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Charro Beans. A Tex Mex favorite, these pinto beans are tender and simmered in a flavorful bean broth seasoned with onion, garlic and bacon. Jalapeño adds just a touch of heat. This Mexican bean soup is the perfect side dish for any meal! 

These Mexican Pinto Beans are perfect when served alongside some Chile Rellenos, Cheese Enchiladas, or Ground Beef Tacos.

What are Charro Beans?

This Mexican bean soup, is the best side dish for any Tex Mex meals. While the beans cook they create the most flavorful broth, which is the highlight of this dish. This bean dish is known by several names. Charro Beans. Frijoles Charros, or sometimes Cowboy Beans. And there is another version that involves beer called Boraccho Beans.

These beans can be made using any type of meat: beef, chorizo, ham, or bacon. Bacon is my favorite, it’s easy and gives great flavor.

Seasoned with onion, garlic and jalapeno which gives the dish just a small hint of heat. This dish is made with just a few basic ingredients, but it sure does pack a lot of flavor.

Cooked pinto beans in a dutch oven.

How to Make Mexican Pinto Beans:

How to make Mexican Pinto Beans with Dried Pinto Beans:

  1. FirstPre-soak the Beans! This method involves starting the recipe the night before you want to make this dish.
  2. Add the dried beans to a large bowl and add water just until the beans are fully covered with water.
  3. Let this sit overnight. Then follow the recipe below.

How to Make Slow Cooker Pinto Beans Beans: 

  1. This method doesn’t involve prepping the night before, but does have a longer cook time.
  2. We don’t need to soak the beans. For this method, a quick rinse of the beans is all that is needed and they get added right to the slow cooker.
  3. Cook beans on HIGH heat for the first two hours to help make them soft

How to Make Mexican Pinto Beans with Canned Pinto Beans: 

  1. This is the easiest method of all. I find that using 3 cans of pinto beans works well with this recipe.
  2. Cook up the bacon, onion and jalapeno.
  3. Drain the beans, rinse, and add them to a large pot on the stove top. Add remaining ingredients.
Step by step photos of making charro beans.

Important Tips

  • If cooking on the stovetop you want to keep the lid on while simmering. This helps you to control the amount of liquid that evaporates.
  • Jalapeno: if you don’t want to add jalapeno to your beans, you can use a milder Chile, a poblano, or you could use a can of diced green chiles.

Other Tex Mex Recipes to Try:

Charro Beans (Frijoles Charros)

4.99 from 145 votes
Prep: 5 hours 10 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 5 hours 55 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: Serene
Charro Beans. A Tex Mex favorite, these pinto beans are tender and simmered in a flavorful bean broth seasoned with onion, garlic and bacon. Jalapeño adds just a touch of heat. These charro Beans are the perfect side dish for any meal! 
Overhead view of charro beans topped with crisp bacon and diced onion.


  • 1 pound pinto beans dried
  • 6 cups water enough to cover the beans in a large bowl
  • 4 slices bacon sliced
  • 1/2 yellow onion diced
  • 1 jalapeno seeded and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 cups broth chicken or vegetable, low sodium
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano


  • onion diced
  • cilantro diced


How To Make Charro Beans on the Stovetop

  • Add the dried pinto beans to a large bowl. Pour in the water, ensure that the beans are covered completely with water. Allow to sit overnight or for at least 5 hours. Drain out any excess water and rinse the beans off.
  • Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crispy. Remove the bacon and set aside. Drain the grease, reserving 1 tablespoon in the pot. Add the diced onion and jalapeno. Cook until the onion and jalapeno are soft and tender.
  • Add the garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds.
  • Pour in the broth, water, rinsed beans, salt, cumin, oregano and the crumbled bacon.
  • Bring the pot to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Cover and allow the beans to cook for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. The broth will thicken and be flavorful and the beans will be tender.
  • Serve with fresh chopped cilantro.

