Puerto Rican Rice and Beans – otherwise known as Habichuelas Guisadas (Stewed Beans) – are the most flavorful beans simmered in a tomato and sofrito based broth with potatoes and olives. Served over rice they are a meal unto themselves, or a classic staple with every Puerto Rican dinner!
Puerto Rican Rice and Beans (Habichuelas Guisadas)
I’ve mentioned before that I’m half Polish, half Mexican and I’ve shared recipes various from my cultural influences. But this recipe says who I am and what I claim: I’m Puerto Rican! I used repeat that phrase proudly as a little girl when asked about my background. It was all the more humorous since I couldn’t pronounce my R’s when I was young.
Fast forward a few years and I realized I wasn’t actually Puerto Rican at all! What can I say? Little kids are a product of their environment and the Puerto Ricans I was surrounded by made a big impression on me…and so will this Puerto Rican Rice and Beans recipe!
This is my favorite Puerto Rican meal and so quick and easy to make. I prefer pink or red beans, but you can also use kidney beans if you like.
The beans are simmered in a tomato and sofrito based broth. The potatoes soak up all the vibrant flavors and the olives add a briny pop. Served over rice to soak up all the sauce, this recipe can’t be beat. I could eat this everyday!
For some, it might be difficult to find sofrito, which is a vegetable purée that forms the base for most Puerto Rican recipes. I’ve included some options below for finding or making your own sofrito, and I’ve included the brands I use for the other ingredients that may not be familiar.
Many grocery stores carry Goya brand these days so they shouldn’t be hard to find. Check out my Puerto Rican Resources page for more information!
P.S. These beans are amazing with tostones – crispy fried plantains!
- 3 large green bell peppers, deseeded and quartered
- 3 large Spanish onions, peeled and quartered
- 2 bags of aji dulce (a type of pepper)
- 1 head of garlic, peeled
- 1/2 bunch of recao (aka culantro)
- 1 bunch of cilantro
Blend all the ingredients in a food processor or blender until finely minced. Store in airtight container in refrigerator, or freeze in small portions for later use.
UPDATE: here you can find a more detailed recipe on how to make sofrito.
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 heaping tablespoons sofrito *see note below about finding/making sofrito
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 2 cans (15-16 ounces) kidney, red or pink beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) water
- 1 packet Sazón with Coriander and Annatto (Culantro and Achiote)
- 1 packet ham concentrate (I use Goya Jamón) (optional)
- 1 teaspoon adobo (I use Goya)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons Manzanilla or Spanish pimento-stuffed olives
- 1/2 pound potatoes, peeled and diced into large chunks
- Cooked white rice, for serving
- In a medium caldero, sauté sofrito in oil 2-3 minutes over medium heat.
- Add tomato sauce, beans, water, sazón and ham packet. Season with pepper, adobo, garlic powder, oregano and stir. Taste and adjust spices according to your liking. Broth should be slightly salty since the potatoes will absorb much of the flavor.
- Add potatoes and olives and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until potatoes are cooked through, about 30 minutes or so, depending on their size. Serve over hot rice.
1. See if a local Hispanic store sells it.
2. Goya brand makes a prepared version that your regular grocery store may carry, but choose the green jar that says "Recaito" instead of “Sofrito.” If they only have the “Sofrito,” decrease the amount of tomato sauce in the recipe by about half.
3. Make your own. If you cannot find all of the ingredients, use what you can and it will still turn out tasty!
*see Puerto Rican Resources page for more information on products and ingredients.
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