This easy charro beans recipe is a classic Mexican side dish. Loaded with deliciously seasoned pinto beans, bacon, onion, garlic, and lots of spices, plus made in the slow cooker, these beans are always a hit and requested often.
If you’ve never had charro beans, then I hope you try this recipe immediately. You’ve never had anything like them, and you never will again. These are a favorite side dish down here in Texas and the surrounding southwestern states. It’s a purely authentic dish that explodes with the flavors of Mexico in every bite. This isn’t some kind of Taco Bell invention. Uh-uh. This is the real deal, ladies and gentlemen, and it is so good!
Slow Cooker Charro Beans
I make these slow cooker charro beans quite often. I love to serve them on Taco Tuesdays along with tacos and fajitas or bring them to potlucks. Everyone always loves them, and with all the delicious flavors mixing together in the beans, it’s no wonder they’re a huge hit.
Easy Charro Beans Recipe
These charro beans are an authentic Mexican side dish, and they are absolutely stuffed full of flavor. This recipe starts with a base of pinto beans. From there, we add bacon, onions, garlic, cumin, jalapenos, and more. It’s a rich, hearty side that is so filling, you could actually make it a main dish if you so chose. This is the perfect side for any protein, even if it isn’t a Mexican or Tex-Mex dish, although these beans really shine when served with other Mexican dishes. The best part is that is is so, so easy to make.
Variations and Substitutions
The great thing about this recipe is that you can really play with it to make it your own. So long as the spices are in place, you can do a lot with it to change it up to suit your needs. It’s an extremely versatile dish that allows you to create several kinds of beans from one simple recipe.
This recipe uses bacon but you can add more meat or different meat to the dish to make it a complete meal or simply add more meat for a heartier side. Some great ideas for meat additions include:
While charro beans are traditionally made with pinto beans, you can use any kind of substantial bean that you like. Some great choices for this recipe include:
- White beans
- Kidney beans
- Navy beans
Use different broth for a slightly different flavor. This recipe calls for vegetable and beef broth, but you can use chicken broth, chicken stock, vegetable stock, beef stock, or any other variation that you like.
Tips for the Perfect Beans
The only real challenge to this recipe is the beans themselves. Many people, especially those who are new to cooking beans, tend to make a few different mistakes when making beans. These tips will help you make the best beans possible.
- Use fresh beans. Although dried beans can last for a long time, the longer they go unused, the less delicious they will be.
- Look over your beans and remove any that are marred, shriveled, or otherwise not appetizing.
- Always soak beans overnight to let them plump up and soften. It also helps reduce the gas associated with eating beans.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have questions about this easy charro beans recipe, then I have answers. The following FAQ answers the most frequently asked questions about this delicious bean side dish.
Why do you have to soak beans?
Soaking beans leads to a finished product of cooked beans that are firmer and fewer of them will burst during cooking. In addition, soaking larger beans like kidney beans help get rid of the complex sugars in beans that our bodies can’t fully digest. These sugars are what give us gas.
What are charro beans?
Charro beans – also called frijoles charros or cowboy beans – are pinto beans made with different types of meat, chilis, tomatoes, and spices. They have a consistency similar to soup and can be served as a side or a main dish.
What is the difference between charro beans and borracho beans?
Charro beans and borracho beans are very similar. The main difference is that borracho beans are cooked with beer and charro beans aren’t.
What is the difference between charro beans and refried beans?
Refried beans are smashed during the cooking process to create a sort of paste, whereas charro beans are left whole and in their broth.&
Why are they called charro beans?
Charro beans got their name from the Mexican cowboys who first made them. These cowboys were called charros.
How long will charro beans last in the fridge?
They’ll keep in an airtight container for up to 10 days.
Can charro beans be frozen?
Yes, they can. Allow the beans to chill in the refrigerator, then freeze them in an air-tight, freezer-safe container or heavy-duty freezer bag for up to 3 months.
Easy Charro Beans Recipe Ingredients
It only takes a few ingredients to make these delicious beans. Although they’re a classic Mexican dish, you won’t need to visit a specialty store to find the ingredients. They’re all readily available at your local grocery store.
