The Alicea Family’s Habichuelas

Special thanks to Stacey Alicea. 

These are great as leftovers, too! To make at least 4 servings, start with: 

  • 500 g pork shoulder (or any meat of your choice), cut into small cubes 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • ¼ cup tomato sauce 
  • 2 tablespoons sofrito sauce 
  • 1 packet sazon seasoning 
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper 
  • 1 cup canned pinto beans, drained (or 1 cup of dried beans, soaked overnight and rinsed) 
  • 1 ½ cups water 
  • Salt to taste 
  • 1 or 2 dry bay leaves 
  • 2 medium or 3 large potatoes, chopped 


  1. In a large, deep pot, heat olive oil on medium heat. 
  2. Add the meat, season with salt and pepper, and stir occasionally for 5-10 minutes as it browns. 
  3. Lower heat and add sofrito, tomato sauce, and sazon. Stir occasionally until it starts to smell good, and the colors begin to change. 
  4. Add beans, water, bay leaves, and olives (optional). Turn heat to high until it boils.  
  5. Lower heat and let simmer, cooking for at least an hour with the lid slightly open. Check for taste and add seasoning as desired. 
  6. Add potatoes; cook another 20 minutes (slightly covered). Once potatoes are fork tender, mash a few of them with a fork so the mixture will thicken. 
  7. Serve with rice and enjoy! 


  • Use leftover beans to make tacos or quesadillas the next day. 
  • Put into smaller containers and freeze for anytime.