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Savory Charro Beans Recipe | Perfect Side Dish

charro beans

Looking for an authentic Mexican charro beans recipe? Look no further! In this article, I’ll show you how to make tasty and traditional charro beans, a delicious side dish that pairs perfectly with any meal. Whether you’re cooking for a crowd or just want to indulge in a flavorful treat, this charro beans recipe is sure to satisfy your cravings.

Key Takeaways:

  • Charro beans are a flavorful and delicious side dish that complements any meal.
  • This recipe uses authentic Mexican ingredients like bacon, chorizo, onions, and spices.
  • Charro beans can be made with either dried or canned pinto beans for convenience.
  • Customize your charro beans by adding extra vegetables or experimenting with different types of beans.
  • Serve charro beans as a side dish or as a main course with rice and tortillas.

About Mexican Charro Pinto Beans

Mexican charro pinto beans, also known as frijoles charros or Mexican cowboy beans, are a traditional Mexican staple. These beans are slow-cooked with onions, garlic, and other flavorful seasonings, such as cumin and chili powder. They are often made with bacon or chorizo for added richness and spiciness. Mexican charro pinto beans are a versatile dish that can be served as a main course or as a hearty side dish.

Why You’ll Love this Charro Beans Recipe

This charro beans recipe is a must-try for all food lovers. The combination of savory ingredients like bacon, chorizo, onions, and spices creates a bold and robust flavor that is absolutely irresistible. With its delightful taste and enticing aromas, this dish will quickly become a favorite in your kitchen.

Making these flavorful charro beans is incredibly easy, even for beginner cooks. The recipe is straightforward and requires simple ingredients that are readily available. Whether you’re cooking for yourself, your family, or a group of friends, this recipe is sure to impress and leave everyone asking for more.

One of the best things about this charro beans recipe is its versatility. You can easily customize it to suit your taste preferences. If you love spicy food, you can add extra chili powder or jalapeños for a fiery kick. Alternatively, if you prefer milder flavors, you can adjust the amount of spices accordingly. Feel free to experiment and make this dish your own.

So why wait? Gather your ingredients, put on your apron, and get ready to indulge in the deliciousness of these versatile charro beans.

Here are some reasons why you’ll love this charro beans recipe:

  • Flavorful: The combination of bacon, chorizo, onions, and spices creates a taste sensation that is both savory and satisfying.
  • Easy: This recipe is simple to follow, even for novice cooks. You’ll have a batch of delicious charro beans ready in no time.
  • Versatile: Customize the recipe to your liking by adjusting the spice level or adding ingredients like jalapeños or bell peppers.

In summary, this charro beans recipe is a winner on all fronts. Its bold flavor, ease of preparation, and versatility make it a go-to dish for any occasion. Whether you’re serving it as a side dish or as a main course, these charro beans are sure to impress. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to add this delicious recipe to your repertoire.

Ingredients for Charro Beans

To make delicious charro beans, you’ll need a variety of flavorful ingredients that come together to create a hearty and satisfying dish. Here’s a list of the key ingredients:

  • Pinto beans: Pinto beans are the star of charro beans, providing a creamy texture and rich flavor.
  • Bacon: Bacon adds smokiness and depth to the dish, infusing each bite with savory goodness.
  • Chorizo: Chorizo brings a delightful spiciness and robust flavor to the beans.
  • Onions and garlic: These aromatic ingredients provide a strong foundation of flavor.
  • Tomatoes: Tomatoes add a touch of sweetness and acidity, balancing the richness of the other ingredients.
  • Spices: A combination of cumin, chili powder, and oregano enhances the overall taste profile of the beans.
  • Broth: Chicken or vegetable broth is used to simmer the beans, infusing them with even more flavor.
  • Cilantro: Fresh cilantro adds a vibrant, herbaceous element to the finished dish.

By combining these ingredients, you’ll create a delectable pot of charro beans that will delight your taste buds. Let the flavors meld together as they simmer, resulting in a dish that is sure to impress.

Now that we’ve covered the ingredients, let’s move on to the next section and learn how to bring these flavors together in a mouthwatering charro beans recipe.

How to Make Charro Beans

Making charro beans is a straightforward process that starts with a few key ingredients. Follow this step-by-step charro beans recipe to create a delicious and authentic Mexican dish.

