You’re looking at some really good slow-cooked beans here. They’re simmered until extra tender in a brilliant red broth tempered with coconut milk toward the end. The broth hums with a strong cinnamon, chipotle, and tomato foundation punctuated with cayenne pepper and Thai chiles. The broth thickens as it cooks enveloping the beans over the course of an hour or two. Make a pot and use them throughout the week!
How To Serve Slow-Cooked Coconut Beans
I love these beans soupy and straight, just after I make a fresh pot – drizzled with a bit of extra coconut milk. All bets are off after that. The flavors concentrate overnight and the broth thickens. These beans are great on tacos. You can use them in place of chickpeas in a favorite bean or veggie burger. Or make them a foundation component in a lunch bowl.
- Quesadillas: Make a quesadilla with a side of the coconut beans topped with salted yogurt, lots of sliced scallions, toasted cashews and a big squeeze of lemon.
- Grain Bowl: (pictured below) Serve a cup of your favorite rice and/or grain blend with the coconut beans on the side, drizzle with extra full-fat coconut milk. Top with sesame seeds and a bit of citrus olive oil and/or hot sauce.
- Make it a Soup: Add more water and coconut milk at the end, re-season and enjoy as a pot of soup.
Choosing Your Beans
I like to make these coconut beans with Santa Maria Pinquito beans. They deliver a robust broth that stands up beautifully to all the spices here. That said, I think King City Pink beans might work beautifully with their thinner skins and creamy tenderness. I can also imagine Mantequilla and Buckeye beans working nicely if you have either of those on hand.
Slow-Cooked Coconut Beans Video
This is a quick video to demonstrate how these beans come together.
As this recipe evolved over the course if this year, I landed on a spice blend that leans pretty hard into the feistiness of ground cinnamon and of a range of chile peppers. That said, there are a thousand other directions you could take the spice profile here while leaving many of the other ingredients in place. I could imagine a version heavy on caraway, and then you could introduce some chopped celery with the onion at the start. Basically, if you can imagine something being delicious alongside tomato and coconut milk, you shouldn’t be shy about trying it out.
More Bean Recipes
I did a post a couple years back with ten of my favorite bean recipes, but wanted to note there are a couple stand-outs that are constantly on repeat in my kitchen. In particular, this is how I like to make refried beans. Look here if you’re looking for a good basics write-up on how to cook beans. And, if you’re a giant bean fan, please(!) give these Giant Chipotle Baked Beans a try. They’re so so so good.