Frijoles de Olla

Hello loves.  How was your Vday?  I hope you all were showered with the love you deserve.  My day was glorious, I am still beaming from the immense loving affection and “sticky kisses,” that were abundantly gifted throughout the day.  Today I wanted to share a recipe that I have had many requests for.  When I posted my recipe for charro beans I never expected to receive such great feedback.  I had numerous emails, tweets and comments on my “brothy beans.”  Many of you know these beans as frijoles de olla.  I am pleased to share these recipe with you today.  Shall we enjoy my brothy beans?

This recipe is the base of frijoles de olla,  which can be easily adaptable to your own taste.  On days that I prefer a tomato based broth I add 2 whole tomatoes,  if I crave cilantro I add a bunch, want more garlic add it, or how about comino or oregano.  Use this base to make your taste buds happy.  These beans are perfect as a meatless meal with a garnish of cheese, a quick lunch accompanied by a piece of crusty bread for dunking or also as a base for charro beans, re fried beans or as a side to your next dish.

One tip that I would like to share with you, that was given to me by my grandmother and mother is do not add your salt until the very end of the cooking process.  Adding the salt at the beginning will only make the beans brittle and prolong the cooking time.  I have read many recipes that add the salt with the water, so is this tip true?  I don’t know or really care, for I am my mother’s daughter, I do as I am told.  (I personally strive to be half the cook my mom is so any tip is followed to the tee.)

In a pinch for time?  Add your beans to a crock pot and wake up to a perfect breakfast.  Please enjoy this versatile recipe from my family to yours, Sweet Life!


Frijoles De Olla  (brothy Beans)

by Sweet Life

by Vianney Rodriguez

makes about 5 cups beans with 2 cups of broth

  • 1 pound pinto beans
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 onion
  • epazote (optional)
  • 8 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  1. Clean beans, remove any bits or broken beans and place in bowl.  Rinse beans under cold water until water runs clear and drain.  Place in a large heavy stockpot, add water.  Add onion, bay leaves, garlic and bring to a boil.
  2. When the beans have reached the boil stage, reduce heat ,cover and simmer for about 1  1/2 hours.  If needed add more water to your pot, you want at least 2 inches of water at all times covering your beans. This will help to
  3. Create your broth.  At the end of 1  1/2 hours , check the texture of your beans.  They should be soft, not mushy or falling apart.  Remove the onion and add salt to taste.  Serve in large bowls and garnish with cilantro, tomatoes, crema or a sprinkle of queso fresco.

Perfect for charro beans or refried beans.  Have leftovers? Simply freeze for another meal.  Thaw in fridge overnight when ready to use.




  1. says

    Did you say crockpot?? Interesting idea for breakfast… since I now need to wake up at 5 am to catch my train into work I may have to try this :)
    Thank you

  2. says

    Hello Bonnie…good to see you enjoying beans again…I just finished making two varieties tonight ;o) Need them to keep my iron levels up!
    I don’t add salt in the water unless I’m making a soup…then I add it at the very end. I rather add salt into the preparation. I think Mom was right.

    I get the feeling your daughters will be looking up to you the way you do your Mommy 😉

    Have a wonderful week,

  3. says

    Every time I open this up, I don’t recognize you with your new face lift!
    Lovely yummy nutritious, delicious and economical recipe. You have heard me say this before – but you are singing my song. It looks really yummy!

  4. says

    Bonnie, these looks delicious! And I can understand why so many people responded well to your charro beans. They are delicious and healthful. Plus, beans are inexpensive-the perfect food really (smile but seriously)!
    Oh, and your tip is absolutely true on a chemical level. Salt causes for rupture of the skin, which is why so many people stew beans that quickly break open. Their end result is kind of an ugly, frothy pot of beans (still edible but ugly;) due to the salt being added in early rather than at the end of cooking. It’s true:)!

  5. says

    I would enjoy this even in the hottest weather… it looks and sounds, and I know, so good….forgive me, but Mardi Gras has started and there are even fewer hours in each day… that does not mean I do not wish I could spend my time enjoying your posts, but that I am probably working to make festive times happen for others… don’t forget me even if I am silent… good cooking and to those in the know, Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez!

  6. says

    I am all about bean-filled soups and stews lately and this seems perfect! Just give me a good piece of bread and a bowl of this and I’ll be all set.

  7. says

    So simple…yet so delicious! I love frijoles de olla, but I never knew they required so few ingredients. And I have heard that it is best to add salt at the end. Always trust grandma! Thank you for sharing yourself with me tonight. Your words and recipes always bring me joy.


  1. […] iron skillets, topped with cheesy masa harina and baked until golden. Serve them with a side of warm beans or over a bed of greens drizzled with creamy avocado sauce and sliced radishes for a comforting meal […]

  2. […] have been eating pico de gallo for as long as I can remember.  A heavy dose on my bowl of piping frijoles de olla, over a plate of enchiladas, with my morning eggs or on a plate of carne guisada this salsa fresca […]

  3. […] Epazote – can be found fresh in your produce aisle.  I do not suggest using dried for this cocktail.  Epazote like cilantro, for many people is an acquired taste.  If this is your first encounter with epazote, begin with one leaf. Some say the younger the leaf the milder the taste.  Epazote is widely used in making frijoles de olla.     […]

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