Habichuelas con dulce is a traditional Dominican dessert made from red kidney beans. It’s enjoyed year round, but most popular during Semana Santa, or Easter. Beans are a huge part of Dominican cuisine, and it’s found in all kinds of recipes like habichuelas guisadas and moro de habichuelas.

This is an easy and simple recipe that you can recreate at home and enjoy during Semana Santa festivities or anytime you crave a taste of Dominican tradition. With its creamy texture and sweet, comforting flavors, habichuelas con dulce is sure to become a favorite.

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What is habichuelas con dulce made of?

  • Dry red kidney beans. Dry beans are traditional in this recipe, but if you’re crunched for time you can use 1 can of canned red kidney beans instead.
  • Coconut milk. Adds creaminess to the habichuelas con dulce.
  • Evaporated milk. Adds creaminess to the Dominican sweet beans.
  • Condensed milk. Brings luscious sweetness to the dessert.
  • Cinnamon sticks. Substitute for 1 tsp powdered cinnamon if that’s all you have on hand.
  • Cloves. Whole cloves give this recipe lots of natural spice.
  • Sugar. For a little extra sweetness, this is optional.
  • Salt. Just a pinch to balance the flavors in the recipe.
  • Batata. Dominican/Japanese sweet potato is traditional in this recipe.
  • Milk cookies. The cookies from the brand Guarina are the ones you’ll find in a classic habichuelas con dulce recipe, but you can substitute for animal crackers if that’s all you can find.

Caldero Pot

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

Step by step instructions

  • Soak beans in 6 cups of water overnight. Drain the beans and set aside.
  • Cook the soaked habichuelas in 3 quarts of water with a cinnamon stick for 1.5 hours over medium heat until soft.
  • Reserve 2 cups of the cooking water and drain the rest. Add the cooked beans and the reserved boiling water to a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Pour the blended bean mixture into a pot. Option to strain the bean mixture for a smoother final result.
  • Add coconut milk, evaporated milk, and condensed milk and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often to prevent sticking.
  • Add pinch of salt, sugar, the remaining cinnamon stick, cloves, and batata. Cook for 15 minutes, or until the mixture thickens.
  • Serve hot with milk cookies on top or chill in the fridge and serve cold with milk cooked on side. Buen provecho!

Recipe tips and tricks

  • Keep an eye on the habichuelas con dulce as it cooks, and be sure to stir it frequently to prevent sticking and ensure even cooking.
  • Remove the habichuelas con dulce from the heat slightly earlier than the specified cooking time if you prefer a thinner consistency. Remember that the mixture thickens as it cools, so aim for a slightly thinner consistency while cooking to get the right texture when it’s cooled.

Servings tips

  • Serve the sweet Dominican beans with milk cookies or animal crackers on the side for a classic combination of flavors and textures. You can serve them hot or cold.

Storage tips

  • Store habichuelas con dulce in the fridge for 3-4 days or freeze for up to 2-3 months, thaw overnight, then reheat gently before serving.

Common questions

Can you make habichuelas con dulce with canned beans?

Yes, you can use canned beans if you prefer. Use 1 can of canned red kidney beans, just make sure to drain and rinse them before using them in the recipe.

Can you substitute Dominican/Japanese sweet potato with regular sweet potato?

Yes, you can substitute Dominican sweet potato with regular sweet potato if you prefer. But keep in mind that it will change the flavor and texture of the recipe slightly.

What cookies are used in habichuelas con dulce?

Guarina cookies are the staple choice for a classic habichuelas con dulce recipe, but if those aren’t available you can just swap them out for animal crackers.

Do you serve habichuelas con dulce hot or cold?

Habichuelas con dulce is usually served cold, but it can also be enjoyed warm depending on personal preference.

Habichuelas con Dulce (Dominican Sweet Beans)

Habichuelas con Dulce (Dominican Sweet Beans)

5 from 1 vote
Habichuelas con dulce is a traditional Dominican dessert made with red kidney beans, coconut milk, and evaporated milk.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Dominican
Servings 4 servings
Calories 400 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup dry red kidney beans
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • ½ cup condensed milk
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 5 cloves whole
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • ½ batata diced
  • 1 bag milk cookies or animal crackers

Instructions
 

  • Soak beans in 6 cups of water overnight. Drain the beans and set aside.
  • Cook the soaked habichuelas in 3 quarts of water with a cinnamon stick for 1.5 hours over medium heat until soft.
  • Reserve 2 cups of the cooking water and drain the rest. Add the cooked beans and the reserved boiling water to a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Pour the blended bean mixture into a pot. Option to strain the bean mixture for a smoother final result.
  • Add coconut milk, evaporated milk, and condensed milk and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often to prevent sticking.
  • Add pinch of salt, sugar, the remaining cinnamon stick, cloves, and batata. Cook for 15 minutes, or until the mixture thickens.
  • Serve hot with milk cookies on top or chill in the fridge and serve cold with milk cooked on side. Buen provecho!

Nutrition

Serving: 300gCalories: 400kcalProtein: 15gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 300mgPotassium: 600mgFiber: 5gSugar: 40gVitamin A: 1000IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 200mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Beans
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