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Frijoles negros cubanos

Introducing a delicious twist on a classic Cuban black bean recipe, passed down from my Abuelo (grandfather). This recipe features a unique ingredient substitution that adds a tangy twist to the traditional dish - ketchup instead of sugar. From my grandfather's kitchen to yours, this recipe is a true representation of the rich and diverse flavors of Cuban cuisine.

One big difference between how I prepare this recipe and how its traditionally done is the use of my Instant Pot vs the old school pressure cooker. I personally love my instant pot and to be honest a pressure cooker exploded on me once and I have PTSD since then. Despite this difference in cooking method, the flavors of the dish remain true to the original recipe, making it a perfect representation of the evolution of traditional cooking techniques.

These flavorful black beans are a versatile dish that can be enjoyed in many ways. Whether you're looking to make a hearty meal, a flavorful side dish, or a delicious snack, these beans are it. You can enjoy them as a main course with rice and a side of platanito maduros, or as a side dish with a palomilla steak and a fresh salad. They also are great as a pottage which you can easily do by throwing them in a blender. Whatever your preference, these black beans are sure to satisfy your cravings and become a staple in your recipe collection.


  • 14 oz. frijoles negro / black beans

  • 6 cups of water

  • 2 bay leaves

  • Handful of Cilantro

  • 1 1/2 tsp. Cumin

  • 1 1/2 tbsp. Ketchup

  • 1 tbsp. White vinegar

  • 1 tsp. Oregano

  • Salt & pepper to taste

  • 1 green bell pepper, diced

  • 1 small white onion, diced

  • 5 garlic cloves, minced

  • 3 tbsp. Olive oil


Add the black beans to the instant pot along with the water, bay leaves and a few cilantro leaves.

Close the lid & Pressure cook on high for 45min.

When the 45 min. are up, do a natural release.

Make your sofrito: In a sauté pan over medium heat, add your olive oil, bell peppers, onion & garlic. Cook, constantly stirring for 5-7 min. Until your onions are translucent.

Open your pressure cooker carefully and add your sofrito mix to the beans, your ketchup, vinegar, cumin, oregano, salt & pepper and stir.

Press the sauté button on your instant pot and sauté on medium heat. Let this cook for 15-20 min. until all those flavors come together and some more of the water has evaporated. Adjust seasoning to your liking.

Garnish with fresh cilantro or parsley and serve with white rice.


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