Mayocoba (Canary) Beans


The Mayocoba, or Canary Bean, was named after a small village in Mexico where this new version of an old Incan bean was developed. They are light yellow when dry but when briefly soaked and cooked turn white. About the same size as a pinto bean the interior is creamy with a very tender outer skin which tends to make them easier to digest than other types of small beans. They keep their shape well when cooked for long periods of time in spite of being so tender. Since discovering Mayobcoba beans, I use them in all of my recipes that call for white beans or pinto beans and have come to prefer them because of the buttery, tender texture. They make outstanding baked beans, refried beans and my favorite cold weather soup, bean soup with ham.

Mayocoba Bean Soup

1 ½ cups Mayocoba beans (any white bean will also work well)

1 T olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

2 carrots, roughly chopped

2 celery ribs, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups low sodium chicken broth or plain water

1 ham bone

1 bay leaf

½ cup cream sherry

Place the beans in a pot with 4 cups water. Bring to a boil & let boil for 2 minutes. Turn off heat, cover & let sit for at one hour. Drain, rinse & set aside.

In a large soup pot heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic & ham. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables become translucent. Add the beans, ham bone, bay leaf and enough broth or water to cover the beans by ½ inch. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover & simmer for 1-2 hours or until the beans are tender adding additional liquid if needed (some beans require more liquid than others). During the last 5 minutes of simmering add the sherry.

(NOTE: This can also be cooked in a pressure cooker with excellent results. Process for 35-45 minutes according to your pressure cooker’s instructions.)

Remove the ham bone and add any meat on the bone to the soup. Serve hot with corn bread or corn muffins.


  1. now this is my kind of soup and in all my days of cooking and looking up mexican foods, I have not found this one (beans) – thanks kathy, I will now be on the lookout…

      • lvegas
      • November 19th, 2009

      Hey Drick…the Walmart here carries mayocoba beans, not sure if that’s a regional thing. I’ve also seen them in all the Hispanic groceries out here in Vegas. They’re worth looking for.

  2. I’ve never tried mayocoba beans. I wonder how easy they are to grow??? They sound delicious, and definitely make a pretty soup.

  3. I can just tell by the Sherry and ham in this it has a great taste….just perfect to start of on Thanksgiving dinner thank you 🙂

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