Charro Beans Recipe


Transport your taste buds to Mexico with our mouthwatering Charro Beans recipe! A beloved staple in Mexican cuisine, Charro Beans are a hearty and flavorful dish that combines tender beans with savory bacon, aromatic spices, and a medley of other delicious ingredients. Whether you’re hosting a festive fiesta or simply craving a taste of authentic Mexican comfort food, this recipe is sure to satisfy. Follow along as we guide you through the process of creating this irresistible dish that will have everyone coming back for seconds!


  • 1 pound dried pinto beans, rinsed and sorted
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 pound chorizo, diced
  • 1/2 pound smoked turkey, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 bay leaves


Prepare the Beans:

  1. In a large pot, add the pinto beans and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 2 hours, or until the beans are tender. Add more water as needed to keep the beans submerged.

Cook the Meats:

  1. While the beans are cooking, heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chorizo and smoked turkey and cook until the chorizo is browned and the turkey is heated through. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

Sauté the Vegetables:

  1. In the same skillet with the remaining fats from the meats, sauté the onion and garlic until translucent. Add the jalapeño and tomato, and cook until the vegetables are soft.

Combine Ingredients:

  1. Once the beans are tender, add the cooked meats, sautéed vegetable mixture, chopped cilantro, cumin, bay leaves, and season with salt and pepper to the pot. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.


  1. Continue to simmer the mixture for an additional 30-45 minutes, allowing all the flavors to meld together. Adjust the seasoning as necessary.


  1. Remove the bay leaves before serving. Serve the Charro Beans hot as a side dish or as a main course with tortillas and a variety of salsas.

Serving Tips:

  1. Serve the Charro Beans hot or warm as a delicious side dish alongside your favorite Mexican entrees, such as grilled meats, tacos, enchiladas, or tamales.
  2. Garnish the beans with fresh chopped cilantro and offer lime wedges on the side for squeezing over the beans just before serving. This adds a bright and zesty flavor to the dish.
  3. For added texture and flavor, consider topping the beans with a dollop of sour cream, crumbled queso fresco, or diced avocado.
  4. Serve the Charro Beans with warm corn tortillas or crusty bread to soak up the flavorful broth.
  5. Leftover Charro Beans make a delicious filling for tacos, burritos, or quesadillas the next day. Simply reheat the beans and use them as a tasty filling for your favorite Mexican-inspired dishes.

Storage Tips:

  1. Allow any leftover Charro Beans to cool completely before storing them.
  2. Transfer the cooled beans to an airtight container or resealable plastic bag.
  3. Store the beans in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Make sure to label the container with the date to keep track of freshness.
  4. To reheat the beans, place them in a saucepan over medium heat. Add a splash of water or chicken broth to prevent them from drying out, and stir occasionally until heated through.
  5. Alternatively, you can freeze leftover Charro Beans for longer-term storage. Transfer the cooled beans to a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag, leaving some room for expansion. Freeze for up to 3 months.
  6. When ready to use frozen beans, thaw them overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. Reheat as directed above, adding extra liquid if needed to reach your desired consistency.


  1. What are Charro Beans? Charro Beans, also known as “Frijoles Charros” or cowboy beans, are a traditional Mexican dish made with pinto beans, bacon, onions, garlic, tomatoes, and spices. They are often cooked low and slow until the beans are tender and infused with savory flavors, making them a hearty and satisfying side dish or main course.
  2. Can I use canned beans instead of dried beans for Charro Beans? While dried beans are traditionally used for Charro Beans, you can certainly use canned beans as a time-saving alternative. Simply rinse and drain the canned beans before adding them to the recipe. Keep in mind that canned beans may cook faster than dried beans, so adjust the cooking time accordingly.
  3. How long do I need to soak the dried beans before cooking? It’s recommended to soak the dried pinto beans overnight in water to help soften them and reduce cooking time. However, if you’re short on time, you can also use the quick-soak method: bring the beans and water to a boil, then remove from heat and let them soak for 1-2 hours before draining and cooking.
  4. Can I make Charro Beans in advance? Yes, Charro Beans can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for a few days. In fact, the flavors often develop even more after sitting overnight. Simply reheat the beans on the stove or in the microwave before serving, adding a splash of water or broth to loosen them up if needed.
  5. Are Charro Beans spicy? The level of spiciness in Charro Beans can vary depending on the recipe and personal preference. While some recipes may include spicy ingredients like jalapeño peppers or chili powder, others may be milder. You can adjust the heat level by adding more or less spicy ingredients to suit your taste.


Bring the vibrant flavors of Mexico to your table with our authentic Charro Beans recipe! Perfect for any occasion, from casual weeknight dinners to festive gatherings, this hearty dish is sure to impress. With tender beans, savory bacon, and aromatic spices, each spoonful is a burst of flavor that will transport you to the streets of Mexico. Follow our simple instructions to create this irresistible dish and treat your family and friends to a taste of Mexican comfort food that they won’t soon forget!

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