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.
How to Make Mexican Pinto Beans:
How to make Mexican Pinto Beans with Dried Pinto Beans:
- First, Pre-soak the Beans! This method involves starting the recipe the night before you want to make this dish.
- Add the dried beans to a large bowl and add water just until the beans are fully covered with water.
- Let this sit overnight. Then follow the recipe below.
How to Make Slow Cooker Pinto Beans Beans:
- This method doesn’t involve prepping the night before, but does have a longer cook time.
- 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.
- 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:
- This is the easiest method of all. I find that using 3 cans of pinto beans works well with this recipe.
- Cook up the bacon, onion and jalapeno.
- Drain the beans, rinse, and add them to a large pot on the stove top. Add remaining ingredients.
- 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)
- 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!
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.
If I need to double the recipe, do I just use twice the amount of everything?
Yes! Simply double all of the ingredients, this is an easy recipe to multiply 🙂
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.
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.
In the future, just keep them cooking and add water as needed 🍁
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?
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.