Gather Your Ingredients

Before you begin, make sure you have the following ingredients:

  • 1 pound bacon, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces chorizo, crumbled
  • 2 cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Step 1: Cook the Bacon

In a large pot or Dutch oven, cook the chopped bacon over medium heat until crispy. Remove the bacon from the pot, leaving the rendered fat behind.

Step 2: Sauté the Onions, Garlic, and Chorizo

Add the diced onions, minced garlic, and crumbled chorizo to the pot with the bacon fat. Sauté until the onions are translucent and the chorizo is cooked through.

Step 3: Add the Beans, Tomatoes, and Spices

Next, add the drained and rinsed pinto beans, canned diced tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, and oregano to the pot. Stir well to combine.

“The combination of bacon, chorizo, onions, and spices creates a delicious taste that will have you coming back for more.”

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Step 4: Simmer Until Flavors Meld

Now, pour in the chicken broth and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and let the charro beans simmer for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.


For a thicker consistency, use a potato masher or fork to mash some of the beans against the side of the pot.

Step 5: Garnish and Serve

Finally, remove the pot from the heat and sprinkle the freshly chopped cilantro over the charro beans for a burst of freshness.

Charro beans can be served as a standalone dish or as a flavorful side with Mexican or Tex-Mex meals. Enjoy them with warm tortillas or as a topping for rice for a complete and satisfying meal.

Give this charro beans recipe a try and savor the rich flavors of this traditional Mexican dish. It’s a hearty and delicious option that will impress your family and friends!

Tips for Customizing Charro Beans

Charro beans are a versatile dish that can be easily customized to suit your taste preferences. By swapping out ingredients and exploring different variations, you can create a unique and personalized charro beans recipe that satisfies your cravings. Here are some tips to help you customize your charro beans:

1. Protein Substitutions:

If you’re not a fan of bacon or chorizo, don’t worry! You can easily substitute them with other proteins to add a different flavor profile to your charro beans. Consider using ham or beef for a savory twist, or experiment with chicken or turkey for a leaner option.

2. Vegetarian Charro Beans:

If you’re following a vegetarian diet, you can still enjoy the rich flavors of charro beans by omitting the meat and incorporating more vegetables. Add extra bell peppers, corn, or diced tomatoes for a burst of freshness, or try using vegan chorizo for a plant-based alternative.

3. Bean Variations:

While pinto beans are traditionally used in charro beans, don’t hesitate to experiment with different types of beans. Black beans, kidney beans, or even a mix of various beans can add a unique texture and taste to your dish. Feel free to combine your favorite beans or try something new!

4. Heat Level:

Customize the spiciness of your charro beans by adjusting the amount of chili powder or adding some chopped jalapeños or other hot peppers. If you prefer a milder flavor, reduce or omit the spicy ingredients altogether. The choice is yours!

5. Additional Ingredients:

Get creative and add extra ingredients to your charro beans. Consider including diced potatoes, carrots, or zucchini for added heartiness and variety. You can also experiment with herbs and spices like cilantro, oregano, or cumin to enhance the flavors even more.

Remember, the key to customizing charro beans is to have fun and be adventurous in the kitchen. Let your taste buds guide you and feel free to make the dish your own. Whether you’re catering to dietary preferences or simply personalizing the flavors, customizing charro beans ensures a delicious and satisfying culinary experience.

customize charro beans

Serving Suggestions for Charro Beans

Charro beans are a versatile dish that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Whether you’re looking for a delicious side dish or a hearty main course, charro beans will satisfy your cravings. Here are some serving suggestions to inspire you:

1. Charro Beans as a Side Dish

Charro beans make a perfect accompaniment to any Mexican or Tex-Mex meal. Serve them as a side dish with:

  • Tacos: Fill your tacos with flavorful charro beans for a hearty and delicious bite.
  • Enchiladas: Pair your enchiladas with a side of charro beans for a complete meal.
  • Fajitas: Add a scoop of charro beans to your fajita platter for a burst of flavor.

These serving suggestions will enhance your meal with the savory flavors of charro beans.

