Charro Beans (cowboy beans)

  • Yield : About 6 cups
  • Servings : 8
  • Prep Time : 15m
  • Cook Time : 1:30 h
  • Ready In : 2:00 h
Related Recipes:
  • Chicken Enchilada Casserole

  • Easy Creamy Pasta Salad

  • Slow Cooker Carnitas

  • 230 Calorie High Protein Turkey & Mushroom Chili

  • Pan-Fried Zucchini

Nutritional Info

This information is per serving.

  • Calories

  • Calories from Fat

  • Total Fat

  • Saturated Fat

  • Trans Fat

  • Cholesterol

  • Sodium

  • Carbohydrates

  • Dietary Fiber

  • Sugar

  • Protein

  • Serving Size:

    3/4 cup (190 g)

Charro is Spanish and Mexican for horseman or cowboy.

Charro Beans (frijoles charro, cowboy beans) are my favorite Mexican-style bean side dish.

Charro Beans are made with pinto beans, also used for refried beans, that are left whole in a spicy, soupy broth. You can adjust the heat to your taste.

One 3/4 cup (190 g) serving provides about 5 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein for 145 calories. A simple, nutritious way to increase fiber and protein is by serving Charro Beans with quinoa or other whole grain.

Charro beans can be served with Mexican food, chicken, beef, or pork.

Beans and Flatulence (Gas)

Beans can produce embarrassing flatulence (gas). Soaking beans reduces cooking time and their gas producing oligosaccharides a complex sugar most people cannot digest. Changing the soak water 2 or 3 times helps minimize flatulence.

Do not cook soaked beans in the soak water. Using the soaking water reintroduces the gas producing oligosaccharides back into your beans.

Cook’s Tip

Strained Charro beans can be mashed and substituted for refried beans in burros and other recipes. Reserve the broth and serve with rice, quinoa, orzo, or other grain.


  • 8 oz. (225 g) dry pinto beans
  • 2 (60 g) sliced smoked bacon, diced
  • 1/2 (100 g) medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño or serrano chili, minced
  • 1 (110 g) Roma or small tomato, diced
  • 5 cups cold water for cooking
  • 1-2 teaspoons (5-10 ml) Kosher salt

Method of Preparation

Step 1

Rinse beans, place in a bowl or pot and cover with at least 1-inch (25 mm) of water. Soak beans overnight, removing any beans that float or are shriveled. You can also quick soak beans by placing bens in a pot, cover with water, bring to a boil, remove from heat, cover and soak 1 to 2 hours. Drain and discard soaking water.

Step 2

In a 3 to 4 qt/l heavy bottom saucepan, sauté bacon over medium heat until nearly crisp. Add onion and sauté about 3 to 5 minutes.

Step 3

Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer partially covered 1.5 to 2 hours or until beans are tender but not falling apart. Stir occasionally and add water, if necessary, to maintain a soupy consistency and. Beans are done when you can easily mash them with a fork or spoon.