- Pinto beans, soaked overnight
- Bacon, cooked until crispy
- White onion, chopped
- Cloves garlic, minced
- Jalapeños, seeds removed, chopped
- Garlic salt
- Ground cumin
- Slap Ya Mama® seasoning
- Black pepper
- Chili powder
- Vegetable broth
- Beef broth
- Optional: green onions, avocado, sour cream and cilantro for topping
How to Make This Easy Charro Beans Recipe
Making this recipe is incredibly easy. It only takes a few minutes of simple stovetop cooking and then letting everything come together in the slow cooker. It’s so easy even beginners can make it.
Step 1: Prep
Sort and remove any debris from the dried pinto beans, and soak them overnight. To soak, add the beans to a large pot, large bowl or dutch oven and cover them completely with water, leaving 2 additional inches of water above the beans. The next day, prep the vegetables and measure out your ingredients. Lightly spray a 6 – 8 quart slow cooker with nonstick spray or use a slow cooker liner.
Step 2: Fry the Bacon
Cut the bacon into 1-inch pieces and cook bacon over medium high heat on the stove top until crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan and place it on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the excess bacon grease.
Step 3: Combine All Ingredients and Cook
Add the beans and all remaining ingredients to the slow cooker. Cook for 6 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low. Top with sour cream, green onions, cilantro and avocado!
Try These Delicious Slow Cooker Charro Beans Today
This easy charro beans recipe is so simple and so delicious. It’s incredibly easy to make, it taste delicious, and it’s always a hit. Serve it as a main dish or as a side at your next potluck or for Taco Tuesday. However you choose to serve it, I know you’ll love it as much as my family and friends do. Give them a try!
More Delicious Mexican Food Recipes
Easy Spanish Rice – A super easy and flavorful rice recipe that is made with less than 10 ingredients and is the perfect side dish to make for any Mexican meal.
Chicken Enchilada Casserole – Layered corn tortillas that are loaded with seasoned chicken, cheese, enchilada sauce, black olives, and baked until hot and bubbly. The perfect casserole to make for busy weeknights.
Beef and Bean Enchiladas – These enchiladas are super easy and quick to make, made with seasoned ground beef, refried beans, all stuffed in flour tortillas and covered in red enchilada sauce and topped with cheese.
Try this Tamale Pie from Great Grub Delicious Treats. It’s loaded with ground beef, corn, black olives, diced tomatoes, green chilies, and topped with tasty corn bread.
Looking for More Crock Pot Recipes?
Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice – This recipe is hearty, flavorful, and delicious. It has tender shredded chicken breast, Rotel, and delicious spices all mixed with white rice and topped with cheese.
Crock Pot Queso – This queso is made with a handful of ingredients, loaded with flavors and is loaded with Italian sausage that gives it a great twist of flavor.
Try this Crock Pot Cheesy Chicken from Great Grub Delicious Treats for a savory and delicious comfort food recipe.
Easy Charro Beans
- 1 pound pinto beans, soak over night
- 8 slices bacon, cooked until crispy
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 jalapeños, stem and seeds removed, diced
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon Slap Ya Mama® seasoning
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- 10 ounce can Rotel®
- 32 ounce vegetable broth
- 14.5 ounce can beef broth
- Optional: green onions, avocado, sour cream, for topping
- Sort and remove any debris from beans then rinse and add to large pot. Add water making sure beans are completely covered with 2 additional inches of water on top. Soak overnight.
- Cut bacon into one inch pieces and fry until crispy. Remove bacon from pan and drain grease on a plate lined with paper towels.
- Lightly spray a 6-8 quart crock pot with a non stick spray or use a crockpot liner.
- Once beans have soaked overnight, drain beans and place in crockpot. Next add chopped bacon, onions, garlic, jalapeños, seasonings, Rotel®, vegetable broth, and beef broth to crock pot. Stir and cook on high for 6 hours or low for 8-10 hours.
- Serve with your favorite Mexican meal.
- Top with sour cream, green onions cilantro and avocado for added flavor, if desired.
Here are a few pics that are the perfect size for pinning to your favorite Pinterest board.