2. Charro Beans as a Main Course

If you want to turn charro beans into a filling main course, try these serving ideas:

  • Rice and Tortillas: Serve a generous portion of charro beans alongside steamed rice and warm tortillas for a satisfying meal.
  • Burritos: Stuff your burritos with charro beans, rice, cheese, and your favorite toppings for a delicious and hearty wrap.
  • Charro Bean Soup: Transform your charro beans into a comforting soup by adding more broth and vegetables.

These serving suggestions will elevate charro beans from a side dish to the star of your meal.

3. Charro Beans for Gatherings and Weeknight Dinners

Charro beans are not only great for formal meals but also perfect for casual gatherings and weeknight dinners:

“Whether you’re hosting a potluck, organizing a party, or enjoying a cozy weeknight dinner, charro beans are a crowd-pleaser that everyone will love. Their rich flavors and comforting textures make them an ideal choice for any occasion.”

With their versatility and delicious taste, charro beans are sure to become a staple in your kitchen.

Serving Suggestions: Meal Type:
Tacos Side Dish
Enchiladas Side Dish
Fajitas Side Dish
Rice and Tortillas Main Course
Burritos Main Course
Charro Bean Soup Main Course

These serving suggestions will inspire you to get creative in the kitchen with charro beans. Whether you’re looking for a flavorful side dish or a satisfying main course, charro beans will always hit the spot.

Why Use Canned Beans for Charro Beans

When it comes to making charro beans, using canned beans can be a game changer. It’s a convenient shortcut that saves both time and effort without compromising on flavor. Here’s why:

1. Time-saving:

Using canned beans eliminates the need for soaking and long cooking times. Since the beans are already cooked, you can have a delicious batch of charro beans on the table in a fraction of the time compared to using dried beans.

2. Convenience:

Canned beans are readily available in most grocery stores, making them a convenient option for busy individuals or last-minute meal preparations. They are a pantry staple that can be easily incorporated into your favorite charro bean recipe.

3. Consistency:

Canned beans offer a consistent texture and taste, ensuring that your charro beans turn out perfectly every time. Dried beans can sometimes vary in cooking time and may require extra attention to achieve the desired tenderness.

4. Versatility:

Canned beans provide versatility in preparing charro beans. You can choose from a variety of canned bean options, such as pinto beans or black beans, to suit your taste preferences or dietary needs. This allows you to experiment and create unique flavor combinations.

To use canned beans for charro beans, simply rinse and drain them before adding them to the recipe. This removes any excess salt or preservatives and allows the beans to absorb the flavors of the other ingredients.

So, if you’re looking for a quick and convenient way to enjoy delicious charro beans, reach for a can of pre-cooked beans and get ready to delight your taste buds!

canned beans for charro beans

Benefits of Using Canned Beans for Charro Beans

Soaking Dried Beans for Charro Beans

If you prefer to use dried beans for your charro beans, it’s important to soak them before cooking. Soaking helps to soften the beans, reducing the overall cooking time and ensuring they are tender and flavorful. Here’s how you can soak dried beans for your charro beans recipe:

  1. Rinse the beans: Start by rinsing the dried beans under cold water to remove any dirt or debris.
  2. Place in a large bowl: Transfer the rinsed beans to a large bowl or pot.
  3. Cover with water: Add enough water to the bowl or pot to fully cover the beans. The water should be at least an inch above the beans.
  4. Soak overnight or for at least 8 hours: Let the beans soak in the water for a minimum of 8 hours or overnight.
  5. Drain and rinse: After soaking, drain the water from the beans and give them a final rinse under cold water.

Now your beans are ready to be cooked and added to your charro beans recipe. Soaking the dried beans beforehand ensures that they cook evenly and become tender, resulting in delicious charro beans.

For a visual reference, here’s an image that shows the process of soaking dried beans:

Soaking dried beans is an essential step in creating authentic and flavorful charro beans. It helps to soften the beans and reduce cooking time, resulting in a delicious and satisfying dish.

FAQ for Charro Beans

As a popular dish, charro beans often come with a few questions. Here are some frequently asked questions about charro beans:

  • How long do I cook charro beans?
  • How do I store leftovers?
  • What substitutions can I make?

Let’s dive into each question and provide some helpful answers:

How long do I cook charro beans?

