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Mayocoba Beans Recipe

Mayocoba beans are one of the oldest cultivated varieties of legume in the world.

They were first grown by Mayans in Central America around 500 AD, before spreading throughout Mesoamerica.

How Do You Cook Mayocoba Beans?

The method used to prepare these beans depends on how they’re going to be consumed.

If it’s just for eating plain, then they’ll likely be boiled until tender (about 30 minutes).

However, if they’re being prepared into a soup or stew, then some more cooking will be needed.

This includes simmering them covered over low heat for an hour, then draining off excess liquid and adding other flavors such as chilies, tomatoes, or herbs like oregano.

You can also make mayocoba beans into a salad by simply cooking them in water until soft enough to eat.

Once done, drain away any remaining moisture and toss the beans with oil and vinegar for flavor.

You can add salt to taste here too.

Cooking times for mayocoba beans

  • Boiled: 30 minutes
  • Simmered: 1 hour
  • Salad: Cooked in boiling water until soft enough to eat

Be sure not to overcook your mayocoba beans as this will result in mushy bits that won’t hold their shape well when eaten.

To avoid this, test out each batch of beans prior to serving to ensure they’ve reached the correct stage of doneness.

What Ingredients Do You Need For A Mayocoba Beans Recipe?

You’ll probably have most of these items on hand already.

You should definitely stock up on dried beans, so that you’re not left without them if your local grocery store runs out of their supply.

  • Dried black turtle beans (or other variety)
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Ground cumin
  • Cilantro leaves
  • Salt
  • Lime juice
  • Water
  • Fresh tomato sauce

Step 1: soak the beans overnight

The next day, rinse the beans well under running water.

Then cover them completely with cold water and let sit for at least 8 hours.

During this time, they will absorb some liquid from the water and expand slightly.

After soaking, drain off all excess water.

If there is still enough moisture remaining after rinsing, then continue soaking until the beans reach the desired size.

Step 2: prepare the vegetables

Rinse the onion and cut it into slices about half an inch thick.

Peel the garlic cloves and mince them finely using a mortar and pestle.

Chop the cilantro roughly.

Step 3: sautee the onions and garlic

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet.

Add the chopped onion and stir frequently until soft.

Once the onions become translucent, add the minced garlic and stir constantly for another minute or two.

Remove the pan from the stove when the onions turn golden brown.

Step 4: add the tomatoes

Stir the fresh tomato sauce into the pan.

Let simmer for 10 minutes more.

Turn down the flame and allow the mixture to cool.

When the mixture has cooled, transfer it to a blender along with the drained, soaked beans.

Blend everything together thoroughly.

Season with salt and lime juice.

Step 5: serve warm!

Serve the mayocoba beans hot or room temperature.

The beans will keep in the refrigerator for several days but taste best warm.


What Is The Best Way To Cook Mayocoba Beans?

This type of bean has been used since ancient times as an important food source and medicine.

It’s often made into tamales, a traditional Mexican dish that contains meat and other ingredients wrapped up with cornmeal dough.

Since they’re also high in protein, fiber, and calcium, mayocoba beans make a great addition to your diet if you want to build strong bones.

The most common variety of mayocoba beans is called “black turtle beans.” These are also known as black-eyed peas, but those are more colloquial terms for this kind of bean.

Black turtle beans have a dark purple color and soft texture when raw, and turn out to be creamy white after cooking.

Black turtle beans are usually soaked overnight prior to being boiled until tender.

You should add salt at this point because the beans will absorb some of the water while soaking.

After boiling, drain them thoroughly.

Then prepare them according to any recipes you find online.

For instance, here’s how ChefSteps shows you how to cook black turtle beans.

In Mexico, people use mayocoba beans like chickpeas (garbanzo beans) do in the United States.

Chickpea dishes include hummus, falafel, and even tahini sauce! Here’s a recipe from Food Network that uses mayocoba beans instead of garbanzos.

And another recipe from Cooking Light includes both black turtle beans and garbanzo beans.

If you don’t live anywhere near where these types of beans grow, you might not get to enjoy all their benefits.

But there are plenty of ways to incorporate them into your own meals without ever leaving home.

Add them to salads

You can just pop open a bag of dried mayocoba beans and toss them into a salad.

If you soak them beforehand, you’ll cut down on the cooking time.

Just keep in mind that they won’t be quite as fluffy as regular green beans once they’ve been cooked.

Use them as a base for soups

For example, you could try making a soup using chicken broth, diced tomatoes, onion, garlic, and herbs.

Add some canned black turtle beans and let simmer for about 30 minutes.

Serve over rice or noodles.

Or, you could use fresh black turtle beans instead.

Simply boil them in salted water until they become tender.

Drain them well and then stir in tomato paste and chopped onion.

Cook until the onion is translucent, stirring frequently.

Finally, add chopped parsley and serve alongside grilled meats or fish.

Make fritters

These beans are perfect for frying.

Try adding minced shallot and chili powder to mashed black turtle beans and form them into patties.

Fry them in vegetable oil or olive oil until golden brown.

Top with homemade tartar sauce and garnish with lemon zest and thyme leaves.

