Dominican Beans (Habichuelas Guisadas)
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.
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.
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.
If you wish to chop all the veggies and leave them in the beans instead of removing them, they will still be wonderful.
More Bean Recipes You’ll Love:
- White Northern Beans with Aji Verde Sauce
- Brazilian Black Beans
- Instant Pot Black Beans
- Arroz Congri (Cuban Rice and Black Beans)
- Instant Pot Refried Beans
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- Boil uncovered over medium-low heat until the texture becomes creamy and the liquid reduces, about 30 minutes stirring often.
- Remove cilantro, pepper and onion and serve over rice. Makes 9 cups.