In Mexico, scarlet runner beans are known as “ayocote beans,” and are often served in a deeply flavorful chile sauce – their meatiness offering the perfect compliment to the sauce’s richness. Try this bean-and-chile mixture as a vegetarian taco filling, or spoon it over rice for a complete vegetarian dish.

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 105 min

Total time: 115 min

Scarlet Runner Beans in Chile Sauce
Copyright Recipe © 2015 Woodland Foods


Makes 2 to 4 servings


  1. Place beans in bowl with three times their volume of water, and soak overnight. Drain beans and rinse.

  2. Transfer beans to Dutch oven or heavy pot, cover with water by 1 inch, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat and keep at a low simmer, covered, until beans begin to soften, about 1 hour.

  3. Meanwhile, place chiles in small bowl and add 1 cup boiling water. Soak for 20 minutes.

  4. Transfer chiles and soaking liquid to food processor. Add onion and garlic, and purée until smooth.

  5. Transfer chile purée to small skillet over medium-low heat. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until mellow and smoky, about 15 minutes. Add water if necessary while cooking to prevent sticking. Stir in honey, cumin, salt and black pepper.

  6. Add chile sauce and roasted garlic to cooked beans. Stir, cover and cook another 15 to 30 minutes over low heat. Beans should be nearly tender.

  7. Remove lid and increase heat to bring mixture to a boil. Cook, stirring often, until sauce is reduced and thickened. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

  8. Serve garnished with crumbled cotija cheese and chopped cilantro.