Serve them with eggs

When you combine hardboiled eggs with black turtle beans, you create something similar to hollandaise sauce.

Soak 1/4 cup dried black turtle beans in cold water for 24 hours.

When done, rinse off the excess liquid and place in blender.

Blend until smooth and set aside.

Combine 2 egg yolks with 3 tablespoons of butter, 1 tablespoon of mustard, and 1 teaspoon of chopped chives in a medium bowl.

Whisk until combined.

Set aside.

Meanwhile, fry 4 whole eggs in hot oil until fully cooked.

Remove and place on paper towels to cool.

Once cooled, peel the eggs.

Chop and add to the mixture along with half a finely grated carrot, two finely chopped scallions, 1 tablespoon of flour, and salt and pepper to taste.

Stir until combined and pour back into the pan.

Cook on low heat for 5 minutes.

Remove and garnish with chopped chives or dill sprigs.

How Long Does It Take To Cook Mayocoba Beans?

The length of time that it takes to prepare mayocoba beans depends on how they’re prepared.

If you choose to soak them overnight, then you will need about 6 hours of soaking.

After that, you should add another 3-4 hours of cooking.

You can also boil your mayocoba beans (in water) until tender.

However, this method requires more time than either of the other two options.

You can see below how to make mayocoba beans from scratch using different methods.

  • Soak the dried beans in cold water for at least six hours. Drain the soaked beans and rinse thoroughly under running water. Repeat this process twice so that all traces of dirt have been removed from the beans.
  • Place the rinsed beans into an oven safe pot or pan and cover with 2 inches of fresh water. Bring the mixture to a slow simmer over medium heat.
  • Add 1/3 cup olive oil, 1 onion sliced thinly, 2 cloves of minced garlic, 4 crushed red pepper flakes, ½ teaspoon salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and coriander powder. When the beans become soft enough to easily pierce with a fork, remove the lid and continue to simmer for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, check if the beans are done. Remove any foam that has formed on top of the soup.
  • If necessary, add additional water to bring the beans back up to 2 inches above their original level.
  • Serve immediately or cool completely and refrigerate for later use.

What Are Some Tips For Cooking Mayocoba Beans?

Cooking mayocoba beans takes time because they have a lot going on inside them!

Once cooked, these beans contain about 20 different nutrients like fiber, iron, protein, zinc, folate, and magnesium.

But don’t worry if you’re not into all that science stuff — here are some basic steps to follow while cooking your own mayocoba beans:

  • Soak the dried beans overnight (or at least 6 hours) so that they release their natural sugars and become plump.
  • Drain the soaked beans and rinse thoroughly under running water until no dirt remains.
  • Place the drained beans into a large pot over medium-high heat. Add enough water to cover the beans and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, reduce the temperature slightly, then simmer until tender but firm, which will depend on how old the beans are and what variety you choose. For example, older black beans should take longer to cook than newer red kidney beans.
  • When fully cooked, drain any excess liquid from the beans and serve warm with your favorite condiments.

How Do You Know When Mayocoba Beans Are Done Cooking?

You’ll have to determine this on your own because there isn’t any way to tell how long it takes to cook them.

You should give them at least an hour, but if you want to make sure they’re tender enough that you can eat them whole, I suggest giving them about two hours.

The best time to start cooking them is the night before so that all of the flavors mix together well.

If you don’t plan ahead, just throw everything into a pot, cover it, and let it simmer until everything is tender.

If you prefer eating them more like refried beans, you can also add water and let the mixture sit overnight until it thickens up.

It will still taste good even without adding additional liquid, though, so feel free to experiment!

Ingredients for cooking mayocoba beans

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 large onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 6 cups water
  • 5 teaspoons salt
  • 4 bay leaves (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound fresh mayocoba beans, soaked for 12+ hours

Method for cooking mayocoba beans

In a medium saucepan over low heat, warm the olive oil, then add the garlic and onion.

Allow these ingredients to sauté until the onion is translucent.

Add the remaining ingredients except the beans, stir, and bring to a boil.

Once boiling, reduce the heat and allow the mixture to simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.

Then, remove from the heat and set aside to cool for 10-15 minutes.

Afterward, pour the contents of the pan into a blender or food processor and blend on high speed until smooth.

Pour the blended mixture back into the same pan used to prepare the original stew.

Bring the mixture to a boil again, lower the heat, and simmer for another 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally.

When the beans appear soft and mushy, remove them from the heat and drain off excess liquid.

Serve hot as a side dish, or freeze portioned portions for later use.

To reheat frozen servings, place them in a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.

Remove aluminum foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes.

Do not thaw fully prior to serving.

Can You Overcook Mayocoba Beans?

Yes, but it’s not recommended.

You should never cook mayocoba beans beyond their tenderness point, which is between 15 minutes to 1 hour past their original cooking time.

Overcooking will cause them to lose some of their nutritional value and flavor.

So how long should you cook mayocoba beans? Well, there isn’t an exact answer to this question because every batch of mayocoba beans cooks differently based on its ingredients, water content, and other factors.

