Frijoles charros also known as charro beans or cowboy beans are a popular Mexican recipe that can be served as the main dish or as a side. This amazing dish is made with simple ingredients yet it delivers plenty of flavor! If you enjoy this recipe, you’ll have to check out my recipe for drunken beans next.
Charro beans can be enjoyed year round. They’re a hearty and comforting dish during the chilly fall and winter seasons. They also make a great side dish for barbecues during the warmer seasons. Basically there’s never a bad time to make this popular Mexican bean dish.
Charro beans ingredients
I’m using canned pinto beans for their convenience however freshly cooked pinto beans work too. I like to drain and rinse the canned beans. However, this is optional.
This dish uses fire roasted tomatoes, onion and jalapeno. Fresh diced tomatoes can be used however, I prefer the flavor of the fire roasted tomatoes.
Salt, black pepper and garlic powder adds additional flavor.
Chopped cilantro adds nice color to the dish as well as some fresh flavor.
Bacon slices as well as some bacon grease will be used in this recipe to add
How to make frijoles charros
Preheat the oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the bacon on the baking sheet in a single layer.
Cook the bacon for 15-20 minutes depending on crispy you want it. Then transfer the bacon strips to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
I like cooking bacon in my oven because it’s less messy. Plus, I can cook a lot more at once than I can in my skillet.
Next heat up a large skillet over medium heat. Add some of the bacon grease to the skillet. Then add the onion and jalapeno to the skillet. Season with salt, pepper and the garlic powder and cook for a few minutes.
Next add the beans, tomatoes and water to the skillet. Stir and bring to a boil. Next reduce heat to medium low and cover. Cook for 15 minutes.
After the beans have simmered remove the lid and start mashing them with a potato masher.
Mash them until they reach your desired consistency.
I like to leave some beans whole as its adds interesting texture to the dish.
This is a good time to check for salt. Add some if desired but not too much because in the next step the crumbled bacon is added and bacon is already salty.
Now add the crumbled bacon and chopped cilantro to the skillet. Stir well and remove the skillet from the heat.
The frijoles charros are now ready to serve.
Tips and tricks
I usually always have a container of bacon grease on hand but I don’t always have bacon. In those cases I like to add chopped hot dog slices to the beans instead of crumbled bacon. I know it may sound weird but it’s actually not uncommon. If I have leftover smoked sausage I’ll add that too.
What to serve with charro beans?
Charro beans or frijoles charros can be eaten as the main dish or they can be served as a side dish. Some of my favorite dishes to serve them with include bistec a la Mexicana, carne asada and carnitas.
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Frijoles charros recipe
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Frijoles charros or charro beans are a delicious Mexican pinto bean recipe that can be served as the main dish or as a side.
- 4 (16) oz cans pinto beans
- 14.5 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes
- 1/2 white onion diced
- 1 jalapeño chopped
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 1 tsp granulated garlic
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 8 slices of bacon
- 3 tbs bacon grease
- 2 cups water
Preheat the oven to 400.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the bacon on the baking sheet in a single layer.
Cook the bacon for 15 to 20 minutes depending on how crispy you want it. Then transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
Once the bacon is cool, crumble it and set aside. Reserve the bacon grease.
Next heat up a large skillet over medium heat. Add the 3 tbs of bacon grease to the skillet.
Then add the onion and jalapeno to the skillet. Season with salt, pepper and the garlic powder and cook for a few minutes.
Next add the beans, tomatoes and water to the skillet. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and cover. Cook for 15 minutes.
After the beans have simmered remove the lid and start mashing them with a potato masher. Mash them until they reach your desired consistency.
Now add the crumbled bacon and chopped cilantro to the skillet. Stir well and remove the skillet from heat.
Serve and enjoy!