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White Northern Beans with Aji Verde Sauce

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Beans are high in complex carbohydrates, protein and dietary fiber, low in fat, calories and completely cholesterol-free. Eating as little as a half a cup of beans a day can be beneficial in reaching your dietary needs. These beans were a hit with my family, all that was leftover was this little bit shown here over rice, topped with aji verde sauce.

This past weekend my little girl turned one! It’s hard to believe a year has gone by, it seems like just yesterday she was a born, and now she’s a happy one year old, talking, singing, eating real food, and almost walking!

We had a small family gathering to celebrate her birthday, and I went with a Peruvian theme. We had Peruvian chicken with aji verde sauce, rice, avocados and beans. Sounds good? It was and everyone loved it!

Making beans are an economical way to make a lot of food without spending too much. A pound of dry beans makes about 6 cups cooked and usually costs around a dollar. I always make my beans in my pressure cooker because it cuts the cooking time in half.

The aji verde sauce is great over chicken, rice, beans or plantains.

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White Beans with Aji Verde Sauce

4.34 from 3 votes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Beans are high in complex carbohydrates, protein and dietary fiber, low in fat, calories and completely cholesterol-free. Eating as little as a half a cup of beans a day can be beneficial in reaching your dietary needs. These beans were a hit with my family, all that was leftover was this little bit shown here over rice, topped with aji verde sauce.
Yield: 12 servings
Serving Size: 1 /2 cup


  • 1 lb dry northern beans, or navy beans
  • 1 smoked ham hock
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes, I like Knorr
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon adobo seasoning
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Aji Verde Sauce (makes 3 1/4 cups)

  • 10 jalapeño peppers, seeded
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream


Instant Pot White Beans

  • Add beans and 8 cups of water to the pressure cooker.
  • Add the pork bone, green pepper and bay leaf and cook high pressure 50 minutes, natural release.
  • Meanwhile in a large skillet, add olive oil, chopped onion, garlic, cilantro, chicken bullion, cumin, and adobo seasoning season and cook over medium-low heat until onions are soft, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  • When pressure dissolves open the lid and remove ham hock and discard the bay leaf. Transfer 4 cups of the beans and liquid to a blender and puree until smooth, then add back to the pressure cooker.
  • Press saute and add the onion mixture to beans and mix well.
  • Continue cooking beans, uncovered about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until beans are thickened to your liking. Taste for salt and adjust if needed.

Aji Verde Sauce:

  • To make the sauce, place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.

Last Step:

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Serving: 1 /2 cup, Calories: 115.7 kcal, Carbohydrates: 21.6 g, Protein: 7.1 g, Fat: 0.4 g, Fiber: 6.7 g


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40 comments on “White Northern Beans with Aji Verde Sauce”

  1. Avatar photo
    Martha Renk-weitzel

    I love the flavor but this came out more like soup. Seems like too much liquid. I’ve moved it over to the stove to bring to a boil and reduce. Is this normal?  There is no way 15 minutes on sauté would have reduced it to a desirable consistency. 

  2. Gina – would you mind updating this recipe, and maybe including IP and Slow Cooker directions? This sounds so delicious, but I’m not much of a pressure cooker person, I even gave up my IP!

  3. I would love to make these, but don’t have an IP or pressure cooker.  What would the cooking directions be to make in a crock pot?

  4. Avatar photo
    Alpa Bhungalia

    I have been making this recipe for a couple of years now. I make it without the ham hock (don’t like the taste and most of my family is vegetarian). Anyone I have ever served this to has asked for the recipe. I do add a bit more garlic to the beans and the aji verde sauce. I use the “better than bouillon no-chicken” paste instead of cubes and I don’t use as many jalepenos (today I used 1.5 jalapeño, 1 Serrano and two Thai chilies). You can easily make the sauce vegan too.

    1. Forgot to notate that I have adjusted the recipe on my own for the IP. Instead of soaking overnight, I wash the beans, put them in the instant pot, and set on manual for one minute. I let them sit for about an hour, release, rinse and carry on with the rest of the recipe.

  5. I think the instructions are a little unclear for Instant Pot, but who cares- this recipe is delicious! I couldn’t find a ham hock, so I bought pork belly, but then I was back at a different store that had smoked pork everything. I settled on smoked pork neck. I have a 3 quart, and can squish most recipes in, but definitely not this. So I portioned out half the soaked beans, half the green pepper/onions, half the garlic/onions/avocado oil, half the Aji Verde sauce, and a pack of pork neck, put all he small ziplocks in a big ziplock and froze it. Finally it was done, and ready to eat, and it is SOOOOO good. The Aji Verde sauce is quite hot- but good. I loved this.

