My husband is from Puerto Rico so this is one dish that I learned soon after I got married. Well, the version I learned was the non-vegetarian one with cured ham and/or bacon. Pink beans and rice is a staple dish in any Puerto Rican family. This hearty dish is so versatile that it can be served by itself or with any type of meats, scramble eggs, and even fried potatoes. I prefer to use dry pink beans that I let soak overnight and cook the following day on a crock pot. A Latin store or your preferred supermarket should carry most of the ingredients used in this recipe. You can use the canned Goya Pink Beans as a substitute; remember to rinse them before using to remove some of the added salt. The Sofrito is a blend of spices, herbs (especially recao, or culantro, and ají dulce, or sweet pepper), vegetables (onions and peppers) and oil; all mixed in a blender and used to flavor many typical dishes. I prepare large amounts of Sofrito and freeze in small jars. A good substitute to homemade sofrito is Goya’s frozen sofrito; if you decide to get another brand make sure you get the one without tomatoes. As for the left over pink bean stew I freeze in medium size containers for those days I have no time to cook.
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1½ cups onions
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ½ cup green pepper
- 3-4 tablespoons of sofrito
- 1 cup potatoes cubed
- ¾ cup pumpkin cubed
- 16 oz dry pink beans (pre-soaked and pre-cooked)
- Enough water to cover the beans (can use the water used to cook the beans. Could add less water if you prefer the stew of a denser consistency)
- 1½ teaspoon of salt
- pepper to taste (optional)
- ⅓ cup tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons of finely chopped cilantro
- In a large pot saute the chopped onions and garlic with the olive oil at medium heat.
- Once the onions are translucent add the green peppers and jalapeño and saute for a couple of minutes.
- Add the Sofrito, potatoes and pumpkin and let it soak the flavors for 5 minutes.
- Add the bean first and then the water. Enough water to cover the beans. If using dry beans use the water where the beans were cooked.
- Add the tomato sauce and the spices except the fresh cilantro.
- Cook for 1 hour or until the stew has thickened.
- Add the cilantro and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Remove from stove and serve.
Did you make this recipe?
Never is there jalepeño or cumin in this recipe . That is wrong and not real puerto rican pink beans . We never use jalepeño in our cooking. Plus this recipe is wrong
There is more than one way of preparing a dish; cooking blogs offer their modified version of a specific recipe. When this recipe was posted in 2013 I used jalapeno as one of the ingredients to give it a bit of a kick; making it this way my version of Puerto Rican beans. A half a packet of Goya’s Sazon with Coriander and Annato (ingredients: cumin, annato and coriander) was also used in the original recipe. Later, I stopped using Goya’s Sazon and started seasoning it with the same ingredients that were in this product but this time from our home spice rack.
This recipe has gone many iterations and it needed to be updated in the blog. The recipe has now been updated.
Thanks for your comment Maria!
I’m going to try this recipe this week. I don’t see any spices in the recipe like those you mention above. What do you recommend adding? Thanks!
Laura, since most of the flavor comes from the sofrito the only spices needed are salt and pepper if you like pepper. The sofrito you can buy at the store or if you have the time there is a link to the recipe in Belmondo Foods in this post.