Frijoles de la olla are a staple in the Mexican cuisine. The recipe is very easy to follow and if you like Mexican food then definitely you should give it a try! Because this dish is a complement for almost every Mexican recipe out there.
With this easy recipe, I assure you, you won’t have to use beans from a can anymore.
What are frijoles de la olla?
Frijoles de la olla is a basic dish widely used in Mexican gastronomy. The dish consists basically of dried beans boiled until tender and then used in different traditional dishes.
The name comes from the pot where they’re cooked: Olla de barro (clay pot). Even though other types of pots can also be used to prepare this dish.
There’s not only one way for preparing frijoles de la olla. Depending on the zone of the country, some extra ingredients are added to enrich the flavor. For example Epazote, onions, garlic, cilantro, bay leaves, etc.
There are more than 70 types of beans in Mexico, among those the most popular are pinto, bayo, flor de junio, peruano and negros (black beans).
Frequented Asked Questions
How long should beans cook
Depending on which method you use, beans can take from 35 minutes to up to 6 hours to cook. Refers to the “Cooking Methods” section below for more info.
Will my beans get tough if I add the salt too soon?
No, adding salt at the beginning of the cooking is not the reason why beans are tough even after hours of boiling.
Why beans are my beans tough?
This can be for 2 possible reasons: The first is that beans are old and/or poor quality, and the second is the type of beans you using. For example, black beans can take more time to cook than pinto beans.
Do I need to soak beans before cooking?
Not really. Good quality beans will cook just nicely as soaked beans. However, the soaking process helps to cook them faster.
How can I flavor my beans?
To give an extra flavor to frijoles de la olla, use different herbs and spices, such as epazote, cilantro, thyme, marjoram, bay leaves, or oregano. Garlic and onions are also popular ingredients, and some people even use pork or beef bones to flavor beans.
How To Cook Frijoles de la Olla
There are various ways for cooking de la olla beans at home. You can choose the one that is more convenient for you.
In a regular pot (olla)
Cooking time: Anything between 75 and 90 minutes (depending on the type of beans you using). You should check up that beans are always covered with liquid, and stir from time to time. The tradition calls for a clay pot, but of course, you can use any pot you have available at home.
In an Instan Pot / pressure cooker
Cooking time: 35 minutes at high, then naturally release for 20 minutes. Just make sure you add salt only after beans are cooked.
The Step by Step Recipe
The night before clean and wash very well the beans. Place them into a large bowl and cover them with water for at least 6cm (2,5 inches). This is important as the beans will absorb a lot of liquid and they should remain always covered.
TIP: Add two teaspoons of baking soda to the water. This will help to soften the skin on beans and allow them to cook faster.
The next day in the morning you’ll notice that they are fully soaked. So discard the water and give them a good rinse under running cold water.
Place beans into the pot where you will cook them. In this recipe, I am using a crockpot, but as I said, you can also use an Instant Pot.
Add garlic, onions, and salt. Pour water to cover them for about 4 cm (1,5 inches) and cook in high for about 4 hours.
Once beans are cooked, discard the onion and garlic. Adjust salt to taste and that’s it! Your frijoles de la olla are now ready to use them as you prefer.
How to eat
Once frijoles de la olla are ready to eat, they can be consumed in various ways: As a simple main dish with various toppings (cheese, salsas, vegetables, etc.) or as a side dish for other meals like adobo pork ribs, carne guisada, etc.
My favorite way of eating frijoles de la olla is adding crumbled queso fresco on top, some pico de gallo, or my favorite salsa de molcajete, and then scooping all goodness with warm blue corn tortillas.
- Refrigerator: Place cooled beans in a large container and cover. Consume them within 5 days.
- Freezing: Leave the beans to cool down completely. Discard any extra ingredient you added for the cooking (onions, bay leaves, garlic, etc). Freeze in a single portion or divide in various containers. Last up to 6 months.
- Room temperature: Simmer frijoles de la olla leftovers for 5 minutes at medium-low heat. Leave them untouched until next day. Repeat for up to 5 days in cold temperatures, and up to 3 days in warmest months. Also, once you have boiled the beans, you shouldn’t mix them until next day or they will spoil, if you need them before 24 hrs, just simmer again.
Other Mexican Beans Recipes
- Frijoles Refritos – A simple and easy recipe for traditional refried beans.
- Chorizo Beans – Get those refried beans to the next level by mixing Mexican chorizo, a delicious recipe yet so simple to make.
- Charro Beans – Those frijoles charros are flavorsome and a perfect side dish for your carne asada.
Frijoles de la olla recipe
- 2 ¼ lb dry beans (pinto, bayo or other type)
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 small onion
- The night before clean and wash very well the beans. Place them into a large bowl and cover them with water for at least 6cm (2,5 inch).
- The next day in the morning discard the liquid where beans were soaked and give them a good rinse with cold water.
- Place beans into the pot where you’ll cook them. In this recipe I am using a crockpot.
- Add garlic, onions and salt. Pour water to cover them for about 4 cm (1,5 inches) and cook in high for about 4 hours (or 6-8 hrs in low).
- Once beans are cooked, discard the onion and garlic. Adjust salt to taste and that’s it! Your beans are now ready to use them as you prefer.
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