    1. (If others are confused, I looked at other bean recipes and settled on 60 minutes/high. I was in a hurry, so only did natural release for about 10 minutes, but the beans were plenty done. I then switched to stove top because I just like the heat more, if I was going to be stirring and trying to let it cook down and thicken. I probably only made it 15 minutes of that before it was too tempting to eat!)

      1. Sorry I created this for a conventional pressure cooker, I will remake soon in my IP and update the directions.

    2. Also- the Aji Verde would be perfect for freezing into cubes and then saving in a ziplock in the freezer, because it makes a LOT, but I was afraid it would make my trays have jalapeno residue forever. Freezing flat in a ziplock works well. Also if you’ve never worked with jalapenos before, wear gloves, even through washing any cutting board/knives and your blender!!!

  6. What would the cooking time be in an electric pressure cooker? Would I use the high setting?  I love all of your recipes that I have tried. Thank you

  7. I had the same problem with the printing that the previous poster mentioned. Fortunately, I was able to run back and forth to the computer so all was not lost.

    I made a few minor alterations (no pork/better than sour cream instead of sour cream) to make this vegan, and it was fantastic. Thank you!

  8. Saw this recipe and printed it, but the ingredients do not print completely. Only the directions print out completely.

  9. Avatar photo
    Gina @ Skinnytaste

    If you do it separate, it will taste so much better!! If u want to cook the beens I'm the crockpot first, that would work!

  10. When I make beans I throw everything in together..can I do this with this recipe since I don't own a pressure cooker or do you think I should still stick to the steps and just do as you said with cooking the beans for a couple hours until soft…Crock Pot would be nice too 🙂


  11. If I'm vegetarian, I'm leaving out the Pork Bone. Is there anything I can add to make it taste a bit better since I know it's used for flavor? Didn't know if it had a fat purpose too.

  12. Happy Birthday to your little one! How exciting!

    I will have to try this recipe for me husband. He always tells me that I don't make beans and rice enough. He'll be pleasantly surprised to see this on the table soon. Thank you. 🙂

  13. Avatar photo
    Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen

    Happy birthday to your little girl! What an exciting time! 🙂 These beans look delicious – as does the sound of the rest of the menu!

  14. I had no idea that beans were soooo beneficial. I will definitely try to incorporate them more – thanks for the lesson 🙂

  15. Avatar photo
    Gina @ Skinnytaste

    The green sauce is a little spicy, not over the top. If you don't like spicy food, leave it out.

    You can make the beans in a regular pot, you'll just have to cook them covered for about 2 hours or until soft for step one.

    The sell pork bones in the supermarket or butcher, I buy them for soups and sauce. They add nice flavor, then I discard it after. If there is meat on the bone it's ok, but that's not factored into the points.

    I use my pressure cooker a lot! But people are afraid of them or don't know how to use them. I will male a label for pressure cooker recipes for those of you who own them.

  16. Hi Gina, question: I have a pressure cooker and I noticed you do not have any pressure cooker recipes. Do you plan to in the future??? Would love some!! I do roasts, chicken, risotto etc…

  17. Avatar photo
    james and andre'a

    this sounds delicious! is it spicy with the jalapenos? thank you! p.s.) I love your blog. I get the e-mails and they're so helpful!

  18. I made this today for lunch and it was delicious! Everyone loved the sauce…though my hands are burning because I did not use gloves when chopping and seeding the jalapeños. Thanks for all your great recipes!

  19. I've been searching for the perfect satay recipe for a while now… shall have to give yours a try!

  20. Avatar photo
    Renee @ MyKitchenAdventures

    happy birthday to your baby! they grow up wayyy too fast! enjoy it while you can! and the beans look amazing! 🙂

  21. I am so happy I got to try these this weekend! They were a hit! Loved them Gee. thanks for a wonderful day, as usual… xoxo

  22. Hi Gina! Love your recipes. This looks great. If I don't have a pressure cooker, how long would you recommend cooking on just a regular stove top or even crock pot?

  23. Avatar photo
    Olga @ MangoTomato

    happy birthday to your daughter!!!! the recipe looks great. I'd just skip the soaking step and buy canned beans, but everything else: yum!