Red Beans Recipe -
Red Beans Recipe
  • READY IN 40 mins

Red Beans

Recipe by  

"Beans with pure Latin flavor. Accented with potatoes, pumpkin, ham, garlic, and cilantro, this side dish could steal the show!"

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 8 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    15 mins
  • COOK

    25 mins

    40 mins


  1. In a blender or food processor, puree onion, bell pepper, garlic, cilantro, and annatto powder. Set mixture aside.
  2. Heat a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Pour in olive oil and saute ham with pureed mixture for 10 minutes, until browned. Mix in beans, potatoes, pumpkin, water, and salt. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for approximately 25 minutes, until mixture thickens and potatoes and pumpkin are tender.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Jan 20, 2009

My mom is Puerto Rican, and I lived in Puerto Rico as a child. I have been craving the red beans and rice I remember from this period, and this recipe totally hit the spot, I am so pleased. I didn't puree anything, just kept everything at a fine chop. I used smoked sausage instead of ham, yellow squash instead of pumpkin (even though I really wanted pumpkin - it's what I remember), and I had to use two packets of Sazon Goya instead of the annatto or achiote powder (I am going to keep trying to find these). It was SO GOOD, and had the exact flavor I remember and love. Next time I make it I am going to use more liquid, my husband wanted more "juice" for his rice. I thought it was perfect as is. Excellent, excellent recipe!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Jul 18, 2011

For all you who are not latin, latin people called it pumpkin but it is NOT the Halloween pumpkin that you're thinking of and the who wrote the recipe should have stated this. It's called calabaza which is a squash. Most stores do not have it but do NOT use a Halloween pumpkin for this, substitute squash.

Mar 08, 2007

This was fantastic! It's the achiote powder that makes it so special, so don't skip it. I found a recipe online for making it. I don't know the difference between that receipe and storebought achiote powder, but it added a wonderful smoky richness. Thanks so much for this!

Jan 25, 2004

Another good recipe by itself or to get creative with. As usual, I went the creative route. I prefer my meat:vegetable ratio to lean a bit more to the vegi side, so I used a large onion, large green pepper, 9 cloves of garlic (I love garlic) a half bunch of cilantro (I love garlic almost as much as I love cilantro) and 3 potatoes. I didn't have any fresh pumpkin, so I doubled the potatoes... I actually think the pumpkin would taste great too. I also used my own seasoning rather than the annatto powder, which I didn't have. Go with your gut on that. Finally, I squeezed half a lime and added a dash of Sherry wine into the processor mix. I followed the other ingrediants and preparation method as prescribed. Result? Very good. I was impressed with the variety of flavors, without the cilantro or garlic taking over. (now to others, that might be too much, so use according to taste) Makes a great side dish. Supercords

Jan 15, 2004

Really good. I didn't have pumpkin, but I used yellow squash instead and it was great.

Jul 15, 2011

I have made this twice now. Once on the stovetop and once in a slow cooker. I loved the recipe but did not like using canned beans when dry beans taste better, are cheaper and so easy to make. Besides I'm Cuban and my mother would disown me if I used canned beans. That's like an Italian serving canned spaghettios for a special occasion. It's just not done. I soak a bag of red beans according to package directions. I've used small and kidney beans. I use the smallest bag size (1 pound I believe). I soak according to directions with only 1 variation. I only drain 1/2 of the soaking water and replace the water I removed with fresh water. I don't puree anything. I brown the meat, onions and green pepper then put in all the ingredients except the potatoes. Cooked the beans according to package directions and put the potatoes in at the end so that they wouldn't get mushy. Used butternut squash. No pumpkin available. Keeping with Cuban tradition, I had to add 6 slices of bacon cooked and chopped along with 2T of the bacon renderings. I also added 3 or 4 thumb size spanish chorizo sausage (NOT MEXICAN CHORIZO please). I peeled off the sausage casing and diced the sausage. I use exactly 8 packets of Sazon Goya instead of achiote powder. I used Sazon Goya's achiote version one time and the saffron flavor the 2nd. Both good. Since there are more beans than in the one can used in original recipe, I tripled up on the amount of veggies and meat. However, I only used one large green pepper.

May 24, 2010

This is fabulous, fabulous, fabulous! I did not have pumpkin, so I used acorn squash instead......FABULOUS! This will be the only red bean recipe I use. Thanks a million!

Mar 25, 2011

Yummy!!! I didn't have ham, but used leftover porkchops... Big mistake! I didn't think it would affect the flavor much, but it did. I also cooked them in the crockpot and substitued butternut for pumpkin. My family loved it!


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  • Calories
  • 118 kcal
  • 6%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 18 g
  • 6%
  • Cholesterol
  • 5 mg
  • 2%
  • Fat
  • 2.7 g
  • 4%
  • Fiber
  • 5.6 g
  • 22%
  • Protein
  • 6 g
  • 12%
  • Sodium
  • 465 mg
  • 19%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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