Generally speaking, though, cooking times tend to range from about 30 minutes to 1 hour.

If you have a slow cooker, that might work out better than using a stovetop burner or oven.

But even then, don’t go overboard!

If you want to keep things simple, you can use a pressure cooker instead of a slow cooker, although I highly recommend against this method unless you really love your beans super-chewy.

In my experience, they end up mushy and bland.

If you decide to try them at home, here’s what you need to know.

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced (or more depending on taste)
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ⅓ cup tomato paste
  • 2 pounds dry mayocoba beans

What Happens If You Overcook Mayocoba Beans?

Overcooking your mayocoba beans will result in mushy, soggy beans that have lost all of their flavor.

If you want to use them in a dish, they’ll need to be added at the last minute so their texture doesn’t get too soft from being over-cooked.

Otherwise, you might consider freezing them in an ice cube tray, then popping out individual cubes when needed.

These frozen cubes should work fine even after being thawed, but make sure to add them directly into whatever dish you plan on using them in.

If you do decide to freeze some mayocoba beans, it’s important not to let them sit out longer than 24 hours.

Freezing tends to cause the outer layer of the bean to peel away, which makes them look less appealing (and more like little wrinkly raisins).

To avoid this, store your beans in a container with a tight fitting lid.

You can also try the microwave method: Place the beans inside a paper bag and put the top part of the bag on the countertop, making sure to remove any air pockets within the bag.

Microwave the bag for 1.5 minutes per cup of dry beans.

Remove the bag and allow the beans to cool completely before storing.

Is There A Difference Between Fresh And Canned Mayocoba Beans?

Fresh mayocoba beans are small green pods that grow on vines.

Canned mayocoba beans have been processed into tiny little dried beans.

However, both types of mayocoba beans come from the same plant species, Phaseolus vulgaris.

There’s no reason to buy either version over the other – they just taste different because of how they’re prepared.

How Would You Describe The

beans to your friends and family? It’s been said that they taste like “a cross between black-eyed peas and buttery limas.” This is because they have similar characteristics to both types of beans, but also have a nutty flavor all their own.

The name ‘mayocoba’ comes from two words in Maya – maikoh (bean) and kob (coca).

They are usually eaten boiled, but they are also delicious when roasted or fried.

Another thing about them is that they hold up well during long cooking times.

That means if you cook them overnight, you will get a lot of use out of them in the morning!

In this article we share a recipe for mayocoba beans.

We recommend serving them with rice and corn tortillas, since they complement each other very well.

If you don’t have any tortillas on hand, try using quesadilla wraps instead.

You might want to make sure not to overcook these beans.

If they start tasting too bitter after being left alone in the pot for awhile, add some water so it doesn’t dry out completely.

Also, you should always keep an eye on them while they cook, especially at the beginning.

Once they start boiling, turn down the heat slightly.

You don’t want to burn them.

If you decide to roast them, you can do it either way you prefer.

It can go either under the broiler, or in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes.

Whichever method you choose, just be careful not to overdo it!

To make our mayocoba beans recipe, please scroll down below.

  • Put the onion into a saucepan and cover it with cold water.
  • Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low.
  • Add the garlic cloves, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and salt. Stir everything together until the salt has dissolved.
  • Cover the pan and let simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Drain the beans, reserving 1 cup of the liquid. Discard the remaining liquid.
  • Transfer the drained beans back into the same pan you used before and stir them thoroughly.
  • Place the pan back on the stovetop, then add the reserved liquid along with the chipotle peppers, bay leaf, and cinnamon stick. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil and allow it to bubble vigorously for 5 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and let the beans simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid every 15 minutes and check to see how the beans look. When they are done, remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaves.
  • Serve immediately.

Tips for making mayocoba beans

Before preparing the beans, rinse them thoroughly to rid them of dirt and debris.

Then place them in a large bowl filled with cold water.

Leave the beans soaking in the water for several hours before draining and storing them in the refrigerator.

This helps ensure that the beans stay moist.

When roasting the beans, avoid overcrowding the pan.

Keep the beans separate so they don’t touch each other.

Also, be mindful of turning down the heat once the beans begin to boil.

Boiling point varies depending on the size of the pan, so adjust accordingly.

If you leave the beans unattended for too long, they could easily scorch.

Mayocoba Beans Recipe

Mayocoba beans are one of the oldest cultivated varieties of legume in the world.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 48 minutes
Course: Side Dishes
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Mayocoba Beans Recipe
Servings: 3
Calories: 422kcal


  • Slow Cooker


  • 1 lb Mayocoba Beans dry
  • 1 ham hock
  • 32 oz vegetable broth chicken
  • 1/2 onion sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • The beans should be thoroughly cleaned before being added to the pressure cooker.
  • Add the water, salt, onion, and garlic.
  • To prevent injuries from the pressure cooker, keep it closed and take the necessary precautions.
  • For 40 minutes, cook the beans.
  • Cotija cheese is used as a garnish when serving the beans in a bowl.



Calories: 422kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 1273mg | Potassium: 1137mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 6IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 164mg | Iron: 7mg
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