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top view of finished frijoles charros beans in a small white dish on a marble surface

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.
4.88 from 8 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 day
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican, Southwest, Tex-Mex
Servings 8 people
Calories 222 kcal


  • 1 lb dried pinto beans picked over and rinsed
  • ½ lb bacon chopped
  • ½ cup chopped garlic
  • ½ cup cilantro divided
  • 1 cup white onion chopped
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp fresh cracked pepper
  • ½ gallon cold water
  • 2 cup tomatoes chopped
  • 3 jalapenos finely chopped


  • In a large bowl or pot, soak the beans in half a gallon of water overnight. The next day, drain and rinse the beans.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • When ready to serve, remove from the heat, and add the tomatoes and remaining cilantro. Taste for seasoning and serve!


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.


Calories: 222kcal (11%)

Calorie count is purely an estimate calculated using an online application to serve as a guide and not to be taken as accurate nutritional information. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Keyword beans a la charra, frijoles a la charra, frijoles charros, ranch style beans recipe
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