Skip to main content

Cajun White Beans

Fortunately in the places I've lived and worked, I've always been near a Wahoo's Fish Taco. Whether it is for a work lunch or a quick weeknight or weekend dinner, this is a great spot. Their core food is Baja Coastal Mexican fare but they introduce some influences from other cuisines.

One is their Banzai sautéed veggies which uses a light teriyaki sauce giving it an Asian flavor and the other is their Cajun white beans. These are some of my favorite beans. My go-to order is a Banzai burrito with the rice and Cajun beans on the side instead of in the burrito. It's an awesome meal.

I love these beans so much, I've been tempted to get a part time job at Wahoo's just to learn the secret. Doing some Google searches for a copycat recipe has turned up nothing helpful. For now, I'll use this post to track my trial and errors before I finally am able to perfect it.

And if anyone knows the secret recipe and won't get in trouble sharing it or offering some tips and suggestions, I'd love to hear from you.

1/4/23 update - made this recipe and then purchased a side of beans from Wahoo's for comparison. I think I'm getting really close and it's just a matter of fine tuning at this point. First observation is there's isn't as red color as I initially thought. More brown which means less tomato paste. And there was definitely a smoke flavor but maybe from chipotle or smoked paprika, not likely from chili powder which this recipe once had. Plus saltier. And the green flakes may be finally ground thyme or perhaps ground up bay leaf as suggested. I've made recipe tweaks and will try again in a few months.


  • 2 15oz cans or 1/2 pound dried pre-cooked white navy beans
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1/4 yellow or white onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp chipotle in adobo sauce (maybe)
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme (maybe)
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 bay leaf (maybe 1/4 tsp ground)
  • 1 tbsp cayenne hot sauce (I think Wahoo's uses Tapatio)


  • Drain the canned beans or prep the dried beans using my Low and Slow Beans recipe.
  • Grab a soup pot and saute the onion in the oil on medium heat until translucent (about 3-5 minutes).
  • Add the tomato paste, chipotle, and dried seasonings and cook until fragrant (about 30-60 seconds).
  • Add the remaining ingredients including the drained beans, water, and hot sauce and bring to a simmer. 
  • Cook the beans for 10 minutes on a low simmer with the lid on.
  • Remove the lid, stir the beans, and continue simmering them on medium heat for about 5-10 minutes until the liquid has evaporated a bit and thickened slightly.
  • When beans are tender and liquid has become a loose sauce, serve and enjoy. Also, remember to pick out the bay leaf before serving if not using ground bay leaves.


  1. I no longer live near a Wahoo's and really miss the spicy Cajun white beans!

    I think they used some diced tomatoes in them. Let me know if you get that part time job and the recipe, LOL!

    1. Thanks for the reply and great suggestion. That's likely what gives the beans the red colored sauce and a bit more tang flavor. I'll try diced tomatoes and also maybe tomato paste. If I think I'm getting closer, I'll adjust the recipe above.

  2. I miss these beans so much! Please update as you work out the recipe. I agree there's a bit of tomato in there. I wonder if they use their pico de gallo, as there's also onion. I feel like you may be missing some of the "cajun" seasoning too. Cajun spices usually have paprika and cayenne.

    1. Hi Kristin - thanks for replying. Great to be connected with another fan of these beans. I think I'm getting really close. The tomato paste seemed to be the missing ingredient which I've now added. You'll see the recipe also has the onion, paprika, and cayenne flavors you suggested. Please test it out and let me know if I'm close.

  3. I am also looking for a Wahoo"s spicy cajun white beans copycat recipe.... best beans ever. Good luck!

  4. AnonymousJune 09, 2022

    hows the recipe search going?

  5. AnonymousJuly 31, 2022

    Wahoo’s Cajun beans also use bay leaves. Now and then I’ll come across small pieces.

    1. I just made a Christmas trip to so Calif and happened upon Wahoo’s. I only wanted a snack so I ordered from the Kids menu. A bowl of white rice, what they called spicy white beans and a small portion of fish. It was so good that I went back 2 days later for more. Sadly, I live in Colorado and people here have never heard of Wahoo’s. I really need the seasonings for that fish and the recipe for the beans!! Is the recipe above the final version or has it been changed since the last post?
      I will agree with a previous post regarding Bay leaves. There were small bits in the beans and in other dishes we ordered. Thanks for your effort to duplicate the beans.

    2. Kids meals are such a great DNMM hack! You save a lot of money and now with online ordering, you don't get any questions asked from cashiers. Just pick up and go! I do keep this recipe updated and I feel I am getting close but not yet an exact copycat. Per your suggestions, I added a bay leaf to soak while cooking but I prefer to keep it whole and pick it out at the end. I think the bits of herbs you are seeing are the thyme. Let me know what you think of this recipe if you cook it.


Post a Comment