Skip to Content

11 Easy Bolita Beans Recipes (From Salads To Soups!)

11 Easy Bolita Beans Recipes (From Salads To Soups!)

Unlock these easy bolita beans recipes for tasty home cooking, along with tips on selecting beans, perfecting your dishes, and choosing delicious sides.

Bolita beans, not as common as pinto beans, are still relatively easy to find in specialty stores or online. They are a traditional bean in New Mexican and Southwestern cuisine and are becoming increasingly popular in other parts of the world.

Small and creamy-white, bolita beans typically have a slightly oblong shape and a smooth, creamy texture once cooked. This makes them ideal for soups, stews, and other recipes with a desired velvety consistency.

Bolita beans pair well with a wide range of ingredients and seasonings. They tend to absorb the flavors of other ingredients in a dish, making them a great canvas for various culinary creations.

The underrated beans can be used in a variety of dishes, both traditional and modern. They’re also prized for their delicate, creamy texture and mild flavor, making them a versatile ingredient. 

If you prefer a gentler taste and creamy consistency, bolita beans are a great choice. Here are some of the best bolita beans recipes we’ve found on the internet:

  • Soak the beans. For optimal digestibility and reduced cooking time, either soak the beans overnight or, if forgotten, boil, rest for an hour, then drain and rinse.
  • Choose your cooking liquid. Cook the beans in water, vegetable broth, or chicken broth, adding kombu to enhance digestibility.
  • Season the beans. Complement Bolita beans’ rich flavor with garlic, onion, cumin, and chili powder, but add salt or acidic ingredients only after they’re fully cooked to avoid toughness.
  • Monitor cooking time. After simmering for an hour, continue cooking the beans until they’re tender but not mushy.
  • Check the water level. Ensure the beans stay submerged in water during cooking, adding more hot water if needed.
  • Let the beans rest. Once cooked, let the beans rest in their liquid for an hour to enhance flavor absorption.
  • Use the right equipment. Use a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven for even heat distribution and to prevent the beans from sticking.
  • Saute aromatics. Saute onions, garlic, and other aromatics in oil before adding the beans to enhance their flavor.
  • Use fresh ingredients. Using fresh ingredients like onions, garlic, and herbs significantly enhances the flavor of your Bolita beans.
  • Taste as you go. Taste the beans during cooking to check for doneness and adjust seasonings as needed.

How To Pick The Best Bolita Beans

For top-quality Bolita beans, purchase from a trusted source. Here’s how to choose:

  • Check the color. Choose Bolita beans with uniform color, avoiding discoloration or dark spots.
  • Look for uniformity. Select beans of uniform size and shape for even cooking.
  • Avoid cracked or broken beans. Avoid cracked or broken beans, as they can turn mushy when cooked.
  • Check for insects or damage. Avoid beans with signs of insect damage, like holes or bugs in the packaging.
  • Consider the packaging. Ensure packaged beans have a sealed, undamaged container.
  • Buy from a reputable source. Buy fresh, properly stored beans from a reputable source.
  • Consider organic. Opt for organic Bolita beans, grown without synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.
  • Storage. Store purchased beans in a cool, dry place for a shelf life of up to a year.
  • Check for moisture. Choose dry beans, avoiding any dampness, mold, or pests that can lead to spoilage.
  • Smell the beans. Watch for any off or unpleasant odor in dry beans, as a musty or sour smell may indicate age or poor storage conditions.

Easy Bolita Beans Recipes

The red wine in the Bolita Beans recipe imparts a deep flavor and tenderizes the beans, while the smoked paprika and jalapeno add a smoky heat. Adding the wine and paprika early in the process maximizes their flavors and thicken the sauce.

Ingredients include: Dried bolita beans, lard, cumin, red wine, and thyme.

This straightforward Crock-Pot recipe slowly cooks bolita beans, blending spices and vegetables into a flavorful, hearty dish. It’s easy to customize, perfect for a weeknight dinner or a potluck.

Ingredients include: Dried bolita beans, chicken bouillon cubes, garlic, garni, and onion.

The Spicy Bolita Beans recipe uses a pressure cooker for a quick, reliable, and nutrient-preserving cooking method. After a 4-hour soak to reduce cooking time and improve digestibility, the beans are perfectly cooked in just 20 minutes.

Ingredients include: Dried bolita beans, garlic, onion, cumin, and oregano.

The Double Amaranth Bolita Bean Soup, ideal for a cold day, combines the hearty bolita beans and nutty amaranth grain for a flavorful, creamy texture dish. This delicious soup, enriched with purslane, is a satisfying choice for all.

Ingredients include: Dry bolita beans, veggie broth, onion, garlic, and cumin.

The Bolita Bean Salad stars small, creamy, and nutty bolita beans, enriched with protein and fiber for a healthy, satisfying meal. Enhanced with corn, tomatoes, and a splash of lime juice, this versatile recipe can be easily customized to your preference.

