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Discover The Classic Mexican Frijoles Charros [with Recipe]

When it comes to beans, there’s so much you can do. So many recipes you could try that are not only easy but are also healthy. They are versatile and so full of protein. Mexicans, particularly eat beans in almost every meal they have. You’ll find them eating beans with eggs, beans with tacos, they’ll eat refried beans, and many other types or in many other different ways, like Frijoles Charros.

Today, we talk about a meal called Frijoles Charros, which as you can already imagine, is a meal with beans. The twist is that this meal contains a lot of meat and the Frijoles Charros recipe differs from family to family.

We tell you a bit more about the origin of Frijoles Charros and the varieties. We also share some recipes you could follow if you’d like to try this dish.

what is frijoles charros


What Is Frijoles Charros

Frijoles charros, also known as charro beans, are a flavorful Mexican dish made primarily with pinto beans. The name “charros” refers to traditional Mexican horsemen, and the dish is believed to have originated among them.

Frijoles charros typically include ingredients such as pinto beans, bacon or chorizo, onions, tomatoes, jalapeños, and various spices. The dish is often cooked slowly to allow the flavors to meld together, resulting in a hearty and savory bean stew.

It’s a popular dish in Mexico, often served as a side dish alongside grilled meats or as a main course with rice and tortillas. The rich and smoky flavor of the beans combined with the savory elements makes frijoles charros a beloved comfort food in Mexican cuisine.

frijoles charros origin


Frijoles Charros Origin

Frijoles Charros is one of the simple traditional Mexican side dishes you could try out. It has its origins from the Northern part of Mexico and is one that consists of beans, some tomatoes and onions, Chile peppers and coriander. It also includes meat. The meat used in its preparation is usually bacon, ham, chorizo, or salt pork for flavoring.

These ingredients are cooked with some liquid for a long time in a pot to a point whereby the beans are tender but not mushy.

Frijoles Charros were mostly eaten by Mexican cowboys which is how they got their name, since charro means cowboy. These cowboys needed to get nutritional value to sustain them since they would have long days herding their cattle.

Today, a lot of people eat Frijoles Charros alongside rice and some cornflour bread.

frijoles charros vs frijoles borrachos


Frijoles Charros Vs Frijoles Borrachos

There is also a variation on charro beans that’s called borrachos beans. The two are very similar as the recipe is the same, except for borrachos beans Mexican beer is added. Borracho actually means drunk in Spanish.

The beans will however, not leave you feeling drank because they contain just about twelve ounces of beer which when served translates to just one ounce per serving.

When making borracho beans, you normally have the option of preparing them from dried beans or using canned pinto beans. When you choose dried beans, the borracho beans will turn out creamier, thicker and they will be even tastier.

The only disadvantage of using dried beans is that the process will take longer since you have to start by soaking the beans for about eight hours before you get to cooking. However, the result is worth it.

When you’re using canned beans, you’ll need about four cans each containing fifteen ounces of the beans. When you’re cooking them, you’re free to use any kind of green pepper and any type of beer that you have except the sour types.

Borracho beans smell great and will usually remind you of summer cookouts and barbecues with family and friends. These beans can be eaten alongside different Mexican dishes as borrachos are very versatile.

You can serve them with jalapeno cornbread, pollo asado, cilantro lime chicken, carne asada or flour tortilla

frijoles charros recipe


Frijoles Charros Recipe

Frijoles Charros or Charro Beans are made from bacon and other spices that are known to be very delicious. To prepare them, you simmer the beans in some broth full of flavor until the level of liquid reduces and thickens.



Some of the ingredients you would need for a Frijoles Charros dish include:

  • 1 pound dried pinto beans
  • 1 teaspoon oregano (dried)
  • 6 ounces bacon(diced)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 medium either white or yellow onion (diced)
  • 2 jalapeno peppers (minced)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (use four cloves)
  • 2 14-ounce cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (diced)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Cilantro
  • Bits of bacon
  • White onions (diced)



To make the Frijoles Charros with these ingredients, follow this procedure:

