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Costa Rican White Bean Soup With Chayote

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This Costa Rican white bean and pork soup with chayote squash is the perfect winter soup!

About This Costa Rican Recipe

Soups are very popular in Costa Rica- they are easy to make in the pressure cooker, generally low calorie and filling, and of course perfect for a winter rainy day.

Chayote squash is a small green squash with a large white seed inside. It is a bit watery with a tough exterior. The squash grows like a weed across Costa Rica, making it a cheap and easy ingredient for all kinds of dishes.

It’s in one of the national dishes, Olla Carne (vegetable beef soup) and it’s the star of this simple white bean and pork soup popular among home cooks in the Central Valley. This is generally not a recipe you will see on a menu.

You might also like: Picadillo de Chayote Recipe

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This soup is a twist on a traditional white bean soup in that it uses pork with vegetables. White beans are not as traditionally consumed in Costa Rica as red and black beans, but they are nonetheless delicious in this easy and filling soup recipe.

This is a traditional lunch recipe in Costa Rica but makes a great dinner recipe too.

Related post: Costa Rican Beef Soup

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White Bean and Chayote Soup Recipe

Printable recipe below

Ingredients

  • Chayote squash
  • Carrots
  • Corn on the cob
  • cilantro
  • red pepper
  • onion
  • garlic
  • Pork butt or boneless pork ribs
  • Olive oil
  • salt
  • dry white beans- Great Northern or Cannellini. “Frijol blanco” in Costa Rica.
  • water

Instructions

Finely dice onion, garlic, red pepper, and cilantro. Heat a pressure cooker or instant pot on medium-high heat. Add a bit of olive oil or vegetable oil to the pan and stir in the red pepper, cilantro, onion, and garlic until just tender.

Cut pork into 2 x 2″ chunks. Next, sear your pork and reduce heat to low or remove from heat altogether. Sometimes I add a tablespoon of salt during this step. I sprinkle it over the pork as it is cooking.

Cut the corn, carrots, and chayote into large pieces- about 3″ long or so. Wash and set aside.

Rinse the dry white beans and set aside.

Add the chayotes, beans, corn, and carrots. Cover with water and store in 1 tablespoon of salt if you salted the meat, 2 tablespoons if you did not.

Close the pressure cooker or Instant Pot and pressure cook for 25 minutes after the pot reaches full pressure. Allow to sit for up to 20 minutes before releasing the pressure to serve. Pura Vida!

Substitutions

You could substitute garbanzo beans for the white beans.

If you don’t want to cook the white beans, you can use 2 cans of cannellini beans or Great Northern beans.

You can really add any vegetable to this that you want, but corn on the cob, chayote and carrots are the most common. Baby red potatos would be good in here too!

Some people substitute the pork for either pulled pork or ground beef, but that is not very traditional in Costa Rica.

Variations

You can omit the pork altogether for a vegan or vegetarian recipe.

You can make this stovetop, but you need to boil the pork and beans for about 3-4 hours and then serve.

It works to substitute vegetable broth for the water.

Related post: Sausage Bean Soup With Pasta

Serving Suggestions

This dish is traditionally served with white rice as a side dish, homemade tortillas and a Costa Rican smoothie or homemade juice.

Related post: Costa Rican Tres Leches Recipe

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Yield: 8 servings

Costa Rican White Bean and Chayote Soup Recipe

Costa Rican White Bean and Chayote Soup Recipe

This Costa Rican white bean and pork soup with chayote squash is the perfect winter soup!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2-3 carrots
  • 2-3 pieces corn on the cob
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 1/2 yellow or white onion
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 2 pounds Pork butt or boneless pork ribs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 pound dry white beans- Great Northern or Cannellini. "Frijol blanco" in Costa Rica.
  • 6-8 cups water

Instructions

  1. Finely dice onion, garlic, red pepper, and cilantro. Heat a pressure cooker or instant pot on medium-high heat. Add a bit of olive oil or vegetable oil to the pan and stir in the red pepper, cilantro, onion, and garlic until just tender.
  2. Cut pork into 2 x 2" chunks. Next, sear your pork and reduce heat to low or remove from heat altogether. Sometimes I add a tablespoon of salt during this step. I sprinkle it over the pork as it is cooking.
  3. Cut the corn, carrots, and chayote into large pieces- about 3" long or so. Wash and set aside.
  4. Rinse the dry white beans and set aside.
  5. Add the chayotes, beans, corn, and carrots. Cover with water and store in 1 tablespoon of salt if you salted the meat, 2 tablespoons if you did not.
  6. Close the pressure cooker or Instant Pot and pressure cook for 25 minutes after the pot reaches full pressure. Allow to sit for up to 20 minutes before releasing the pressure to serve. Pura Vida!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1031Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 310mgCarbohydrates: 200gFiber: 17gSugar: 158gProtein: 17g

Please double-check this information with your favorite nutrition calculator.

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Hi- I’m Christa! I fell in love with Latin America in my 20s, and I’m still head over heels! Here at Pura Vida Moms I celebrate what it means to be bicultural- Costa Rican recipes, bilingual parenting and family travel.

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Christa profile image

Hi- I’m Christa, and I’m on a mission to help the world fall in love with Costa Rica through food, language and travel. I’m a Latina mom, bicultural, bilingual (English/Spanish), and 100% in love with celebrating parenthood in all its forms, (even the sucky parts). I’m so happy you found the site- WELCOME! Find out more about me here.

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