Dominican Habichuelas

Serve these savory beans over freshly cooked rice. You can substitute a couple of chunks of peeled butternut squash for the pumpkin, and if you can't find culantro, use cilantro (which is milder in flavor).

Country of Origin
Dominican Republic
Preparation time

3 strips bacon, cut into small pieces
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 green or red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 chicken bouillon cube, crushed
1/2 tsp. salt
2 small pieces pumpkin
3 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tsp. tomato paste
1 tbsp. Sazón powdered seasoning
2 culantro leaves
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 can (15 oz.) red beans, rinsed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. In a saucepan, cook bacon over low to render out the fat, about 6 minutes. Increase heat and cook until bacon crisps slightly. With a slotted spoon, remove bacon and set aside.

2. Add garlic to bacon fat along with bell pepper, onion, bouillon cube, and salt. Stir to mix. Add pumpkin, tomatoes, tomato paste, Sazón seasoning, culantro, and oregano. Stir over low-medium heat for 1 minute.

3. Add beans, 4 cups water, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook over medium-low for 20 minutes.

4. Remove pumpkin pieces, discard rind and mash with a fork into a coarse puree. Return mashed pumpkin to pan and cook for 18 more. Add bacon.