These Frijoles Charros Mexicanos (Mexican Charro Beans) are made with dried pinto beans, broth, onion, garlic, diced tomatoes, cilantro and can be made in dutch oven or pressure cooker.
These simple pinto beans can be paired with so many dishes, especially Mexican dishes. I actually made fish tacos and topped these beans on top of them, and they were phenomenal! These were always served in my household on the side, unless my mom made refried beans. They are the magical fruit! I love the addition of the bacon because it gives it a smoky flavor, along with the fire roasted tomatoes. Unless you are vegetarian, don’t skip the bacon! It is what gives the beans so much flavor.
These beans are a hearty side dish and is great for an easy filling food. Beans last for a very long time, and can be made with just water and some great pantry staples. These beans have a sweet, tangy, salty, rich flavorful taste and are so complex and filling. They can be made in a dutch oven or a pressure cooker.
- Dried pinto beans
- Chicken, vegetable or beef broth
- Fire-roasted tomatoes
See recipe card for quantities.
Place the beans in a large bowl and cover with water by double. Add 2 tablespoons salt and stir. Let them soak for 8 to 12 hours. Drain and rinse.
In a large dutch oven, add the bacon over medium high heat, stirring constantly, until the fat is rendered and the bacon browns. Stir In the onions, garlic, jalapeno and cook for about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bring to a sizzle until the liquid is thicker. Add the soaked beans, broth, salt, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low heat as soon as it boils and bring to a simmer, cover and cook for about an hour. Season with more salt if needed and garnish with cilantro.
Pressure cooker (no need to soak the beans)
Hit the sauté function and add the bacon, stirring constantly, until the fat is rendered and the bacon browns. Add the onions, garlic, jalapeno and cook, stirring constantly, until the onions are soft and the garlic is fragrant. Turn the sauté function off. Add the tomatoes and use a wooden spoon to scrape off the brown bits stuck on the bottom. Add the pinto beans, broth, salt and pressure cook on high for 30 minutes. Let the pressure cooker naturally release. With a slotted spoon, take out the beans and place them in a large bowl. Garnish with cilantro leaves and more salt if needed.
Hint: I would use an Instant Pot if you decide to go the pressure cooker route. When you saute the bacon, make sure to keep stirring constantly.
Pinto Beans: Pinto beans are the most traditional bean to use. You could use navy beans, black beans or kidney beans if you really don’t like pinto beans.
Broth: You can use chicken, beef or vegetable stock for this recipe. If you would prefer to make a vegetarian option, skip the bacon and use vegetable broth.
Bacon: You can use pancetta or chorizo instead of bacon for this recipe. Both will give it a great smoky flavor.
Tomatoes: I like using tomatoes from the can because it comes already prepared and with the juices. You should opt for the fire roasted tomatoes or the diced tomatoes with green chilies.
Onion: This dish traditionally uses red onion, but you can use white or yellow.
Garlic: For best taste, use fresh garlic, but you can also use garlic from the jar. Just use about a tablespoon to substitute for 2 garlic cloves.
Cooking is a great time to get creative and have fun.
- Spicy - add chili pepper flakes while cooking to imbue heat into the dish, or jalapeno peppers at the end.
- Deluxe - add guacamole, pickled onions or coffee grounds for a depth of flavor.
- Kid friendly - add crushed tortilla chips!
See this Mexican Beans in Instant Pot recipe on my website!
Equipment can have a big impact on how a recipe turns out. Stone bakeware takes longer to heat up than metal pans, and also retain heat for longer, which could make the recipe more watery, or burnt on the outsides.
I love using my Caraway pots, pans and baking sheets for best quality. Get yourself a discount by clicking here!
These Frijoles Charros Mexicanos (Mexican Charro Beans) are good in the fridge for 3-4 days, or can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Soak the beans if you are cooking them on the stovetop. Soaking is not necessary if making in the Instant pot.Print
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove