Dominican Beans (Habichuelas Guisadas)

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These creamy Dominican beans, flavored with garlic, onion, cubanelle pepper, and adobo seasoning, cooked in the Instant Pot or pressure cooker, make the perfect vegetarian side or meatless main dish.

Dominican Beans over rice with aji picante on top and steak on the side.
Dominican Beans

You guys are in for a treat! When my cousins visited me a few weeks ago from the Dominican Republic, they showed me how to make these delicious Dominican beans made from scratch with dry red kidney beans. In DR, these beans are served daily in most homes. There’s no meat in these beans, so they are great for vegetarians. Of course, if you want to serve them along side some pork chops, steak or Pollo Sabroso that’s great too! For some other Latin-inspired bean recipes, try my Mexican Pinto Beans, Quick Cuban Style Black Beans, and Quick Puerto Rican Style Beans.

Dominican Beans in a bowl.

How are Dominican beans served?

Rice with stewed red beans, or Habichuelas Guisadas is one of the most common meals at any Dominican table. They are typically served over white rice with concón (the crispy rice at the bottom of the pot). These beans are creamy and thick, they should coat the rice and stick to them. They shouldn’t be watery, nor should they resemble refried Mexican beans.

How do you make Dominican beans from scratch?

These Dominican beans can be made in a pressure cooker or Instant Pot. I have included directions for both.

What makes these Dominican beans different from Colombian beans and Brazilian beans is that they are creamy and almost like a gravy that sticks to the rice. The trick to getting them creamy is keeping the water that you soak the beans in overnight and cooking the beans in the same water.

While the beans cook in the pressure cooker, sauté the garlic, cubanelle pepper, red onion, cilantro, and seasonings. There’s no need to dice the pepper, onion, or cilantro into fine pieces because you will remove them at the end of cooking. If you can’t find a cubanelle, use an Anaheim pepper instead.

Once the beans are cooked, take about 25% of the beans and liquid and puree them in the blender. Then add them back to the pot with the aromatics and simmer the beans until they are thick. Remove the cilantro, onion, and pepper and enjoy. I can’t wait for you to try them!

What to Serve with Dominican Beans

Serve the red beans over rice and enjoy as a meatless main entrée or a side dish. Tostones, sliced avocado or salad make a great side dish if you’re making these as a main course. Since my cousin is Colombian and his wife is Dominican, they cook with a fusion of flavors. My cousin grilled some steaks to go along with the beans and rice and topped everything with Colombian Aji, a spicy green hot sauce, which you can see pictured here. It adds flavor and brightness to the whole dish, but you can also use a few dashes of hot sauce instead.

Stove Top Method

To cook on the stove, use a large pot to soak the beans overnight. Cook them in the same water, covered on low. Once they come to a boil. Cook until the beans are tender, at least 1 hour then follow the rest of the directions. Since there is some evaporation in a pot compared to a pressure cooker, you may have to add a little more water. Follow the other steps as directed steps 4 to 9.

Variations

If you wish to chop all the veggies and leave them in the beans instead of removing them, they will still be wonderful.

Dominican Beans in the Instant PotDominican Beans over rice with aji picante on top and steak on the side.Dominican Beans over rice with aji picante on top and steak on the side.Dominican Beans over rice with aji picante on top and steak on the side.

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Dominican Beans over rice with aji picante on top and steak on the side.
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4.89 from 34 votes
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Dominican Beans

158 Cals 8.5 Protein 25.5 Carbs 2.5 Fats
Cook Time: 1 hr 15 mins
Soak Time: 8 hrs
Total Time: 9 hrs 15 mins
Yield: 12 servings
COURSE: Dinner, Side Dish
CUISINE: Dominican, Latin
These creamy Dominican beans, flavored with garlic, onion, cubanelle pepper, and adobo seasoning, cooked in the Instant Pot or pressure cooker, make the perfect vegetarian side or meatless main dish.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb dried red kidney beans
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 bunch cilantro sprigs
  • 1 red onion, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 cubanelle pepper, cut in 4 pieces
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes, I use Maggi (or veggie for vegetarian)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons adobo seasoning
  • kosher salt, or to taste
  • white rice, for serving (not counted in macros)

Instructions

  • Put beans in the pressure cooker or Instant Pot and cover them with water so there’s 2 inches over them (10 cups).
  • Soak overnight, but don’t drain.
  • Next day, cover and seal the pressure cooker (or Instant Pot) over medium heat, when the pot comes to pressure cook high pressure 20 minutes. Natural release.
  • While the pressure releases, in a large skillet, heat oil over medium-low heat and add garlic, tomato paste, cilantro, red onion, pepper, bouillon cube and saute about 10 minutes, stirring.
    sauteed red onion, green peppers in a skillet.
  • Open the pressure cooker when the steam releases, take 25% of the beans and liquid and transfer to the blender. Puree well then return to the pot.
    beans in the blender
  • Add adobo seasoning and salt (about 1 teaspoon), or to taste. 
  • Add the sauteed vegetables to the beans and bring to a boil over medium heat. (In the Instant Pot use the saute button.)
    Dominican Beans in the instant pot.
  • Boil uncovered over medium-low heat until the texture becomes creamy and the liquid reduces, about 30 minutes stirring often. 
    Dominican Beans in the Instant Pot
  • Remove cilantro, pepper and onion and serve over rice. Makes 9 cups.

