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Joined: Oct 1999
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Stewed Beans can be made with many different legumes. In Belize however, it is made with Red Kidney Beans. You can add some type of salt meat like pigtails, ham, brisket or sausages or you can leave them bare. I like to add Polska Kielbasa to the beans along with one large Jalape�o pepper placed in the pot right at the end.

Belize Style Stew Beans Recipe

In Belize stew beans are the start of many traditional meals and many Belizeans enjoy beans at three meals a day. This stew beans recipe can be paired with dozens of Belizean foods: stew beans and rice, with stew chicken, or with fried plantains for example. Or stew beans with scrambled eggs for breakfast. Or stew beans with johnny cakes. The list goes on and on. Think: Bubba from the film Forrest Gump and his amazing list of what you can do with shrimp. Belize News Post can guarantee there are more Belizean meals served with a variation of stew beans than you can imagine.


For the best Belizean Stewed Beans clean your beans!

The recipe for Belizean Stew Beans is incredibly simple. Prep time is about 5 minutes, and cook time is approximately 4 hours.


  • 1 lb Dried Fresh Beans (beans that float are not fresh), Kidney Beans, or Black Beans
  • Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 Onion
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1/2 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Salt
  • Salted Pork or Several Slices of Bacon (for flavor)

These beans did not pass quality control for Belizean Stew Beans.


Optional salted pork: flavor country.


The beans are ready to stew.

Recipe Instructions for Cooking Belize Style Stew Beans

  1. The first step is choosing your beans. You may choose any kind of bean but in Belize the options are typically limited to black beans or red kidney beans. Use red kidney beans if you intend to make Belizean Rice and Beans. Or “long-water” beans and rice. Use black beans if you would like to make some perfect Belizean garnachas later.
  2. Step two: CLEAN YOUR BEANS. Rinse the beans, cover them with cool fresh water. If it floats it’s got to go. If it’s cracked it’s also got to go. If it’s not a bean take it out (rocks, pebbles, dried up old beans). Don’t be surprised if you end up with a lot of rejects.
  3. A side note: Belize News Post can attest to Belizean diversity on so many levels. It is pretty easy to think of what makes Belizeans uniquely different from each other. But one thing that brings all together is cleanliness: Belizeans are clean freaks. You would be hard pressed to find a smelly Belizean. Growing up I had friends who would take a bath before playing the sweatiest games of basketball to avoid being smelly. Likewise Belizeans take extra care with food preparation. In this case even the most processed, quality controlled beans are subject to the Belizean due diligence to make them clean. The truth is, in Belize processed beans are a new thing. There was a time when the beans in the market came from a farmer. Fresh and often with some pebbles.
  4. In Belize the next step is to soak your beans for several hours or as long as over night. If you do they cook faster. We skipped this step because we wanted to eat: TODAY!
  5. In a large pot for added taste you may fry some bacon or salted pork (something like a cured salted pig tail) in the pot where you will boil the beans. This is for flavor, and luxury. But then again the ratio of beans to water in Belize can be a luxury. You decide. We like cooking beans in a gallon or five litre enameled cast iron pot.
  6. If you opt out of using bacon or pork because you a traditionalist or a vegan: add enough veggie oil to the botton of the pot to just coat the bottom and prevent sticking.
  7. Add the CLEAN beans to the pot.
  8. Add at least enough water to the pot to cover the beans. For 1lb of beans we added about 8 cups of water.
  9. Bring the pot to a boil, then lower the temperature to a simmer. You want high heat without over boils. Let the beans simmer and stew for several hours. We like to cook the beans about 3 hours. Cook time will depend on the quality of your beans freshness.
  10. Keep an eye on the pot, you may need to add some water if it cooks too low. Avoid burning your beans.
  11. Once the beans have cooked and are soft enough to eat: season the beans. Add the diced onion, garlic, and salt to taste. Salt will depend on if you used bacon or salted pork. SALT TO TASTE.
  12. Let the cooked an reasoned beans rest about an hour before enjoying them with flour tortillas. The beans will need some time to soak up the seasoning.

The stewed beans are ready to season.


Perfect Belizean stew beans ready for eating.

Belize News Post

Marty #433747 03/22/12 10:49 AM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 5,563
Has anyone ever used Chaya (the green leaf stuff) in their beans?
I have lots of it growing all over the place and other than in scrambled eggs I don't know how to use it. I did use it in a stew one time and it was ok.

Take only pictures leave only bubbles
Marty #433768 03/22/12 01:57 PM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,465
Hi Harriette,...Since you have an abundance you could cook some up in Olive oil and Garlic.....Heat a Flour Tortilla, pile the Chaya high add tomato slices, some Mozarella, salt and pepper and make yourself a healthy Chaya Wrap....Mmmmmm it must be lunch time somewhere

My friends call me Judyann
Marty #433769 03/22/12 02:10 PM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 176
Harriette, can you take a photo for me I am not sure what Chaya is.
Mary Mooney

Marty #433793 03/22/12 09:16 PM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 6,266
There is a dish with chaya and masa that is sublime. Darn, can't remember the proper name. Will try to recall and let you know.
Also fantastic in the cream cheese/sour cream dip that is usually made with frozen spinach.
Jeff at Rojo makes an amazing chaya pesto --- one of his best creations.

To the uninitiated reader -be careful - some chaya hurts your hands big-time. Wear gloves. After you wash and steam it, it's fabulous (and the hurt is gone). Like spinach but much better. Wonderful stuff but the first time you experience the "hurt" it's amazing and nothing you want to experience twice.
Big soft green leaves shaped a bit like sumak or oak, but much larger. Grows bushy, hates wind.

