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Charro Beans

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Charro beans are a hearty side to accompany your Mexican dinner night. Made easy with canned pinto beans, onion, bacon and spices to make them extra flavorful and delicious. These beans are a hit at potlucks, backyard BBQ’s and family gatherings!

cowboy beans in a bowl.
Charro beans also known as cowboy beans

Love this recipe? Try my Truffle Fries and my Jalapeño Pimento Cheese Balls for more delicious recipes.

These charro beans are made easy with canned beans and is a perfect way to use some pantry staples! All the ingredients for these beans are available at any grocery store and won’t break the budget. This Tex-Mex favorite is the perfect side dish for any meal!

Charro beans are tasty and are the perfect compliment to your Mexican food of choice!

mexican pinto beans in a bowl.
Charro beans also referred to as Mexican pinto beans

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • You can use dried or canned pinto beans.
  • Excellent side to go along with any type of grilled meat or tacos.
  • This recipe is hearty, filling and perfectly enjoyed on their own.
  • Highly flavorful, versatile and budget friendly.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Bacon – you can use regular or thick cut bacon.
  • Ham – use leftover ham for this delicious side or main dish recipe.
  • Pico De Gallo – uncooked mixture of chopped tomatoes and onions, cilantro, fresh chiles, lime juice, and salt.
  • Pinto Beans canned beans make this recipe a cinch.
  • Onion – you can use yellow or white onions.
  • Salt adjust to taste.

How To Make This Recipe

four image process charro beans.
Charro beans process

Step 1:

In a large skillet, fry bacon with ham until bacon is fully cooked. Add Pico de Gallo and sauté for approximately 1 minute.

Step 2:

Transfer the bacon and ham mixture to a large pot and add the beans and onions. Simmer for 15-30 minutes. Add salt to taste.

Step 3:

Add small amounts of water to the beans, until the desired soupiness is achieved.

frijoles charros in a bowl.
Charro beans also known as frijoles charros

Recipe Tips

  • Add a few tablespoons of water if the sauce is too thick, or you prefer the beans to be soupier.
  • You can swap out or add more protein to your liking. Sausage, pork and chorizo are other options.
  • Omit any meats if you prefer a vegetarian bean dish.
  • Use your favorite type of bacon. Applewood smoked is one of my favorites.

Variations

  • Make charro beans in the slow cooker! Once the bacon and ham are fried, transfer all the ingredients to the slow cooker and simmer for several hours, adding additional water as needed.
  • Mix it up! Try using black beans in place of pinto beans!
  • Spice it up! Chop up a jalapeño and add it to the beans while they simmer.
  • Add more spices! Garlic powder, onion powder, oregano and cumin are favorites.
  • Top with tortilla strips, avocado, olives, sour cream or jalapeños.

Storing & Freezing

Storing: Store cooled beans in the refrigerator for up to 4 days in an airtight container.

Freezing: Place cooled beans in a freezer safe airtight container or zip top bag and store in the freezer for up to 2 months. To reheat, thaw beans overnight in the refrigerator and heat through on the stove top.

FAQ

What are charro beans?

Charro beans (frijoles charros) are a popular Mexican dish consisting of pinto beans in a flavored broth with other types of meat (chorizo, bacon, ham), chili peppers, tomatoes, and spices.

Is there a difference between charro beans and borracho beans?

Borracho beans and charro beans are very similar, however, borracho beans are cooked in beer.

What can I serve with charro beans?

Charro beans are incredibly versatile and pair well with all your favorite Mexican dishes! They make a great filling for burritos or enchiladas, topping for nachos, or you can even add more meat to make them a main course with a side of tortillas.

Yield: 4 Servings

Charro Beans

mexican pinto beans in a bowl.

Charro beans are a hearty side to accompany your Mexican dinner night. Made easy with canned pinto beans, onion, bacon and spices to make them extra flavorful and delicious. These beans are a hit at potlucks, backyard BBQ's and family gatherings!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 slices uncooked bacon, chopped
  • 1 cup precooked ham, diced
  • 16 ounces prepared Pico de Gallo
  • 2 - 15-16 ounce cans pinto beans, undrained
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
  • Salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet, fry bacon with ham, until bacon is fully cooked. Add Pico de Gallo and sauté for approximately 1 minute.
  2. Transfer the bacon and ham mixture to a large pot and add the beans and onions. Simmer for 15-30 minutes.
  3. Add teaspoons of water as needed until the desired soupiness is achieved. Add salt to taste.

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