You’ll wonder where this recipe’s ‘bean’ all your life

Last week, I shared a recipe for tostones, or fried plantains, with you and noted that I would have the perfect main dish to go with that recipe this week.

Well, not being one to disappoint, I’m sharing a delicious dinner that we paired with our tostones for dinner.

If the fried plantains are a bit scary to you, this Puerto Rican bean dish should be a little less terrifying, and if you’re looking for a meatless meal that will still fill you up, just swap out the chicken broth for vegetable, and you’ll be in great shape.

If you’ve never had Puerto Rican beans, they’re not overly spicy, but they pack a lot of flavor. If you just look at the list of spices that go into this dish, you’ll see why immediately. If the jalapeno and cayenne make you nervous, try just tossing in a second bell pepper and leave out the cayenne. You’ll still get great results.

This comes from the blog “Immaculate Bites,” which specializes in African and Carribbean dishes. You can find it at I increased the spices and garlic in my version as well as the amount of tomato sauce.

Puerto Rican Style Beans


2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil

1 medium onion, diced (I used yellow)

1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, minced

6 cloves minced garlic

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

2 teaspoons cumin

1 bay leaf

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro or parsley

1 bell pepper, diced

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

8 ounces tomato sauce

3, 15-ounce cans small red beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups chicken broth

2 medium-sized Russet potatoes, cubed

1 packet Goya Sazon seasoning

salt and pepper to taste


Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Saute the onions until they are translucent.

Add in the jalapeno, garlic, paprika, cumin, bay leaf, cilantro/parsley, and bell pepper and stir. Let the mixture cook for a couple minutes or until the garlic becomes fragrant.

Add the cayenne pepper, tomato sauce, red beans, chicken broth, potatoes and Sazon. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer with a lid on top for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

When the potatoes are cooked, add salt and pepper to taste if needed and serve over white rice or with a side of fried plantains.

To make the rice to go with this meal, I substituted about two tablespoons of the water to make it with lime juice and also added some sprigs of cilantro to the pot while it cooked, but you don’t really need to do anything to it other than add a little salt.

This also reheated well, so if you’re looking for leftovers, make some extra rice to put in the fridge, too, for a complete meal.

If you’re not familiar with Puerto Rican dishes, get brave and try this one. You won’t be disappointed, and maybe it’ll empower you to try the plantains next.

Lindsey Young is the office manager at the Hillsboro Free Press. She can be reached at: