Habichuelas Colorados con Calabaza Guisado / Red Kidney Beans with Calabaza Squash

HHabichuelas con Calabaza

Habichuelas Colorados con Calabaza Guisado is a  popular Puerto Rican side dish made with red kidney beans and a Caribbean squash called Calabaza. It is a hard skinned squash with orange flesh similar to Acorn or Butternut squash, either of which may be substituted in this recipe. The Calabaza squash, which is easily found in Latin markets, adds a slightly sweet and earthy flavor to the beans. Serve over cooked white rice to create a perfect a side dish for grilled, roasted or fried meats. 


1/2 pound chunk of Calabaza

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped Cubanelle pepper (Italian frying pepper)

3 cloves garlic

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon dried cilantro

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 – 16 ounce cans red kidney beans (or if you have more time on your hands than I do, feel free to soak some dried beans)

1 – 8 ounce can  tomato sauce



Peel, remove seeds and dice the Calabaza into 3/4 inch pieces.

HHabichuelas con Calabaza


Place the diced Calabaza into a sauce pan with enough water to cover the cubes add a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and simmer for 10 minutes or until fork tender. Drain the Calabaza reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.


Place onions, green peppers, garlic and olive oil into a small food processor and pulse a few times until a coarse puree is achieved.


Place puree into a large thick bottomed saucepan and sauté for 5 minutes over low heat.


Add remaining ingredients plus the cooked Calabaza  and the reserved 1/2 cup of cooking liquid to the sauce pan and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.

HHabichuelas con Calabaza


Pigeon Pea Stew with Plantain Dumplings – Asopao de Gandules con Bolitas de Platano

This is a popular Puerto Rican vegetable stew called Asopao de Gandules con Bolitas de Platano. It is usually served over rice.



½ green pepper (large dice)

1 small onion (large dice)

2 cloves garlic

½ tsp salt

½ tsp black pepper

½ tsp dried cilantro

½ tsp dried oregano

1 tsp ground cumin

3 tbsp olive oil

¼ cup diced ham or bacon

1 tbsp capers – rinsed

12 stuffed olives – rinsed

3 cups chicken broth

1 – 8 oz. can tomato sauce

2 – 15 oz. cans pigeon peas (Gandules)

1 cup diced Calabaza or Butternut squash (½ “dice)

1 cup Batata or sweet potato (½ “dice)


2 large green plantains – peeled and finely grated

1 tbsp corn starch

1 egg white

½ tsp dried cilantro

½ tsp parsley

½ tsp salt

½ tsp black pepper

½ tsp garlic powder

Place peppers, onions, garlic, salt, pepper, cilantro, oregano, cumin and oil into food processor and puree to make sofrito. Sofrito is a Puerto Rican kitchen staple used to flavor many dishes.

Dice ham into small cubes about 1/2″.

Place 3 tbsp of sofrito and diced ham into a large stock pot and saute for about 4 minutes over medium heat.

Remaining sofrito can be frozen for use in another dish.

Rinse olives and capers in cold water.

Add olives, capers, broth, tomato sauce and pigeon peas to the pot and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to a simmer.

Peel the Batata and the Calabaza.

Dice the Batata and the Calabaza into small cubes.

Add diced vegetables to the pot  and simmer for 10 minutes.

Combine dumpling ingredients in a large bowl.

Using a small ice cream scoop, drop dumplings into pot and allow to simmer on low heat for about 1 hour with cover slightly ajar.