Frijoles Charros

Frijoles charros, Mexican Cowboy Beans, is a ranch style beans recipe that cooks slowly for the most flavorful, authentic frijoles a la charra ever.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican, Southwest, Tex-Mex
Keyword beans a la charra, frijoles a la charra, frijoles charros, ranch style beans recipe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 day
Servings 8 people
Calories 222 kcal
Author Erica


  • 1 lb dried pinto beans picked over and rinsed
  • 1/2 lb bacon chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup cilantro divided
  • 1 cup white onion chopped
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh cracked pepper
  • 1/2 gallon cold water
  • 2 cup tomatoes chopped
  • 3 jalapenos finely chopped


  1. In a large bowl or pot, soak the beans in half a gallon of water overnight. The next day, drain and rinse the beans.
  2. In a large heavy pot, cook the bacon until done but not crisp. Add the onion, garlic, and jalapeno to the hot bacon. Cook, stirring regularly, until onions are transparent.

  3. Add the beans, cumin, chili powder, salt, and ¼ cup cilantro. Add ½ gallon cold water and stir with a wooden spoon to scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Turn heat to low.

  4. Cook beans at a very slight simmer until fork tender - I let them cook all day (~5 hrs) so the beans get very soft. Stir regularly to avoid burning the bottom and add more water as necessary (you will have to add another pint or two).

  5. When ready to serve, remove from the heat, and add the tomatoes and remaining cilantro. Taste for seasoning and serve!

Recipe Notes

I have served these charro beans to church suppers with 80 people. No recipe adjustments are necessary, just multiply. If serving a large crowd, it is best to serve these charro beans in a cup, 1/2 cup per serving.