Frijoles de la Olla

Main Courses

By Iliana de la Vega and Isabel Torrealba

Photography by Jenna Northcutt

Makes 10 cups


Frijoles de la Olla


For 1 Batch(es)


  • 4 cups dried black or pinto beans
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil or lard
  • 1/2 white onion(s), peeled & left in one piece
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled & whole
  • Salt, to taste

Frijoles de la Olla Directions

  1. Pick through the beans to remove any dirt or stones. Place the beans in a large colander and rinse well. Cover with 12 cups of water and let the beans soak overnight.
  2. Drain the beans and place in a stockpot or large clay olla. Add the oil, onion and garlic, and 10 cups of water. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 1½ to 2 hours.
  3. When the beans are fully cooked, discard the onion and garlic and season with salt, to taste.

Recipe notes

Fast-track method: To avoid the overnight soaking, follow the steps above but instead of soaking, bring the beans to a boil and turn off the heat. Let the beans rest for 1 hour, then continue cooking over medium-low heat for about 1½ to 2 hours.