Frijoles de olla

Frijoles de olla, also known as Mexican pot beans, is a simple and traditional dish made with dried beans.

Frijoles de olla are Mexican-style beans cooked in a pot or clay pot (olla) with water and various seasonings. The type of beans used in frijoles de olla can vary, but they are often made with pinto beans, black beans, or Peruvian beans (Mayacoba beans).

frijoles de olla in a bowl topped with avocado slices, and red onion
Frijoles de olla or frijoles de la olla. How do you call them?

About this recipe

Frijoles de olla are a staple in Mexican cusine. They are the base of many Mexican dishes, or you can even eat them as is, right out the “olla.” They are called this because, traditionally, they were only cooked in an olla de barro (clay pot).

Today, we cook them in Dutch ovens, Instant pots, pressure cookers, etc. But if you want that authentic sabor a pueblo, ollas de barro are your best option.

How to make frijoles de olla?

The beans are typically soaked in water overnight before they are cooked in the pot with seasonings such as onion, garlic, avocado leaves (hojas de aguacate), and epazote (a Mexican herb).

Do you need to soak the beans?

Nope, shocker, I know. There is no need to soak the beans, I never soak them, and my frijoles are always perfect, but there are some benefits of soaking them.

Benefits of soaking the beans

Soaking beans before cooking can help to soften them and reduce cooking time. It can also help to remove some of the indigestible sugars that can cause gas and bloating. Soaking also rehydrates the beans, making them more evenly cooked.

How long should I soak the beans?

The length of time you should soak beans depends on the type of bean and the desired texture. Most beans should be soaked for at least 4-6 hours or overnight.

a wooden plate with black beans

Best beans to use

  • Pinto beans are known for their creamy texture and rich, hearty flavor, making them a perfect choice for this dish. They are also very versatile and can be used in a variety of other Mexican dishes as well.
  • Black beans are a good choice for making frijoles de olla. They have a rich, earthy flavor and a smooth texture.
  • Mayacoba (Peruvian beans) beans can be a good choice for making frijoles de olla; they have a creamy texture, making the dish richer and more satisfying.

It is worth noting that the recipe may vary depending on the region or the cook; some cooks may prefer to use both black and pinto beans, creating a unique and flavorful blend.

Ultimately, the choice of bean for frijoles de olla is a matter of personal preference, and you can use the beans you prefer or have on hand. Some families add onion and garlic when cooking, but we don’t.

Frijoles de olla on the stovetop

  1. Remove broken beans and stones. Rinse the beans, place them back in the pot and add enough water to cover them by about 2 inches.
  2. Add epazote into the pot if you wish. You could also add a piece of kombu or avocado leaves. Epazote and kombu are good at helping to prevent gases.
  3. Bring the beans to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for about 2 hours or until the beans are tender—season with salt before serving.
  4. Remove the epazote and discard. Serve the frijoles de la olla warm as a soup, side dish, or topping for tacos or tostadas.

Frijoles de olla in the InstantPot

  1. Rinse the beans and place them in the Instant Pot. Add enough water to cover the beans by about 2 inches.
  2. Add epazote, avocado leaves, or kombu if you wish.
  3. Close the lid of the Instant Pot and set the pressure release valve to “sealing.”
  4. Press the “bean/chili” button on the Instant Pot and let the beans cook for about 40 minutes.
  5. Once the cooking time is up, let the pressure release naturally for about 15 minutes. Then, carefully turn the pressure release valve to “venting” to release any remaining pressure.
  6. Open the Instant Pot and remove the epazote. Discard the epazote and serve the frijoles de olla warm as a side dish or topping for tacos or tostadas—season with salt before serving.
  • The cooking time for the beans may vary depending on the type of beans used and their age. It is a good idea to check the beans frequently during cooking and add more water if needed to keep them covered.
  • The frijoles de la olla can also be made in a slow cooker by following the same steps and cooking the beans on low heat for 6-8 hours.
  • Some people like to add dried chiles like chile pasilla or chile ancho to the beans while cooking. The chiles will give the beans a smokey taste.
  • Season your beans with a big pinch of salt until they are fully cooked.
frijoles de olla, 3 bowls with cooked black beans and little dishes with onions, oregano and salt.

How to serve them

Frijoles de olla are often served as a side dish with Mexican meals or as a topping for dishes such as tacos or tostadas. They can also be mashed and made into refried beans.

At home, we have them as a soup, and we usually serve them in a bowl and top them with finely chopped red onion, dried Mexican oregano, and diced avocado. We eat them with freshly made corn tortillas or homemade tortilla chips.

Frequently asked questions

frijoles de olla 3

Frijoles de olla

Alejandra Graf
Frijoles de olla, also known as Mexican pot beans, is a simple and traditional dish made with dried beans.
5 de 1 voto
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Course Basics
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 people
Calories 262 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb dried pinto beans
  • 8 cups water

Instructions
 

  • Rinse the beans and remove any small stones or debris.
  • Add the beans and water to the pot and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to low and let the beans simmer for 2-3 hours, or until they are tender.
  • Check the beans periodically and add more water if needed to keep them covered.
  • Serve the frijoles de olla with tortillas or over rice, garnish with cilantro or diced onion.

Notes

Do not add salt to your beans until they are fully cooked.
How to store beans
The best way to store cooked beans is to let them cool completely to room temperature before transferring them to an airtight container. This will help to prevent the growth of bacteria, which can cause food poisoning.
Once stored in an airtight container, I use Mason jars, cooked beans can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
You can also freeze cooked beans for up to 6 months. When freezing beans, it is best to portion them out into individual servings before freezing. This will make it easy to thaw only the amount you need at any time.
When reheating cooked beans, heat them until they reach at least 165°F (74°C) to kill off any potential bacteria that may have formed while the beans were stored.
It’s important to note that beans that are not properly stored or left at room temperature for too long should not be consumed. If you have any doubt about the safety of your beans, it’s best to discard them.
InstantPot Frijoles de olla
  1. Rinse the beans and place them in the Instant Pot. Add enough water to cover the beans by about 2 inches.
  2. Add epazote, avocado leaves, or kombu if you wish.
  3. Close the lid of the Instant Pot and set the pressure release valve to “sealing.”
  4. Press the “bean/chili” button on the Instant Pot and let the beans cook for about 40 minutes.
  5. Once the cooking time is up, let the pressure release naturally for about 15 minutes. Then, carefully turn the pressure release valve to “venting” to release any remaining pressure.
  6. Open the Instant Pot and remove the epazote. Discard the epazote and serve the frijoles de olla warm as a side dish or topping for tacos or tostadas—season with salt before serving.
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 262kcalCarbohydrates: 47gProtein: 16gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.2gSodium: 25mgPotassium: 1053mgFiber: 12gSugar: 2gVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 95mgIron: 4mg
Keyword black beans, mexican beans

information

Nutritional information of this recipe is only an estimate, the accuracy for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

Did you make this recipe?Tag @piloncilloyvainilla on Instagram and hashtag it #alecooks so we can all see your creations.
Alejandra Graf
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5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)
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