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Island Red Beans (Habichuelas Coloradas Grandes)

Cilantro, chiles and garlic add rich flavor to kidney beans in this Puerto Rican staple. Leftovers are wonderful reheated for lunch.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 50 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 30 min
  • Yield: 8 servings, about 3/4 cup each
  • Nutrition Info
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1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

4 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled

2 Anaheim or poblano chile peppers, finely diced

1 small onion, finely diced

1/2 cup packed finely chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish

4 15-ounce cans red kidney beans, rinsed (see Dried Bean Variation)

1/2 cup tomato sauce

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/8 teaspoon salt

1-3 cups water


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add garlic, chile peppers, onion and cilantro and cook, stirring, until the onion is softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add beans, tomato sauce, oregano, pepper and salt; stir to combine. Add 1 to 3 cups water. (Usually the beans are covered by at least 1 inch of water. The more ¿wet¿ you like your beans, the more water you should add.) Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Serve sprinkled with cilantro, if desired.Dried Bean Variation:To use dried beans instead of canned beans, sort 1 pound red kidney beans, discarding any debris. overnight soak: Rinse beans and place in a large bowl. Cover with cold water and let soak for at least 8 hours or overnight; drain. quick soak: Rinse beans and place in a large pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil.;