Beans with Reins (“Porotos con Riendas”)


Another classic from Chile, This dish is one of the most iconic meals in the country, it is made of white beans, fresh pumpkin, chard, sausage and spaghetti. This dish is a Staple in winter time,  which has its origins in rural areas in the central zone of Chile.

This strange name came from one of the main ingredients in the original recipe, which was long strips of pork skin (ew). The Chilean peasants used the metaphor associating those long strips with the reins to mount a horse. Over the time, the dish started to be prepare in the cities, where the recipe was adapted to the urban people taste, using spaghetti instead of pork skins (thanks god!).


Chard, or spinach are not always present in the dish, it will depend on the availability of those greens, same with the sausage, someone replace it with chunks of hotdogs, or in some places can be served with a piece of steak. That’s the costume, but here we are going to make this dish without any animal product, it will be amazing!

This recipe is for the stew, but if you want to add some sort of seitan or vegan sausage that you bought in the store, please do so! But if you want to have the complete “beans with reins” experience today, try my delicious “chorizo style seitan sausage” following this recipe.

Beans and reins

  • Servings: 4 (or for 2 gigantic plates)
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1 can cannellini beans (or 1/2 cup dry great northern beans, soaked over night, then cooked, no salt)

1 cup pumpkin

1 portion spaghetti (2 oz pasta)

1/2 onion

2 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 Tsp cumin

1 Tsp salt or to taste

1/2 Tsp smoked paprika

1/2 Tsp chili flakes or use this recipe mix

1 cup vegetable stock

2 cups of beans water (if you are using canned beans, replace for water or more vegetable stock)

Ready to make them?

  1. in a large pan at medium heat, fry the onion and garlic for a minute.
  2. add spices: cumin, smoked paprika, chili flakes, salt. Keep frying for 1 minute more.
  3. Add the pumpkin chopped in 1 inch cubes , stir fry during 2 minutes more to get all the flavors combine and well blended.
  4. Add the beans. If your beans are from a can is highly recommended to rinse them thoroughly, even if they are organic. After that drain and pour them in the pan, mix with the rest of ingredients for a few seconds.
  5. Add the liquid: 2 cups of beans water (if your beans are from a can, you can use water instead or vegetable broth) and 1 cup of vegetable stock. Give it a mix and cover them until boiling point.
  6. Once the beans are boiling , lower the heat to medium low, and add the portion of spaghetti, with a wooden spoon mix it up slowly to integrate the pasta into the stew while it gets more soft in order to prevent them to stick each other.
  7. Let the pasta cook for 10 minutes at least. Also at this point you can add swiss chard or spinach chopped in strips to get a nice green flavor.


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