Are you looking to add some variation to your lunch menu? How about some Habichuelas blancas guisadas, the classic Dominican lunch dish, but made with small white beans? I have added some new great touches that you'll appreciate while retaining all our criollo flavors.
Why we ❤️ it
We can have beans on our table nearly every day of the week for lunch, and habichuelas guisadas is one of our favorite bean lunch recipes. A flavorful stewed bean dish, with an abundant creamy sauce that we love served with a plate of steaming white rice.
But when we're looking to add some variety to our meals, we reach for other beans and legumes we love, like habichuelas negras, guandules, lentils, and this stewed small white beans recipe. You'll love the combination of herbs, spices, and vegetables. And by adding a bit of chorizo, even serve it as a stew with rice as a full meal.
What are small white beans?
In English, small white beans can be also called white pea bean, Boston bean, navy bean, haricot, pearl haricot bean, white pea bean, or pea bean.
They are known as habichuelas blancas or judías in the Dominican Republic, while in Spain they are called alubias blancas.
Typically, habichuelas guisadas do not contain potatoes, carrots, or meat. This is why in the recipe we give you the choice to leave them out and cook them in the traditional manner.
Ingredients and habichuelas blancas guisadas (stewed small white beans).
Typically, we'd serve habichuelas guisadas with arroz blanco (white rice) or locrio, but I'd stick with white rice in this case. If you add chorizo (or substitutions suggested above), I would not serve a meat dish.
I loved some fritos maduros (fried ripe plantains) with it, it's a great little sweet touch to balance the stronger flavors in these habichuelas.
For this recipe, you can buy dry small white beans, which is the preferred choice in the Dominican Republic. You need to boil the beans beforehand. You can find instructions to boil beans here, including instructions for a regular pot, pressure cooker, or Instant Pot.
You can use canned beans for this recipe too.
If you cannot find small white beans, you can use cannellini beans.
You can subsitute ham, or longaniza for chorizo, though in that case, you may need to add some bija (annato) powder to obtain the intense color that the pimentón in chorizo gives this dish.
About this recipe
This is a dish that is inspired by Spanish cuisine but in a way that it's still recognizable and enjoyed by Dominicans. Leave out the chorizo, carrot, and potatoes (or substitute auyama for potatoes) and you can find something similar in any Dominican campo.
How do you make habichuelas blancas guisadas? I'd love to read it in the comments.
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Habichuelas Blancas Guisadas (Stewed Small White Beans Recipe)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, (or three if you won't add chorizo)
- 1 pound chorizo, (Spanish sausage) sliced
- 2 potatoes, diced
- 4 sprigs of thyme
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 4 cups small white beans, (habichuelas blancas) canned, or already boiled
- 2 sprigs parsley, chopped
- 1½ teaspoon salt, (or more, to taste)
- ½ teaspoon pepper (freshly-cracked, or ground), (or more, to taste)
- In a medium-sized pot, or caldero, heat the olive oil over low heat. Add the chorizo, potatoes, thyme, garlic, onion, bell pepper, and carrot.Cook stirring until the onions become translucent (3 to 5 minutes).
- Add the beans, raise the heat to medium and cook while stirring for one minute. Add the water in which the beans were boiled, if it is less than 1 liter add fresh water.Cook over medium heat until the vegetables are soft. Simmer until it has a creamy broth.
- Add parsley and stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste.Remove from heat and serve, see serving suggestions above the recipe.
Tips and Notes
Nutritional information is calculated automatically based on ingredients listed. Please consult your doctor if you need precise nutritional information.
Beans are a source of vitamins, carbohydrates, and high fiber. They are also rich in iron and have a high protein content.
To boil dry habichuelas blancas from scratch, add enough water to cover the beans and boil until very tender, adding water as needed to maintain the same level. It may take an hour or more in a regular pot, and up to 20 minutes in a pressure cooker.
Habichuelas blancas are a variety of the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), in the same family as black beans, red kidney beans, pinto beans, pink beans, etc. They have a snow-white skin, lighter flesh, and mild flavor. They are most commonly known in English as Navy beans or small white beans.
Not all white beans are the same. Some types or white beans are small white beans (pea beans or navy beans), fagioli bean, butter beans (or butterbeans), great northern beans (great northerns or large white beans), black eyed peas (with a small black dot on them), and white kidney beans. They can all be used to make stews, soups, salads, and other dishes.
For most dishes, you can substitute white beans for cannellini beans, though the texture may change some. They both have a similar mild flavor and appearance.
Published Dec 21, 2005, revised