Tepary Beans With Chile-Agave Glaze

First grown in the Southwest during ancient times, tepary beans (Phaseolus acutifolius) mature quickly and are tolerant of the low desert heat, drought and alkaline soils. They are among the most drought and heat tolerant crops in the world. Tepary beans are high in protein and contain soluble fiber helpful in controlling cholesterol and diabetes. Generally white tepary beans have a slightly sweet flavor and brown tepary beans have an earthy flavor. Tepary beans can be used in place of any standard dried bean. Soak the dried beans before cooking.


  • Tepary Beans
    1 cup dried white tepary beans (see Note)
  • 1 cup dried brown tepary beans (see Note)
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • ½ small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons light agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon New Mexico Hatch chile powder or chipotle powder, plus more for garnish
  • Sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons whole fresh oregano leaves

What to do with them

  1. Place the white and brown tepary beans in a large bowl. Add enough water to cover by 4 inches and let soak overnight at room temperature.
  2. Drain the soaked beans, discarding the liquid, and transfer the beans to a large pot with a tight-fitting lid. Add enough cool water to cover the beans by about 4 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat, cover and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Reserve 1 cup of the bean cooking liquid, then drain the beans.
  3. In a large, deep skillet, heat the oil over medium. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the cooked beans and the reserved bean cooking liquid, the agave and the chile powder. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced to a glaze, about 10 minutes. Season with salt to taste. Divide among bowls, sprinkle with additional chile powder and top with oregano.