MAINS/ SIDES

Frijoles Charros – Cowboy Beans

Hello and welcome, it’s great to see you! Today I have a wonderful brothy bean dish perfect as a main or a side. Frijoles Charros or Charro Beans are named for the horsemen, the Charros (cowboys) of Northern Mexico. Also a popular Tex Mex dish, Charro Beans are brothy, meaty, savory, a little spicy and completely satisfying. I used canned pinto beans, so it all came together in about 30 minutes, which is great for a weeknight. Let’s get right to it!

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Charro Bean Prep

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There isn’t a lot of prep for this recipe. Start with slicing a pound of bacon strips into 1/2-inch pieces. Get a Dutch oven or large pot and over medium heat, cook the bacon pieces, stirring occasionally until browned and evenly cooked through. Take care not to overcook the bacon; Don’t let it get super crispy, then cut the heat under the bacon.

While the bacon is cooking dice half an onion and slice a fresh jalapeño into thin rounds. Press or mince 3-4 cloves of garlic. Otherwise we have cumin, oregano, our 3 cans of rinsed pinto beans and 4 cups of chicken broth.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked bacon out of the Dutch oven to a paper towel-lined plate. Pour off all but about 1-2 tablespoons of the bacon fat. Turn the heat back up under the Dutch oven to medium heat and add the diced onions and the sliced jalapeños to the remaining bacon fat. Add 2 teaspoons kosher salt. Stir the onions and sauté until softened.

Once the onions have softened, add the garlic and cumin. Stir to combine and toast the seasoning with the aromatics until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Then add the beans and the oregano. Stir the beans and oregano into the aromatic mixture.

Add the bacon back to the pot and add the chicken broth.

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Stir the Charro Beans and bring up to a simmer. When simmering, reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cover. Simmer covered for 7 minutes. After 7 minutes, uncover and continue simmering for 3-5 minutes. Cut the heat and taste the Frijoles Charros. Add kosher salt if needed. Then ladle individual servings into bowls and give each serving a squeeze of lime juice. Top the servings with a diced onion and fresh cilantro leaves.

Frijoles Charros

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These beans are incredibly delicious. You can easily increase the amount to save and freeze half the batch. For every additional can of beans, add 1 cup of broth. It’s not super spicy, but if you’re completely averse to heat, leave out the jalapeño or switch the pepper to the milder poblano.

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Thank you so much for joining me today for these hearty, delicious Frijoles Charros, or Cowboy Beans. I do hope you give this recipe a go, it’ll knock your socks off! If you want to try something a little different, try Sazón Chicken Chili with White Beans. Have a great day, take care and be well. xo Kelly

Key Equipment

Frijoles Charros

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Dinner, Main Course, Side Dish Mexican
By Kelly Djalali Serves: 2-4
Prep Time: ~15 Minutes Cooking Time: ~15 Minutes Total Time: ~30 Minutes

Frijoles Charros (Cowboy Beans) are brothy, meaty, savory, a little spicy and satisfying. Weeknight friendly, ready in about 30 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Bacon, slices cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 Onion, diced
  • 1 Jalapeño, sliced into rounds
  • 2 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1 tsp. Ground Cumin
  • 3 cans Low Sodium Pinto Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp. Dried Oregano
  • 4 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • Garnish
  • Lime Juice
  • Diced Onion
  • Fresh Cilantro

Instructions

1

Get a Dutch oven or large pot and over medium heat, cook the bacon pieces, stirring occasionally until browned and evenly cooked through. Take care not to overcook the bacon; Don't let it get super crispy, then cut the heat under the bacon.

2

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked bacon out of the Dutch oven to a paper towel-lined plate. Pour off all but about 1-2 tablespoons of the bacon fat. Turn the heat back up under the Dutch oven to medium heat and add the diced onions and the sliced jalapeños to the remaining bacon fat. Add 2 teaspoons kosher salt. Stir the onions and sauté until softened.

3

Once the onions have softened, add the garlic and cumin. Stir to combine and toast the seasoning with the aromatics until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Then add the beans and the oregano. Stir the beans and oregano into the aromatic mixture.

4

Add the bacon back to the pot and add the chicken broth.

5

Stir the Charro Beans and bring up to a simmer. When simmering, reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cover. Simmer covered for 7 minutes. After 7 minutes, uncover and continue simmering for 3-5 minutes. Cut the heat and taste the Frijoles Charros. Add kosher salt if needed. Then ladle individual servings into bowls and give each serving a squeeze of lime juice. Top the servings with a diced onion and fresh cilantro leaves.

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Mari
    September 19, 2022 at 10:12 am

    Those look so delicious, and I will be making them sometime this week. I think with fall and winter getting ready to attack, that this dish will be my first line of defense. It just looks so warming and comforting. I can see myself coming inside after shoveling snow and having a bowl of ths. Do I get bonus points for serving it in a Ercer low bowl? Just asking for a friend. 😊 Even if it doesn’t snow here, it will be very bracing, and the Frijoles Charros will totally hit the spot. Wasn’t it just yesterday that we were saying that winter would never end? I’m starting to think I’m still in Minnesota where the old timers swore that there were only two seasons: winter and road construction. That joke is used a lot, but in states like Minnesota, they always seemed to be out with their equipment digging or blocking roads. One of the highways was always under construction. My husband said most of them started out just out of high school, and some day, would retire after fifty years fixing the same stretch of road! There were stories Ike that, but I’m not sure they were true. Kind of like the famous, or infamous, snow in July. Since the story was always prefaced with friends out on the lake fishing, I’m not sure it wasn’t beer that caused the phenomenon. True or not, and I am on team not, it was amusing. Saturday I planned my week, and most of it will be the ongoing decluttering of closets and organizing the kitchen cabinets. Again. Today I am watching the Queen’s funeral procession. It truly is the end of an era.
    A very Happy Monday to Kelly, Alex, Terry and the babies. The sun s out for now, and I am opening the drapes to celebrate. ☀️☀️☀️ (Only six weeks until the real ghost stories. My daughter still won’t talk about them.)

    • Reply
      Kelly Djalali
      September 19, 2022 at 11:08 am

      Good morning Mari, The Queen’s funeral procession has been quite moving, especially the part happening now, to St. George’s Chapel. I quite enjoy the bagpipe tunes. This recipe is super comforting, I am sure you will enjoy it all winter. It’s just such a simple dish to prepare. Good luck with your chores today, and enjoy that sunshine! xo Kelly

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