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!
More Puerto Rican Recipes You’ll Love
If you are a fan of this recipe you should try these other delicious Puerto Rican Dishes:
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.
Forgot to add 5 stars!!
Great simple recipe. As a former chef/restauranter I definitely think you did a great job with flavors and balance. I had some salsa I had recently made with smoked peppers that I used in place of the jalapeno, but otherwise used your ingredient list. Well done!
Thank you Aaron!
Excellent recipe, thank you! True confessions, I wanted to expand things for the more than six people coming for lunch, some of whom were meat eaters, so I added a bit of chorizo sausage and a pound of beef. I look forward to making it vegetarian next time. We thoroughly enjoyed this, and will definitely be making it again, next time trying it sans meat. The flavors were amazing!
Hi Jennie, so glad you loved it. Thank you for sharing your changes and for the 5 star rating!
Oh my goodness. I completely did not see the recipe rating before I sent you my review last week. Is there anyway we can correct that? I want to give, as you deserve, the 5 star rating. I apologize for not seeing the rating right above the comment box.
Hi Alim, yes, we can do that. Thank you! – Linda