International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Frijoles de la Olla

Frijoles de la Olla (Mexican beans in broth)

(Mexican beans in broth)

Average: 3.4 (25 votes)

Frijoles de la olla, or beans in a pot, are good in burritos and tacos, on tostadas or on their own as a side dish. These slow-cooked, creamy beans are traditionally made in a bean pot, or olla.

4 to 6 servings


  • Lard, salt pork or oil -- 2 tablespoons
  • Onion, chopped -- 1
  • Dried beans, any variety, rinsed and soaked overnight -- 2 cups
  • Salt -- 1 to 2 teaspoons


  1. Heat the lard, salt pork or oil in a large saucepan over medium flame (the salt pork until it renders its fat). Add the onions and saute until just translucent.
  2. Stir in the soaked beans and enough water to cover beans by about 1 inch. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 1 to 2 hours, or until the beans are cooked through and tender. Add water as needed to keep the beans covered.
  3. Near the end of the cooking time, stir in salt to taste.

Frijoles de la Olla Variations

  • Feijão Preto (Brazil); Caraotas Negras (Venezuela): Use black beans.
  • Frijoles Borrachos (Drunken beans): Use pinto beans and substitute one bottle of beer for some of the water. Crumbled bacon is also sometimes added. Popular in northern Mexico.
  • Different beans are popular in different regions of Mexico. Pintos are most common, but in the Yucatán, black beans are favored.
  • When using black beans, Mexican cooks often add epazote, a pungent herb, to the pot. Epazote can be found both fresh and dried in the Latin markets. Use a sprig of fresh or a big pinch of dried.
  • Crumble some Mexican cheese over the top before serving if you like.
  • Throw a clove or two of garlic into the simmering beans for added flavor.
  • Add a whole fresh or a chopped pickled jalapeño to give a kick to your beans.


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