Video

Notes

To cook on the stove, use a large pot to soak the beans overnight. Cook them in the same water, covered on low. Once they come to a boil. Cook until the beans are tender, at least 1 hour then follow the rest of the directions. Since there is some evaporation in a pot compared to a pressure cooker, you may have to add a little more water. Follow the other steps as directed steps 4 to 9.

Nutrition

Serving: 3/4 cup, Calories: 158kcal, Carbohydrates: 25.5g, Protein: 8.5g, Fat: 2.5g, Saturated Fat: 0.5g, Sodium: 617.5mg, Fiber: 5.5g, Sugar: 1.5g
Keywords: Dominican Beans, habichuelas rojas, instant pot beans, pressure cooker red beans, red beans

 

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98 comments

  1. This was an instant hit in my home after my boyfriend begged me to try and cook him beans like he had on vacation in Domincan Republic. Like many other commenters, I decided to dice the veggies and keep them in the finished recipe instead of discarding them. This recipe is full of flavour, very filling, and very easy to make. Highly recommend, I make these almost weekly! Thanks!

  2. I just made this recipe, and I don’t even have the words for the flavor!! I used my instant pot. I didn’t soak the beans so I extended the time to 40 minutes like I do for my Cajun red beans. I chopped my veggies fine and left them in. Love love love. Will make this over and over again!

  3. Why do you discard the saute vegatables and cilantro. It seems that it is a shame and a waste not to eat them. I would very much like to try this recipe as suggested by my Dominican friends

  4. Wow, I’m impressed. I’m Mexican and have been cooking beans since I left home and these were so flavorful. Like a thicker frijoles charros, but with that distinct Caribbean sazon. Loved this recipe! 

  5. 5 star perfection! I’ve made these twice and I’m always floored by the texture and amount of flavor. Thank you for this recipe!

  6. I’ve made this recipe a few times. It is the bomb. My only variation, and I suggest this with all respect to the author, is to add the sauted vegetables to the removed beans, puree it all, and returned it to the pot to reduce the broth. It is my go-to bean recipe now.

  7. Absolutely delicious and so creamy the way you make it. The kids had theirs with white rice, a sunny side up egg, hot sauce and feta on top. I had mine with brown rice, extra cilantro and a little vinegary red cabbage, carrots and jalapeño salad on the side.

    I used dried beans soaked overnight first. And when I blended the quarter of beans after pressure cooking, I also blended the onion, garlic, cubanelle sauté. We loved the soupy-sauciness of it! Definitely making again. 

  8. These beans are soooooo flavorful and 1 Blue Point? So good. My boyfriend said I needed to keep that recipe and make it again. I used canned beans and blended 1 can to make the beans creamy. I cut up the inions, cubanelle (used a large one) and chopped the cilantro so I could keep them in the beans. Delicious!

  9. Delicious. And easy to make. I added Mexican oregano but stuck to everything else in the recipe. Love the saucy-soupy-ness of it.

    White rice is great with this dish + I also love it with a crispy fried egg too. My son had it with carnitas (fall off the bone country style pork ribs cooked just in adobo seasoning). Awesome recipe.

  10. These are amazing! However, I think when I make them again, I’ll cut the vegetables smaller and leave in the beans. 

  11. I made this recipe with canned beans. I figured four cans would equal about a pound. I blended one of the cans with its liquid. I thought they were so so good! Seriously, amazing! It was kind of a pain pulling out the large chunks. Next time I think I would prefer these with small red beans.

  12. Best beans I have ever made! Thank you! I left all the onions/peppers in and it tasted great. Would highly recommend others to try this recipe!

  13. These were excellent, especially with the  fresh salsa on top.  I think I added too much water though, as there was more sauce than beans.  Left the onions and peppers in too. Will definitely make them again.

    • Hi Christine, just let boil a bit more, but as a dominican I can tell you our beans do tend to be more saucy then other nations.

  14. How long does this take to naturally release? Going on 30 mins now!

    • Most instant pot recipes will say that a “natural release” is 5 minutes after the cook time is complete. I usually just wait till my vegetables are ready to add to the pot to simmer.

  15. It is so satisfying to make beans from “scratch” I did leave the onion and veggies in the beans. I think I took cooking down till creamy a bit too far, at 1/2 hour of bubbling away I thought ” maybe a bit more” – went about 15 more minutes–and of course as they cool and we are now having them the next day they are virtually “re -fried bean consistency” , but nevertheless are very good, I did them as a “bowl’ with riced cauliflower and some shredded steamed carrots, mushrooms sliced and grape tomato and a bit of nonfat feta I had on hand. I want to get some more fresh cilantro to sprinkle on top–out of that at present. Fun to do, plan to freeze some as only two of us, and will see how that works out. Next time won’t cook down so long as according to picture should be a bit more saucy I think? I can always add a bit of broth to them too.

  16. Thank you for sharing this recipe!! It was sooo good. Reminded me of all the yummy Dominican food I used to eat in Inwood. This recipe is a keeper!

  17. Delicious!