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,392
Marty Offline OP
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How to Make Belizean Rice and Beans

Rice and Beans is one of the most popular foods in Belize. In fact, it is a meal that is prepared every Sunday by many Belizeans country wide. If you visit any restaurant in Belize that specializes in Belizean food, you will definitely find rice and beans with stew chicken and potato salad in the menu.

Rice and beans is considered a creole dish and has been described as the "staple of Belize cuisine". Here are the instructions and ingredients on how to make delicious rice and beans.


1 lb. Red Kidney Beans
2 cloves Garlic (crushed)
1 tsp. Salt
1 cup coconut Milk (either squeezed from grated coconut or bought prepared, canned, or made from powered variety)
1 tsp. Black pepper
1/2 tsp. Thyme
2 lbs. cleaned Rice
1 medium Onion (sliced)
6-8 cups of water

(optional) 1 small pigtail or salt beef or pieces of bacon


1. Wash the beans, then soak beans for 4 hours, using the 6-8 cups of water. If you are using distilled water, then soaked beans only needs 2 hours to soften.

2. Boil beans until tender, with the garlic, onion and pig's tail/or salted beef or bacon pieces. Note: pre-wash the pigtail or salt beef and cut off excess fat. You can use a pressure cooker to cut down on the time.

3. Season beans with black pepper, thyme and salt. Note: You may opt not to add the salt if you used salt beef or pigtail above.

4. Add coconut milk. Stir and then let boil.

5. Add rice to seasoned beans. Stir, then cover. Cook on low heat until the water is absorbed and rice is tender. If necessary, add more water gradually until rice is tender. Note: Usually, one cup of rice absorbs two cups of water, although rice grains can vary in the amount of water they absorb. To warm up leftover rice-and-beans, you can sprinkle with water to re-moisten.


Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,392
Marty Offline OP
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Belizean Rice and Beans Made in the Pressure Cooker

I show you how to go from dried uncooked beans to perfect rice and beans in less than an hour.

Rice & Beans

1 lb. red kidney beans
1 medium onion sliced
2 lbs. rice
1tsp. Black pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
1 tsp. Salt
2 plugs garlic ( crushed)
1 dried coconut (grated)( to give 1 cup milk)
6-8 cups water


1.Wash hands
2.Collect all ingredients
3.Soak beans for 4-6 hours
4.Boil beans with garlic , onion, until tender.
5.Season soften beans with black pepper , thyme & salt
6. Add coconut milk. Stir & taste. Let boil
7. Clean /Wash rice
8. Add rice to seasoned beans . Stir , then cover. Cook until water is absorb or rice is tender. If necessary add more water gradually and continue cooking until rice is tender


How To Make Belizean Rice & Beans

Rice and beans is considered by many as the foundation of Belizean Cuisine. Typically served with your choice of meat and served with a side of potato salad/cole slaw and fried plantains, you're sure to find this savoury dish being served in households, restaurants and food stalls across Belize.

Cooked in coconut milk to delectable perfection, rice and beans is a dish prepared with both skill and passion. While it doesn't take a renowned culinary chef to make it, Belizeans of almost every culture have added their unique spin to this dish that is sought after by both international travelers and locals alike.

Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 30 - 45 mins
Makes/Servings: 5


1lb dry red beans
5 pods garlic
1 lg onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp fresh minced parsley
1 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 cups rice
2 cans coconut milk
3 tbsp coconut oil


Rinse and drain beans. Add 4 pods garlic and put in a large pot.

Bring to a boil and cook until beans are tender.

Stir fry remaining garlic, onions, pepper, celery and bay leaf.

Continue simmering 1 � hours or until beans are soft.

Add parsley, salt, and black pepper (if needed).

Pour beans into medium size pot.

Wash rice and add to beans in the pot.

Add 2 cans coconut milk and 3 tbsp coconut oil to cover rice.

Add salt to taste.

Cover and cook on low to medium heat for 45 minutes, or until rice is tender.

Serve with your favorite choice of meats including whole fish, lobster, stewed chicken or beef, with a side of potato salad or cole slaw, fried plantains & a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.

We take this time to thank our friends at Grace Kennedy Belize Ltd. for sharing this recipe. For more Belizean Recipes, visit

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,392
Marty Offline OP
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Belizean Stew Beans | Vegan Option

This is the easiest way to make Belizean Stew Beans. No pigtail, ham or salt meat makes the option vegan.

Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 9
Try this tasty salad recipe.
Pea salad with cheddar cheese, smooth parsley, sour cream is definitely a spring or summer dish. It is simple, tasty, light.
Crispy onions, fresh vegetables, astringency of mayonnaise and piquant cold meat. Very tasty! Alternatively, you can add cool eggs to it.
Pea Salad With Canned Peas
[Linked Image]


How To Make Belizean Stew Beans & White Rice
Belizeans eat a lot of red kidney beans and white rice. Sometimes it's cooked together to make a dish called rice and beans, but most of the time we cook the beans and the rice separately and pair them with kind of meat.

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,392
Marty Offline OP
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Recipe from 1980 Belize Hospital Auxiliary Cook Book

by Helen Gabourel

1 c. Red Kidney beans,
1 c. thick coconut cream,
1 onion sliced,
1 clove garlic (optional),
2 c. rice,
1/4 lb. salted meat (cut into small pieces)
salt and pepper to taste.

METHOD: Soak beans overnight in enough water to cover. Boil until tender and whole, adding salted meat and garlic when almost tender. Add cream, onion and seasonings. Wash rice and add to beans. Cook over gentle heat until liquid is absorbed. Stir gently with a fork, and add a little water from time to time, until rice is cooked. Serve hot with a meat dish. Beans may be made tender in a pressure cooker.

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