Charro Beans

5 from 6 votes
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Charro Beans are pinto beans cooked with bacon, onion, garlic and spicy tomatoes. They can be a meal on their own or served as a side. Charro loosely translates to “Cowboy or Charros”, these frijoles rancheros are the perfect dish for riding the range or hanging at home! 

This post has been updated 3/22/19.

Charro Beans in a bowl
Charro Beans

These flavorful Mexican beans make such a great side dish or even a meal on their own. I love serving mine with Chicken Empanadas or Margarita marinated chicken.

If you need a good pinto beans recipe, these are a must make! Using canned pinto beans means these can be made in 30 minutes. Serve them for taco Tuesday or upcoming Cinco de Mayo!

The bacon in these charro beans adds so much flavor and meatiness to the dish. If you are out of bacon, you could substitute chorizo or even diced ham.



bacon, onion, garlic, tomatoes with green chilis, pinto beans, beef broth

diced bacon and onion cooking in a skillet

What are they

They are a Mexican style pork and beans, frijoles rancheros. Pinto beans cooked usually with bacon, spicy tomatoes and served in a broth. Charro roughly translates to “cowboy” but they are not to be confused with these Cowboy Beans made with ground beef.

What is the difference between charro beans and refried beans

Refried beans are cooked pinto beans that have been mashed, typically with lard making them smooth in texture. Charro beans are left whole. 


  • Start with bacon. Shouldn’t every recipe start like that?! 🙂 Make sure to cut it up into small pieces. I used 7 strips of bacon for this recipe.
  • Brown the bacon in a skillet over medium heat. At this point you can drain some of the extra bacon fat but I like to keep it in for added flavor. Add in diced onions and cook until they start to get tender. This takes about 5 minutes.
  • Add in some garlic, a can of tomatoes with green chilies, 2 cans of pinto beans and some beef broth. Let this simmer for about 20 minutes.
  • These beans are served in a little broth. So they will be a little soupy. Add a some cilantro if you like or even some shredded cheese.
  • I like eating these in a big bowl but they are also fantastic on top of nachos!

Bowl with beans and tomatoes.

How long do they last in the refrigerator

You can keep these beans in the refrigerator for 3-5 days or freeze them up to 7 months. To warm them up, pour them in a sauce pan and heat. I sometimes will add a splash of beef broth. 

This pinto bean recipe is so delicious and very easy to make. Your favorite cowboys are sure to love it! 

Are they healthy

Beans are a great source of protein. Cooking with bacon does add a little fat and sodium to this dish.

Are beans Keto friendly

Most beans, including Pinto beans, are high in carbohydrates meaning they should be avoided on a ketogenic diet. 

More recipes you might enjoy

I am also loving these Churros from Cooking Classy!

ENJOY! ~Heather

**Make this recipe? Be sure to give it a star rating below.

Bowl with beans and tomatoes.
5 from 6 votes

Charro Beans

By Heather
Charro Beans are pinto beans cooked with bacon, onion, and spicy tomatoes. They can be a meal on their own or served as a side. 
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 6-7 pieces of bacon, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 cup sweet onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can tomatoes with green chilies (I use Rotel)
  • 1.5 cups beef broth
  • 2 16 oz cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed


  • Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook until starts to brown and add diced onion.
  • Cook onion for about 5 minutes and then add garlic. Cook for another minute. 
  • Stir in tomatoes with green chilies, pinto beans and broth. Let simmer for 15-20 minutes. 
  • Serve warm. 


You can store these in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in saucepan over medium heat. 


Calories: 159kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 558mg | Potassium: 161mg | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin C: 2.4mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 0.4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
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