.

The Origins and Tradition

A beloved staple in Puerto Rican kitchens, Habichuelas Guisadas is part of a rich Puerto Rican culinary tradition. These beans are often served alongside rice and various meats, acting as a comforting companion on the plate. With roots in both Indigenous Taíno and Spanish cuisines, the dish is a harmonious blend of culinary heritage.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Versatility: Great as a main or a side, vegetarian or with meat, this dish can be adapted to suit different tastes and dietary needs.
  • Economy: Utilizing pantry staples and affordable ingredients, it’s a budget-friendly option without sacrificing flavor.
  • Nutrition: Packed with fiber, protein, and nutrients, it’s a wholesome dish that nourishes body and soul.

Choosing the Right Ingredients

  • Beans: Pink beans (habichuelas rosadas) are traditional, but red or pinto beans can be used if unavailable.
  • Vegetables: Feel free to vary the vegetables according to the season.
  • Broth: Chicken or vegetable broth adds depth, but water can be used in a pinch.
  • Sofrito: This aromatic blend of peppers, onions, garlic, and herbs is the soul of the dish. Homemade or store-bought will work.

Cooking Tips and Tricks

  • Slow Simmering: Allow the stew to simmer gently, so flavors meld and the texture becomes creamy.
  • Seasoning Balance: Adjust seasonings according to taste, especially if using Adobo, as it contains salt.
  • Serving Suggestions: Serve over rice with a sprinkle of cilantro, or pair with grilled meats and plantains.

Whether you’re exploring Puerto Rican cuisine for the first time or revisiting an old family favorite, Habichuelas Guisadas offers a delicious and satisfying experience. Follow this simple recipe, and allow the fragrant stew to fill your kitchen with the enticing aromas of island comfort. Enjoy the culinary journey!


Habichuelas Guisadas (Puerto Rican Stewed Beans)

A symphony of flavors and textures, Habichuelas Guisadas is a cherished Puerto Rican staple that pairs perfectly with rice. Whether served as a comforting side or a hearty main, these stewed beans offer a delightful culinary experience.
Course Sides
Cuisine Puerto Rican
Keyword Red Beans
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 220kcal
Author Mike Gonzalez


  • 1 Medium-sized saucepan with lid
  • 1 Cutting Board
  • 1 Chef’s knife
  • 1 Wooden spoon or spatula
  • 1 measuring cups and spoons
  • 1 Ladle for serving (optional)


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup diced country ham or bacon (omit if vegetarian)
  • ¼ cup Puerto Rican sofrito
  • tsp sazón con achiote y culantro
  • ¼ cup tomato sauce
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 2 cans pink beans habichuelas rosadas, undrained, 15 oz. cans
  • cup diced potato pumpkin, and/or baby carrots
  • cup pumpkin and/or baby carrots
  • 8 pimento-stuffed olives
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro for garnish
  • Adobo seasoning or salt to taste


  • In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add the ¼ cup diced country ham or bacon (if using) and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until it starts to caramelize.
  • Stir in the ¼ cup Puerto Rican sofrito and 1½ tsp sazón con achiote y culantro seasoning, and sauté for 2 minutes, until fragrant.
  • Mix in the ¼ cup tomato sauce, ½ tsp dried oregano, 2 dried bay leaves, and ¼ tsp ground cumin, and sauté for 1 minute.
  • Pour in the 2 cups low sodium chicken broth or vegetable stock, 2 cans pink beans (with their liquid), ⅓ cup diced potato, ⅓ cup pumpkin or carrot, 8 pimento-stuffed olives, and half the 2 tbsp chopped cilantro. Cover and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, and the vegetables are cooked. The mixture should be creamy, not soupy.
  • Taste and season with Adobo seasoning or salt, as needed.
  • Serve over white or yellow rice, garnished with the remaining cilantro.


  • If using Adobo seasoning, be mindful of its salt content, and adjust the seasoning accordingly. Alternatively, you can season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Feel free to customize the vegetables according to preference or seasonal availability.


Calories: 220kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 500mg | Potassium: 600mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 3g

Island Harmony: Perfect Pairings for Habichuelas Guisadas

A bowl of Habichuelas Guisadas is a melody of flavors that can be harmonized with a variety of dishes. From succulent roasted meats to vibrant tropical salads, the options for pairing are rich and diverse. Whether it’s the classic combination with Arroz con Gandules or an adventurous match with Tostones, discover recipes that resonate with the heartwarming notes of Puerto Rican Stewed Beans. Explore and create your island feast!

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