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Photo credit: flickr/P Luca

Laia’s Puerto Rican Beans

For the love of Goya.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Puerto Rican
Servings 4


  • A couple glugs of olive oil
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 heaping tbsp sofrito available in Latino markets or online
  • 1 heaping tbsp recaito available in Latino markets or online
  • 1 14 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 14 oz can of red kidney beans
  • 1 ham bouillon cube
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 potato cubed small


  • In a medium saucepan heat olive oil and sauté the garlic and onions until they become translucent
  • Add the recaito, sofrito and tomato sauce and stir.
  • Add the beans, then fill up the can ¾ with water and add.
  • Add bay leaves and bouillon cube.
  • Once dissolved, add in potato cubes. Pumpkin is a good option too, but I never include it in my beans because I never have pumpkin in my house!
  • Bring the concoction to a boil, then simmer. I like to put the beans on first and then start cooking the rice and whatever protein I am serving on the side — chicken or pork chops usually — so the beans simmer a long time.
  • Enjoy! And enjoy for several days! The beans will be better a day after cooking.


Pro tip: If you love yellow rice, boil your rice with a saffron packet for prime deliciousness. Also, use a thicker medium-grain rice — the jasmine and long grain don’t hold up as well.