Skip to content
Puerto Rican Style Stewed Pinto Beans
Puerto Rican Style Stewed Pinto Beans

This recipe calls for “culantro,” which can be found in Hispanic or Asian markets. This herb is the heart and soul of the Puerto Rican sauce called “sofrito.” Commonly, it is chopped and added to beans, stews, and rice preparations.     


2 cups pre-soaked dried pinto beans (see Notes)
3 cups water
1 cup pumpkin squash (my favorite is Kabocha squash)
1-2 chopped carrots
1 bunch chopped fresh cilantro
2 scallions/green onions
3 chopped culantro (recao) leaves (see Note above)
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 crushed garlic cloves
1 teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground cumin

1. Place the beans in a pressure cooker with enough water and cook for about 5-8 minutes (follow the instructions on your pressure cooker). If you would like to cook the beans in a regular pot, use 4 cups of water and boil them until they are soft, this may take at least an hour. If using canned beans, avoid this step, and make sure they are “no salt added”.

2. Once ready, remove the lid and add the squash, carrots, half of the bunch of cilantro, and the rest of the ingredients except the scallions. Allow to cook over medium heat until the squash and carrots are soft. Turn the stove off, add the other half of the cilantro bunch and the scallions. Let this sit for five minutes and serve. Preparation takes around 20 minutes.

Notes: How to soak dried beans: Cover beans with water (two inches higher than the beans). Soak for 8 to 10 hours. Drain and rinse before using.

Joanna Frey
Joanna Frey

Dra. Joanna Frey is the co-founder and co-director of Clinica Back to the Garden, located in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The clinic boasts the only physician supervised fasting and education center in Latin America. Dra. Frey gives lectures and webinars on healthful living, and has written two recipe ebooks. Along with her husband Dr. Asa Frey and son Asher, she has been practicing healthful living, and has eaten a diet exclusively derived from whole plant foods (without added salt, sugar and oil) for the past eight years.

For more information:
Ebook: Recetas Esenciales (en Espanol)
Phone: 787-282-7865 (we speak English)

Welcome to the new home of the National Health Association!
If you are an existing member, you will need to reset your password in order to log in and take advantage of all the great benefits being a member provides—which now includes the ability to update your own contact information (address, phone number, email, upload a picture and much more). Please start by clicking the Register/Log In button and follow the instructions on that page. Once your password is reset, you will use your email address as your username. You no longer have or need a Member Number. Please contact us if you have questions—and thanks for your support!