Quick and Easy

Habichuelas Guisadas al Estilo de la Costa (Colombian-Style Green Beans Cooked in Milk) From Maricel Presilla

November  1, 2021
19 Ratings
Photo by Julia Garland. Food Stylist: Lauren Lapenna. Prop Stylist: Molly Fitzsimons.
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Unlike their more casserole-y cousins, these bright, make-ahead-friendly green beans from Maricel Presilla’s opus Gran Cocina Latina will take 5 minutes in one skillet on the stovetop on Thanksgiving Day (no oven hogging!). Despite their speed, they develop loads of flavor fast, thanks to a quick three-allium sofrito and a surprisingly simple splash of milk to hug the beans at the end. (Bonus: Nondairy milks are very welcome, too.)

Maricel writes in Gran Cocina Latina: "Angélica Laperira, who was born in 1905 in the small town of Remolino, about half an hour inland from Colombia’s Caribbean coast, cooked for her family every day of her long life. I met her when she was in her early eighties and was impressed by how careful she was in cooking even the simplest dishes, like these green beans braised in sofrito enriched with milk. Unlike many traditional Latin cooks, who cook green beans until they turn the color of army fatigues, she blanched the beans briefly, just enough to soften then, then immediately cooled them in cold water, a method that she had learned as a young girl from her mother—and what every contemporary chef does to keep the green beans at their brightest color. The milk does wonders for the simple sauce, giving the beans succulence."

Recipe adapted very slightly from Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America (W. W. Norton & Company, October, 2012).

This post contains products independently chosen (and loved) by our editors and writers. As an Amazon Associate, Food52 earns an affiliate commission on qualifying purchases of the products we link to.

Hear more about this recipe from Maricel herself on our podcast The Genius Recipe Tapes. Genius Recipes

Test Kitchen Notes

This dish is part of Residentsgiving—aka the Thanksgiving menu of our wildest dreams—created by Food52's resident experts-slash-superheroes. Devour the rest of the spread here, and while you're at it, learn how to Remix & Remaster your Thanksgiving. —The Editors

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Habichuelas Guisadas al Estilo de la Costa (Colombian-Style Green Beans Cooked in Milk) From Maricel Presilla
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small white onion (about 5 ounces), finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 scallions, white and some green parts, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  1. Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add 2 teaspoons salt, then add the beans and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and plunge into a bowl of ice water to cool, then drain again and set aside.
  2. Crush the garlic and remaining 1 teaspoon salt to a paste with a mortar and pestle; set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and scallions and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for about 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in the green beans and milk, bring to a boil over high heat, and cook until the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl and bring to the table immediately.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Rosalind Paaswell
    Rosalind Paaswell
  • sara
  • cslye1
  • SoCalGirl
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

13 Reviews

sara November 22, 2023
Love, LOVE the video, it is creative and delightful. Watched it twice just because it amused and entertained. Also nice to see someone cooking in a real kitchen, not a high end studio kitchen where everything looks like it cost a million dollars. Prepped it today for Thanksgiving tomorrow. Spent the prep time thinking about why I love all the people it will help feed tomorrow.
cslye1 November 6, 2022
I just tested this for our Thanksgiving dinner. It was a hit! It may need a bit of finish salt before serving.
SoCalGirl October 13, 2022
Absolutely scrumptious and so easy with just a few ingredients that you probably have in your refrigerator and pantry right now. Don't hestitate trying this recipe. Will be forwarding this recipe over to friends. Thank you Food52!!!
Sue B. October 12, 2022
Recipe is fine. The formatting of this is horrific. Every time you try get to the recipe one has to watch a video. Rather ridiculous and not user friendly email at all when you're trying to engage people to view more than one recipe.
Charles October 13, 2022
I don't understand. Am I missing something? I just finished reading the entire recipe without watching the video. Just scroll past it - if it starts up just press pause.
judith K. October 12, 2022
The silly cut-ins really take away from the "genuis" tone of what used to be beautifully crafted cooking videos. I have worked as a set stylist and all the beauty of pure cooking just got junky. Sorry Kristen, love ya but... rethink the new creative twists.
Roberta B. October 12, 2022
Yes, this is a delicious way to eat green beans that have a nice crunch, a lovely fresh color, and a delectable sauce. All of the ingredients were already in my kitchen and it was an interesting, but straightforward recipe to follow. What a terrific way to eat your vegetables. Thank you!
brandyk February 16, 2022
Easy to make and absolutely delicious! Thanks for sharing, will be making this often.
smccassell December 8, 2021
Made this for Thanksgiving. It was really nice. Recipe was requested. Now am making it to accompany a roast chicken with mashed sweet potato. Prep ahead and then finished in five minutes this makes it an impressive vegetable dish for a dinner party. This dish is a keeper!
totopudding November 20, 2021
This is not 5 minutes
Monica November 21, 2021
True. When you read the recipe, it totals 35 minutes between prep and cook time (which for me, and the way I cook, is always a bit longer!).
Rosalind P. October 13, 2022
Their timing is ALWAYS off. You'd think they would have got it by now. It now feels like a deceptive come-on and, together with all the interruptions, casts a sleazy shadow over the whole enterprise. Too bad because there are so many good recipes and food odeas.
Dan October 14, 2022
Part of the recipe can be made ahead so that on Thanksgiving, there is no competition with the oven, and the remaining steps are very quick. The five minutes only includes the final step.