Buttery, creamy and lesser known Peruvian beans, or frijoles peruano, are a type of Mexican yellow bean. You can make and enjoy peruano beans just as you would pinto beans. Amigos, this is the BEST peruvian beans recipe because it’s not only delicious but so quick and easy to make in the pressure cooker.
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Peruvian Beans or Frijoles Peruano
Peruvian beans, or frijoles peruano in Spanish, are small yellowish color beans.
In Mexico they are also known as frijol mayocoba — actually, sometimes in English you’ll see them labeled as mayocoba beans. Another English name for these is canary beans or Peruvian canary beans.
Some people can mistake cannellini beans for peruano beans. They are not exactly the same but can be swapped for one another in soup recipes. Just notice that the peruvian will not be white beans when cooked, they turn a medium-light brown color.
It’s believed that these beans originated in South America, the Andes Mountains regions of Peru. Hence the name “Peruvian Beans”.
But what is also true is that peruvian beans are also common in Mexican food, particularly that of Central and Southern Mexico.
My family is from Central Mexico but we mostly grew up eating pinto beans. Since moving back to Mexico, Southern part to be specific, peruano beans have become a staple in my kitchen, just like black beans.
Where to Buy Them
You can find these beans both dried and canned in Latin food markets or Mexican grocery stores.
In the US the more popular brand that sells them is Goya. Check out other brands available in your local market. If not there’s always Amazon too.
What do Peruvian Beans Taste Like
Frijol peruano is know not only for it’s yellow color but also for its mild flavor and creamy texture when cooked.
They have a thin skin but don’t fall apart like some other small beans.
Peruvian beans can be cooked and eaten just like any other Mexican beans. You can boil them and mash or refry them just like any other type of bean in Mexican cooking. I feel that peruano beans have a slightly more buttery texture than either pinto or black beans. Don’t get me wrong they are all delicious in their own right.
Ingredients Needed for Making Peruvian Beans
You’ll notice that the list for these beans is quite similar to other Mexican bean recipes I’ve previously shared. If you want to experiment or learn more I highly suggest you read my “Mexican Beans From Scratch” article.
- dried peruvian beans
- white onion
- bay leaf
(I sometimes add one or two serrano peppers to my bean recipe). Or you could simple add ground black pepper.
You can also swap the bay leaf for cilantro or just omit it.
I sometimes like to use epazote for cooking my beans. It adds a nice taste and is a common ingredient for cooking
I wouldn’t suggest using red onion, use white or yellow onion.
Instead of water you could add a low sodium vegetable broth if desired.
In Mexico some people like to add a drizzle of oil to the beans. It’s believe that this stops them from foaming or boiling over. This is also common for cooking beans in a pressure cooker or Instant Pot.
It’s up to you if you want to add the oil or not.
Should You Soak Peruvian Beans?
This is completely up to you.
There are people that believe that soaking the beans before cooking helps minimize gas they can cause. Other believe that soaking aids in better digestion. Lastly it cuts down the cooking time…but not by a huge amount though.
I grew up not seeing my mom soaking beans before cooking them. So I hardly ever do it and quite frankly, I hardly ever remember to do so the night before.
If you are going to soak the beans the following day make sure to drain and rinse before cooking.
How to Cook Peruvian Beans or Frijoles Peruano
Cooking beans is one of the easiest things in the World! Plus making your own is way cheaper than buying the canned stuff, which if you’re watching your salt intake is something to avoid.
This time I cooked my peruano beans I did so in my electric pressure cooker. I’ll give you instructions for how to cook peruvian beans on stove over natural gas in the recipe card below.
Step 1: Pick through the beans. This means you need to sort through them and remove any dirt, debris or damaged beans.
Step 2: Rinse. Thoroughly rinse the sorted beans and drain off any excess water.
Step 3: Add the sorted and rinsed beans into your Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker’s pot. Drop in the onion, garlic cloves and bay leaf.
Step 4: Pour in the water over the beans. Place the lid on the pot. Set valve to Sealing and select Manual mode, High Pressure for 35 minutes.
Step 5: Allow the pressure cooker to finish cooking and once the timer goes off allow to naturally release for 20 minutes or until the pin drops.
Step 6: Mix in the salt, stir and allow to sit for another 10 minutes or so. Carefully taste and add more salt if desired.
Step 7: Serve as desired or allow to cool before making refried beans.
How to Serve
You can serve these beans just like you would any other Mexican beans. They can become part of main dishes, a side dish, used in soups or stews, or even salads or for making seitan roasts.
- Make enfrijoladas with frijoles peruano.
- Make frijoles charros with them.
- Serve as a side to tacos like my broccoli tacos for extra protein in your meal.
- Mash or refry and spread on bolillo when making tortas or molletes.
- You can also serve in a bowl with all of your favorite toppings and a squeeze of lime juice, or leftover guisados like vegan carne picada.
How to Serve as Refried Beans
You can also make refried beans with these peruvian beans.
If you don’t want to dirty up any more dishes and make them in the Instant Pot, it’s doable – though these would be more like smashed than refried.
To do so remove most of the liquid but don’t discard it. Use a potato masher and begin mashing the cooked beans. Add back some of the boiling broth as needed to achieve the desired consistency. You can activate the Sauté function if you want to cook them down more.
Another option is once the beans have cooked you can pulse them in the blender until smooth.
Of course the traditional method is to heat up some oil then add the beans and fry them in the oil while mashing to desired consistency. You can check out my authentic Mexican refried beans recipe here.
How to Store
Allow leftovers to come to room temperature before storing in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Cooked beans will keep fresh in the refrigerator for about 4 to 5 days.
Peruvian Beans Recipe
If you’re a big fan of beans then you need to try these Mexican peruano beans. They are so delicious and have a different taste than pinto or black – but you can still eat them the same.
Remember that specially for us meatless people beans and legumes are an essential part of our diets. They’re an amazing way to add plant protein to our meals, they’re fantastic for digestive health and so much more.
Let me know if you make them and what you think either in a comment with a star rating below or tag me on social media. Enjoy!
The BEST Peruvian Beans Recipe (Frijoles Peruano)
- 1 6-qt Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker of choice
- 2 cups peruvian beans sorted and rinsed (also know as canary beans or mayacoba)
- 1/4 small white onion
- 3 garlic cloves whole
- 1 bay leaf
- 1.5 teaspoons salt adjust to taste
- 6 cups water
- Pick through the beans. This means you need to sort through them and remove any dirt, debris or damaged beans.Rinse. Thoroughly rinse the sorted beans and drain off any excess water.
- Add the sorted and rinsed beans into your Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker’s pot. Drop in the onion, garlic cloves and bay leaf.Pour in the water over the beans. Place the lid on the pot. Set valve to Sealing and select Manual mode, High Pressure for 35 minutes.
- Allow the pressure cooker to finish cooking and once the timer goes off allow to naturally release for 20 minutes or until the pin drops.
- Mix in the salt, stir and allow to sit for another 10 minutes or so. Carefully taste and add more salt if desired.
- Serve as desired or allow to cool before making refried beans.
Nancy Lopez is a food blogger and author of the cookbook Mexican Tamales Made Meatless. Born in Mexico, raised in the US, and currently living in Southern Mexico, she has followed a meatless diet for almost 10 years. It is her passion and mission to share all she has learned about vegan Mexican cooking and vegetarian Mexican recipes. Mexican Made Meatless is a blog dedicated to preserving the authentic flavors of Mexican cuisine just without the meat. It’s a place to celebrate Mexican culture and all it’s delightfully delicious traditional foods. Read more…