Rice and beans are staples in Puerto Rican food. Whether it’s white rice and red beans or yellow rice with any variety of beans, you are sure to find beans in many meals in most Puerto Rican households. Not only are beans a cultural aspect of Puerto Rican cuisine, they’re also delicious, nutritious, and budget-friendly! One of the most popular bean recipes in our culture is Puerto Rican red beans (stewed red beans) and let me tell you, I ate them on weekly basis growing up!
Known to us as habichuelas guisadas, red beans pair perfectly with white rice and your preferred meat entree – try carne molida, carne guisada, or pollo guisado! Of course, you can’t forget a side of tostones to complete your meal! Check out this easy Puerto Rican red beans recipe I share below using canned beans (a shortcut I learned from my own mami) and try it out with your own family for a delicious dinner together!
Puerto Rican Red Beans Recipe (Habichuelas Guisadas)
- 1 can of red kidney beans
- Approx. 1 1/2 Tbsp vegetable cooking oil
- Sazón, 1 packet
- 2 Tbsp tomato sauce
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp sofrito (homemade or store-bought)
- 5-6 Spanish salad olives
To see pictures and links for these ingredients, see 5 Must-Have Ingredients for Cooking Puerto Rican Food
- Drain and rinse beans from the can and pour into a medium saucepan.
- Using the same bean can for measuring, fill to top with water and add to saucepan.
- Add remaining ingredients, stir, and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce heat to low-medium, cover, and simmer for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Sauce should thicken a bit while cooking.
Puerto Rican red beans are easy to cook and can be served right on top of rice or on the side. While red kidney beans are my husband and I’s favorite, you can make this same recipe using small red beans, pink beans, white beans, or even pinto beans. Stewed beans (habichuelas guisadas) are delicious no matter the type and the recipe cooks very similarly! Try adding diced potatoes or pumpkin while stewing for a serious added layer of flavor! YUM!!!
Have you ever eaten Puerto Rican red beans before?
All photos © Melanie Edwards/modernmami™