Go Back
+ servings

Charro Beans (Frijoles Charros)

Course: Side
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: 5 Ingredients, BBQ, Budget-Friendly, Camping, Cinco de Mayo, Grilling, Make-Ahead, Party
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Soaking Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 9 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 10 8 to 12
Calories: 311kcal
Author: Marilyn
Charro Beans or Frijoles Charros are these amazing Mexican Cowboy beans you need to have on your list of picnic and potluck recipes. Charro beans are an economical and full flavored bean dish that will be the side dish that disappears first! You can also jazz up frijoles charros with Mexican chorizo sausage for an outstanding main dish. This charro beans recipes works great as a side dish for Mexican main dishes, but also for grilled, smoked, BBQ or hearty main dishes.
Print Recipe


  • 1 pound dried pinto beans
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 8 strips thick cut bacon, cut crosswise into ¼ inch pieces about 12 ounces
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 jalapeños, stemmed, seeded and minced see tip
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic about 2 medium cloves
  • 1 14.5-ounce cans diced fire roasted tomatoes with sauce
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, diced
  • 1 teaspoon adobo sauce from can of chipotles
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 2 bay leaves

For Serving

  • Fresh chopped cilantro leaves optional
  • Sliced jalapenos optional
  • Diced white onions optional


  • Place dried pinto beans in a large bowl and add the salt and 8 cups of water. Let stand 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse.
  • In a Dutch oven, over medium high heat, add the bacon and cook, stirring often, 7 to 9 minutes until fat is rendered and bacon is starting to crisp.
  • Add the onions and jalapeños; cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes or until onions are translucent and starting to soften. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute or until fragrant.
  • Add the tomatoes , chipotle peppers and adobo sauce; cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture begins to bubble.
  • Stir in the beans, chicken stock, oregano, cumin, bay leaves and pinch of salt into the tomato mixture. Increase the heat to high, stirring occasionally, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmering, cover and cook, 40 minute or until beans are just tender.
  • Transfer two cups of beans to a shallow bowl. Mash beans until smooth with small chunks. Return the beans to the pot. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, 40 minutes or until the beans are tender and the liquid has thickened. Season to taste with salt.
  • Serve garnished with chopped fresh cilantro, jalapeños, and diced onions, if using.


1 medium clove of garlic will yield about 1 teaspoon minced garlic. Small cloves will yield about ½ teaspoon, so you will need 4 small cloves. 1 large clove yields about 1-½ teaspoons so you will need 1 small and 1 large clove. You can also use pre-minced garlic from a jar if you prefer.
12 servings are good size when served as a side dish. If you are serving this as a main course, with some of the variations listed below, 8 servings is a better approximated serving size per person.
When purchasing fire-roasted tomatoes, make sure to select a can that does not have added peppers, onions or green chilies. 
If you like spicier charro beans, don't remove all of the seeds from the jalapeños when you are prepping them. The jalapeño seeds, when added to the beans, will kick up the spice level. Add a few at a time and add more as the beans cook if you would like the charro beans spicier.
To increase the smokiness of the charro beans, add 1 smoked pork hock in step 5 along with the chicken stock.
Another option to increase the smoky flavor is to add 1 teaspoon liquid smoke, or more to taste, in step 5.
To serve Frijoles Charros as a main coarse or as a heartier side dish, add uncured Longaniza or Chorizo Sausage along with the onions in step 3. Remove the sausage from the casing before adding to the Dutch oven. Use a spatula or potato masher to break up the sausage while it cooks with the onions.
Charro beans can be refrigerated for up to 3 days in the refrigerator or up 3 months in the freezer. To reheat the beans from frozen, defrost in the refrigerator overnight.
To reheat charro beans, cook them over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until heated through. If you are taking the beans to a picnic or potluck, they can be placed in a slow cooker or an electric pressure cooker, such as an Instant Pot, on the keep warm function.


Calories: 311kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 1721mg | Potassium: 843mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 49IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 3mg