Rice and Dominican beans are like the power duo of Dominican cooking! And growing up in a Dominican household, whether it was habichuelas negras, gandules, or habichuelas guisadas, beans were always a regular at the dinner table.

With a prep time of 40 minutes and canned beans, you can create the heartwarming flavors of Dominican beans, without the all day prep my abuela used to do using dry beans. Making Dominican beans is so easy!

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Why you’ll love this Dominican Beans Recipe

  • Authentic Dominican flavors. These habichuelas guisadas bring that true Dominican flavor.
  • Only 5 Steps. Make Dominican beans in 5 easy steps and have a delicious large pot of habichuelas guisadas in under an hour!
  • Budget friendly crowd pleaser. It’s a practical choice, you CAN eat delicious food on a reasonable budget and experience Dominican and even Puerto Rican cuisine at the same time!

Ingredients you’ll need

  • Olive oil. You can use any neutral oil you have on hand.
  • Onion. Yellow, red, or white onions will work.
  • Bell peppers. Use both green and red bell pepper if you can.
  • Garlic. Use a mortar and pestle to crush my garlic and release those flavors. Substitute for 1/2 tsp garlic powder.
  • Tomato paste.  Thickens the sauce and brings some depth, color, and richness to the beans. You can substitute fresh chopped tomatoes or tomato puree for tomato paste.
  • Sofrito. Adds a depth of flavor to the beans.
  • Sazon seasoning. For that signature Dominican flavor. I use this organic one from Loisa!
  • Adobo seasoning. The best all purpose seasoning you can get. I use this organic one from Loisa!
  • Oregano. If you can get your hands on Dominican oregano then use it in this recipe!
  • Roman beans can. You can also use a can of pinto beans, pink beans, Dominican red beans, or kidney beans. Canned is most convenient, but if you’re using dry beans then you will need about 2 cups for this recipe. For best results, soak the beans overnight before cooking to ensure they absorb enough water and cook evenly.
  • Kabocha squash. Auyama, pumpkin (calabaza), or butternut squash work too. You can skip this and use a different technique to thicken the sauce, see common questions section.
  • Fresh Cilantro. Adds flavor to the beans and brightens up the dish as a garnish.

Caldero Pot

The caldero heats things up evenly and adds layers of flavor as you go. It’s a must have for Caribbean cooking!

Recipe tips & tricks

  • Plan ahead. If you’re going to use dry beans, soak the beans overnight in water to soften them and then boil them for approximately an hour until they become tender.
  • Avoid overcooking the beans. Remember, canned beans are already partially cooked.
  • Don’t underestimate the impact of sofrito on the overall flavor and take your time to sauté it well.

Serving tips

  • Serve with white rice. Dominican beans are typically served with white rice and that’s honestly the best way to eat them! All you need are rice and beans and you’ve got yourself a delicious dish! You can pour the beans on top of the rice or on the side.

Storage tips

  • Store the frijoles in the fridge for 3-4 days or freeze for up to 2-3 months. Defrost in the fridge or microwave, then reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave, adding water if needed, and season to taste.

Common questions

What is habichuelas guisadas made of?

Habichuelas guisadas, a traditional Dominican dish, consists of red beans stewed with aromatic vegetables, tomato paste/tomato sauce, sofrito, traditional spices, and adobo seasoning. The result is a flavorful and hearty stewed bean dish, often served alongside white rice

Can you make Dominican beans without sofrito?

The dish is packed with fresh flavors from to the onions, bell peppers, and garlic, so you can simply skip it. But you may want to consider stocking up on Loisa’s organic sofrito for a convenient option for next time though!

Can you make Dominican beans without pumpkin or squash?

Yes, you can make Dominican beans without pumpkin or squash. To thicken the sauce, remove the cooked bell peppers and onion and blend until smooth, then add it back to the pot. You can also mashing or blend some of the beans along with their juice or add a couple of plantain slices to the beans as it cooks.

Which beans should you use to make Dominican beans?

You can use roman beans, pinto beans, pink beans, Dominican red beans, or kidney beans to prepare habichuelas guisadas. My families preference is roman beans, but pink beans are a great choice for their smooth texture and sweet flavor and Dominican red beans are hearty and classic. Try them all out and find your personal favorite!

habichuelas guisadas dominican beans

Dominican Beans (Habichuelas Guisadas)

5 from 6 votes
Enjoy authentic Dominican beans in your own kitchen! Make a pot of rich and flavorful habichuelas guisadas in 5 easy steps.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Dominican
Servings 4 servings


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ onion
  • ¼ green bell pepper
  • ¼ red bell pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp sofrito
  • tsp sazon
  • tsp adobo
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • 1 15.5 oz can roman beans or pinto, pink, kidney, red Dominican beans
  • cups water
  • 5 chunks kabocha squash chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 handful cilantro


  • In a pot over medium heat, combine oil, onion, bell peppers, garlic, tomato paste, sofrito, sazon, adobo, and oregano.
  • Cook until mixture turns into a paste and vegetables are beginning to soften, or about 2 minutes.
  • Add can of beans and water and mix until well combined. Bring to a boil and add kabocha squash and cilantro, then cover with lid and cook on low for 20 minutes.
  • Remove cooked onion, bell peppers, and cilantro. Remove cooked kabocha squash and mash or blend the kabocha squash until smooth, and return to pot.
  • Cook for 10 minutes, or until sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and serve. Buen provecho!
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