The cooking time for charro beans depends on the method you choose. If you’re using canned beans, you’ll typically need to simmer them for about 20-30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together. On the other hand, if you prefer to use dried beans, you’ll need to soak them overnight and then cook them for 1-2 hours until they become tender. The exact cooking time may vary, so it’s best to keep an eye on the beans and taste them periodically to ensure they reach your desired doneness.

How do I store leftovers?

To store leftover charro beans, allow them to cool completely before transferring them to an airtight container. Place the container in the refrigerator and consume the beans within 3-4 days. If you have a larger batch of charro beans and won’t be able to consume them within that time frame, consider freezing them. Portion the beans into individual freezer-safe containers or freezer bags, making sure to leave some space for expansion. Frozen charro beans can be stored for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy them, simply thaw them in the refrigerator overnight and reheat them on the stovetop or in the microwave.

What substitutions can I make?

Charro beans are a versatile dish that welcomes substitutions based on personal preferences or dietary restrictions. Here are some common substitutions you can make:

Ingredient Substitution
Bacon Ham or smoked turkey
Chorizo Sliced sausage or vegan chorizo
Chicken broth Vegetable broth or water
Fresh tomatoes Canned diced tomatoes

Feel free to get creative and explore different flavor combinations by substituting ingredients according to your taste or dietary needs. The possibilities are endless!

Now that you have answers to some common charro bean questions, you’re ready to confidently prepare this delicious dish. Experiment with cooking times, storage methods, and ingredient substitutions to find your perfect charro beans recipe!


Charro beans are a versatile and delicious side dish that will elevate any meal. Whether you choose to use canned or dried beans, the combination of savory ingredients like bacon, chorizo, onions, and spices creates a flavorful and satisfying dish. From traditional Mexican meals to backyard barbecues, charro beans are a crowd-pleaser that will impress your family and friends.

One of the best things about charro beans is the opportunity for customization. You can experiment with different flavors and spice levels to suit your taste buds. Swap out ingredients, such as using ham or beef instead of bacon and chorizo. If you prefer a vegetarian version, simply omit the meat and add extra vegetables or vegan chorizo. The possibilities are endless!

Whether you serve charro beans as a side dish or as a main course with rice and tortillas, they are sure to be a hit. Their rich and robust flavors, combined with the slow-cooked goodness, make them a must-try dish. So, next time you’re looking for a tasty and satisfying accompaniment to your meal, give charro beans a try. You won’t be disappointed!


How long do charro beans take to cook?

Charro beans typically take about 1 to 2 hours to cook, depending on whether you use dried or canned beans and how tender you like them. It’s best to simmer them over low heat until the flavors meld together and the beans are soft.

How do I store leftover charro beans?

Leftover charro beans can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. When reheating, you may need to add a splash of water or broth to prevent them from drying out.

Can I make substitutions in the charro beans recipe?

Absolutely! The charro beans recipe can be easily customized to suit your preferences. For example, you can use ham or beef instead of bacon and chorizo. If you prefer a vegetarian version, simply omit the meat and add in extra vegetables or vegan chorizo. You can even experiment with different types of beans, such as black beans or kidney beans.

Can I freeze charro beans?

Yes, charro beans can be frozen for future use. Allow them to cool completely before transferring them to freezer-safe containers or bags. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. When thawing and reheating, you may need to add a little bit of water or broth to bring them back to the desired consistency.

Are charro beans spicy?

The spiciness of charro beans can be adjusted to your taste. If you prefer a milder version, you can reduce or omit the amount of chili powder or other spicy ingredients. On the other hand, if you like it spicy, you can add more chili powder or even a dash of hot sauce for an extra kick.

Can I make charro beans in a slow cooker?

Absolutely! Making charro beans in a slow cooker is a great option for convenience. Simply follow the recipe up until the bacon and chorizo step, then transfer everything to the slow cooker. Cook on low heat for 6 to 8 hours or on high heat for 3 to 4 hours, or until the beans are tender. It’s a hands-off method that yields delicious results.

How can I make charro beans less salty?

If your charro beans turn out too salty, there are a few ways you can reduce the saltiness. First, you can dilute the saltiness by adding more unsalted broth or water. Secondly, you can balance out the saltiness by adding a squeeze of lime juice or a splash of vinegar. Finally, you can add a starchy ingredient like cooked rice or potatoes, as they can absorb excess salt.

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