Who needs refried beans when you have charro beans?!  This is a simple, but delicious, charro beans recipe. This recipe makes a great side dish with Mexican, Tex-Mex or even plain ol ‘merican food. Serve these immediately after cooking them or freeze them for easy lunches and dinners later.

If you ever get to San Antonio and want the best charro beans in town, go to Rosarios. Alas, this bean recipe isn’t as good as Rosario’s, but it’s mighty close.

This recipe contains cilantro. I can’t for the life of me understand why, but a portion of you don’t like cilantro. That’s OK. Leave the cilantro out if you don’t like it! For the record, I love it. And it’s going in the pot for me! While this recipe calls for a bottle of beer, and I always use one, I’m on the fence as to whether or not it really brings much to the party. If you don’t want to put beer in your beans, swap the beer out for 12 ounces of water.

Charro beans recipe

A note about heat

The jalapenos in this recipe provide both flavor and heat. If you’re afraid of the heat, add one or two, but remove the white part of the inner rib (this is primarily where the capsaicin–the heat, lives) and the seeds. This provides a little heatless jalapeno flavor. I like these beans with a little heat and usually use two whole (less the stems) medium-sized jalapenos. Nitrile gloves are highly recommended when cutting the jalapenos.

Serving suggestion

For a great, quick lunch, put a poached or over-easy egg on a bowl of charro beans and serve with a crusty of piece of toast.

Charro beans
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: side dish
Serves: 8 servings
  • 16oz dry pinto beans
  • 6 cups of water
  • 1 bottle beer (Shiner Bock or other dark, robust beer)
  • 8 slices of bacon
  • 4 garlic cloves--minced
  • 1 onion-coursely chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 or 3 jalapeno peppers
  • 5 roma tomatoes-coursely chopped
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  1. Chop raw bacon into ½" slices and fry in a dutch oven, in batches if necessary, until crispy. Don't burn it! Set cooked bacon aside and remove all but two tablespoons of the bacon grease.
  2. Put beans, water, beer, and minced garlic, and bay leaves in the pot. Bring to a boil.
  3. While starting to boil, chop tomatoes, onions, and jalapenos and added to the pot. Remove stems from half the bunch and chop stems finely. Add chopped stems to pot. Chop half a bunch of the leaves and save for later.
  4. Bring water to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and cover. Cook for about two or three hours until beans are cooked (don't let them get too soft and mushy!). You may need to add a little more water as the beans cook.
  5. After beans are thoroughly cooked, turn off heat, and add the chopped cilantro leaves.
For less fat, use smoked turkey sausage instead of bacon. This version isn't quite as good as the one with bacon it, but it is very good.


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