This hearty dish of Puerto Rican beans and potatoes is perfect served over rice for a complete vegetarian meal!
How many different ways are there to eat beans and rice? It is one of my favorite combinations of flavors and texture — plus it’s packed with protein!
Beans and rice ends up on my table at least once per week.
It goes like this: I have nothing in the house to eat. Oh, wait! I have beans and rice in the pantry. Annnnnd I think maybe a stray potato and onion.
Alright, so how am I going to turn $2 worth of ingredients into a meal worth eating?
Well, first let’s add a $2 red bell pepper.
Side note: Bell peppers are really expensive this time of year and it makes me very upset.
It’s amazing what a little simmer time can do to a pan of such basic ingredients.
This dish is chock full of seasonings that lend a Puerto Rican-style flavor to the beans, potatoes, and vegetables.
A whole can of tomato sauce goes in there to help create a really luscious sauce.
As they cook, some of the potatoes and beans fall apart which help to thicken the sauce. It’s like magic! But not really because it’s just cooking.
I prefer to cook my own beans, so if you’d like to do the same here’s my basic method:
Place one pound of beans in a large bowl and cover by three inches of water. Soak overnight; drain and rinse.
Place the soaked beans in a large pot along with enough water to cover them by three inches. Add a half teaspoon of kosher salt and then bring the pot to a very low boil — as soon as you see those tell-tale bubbles, turn the heat down to low. Place a lid on the pot so just about an inch of the pot is still uncovered. I do this because I don’t like to hard-boil my beans. Cooking them at a simmer helps them retain their color and skins.
Simmer the beans for 45 minutes. Uncover the pot and cook for another 20 to 30 minutes; until cooked to your liking.
You can of course also use an electric pressure cooker which really cuts down on cook time.
I love mine for those times when I forgot to soak my beans!
If you prefer, you can use canned beans in this recipe instead. Just swap out the 3 cups of cooked beans for two cans of beans.
The measurement isn’t *exactly* the same but it’s not going to hurt anything in this recipe.
Confession time: I completely forgot to add the sour cream to the bowl before I took the pictures.
Served as shown, these Puerto Rican beans and potatoes are entirely vegan. Feel free to eat it that way (it’s delicious!), but for my dairy-loving friends I’d highly recommend topping the beans with a big spoonful of sour cream. It is SO tasty!
Here’s the Saucy Puerto Rican Beans and Potatoes Recipe!
Saucy Puerto Rican Beans and Potatoes Recipe
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 yellow onion - diced
- 1 red bell pepper - diced
- 1 jalapeno - seeds and stem remove, minced
- 1 medium russet potato - peeled and diced
- 2 cloves garlic - minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup minced cilantro stems - reserve leaves for garnish
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 3 cups cooked red beans*
- 3 cups water or broth
- 1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Garnish: avocado slices - sour cream (optional), cilantro leaves, and lime wedges for squeezing.
- Heat a 5-quart or larger lidded Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the coconut oil (it should melt and shimmer at once). Add the onion, bell pepper, jalapeno, and a pinch of kosher salt to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned; about 5 minutes.
- Add the cubed potato; stir well and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes, until the onions are mostly translucent.
- Add the minced garlic, bay leaves, cilantro stems, salt, cumin, and smoked paprika to the pot. Stir and cook for 60 to 90 seconds, until the garlic is fragrant.
- Add the beans, water, and tomato sauce. Allow the mixture to come to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Uncover the pot and turn the heat up to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally until the potatoes are very tender and the sauce has thickened (5 to 10 minutes).
- Stir in the red wine vinegar, sugar, and pepper. Taste and add salt as desired.
- Serve over rice, garnished with avocado slices, sour cream, chopped cilantro leaves, and lime wedges for squeezing.