  1. Take a large bowl and in it place the dried pinto beans then cover with water. Make sure you use enough water to have the beans submerged then allow it to soak for about four to eight hours. Drain the water then rinse the beans.
  2. Place a large pot over medium heat and in it add some diced bacon and then let it cook for between five to ten minutes. While it’s cooking, keep stirring it until the fat has been rendered and the bacon starts to become crisp around the edges.
  3. Into the mixture, add some onion and the jalapeno then cook for about five minutes. Stir it occasionally until the onions are translucent and start to become softer. Add some garlic to the mixture and then cook for close to thirty seconds until a nice fragrance can be smelt.
  4. Add into the mixture some tomatoes which you’ve already diced as well as the chipotle pepper then cook for between three to five minutes, ensuring that you occasionally stir it. Do this until the mixture starts to become thicker.
  5. Add the soaked pinto beans, some chicken stock and oregano then include the cumin, bay leaves and a good pinch of the sea salt. Turn the heat up to high then stir so that you combine the ingredients properly and allow them to boil. For simmering, reduce the heat. Cover the pot and then allow the mixture to slowly cook until the beans are slightly tender. This should take about forty minutes.
  6. Uncover the pot then turn up the heat. A medium-high heat should do the job great. Keep cooking it for between thirty-five to forty minutes until the beans are fully cooked. Make sure you stir in between until the liquid is thick enough.
  7. Season with some salt and then serve it with some fresh jalapenos, cilantro, the diced onions and crunchy bacon bits.

frijoles charros con chorizo


Frijoles Charros con Chorizo

If you’d like to make Frijoles Charros con chorizo, the recipe is also very simple. Chorizo is actually pork sausage and goes really well with Frijoles Charros.


  • 1 cup bacon (diced)
  • 1 cup sausage (cubed)
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 3 jalapeno peppers (chopped)
  • 2 cups pinto beans (cooked)
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup coriander (fresh and finely chopped)
  • ½ cup pork rind
  • 2 cups beans soup
  • 1 cup epazote fried leaves



  1. Grab a pot and heat it over some medium heat and then fry the bacon alongside the chorizo. Do this until they’re fully cooked.
  2. Add in your onions and cook until they’re transparent after which, you could add in your garlic and then add the sausage, jalapeno peppers and then the beans and broth.
  3. Cook the mixture for about ten minutes or just until it boils.
  4. Add the pork crackling and then some fresh coriander then season.
  5. Serve the beans on a plate, making sure to use the epazote leaves for decoration. Also serve alongside the chile serrano and some chopped pork rind.


As you can see, the recipe is easy to follow, however, on some occasions, you might be short on time but would still love to eat Frijoles Charros. In such cases, you could use canned pinto beans instead of the dried ones. For the canned ones, ensure you follow the instructions from the recipe, except the covering of the pot and reducing the heat to allow for simmering.

Also avoid the cooking of the beans for the first thirty-five minutes.

You should skip these steps because canned beans come already cooked. You should therefore ensure that you cook everything uncovered for about forty minutes until the liquid is nice and thick enough.

Some of the dishes you could serve it with include Mexican rice, carnitas, carne asada, barbacoa, easy flour tortillas, and cornbread.

Aside from just protein, beans are healthy because they have foliate which is helpful in your overall health and in the making of healthy red blood cells. Foliate is also great in preventing defects of the fetus in a pregnant woman. Beans are also rich in antioxidants that help in fighting free radicals. Free radicals are the harmful chemicals that the body produces during the process of metabolism.

They could end up damaging your cells resulting in a number of diseases. Eating meals with beans such as Frijoles Charros is great for your heart as beans are known to promote heart health and prevent other cardiovascular issues.

If the thought of a hearty and very filling Mexican dish excites you, then the Frijoles Charros is a dish made just for you. You can have them in the summertime especially during those fun family get together where you sit and catch up on each others’ lives.

You can also have Frijoles Charros in the winter alongside some homemade tortillas or you could have them with jalapeno cornbread. In case you’re tired of eating everyday refried beans, this would make for a great alternative for you.

frijoles charros calories


Frijoles Charros Calories

When it comes to calories, frijoles charros can vary depending on how they’re prepared and what ingredients are used. A basic recipe made with pinto beans, onions, tomatoes, and spices can be relatively low in calories, coming in at around 150-200 calories per serving. However, if you add in richer ingredients like bacon or chorizo, the calorie count can go up significantly.

A serving with added meats and extra fats might range from 300 to 500 calories or more. It’s important to be mindful of portion sizes and the types of ingredients used when enjoying frijoles charros, especially if you’re watching your calorie intake. But with all the hearty flavors they offer, they’re definitely worth savoring in moderation as part of a balanced diet.


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