Colombian Red Beans – Frisoles Antioquenos

Colombian Red Beans – Frisoles Antioquenos are served with rice and a flavorful part of the national dish of Colombia.
Colombian Red Beans - Frisoles Antioquenos

Colombian Red Beans – Frisoles Antioquenos

by Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

Frisoles Antioquenos are said to be a part of the National Colombian dish called Bandeja Paisa which is a tray of several dishes which includes the cooked red beans, rice, avocado, tomato, and some sort of meat such as grilled steak or chorizo, and sometimes topped with a fried egg.

I had read about this recipe several years ago and the one that took most of my interest was a recipe by Erica Dinho, and from which this recipe is adapted. I served those beans with rice, carne asada and also some ranchera sauce, tomato and avocado as well as some chiles toreados.

(Recipe adapted from a recipe for Frisoles Antioquenos by Erica Dinho at

You can see some other pictures I have taken of this below, where I served the beans with rice, avocado, tomato and ranchera sauce as part of a bandeja paisa, as well as having some carne asada on the side to make a full meal (although the meat isn’t really necessary if you don’t want that much food).

Bandeja Paisa
Antioquenos Beans
Beans and Rice
Colombian Carne Asada with Mexican Chiles Toreados

You might ask yourself as you read through the recipe why on earth you would ever go to so much trouble making separate sauces and pastes just to make some beans.


But…but…but…I have to tell you in earnest that these are in fact, the very best beans I have ever eaten. Before this, I had no idea that you could go about building layer after layer of complexity in flavor in something as simple as beans. But since making this, it has just reassured me that there are ways to make even the simplest of foods even more sublime, to raise the street food of a peasant to that of a king, to really make your cooking shine.

So I do hope you take the few extra minutes to try the methods suggested in this recipe. If not, I have seen where you can buy things such as hogao sauce ready made in a jar, so you *could* cheat a little bit and save a little time if you are very busy.

But don’t cut yourself short by ignoring the ways to elevate the lowly bean to one which inspires your passion, and your palate. Doing so is the best pastime.


Colombian Red Beans - Frisoles Antioquenos

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Colombian Red Beans - Frisoles Antioquenos

  • prep 8 hours
  • cook 60-90 mins


  • 1 pound dried cranberry beans or Roman beans
  • 1 pound smoked pork, smoked turkey, or smoked ham
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 8 cups water
  • 5 carrots, whole
  • 1 green plantain, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • avocado (optional garnish)
  • chopped tomato (optional garnish)
  • steamed white rice (to serve with beans)

Alinos paste:

  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 poblano pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon achiote oil (annato oil)
  • 1/2 cup water

Hogao Sauce:

  • 15 ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Soak beans in enough water to cover overnight, then drain or do a quick soak: cover with water by a couple inches and bring to a boil; boil 3 minutes then remove from heat and allow to rest, covered for one hour before draining.
  2. While beans are resting prepare hogao sauce by bringing tomatoes, scallions, garlic, cumin, salt, pepper and oil to a boil, then reducing heat and simmering for about 20-25 minutes until mixture is like a salsa. Set aside.
  3. Prepare alinos paste by placing bell pepper, poblano, onion, cumin, coriander, water and annato oil in a food processor and pulsing until it is finely minced. Rinse your food processor right away because the annato can stain the plastic if let to sit; place paste in a stainless bowl and set aside.
  4. Place soaked beans in a large heavy pot with 8 cups water, smoked pork, ground cumin, baking soda, garlic, carrots, plantain chunks, hogao sauce and alinos paste.
  5. Bring beans to a boil and simmer, covered, for thirty minutes.
  6. Remove carrots and plantain along with about 2 cups beans and liquid. Puree this mixture in a food processor, and return to pan. Remove smoked meats and take any meat and return to pan, discarding any bone, fat or unusable gristle/cartilage.
  7. Continue to cook beans another 30-45 minutes or until beans are tender (time may vary slightly due to age of beans). It is more important that the beans be tender than to cook an exact amount of time.
  8. When beans are done, stir in the chopped cilantro, and serve beans over or alongside rice, topped with avocado or tomato (or both) if desired. As a side dish, this is said to be often served with grilled steak or carne asada, but as a main dish, it is a good rice and beans entree.

From the kitchen of

Roman Cranberry Beans
Roman Cranberry Beans Soaking
Smoked Pork
Beans Quick Soak
Meat and Beans
Preparing Hogao Sauce
Hogao after Cooking
Peppers for Alinos Paste
Alinos in Food Processor
Alinos Paste in Bowl
Peeling Plantain
Plantain and Carrots
Everything in Pot
Pulling out carrots to puree
Carrot Bean Plantain Puree
Bits of Smoked Meat
Beans are Done

Colombian Red beans - Frisoles Antioquenos

You might also like:

Mexican Shredded Beef (Machaca)

Borracho Beans

Chicken Fajitas

Beantastic Recipes for Sunday Supper


As part of the Sunday Supper Movement, I and a host of other food bloggers are pleased to present to you some of our favorite bean recipes to start the month of March like a lion. Special thanks to Tammi of MommasMeals for graciously hosting this event and working so hard to make sure all the I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed. It’s a big group and a ton of work to keep all together! Thanks so much.

Beantastic Beginners:

Bean-a-rific Soups and Stews:

Bean-a-licious Sides:

Incredi-bean Main Meals:

Amaze-beans Sweet Endings:


24 responses

  1. Looks like cranberry beans will be another addition to my pantry. What a fantastic dish and all those incredible flavors.

  2. Wish I had some of this delicious Columbian bean recipe right now! Seriously, my mouth is watering!

  3. What a fantastic recipe, and I loved reading about the background of the dish. And very interesting on the layers of flavor- I agree, it would be worth the extra effort!

  4. Sue, I truly appreciate your honoring of the history and food cultures of the world. Your yummy recipe starring Columbian red beans is no exception!

  5. My parents had Columbian friends and they would cook for us. They always made these delicious beans. I can’t wait to try them again!!

    • We make beans with just about any kind of smoked meat. There are subtle differences in flavors, but it doesn’t change the recipe overall, and it can be a great way to use a leaner meat, such as chicken or turkey, since the smokiness still imparts. I like to save bits of this or that in the freezer until I get the smoker going, then smoke it all and package it for use later. Wing tips are especially useful that way.

  6. This is very nice, and I’ve made it three times now — once on the burner, once in a slow-cooker, and once in a pressure cooker. I think 8 cups of water is too much.

  7. Just a couple of things to mention, being a person that lives in Antioquia (expat from the U.S.), I kinda have to laugh because #1, you cannot find smoked ham, much less a ham bone here, if you’re lucky you can find a couple of ounces of imported bacon for 10 bucks (I’m exaggerating but you get my drift)….nor can you find poblano chiles anywhere nor are there fire-roasted tomatoes in a can. That said, this is definitely NOT an authentic Frijoles Antioqueños recipe, although it is probably delicious, it’s an american one.

    • I would describe it is an authentic way to make the dish with ingredients in the United States. We do what we can wherever we are. 😉

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