How To Make Charro Beans in the Slow Cooker

  • Rinse the pinto beans in cold water, drain off any water. Add the pinto beans and 8 cups of water to a slow cooker and cook on high for about 2 hours.
  • In a medium size pan cook the bacon over medium heat. Once the bacon is cooked, remove and chop.
  • Add the onion and diced jalapeño and saute in the bacon grease for about 5 minutes until the onion is translucent and the jalapeño softened. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
  • Add the onion, garlic and chopped bacon to the beans in the slow cooker.
  • Cook beans for an additional 2 hours on high.
  • Season with salt, cumin, and oregano. Cook for an additional 30 minutes on low.
  • Serve with fresh cilantro. Enjoy!




If making Charro Beans using Canned Beans: Follow recipe, except use 3-15 ounce cans of pinto beans. Drain and rinse the beans before adding in. When making the charro beans in the slow cooker no broth is needed just water, since the beans will cook long enough to create their own bean broth. The stovetop version doesn't cook as long, so it needs the additional flavoring of a premade broth.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 127kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 309mg | Fiber: 4g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this? Leave a comment below!

Charro Beans first appeared on House of Yumm on September 11, 2016. This post has been updated with new images and additional instructions for different methods! The recipe is the same.

Welcome to my kitchen!

Welcome to the House of Yumm!! My name is Serene. I’m the food photographer, recipe developer, and official taste tester around these parts.

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  1. I can’t find a way to go back and edit once I hit submit. I understand the 45 minute reference now. I didn’t read the stovetop instructions carefully since I’m doing crockpot. I usually do stovetop but I’m a little bit sick and want that added safety of not being able to burn them (easily LOL) in the crockpot. I realised that I cook beans on stovetop for a lot longer, a total of 2 hours after the soak. I like a thicker bean, kind of a thin gravy texture, which 2 hours gives me. Flavors develop better for my taste at the 2 hr mark. My recipe is identical except for cook time and half as much salt.

  2. Why are you saying to add eight cups of only water to your crock pot version as opposed to four cups broth and two cups water to your stovetop version of your Charro Beans (frijoles charros) recipe???

    1. That’s a great question! The reason I do this is because the slow cooker version cooks so much longer and the beans create their own flavorful broth. The stovetop version doesn’t cook as long and needs a bit more of a flavor boost.

    1. Hannah I just found this page so it’s many months later. When I read your question/dilemma, what caught my eye was that you simmered for 45 mins but the beans were still hard. Did you mean that you simmered dried, soaked beans for 45 minutes (total cook time) or that you started with already cooked beans and simmered the 45 minutes. I’m thinking it was dried beans since canned beans are already soft.
      If I’m correct, the skipped direction is the one where you cook the dried, soaked beans for 4 – 6 hours? Can you remember this much later what you did?
      The older comment about old beans is absolutely true too. I find that canning older beans is a game changer, but I still make these from scratch regularly.

  3. I did everything as stated in the instructions and my beans are still hard? I don’t understand. I simmered for 45 mins and they tasted yuck. Wasn’t sure if I was suppose to boil them for a bit then turn it to simmer. Was super excited for these but I am disappointed. 

    1. Hello Hannah, I’m assuming you did soak the beans overnight before attempting to make the recipe? If this is the case, then the most likely culprit is old beans. Some markets don’t have a quick enough turn over on dried beans, or sometimes dried beans end up sitting on our shelves for a bit too long. Old beans will always retain a bit of hardness to them and will not fully soften. I do hope you try this recipe again with some freshly dried beans and see if you have a different outcome.

  4. I made these a while ago, they are fantastic and so easy!  I am getting ready to make them again for family, but I need to have an idea what the serving size is. Can you help?

  5. Friends from South Texas made me some Charro Beans, and it took me back to Texas in a heartbeat. Your recipe matches right up with theirs. This recipe is so legit. Food like this warms your soul. Thank you.