Boom, FLAVOR. If I had one word to describe this habichuelas guisadas from scratch, that would be it.
This recipe has been recently improved and updated.
They are perfectly tender, incredibly delicious, made with affordable ingredients.
The seasonings and flavors used in this recipe are incredibly important if you’re looking for non-basic beans. You know, something that tastes like a meal and not a snack.
Sofrito For Habichuelas Guisadas
Sofrito is one of the most important ingredients in this recipe. It's a Puerto Rican cooking base with a variety of aromatics. There are many ways of making it, depending on what you have available, and what you enjoy.
I like to use ingredients that are affordable, easy-to-find, and similar to how my family makes it.
When I make sofrito, I usually work with large batches. It’s pretty easy to whip up and can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer in an air-tight close container or jar. That way, I have a month's worth of sofrito on hand.
You can also purchase pre-made sofrito, but fresh is always better. They either sell it in a jar or a tub in the frozen section of the grocery store.
Note, this item can be sometimes be challenging to find, but they are either in the Latin/Ethnic section of the grocery store. Latin grocery stores usually carry them.
Besides, all you need for sofrito are the following ingredients:
- Green bell pepper
- Red bell pepper
- Whole garlic
- A bunch of cilantro (2 ounces/~56 grams)
Check out our blog post if you want to learn more about what sofrito is used for.
What Is “Habichuelas Guisadas”?
In direct translation, it means stewed beans. It can be prepared in many ways from canned or dry beans. Depending on what I have on hand or any time constraints, I’ll switch between the two.
If you’re using canned beans, there is no soaking necessary. Just drain and rinse the beans. Allow everything to simmer until the potatoes are fork-tender. The cook time will be much shorter than dry beans.
To make habichuelas guisadas from canned beans, check out our quick and easy habichuelas guisadas recipe.
Keep in mind, every household or region will have its own way of cooking habichuelas guisadas. I have even seen recipes that include carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, or yam.
If that’s what you like, throw it in the pot. This recipe is inspired by my abuela’s habichuelas guisadas recipe. So we’re going for regular russet potatoes for our starch.
For habichuelas guisadas, red kidney beans, or pink beans are typically used. Either one is fine.
How To Quick Soak Beans
If you're not into soaking the beans overnight, we can cut corners. To quick-soak beans, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, then remove the pot from the heat. Cover the pot with a lid and allow the beans to soak for one hour.
Next, drain and rinse the beans and continue with the recipe.
Check On Doneness Throughout Cook
After about 30 minutes or so after the beans have simmered, I’ll regularly check the beans’ doneness.
I don’t want my beans to turn out mushy, or stay too tough. When they are tender enough, that’s when I know it’s time to prepare my seasonings and flavors that’ll be combined with the beans.
Check on Water Levels
You want to make sure that your beans have enough water. Evaporation will happen and you want to make sure your beans are at least covered by an inch throughout the entire cook.
In addition to checking on the water levels from the beans, you’ll want to reserve the water later in the recipe. This is where you’re going to have your natural bean flavor.
The water will be re-introduced to the beans along with the sazon, sofrito, tomato sauce, adobo, olives, and potatoes.
Occasionally Stir Beans
You’ll want to occasionally stir the beans to ensure they do not stick to the bottom of the pot.
Ready to get your flavor on?
Can I Use Canned Beans?
Yes, you can use canned beans in this recipe. Switch out the dry beans for one 15.5 fl oz. can of beans.
Be sure to drain the beans - not rinse. You'll need to roughly follow the recipe instructions after step 5 Here are the modified instructions for canned beans.
- In a saucepan over high heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil. Once the oil is hot, add sofrito, tomato sauce, ½ teaspoon of sazon, and adobo. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Drain canned beans and pour into the saucepan. Add potatoes and olives, mix everything well.
- Pour water into the saucepan until just covering the beans.
- Once at a boil, immediately reduce heat to medium. Cover the pot and simmer until potatoes are tender - about 10-15 minutes.
More Recipes For Beans:
Did you try out this Habichuelas Guisadas From Scratch recipe?
Habichuelas Guisadas From Scratch
- Place beans into a bowl and pick out any damaged beans or foreign objects.
- Heat a pot over high heat. Combine water and salt and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, add the dry pinto beans.
- Boil for 5 minutes, turn off the heat, then set the pot aside to allow beans to soak for 1 hour.
- Drain the water from the soaked beans.
- Set a pot over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the sofrito, sazon, and adobo seasoning. Combine and fry for 2 minutes. Pour in the beans and cover with water about 2 inches over the top. Bring the water to a boil.
- Once at a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover pot with a lid, and simmer for 40-50 minutes, or until beans are tender.
- Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, russet potatoes, and Spanish olives. Cover the pot with the lid and simmer for another 10-15 minutes until potatoes are fork-tender.
- The cook times may vary due to the size of beans, how hard your water is, or how much you’re preparing. This recipe is flexible, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye out.
- Cook times may also vary, depending on the size of the potatoes. I cut mine about half an inch thick.
- Once you season the beans with the sofrito mix, it will be very salty. However, the potato and beans will soak up a lot of the flavors - don’t fret! At the end of the cook, if it needs additional salt, adjust accordingly. If less, add a bit more water.
- Here's the recipe to make sofrito. Also, here's where to find sazon and adobo.