Ingredients include: Bolita beans, tomatoes, cucumber, lime juice, and cilantro.

The Bolita Beans recipe uniquely roasts beans in the oven for a smoky flavor and cooks them in bacon fat for added taste. The use of dried beans and adobo sauce, made with smoked paprika, garlic, and vinegar, ensures a rich, complex flavor, while cooking in their own liquid keeps the beans moist and flavorful.

Ingredients include: Bolita beans, bacon, tomatoes, ketchup, and mustard.

The Clay Pot Frijoles recipe slow-cooks beans in a clay pot, blending flavors and softening the beans for a hearty winter dish. Its simplicity and the addition of pork for extra flavor make it easy and appealing even for beginner cooks.

Ingredients include: Bolita beans, garlic, olive oil, epazote leaves, and cumin powder.

Crispy Bean Cakes recipe is a versatile, easy-to-make dish perfect for a quick meal or brunch. Fried until golden and crispy, these cakes feature the unique flavor of New Mexico’s native juniper berries and pair well with your favorite dipping sauces.

Ingredients include: Cooked beans, sage leaves, shallot, dried sumac, and juniper berries.

Chicos, a traditional New Mexican dish, uses dried corn, steamed in the husk and dried, for a unique flavor and texture. Despite the lengthy preparation involving overnight soaking and hours of simmering, the resulting stew, enriched with bone-in pork roast, garlic, and red chile pods, is a hearty, flavorful celebration of dried corn.

Ingredients include: Chicos, garlic, onion, red chili pods, and bone in pork roast.

The Bolita Bean and Beef Soup recipe features nutty-flavored bolita beans and red wine, which adds depth to the soup’s flavor and tenderizes the beef. With the addition of various vegetables and straightforward steps, this recipe is an easy-to-make option for busy and beginner cooks.

Ingredients include: Butter, red bell pepper, celery, all purpose flour, and dried basil.

The slow-cooked heirloom bean recipe offers a flavorful, hearty dish, a great choice for a chilly winter day. Using unique and flavorful heirloom beans, passed down through generations, this recipe delivers a satisfying meal unlike any other.

Ingredients include: Dry beans, carrot, celery, tomatoes, and thyme.

Delectable Sides For Bolita Bean Recipes

Here are some delicious sides to serve with bolita beans that pair well:

  • Spanish Rice. Classic Spanish rice, with a mix of rice, and spices, perfectly complements bolita beans recipes.
  • Coleslaw. Refreshing coleslaw balances bean creaminess and adds a pop of color to the plate.
  • Cornbread. Serve warm cornbread on the side, a perfect match for bolita beans with its slightly sweet taste and crumbly texture.
  • Guacamole. Bolita beans and guacamole go hand in hand, complementing each other beautifully.
  • Grilled vegetables. Marinate and grill veggies, their smoky flavors wonderfully pairing with the beans.
  • Pico de gallo. Fresh tomato salsa adds a burst of flavor and color to bolita bean dishes.
  • Chopped cilantro and onions. Use freshly chopped cilantro and onions for extra flavor and texture in bean dishes.
  • Grilled pineapple salsa. Grilled pineapple salsa with red onions and lime juice pairs wonderfully with the beans.
  • Garlic bread. Warm, garlic-infused bread is a classic accompaniment for scooping up flavorful Bolita beans.
  • Greek yogurt dip. Create a creamy Greek yogurt dip with lemon juice and dill, a perfect cooling side for the beans.

The bottom line

Bolita beans are small, unassuming beans that are often overlooked in favor of more popular varieties like pinto beans or black beans. But bolita beans are about to make a comeback, and for good reason.

Even though they may not look special, they can be used in many different dishes like soups, stews, and salads. They’re relatively inexpensive, too!

Now fire up your stovetop or slow cooker and get cooking!

More About Beans

11 Easy Bolita Beans Recipes

11 Easy Bolita Beans Recipes

These bolita beans recipes are an easy and delicious way to enjoy these creamy, flavorful beans, featuring salads, soups, and more.


  • Bolita Beans With Red Wine, Smoked Paprika & Jalapeno
  • Crockpot Bolita Beans
  • Spicy Bolita Beans
  • Double Amaranth Bolita Bean Soup
  • Bolitas Bean Salad
  • Pressure Cooker Bolita Beans
  • Clay Pot Frijoles
  • Crispy Bean Cakes
  • Chicos
  • Bolita Bean & Beef Soup
  • Slow-Cooked Heirloom Beans


  1. Pick one or more options from the Bolita Beans Recipes here!
  2. Start creating your new favorite dish.
  3. Did you make any changes to make it even better?
  4. Share this list with your friends and see what they think!

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Skip to Recipe