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Charro Beans

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Some evenings I crave beans, okay seriously I could live off beans.  They are pretty high on my list of “last meals on this earth,” – you know you have one, everyone does. Well when I want a heartier version, a complete meal in a bowl I turn to Charro beans.  Okay I know it’s not original, I’m not reinventing the wheel, but their good, I mean really good.

Charro beans or frijoles charros came from Guadalajara, Mexico. Here in Texas they are also called “cowboy beans,” there is many versions and every region in Mexico has their own twist.   Here they are served in every Tex-Mex joint, in little bowls alongside your meal.  Beer can also be added to make the beans “borracho beans,”  or drunken beans, I have yet to try this, but I see myself attempting these soon.   Pinto beans are the most commonly used here in South Texas, but they can also be made with black beans or use any beans you like, after all aren’t recipes guidelines for you to create your own inspiration, I know I change most recipe to suit my families taste. I have never tried making Charro beans with canned beans, because they do require “brothy beans,”  so I make a pot of pinto beans and go from there.  Popular addition to charro beans are bacon, sausage, serrano, tomatoes, onion, garlic, chunks of ham, chorizo or pork.  If you want to cut back on your meat intake or are a vegetarian, they can easily be loaded with your fav veggie. I have made the veggie version twice by adding squash, carrots, onions, tomatoes, garlic, potatoes, honestly the possibilities are endless. Add any leftovers in the fridge, or any meat from a previous meal.  Shall I share my version? with pleasure…Enjoy!

Charro Beans

by Sweetlife

Vianney Rodriguez

serves many

4-6 cups of beans, with broth (save extra broth in case the mix gets too thick)

1 medium onion, chopped

2-3 tomatoes, chopped

serrano pepper- I use 2-3, ( as suits your heat preference) sliced thinly

8- 10  slices of bacon, chopped

1 tbsp comino

jalapeno sausage(cooked), sliced

2 garlic cloves chopped



cilantro, washed and thick stems removed-chopped

Heat a large pot, or dutch oven( you need  enough room for the beans) and add bacon.

Cook bacon until crisps and remove from pan, add sausage to the pan to slightly crisp and heat through.

Remove the sausage and add onions. Stir frequently to loosen the brown bits from the bacon.

Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes and serranos and continue to stir to remove any left over bits, you want all that flavor in your beans.

Add the comino,garlic, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.

Add your brothy beans and heat through.  Taste for seasoning and add salt or pepper if needed.

Add the cilantro just before serving, the cilantro will wilt quickly and it does not make for a great presentation.

+++I also want to share with you the products that I used in this recipe locally from Texas.

Hickory Smoked Bacon from Houston, Texas

Jalapeno Beef Smoked Sausage from San Antonio, Texas  Kiolbassa

© 2010 – 2012, Sweet Life. All rights reserved. Please contact us to request written approval for reproduction of images and recipes.


43 Responses to Charro Beans

  1. [...] Today I wanted to share a recipe that I have had many requests for.  When I posted my recipe for charro beans I never expected to receive such great feedback.  I had numerous emails, tweets and comments on my [...]

  2. This looks so good.

  3. I am so hungry right now and your bowl of goodness is something that could hit the spot! This is a must make!!!

  4. It’s true beans are one of the most filling and hearty vegetables out there. I can live on beans forever too. This looks like a wonderfully flavorful dish.

  5. beans and sausage, eh? i know of no better comfort foods. :)

  6. Mmm. That jalapeno sausage must give the bowl of charro beans a kick! This look like delicious comfort food. Is comino cumin? I’ll have to look that up. Great dish with good ingredients!

  7. how I do love cowboy beans, although refried pinto beans are my favorite….but alas my wife a northerner does not,….sigh..how I do miss Texas….the blue sky’s, bluebonnets and the beans!!

  8. Inspirational… i’ve been wanted to add beans to our diet lately. I think a variation of this will work :)

  9. Hi Vianney, great post on Charro beans. The recipe sounds wonderful and kudos for using local products.

  10. this looks so delicious…really a comfort food..yummy!

  11. Fantastic post and photos. Love the dish. Pass me some Charro beans, gracias!

  12. I can also live off of beans. Love the sound of this recipe but will omit the bacon and sausage and put in some additional green chiles and spices.

  13. They don’t serve Charro beans in my neck of the woods, so I’ve not tasted them. Your beans look like pure comfort food.

  14. WOW! That looks soooo good!

  15. how delightful…you sure make this sound delicious (despite the fact that i’m not a big fan of beans). you got me at ‘jalapeno sausage’. yum.

  16. These look and sound delicious. I’ve never had them before and think I’ll give them a try this weekend. I loved the post just below this as well. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings…Mary

  17. I am a HUGE bean lover as well! There’s something about the texture that I find incredibly addicting. I definitely want to try this. So many good flavors. Although maybe I’ll hold out for the beer version. Hint hint.

  18. I’ve never craved beans before. I think I am underestimating this humble bean. But with bacon and jalepano sausages in them, I’m sure I’ll be craving them too!

  19. Beans are good for you and I love beans! You made such a delicious bowl. Love the photos too!

  20. Bonnie, these charro beans sound absolutely delicious. I grew up in a home where all our meals consisted of beans, rice and maybe a piece of beef of chicken. You’re right. Pinto beans are the beans of choice here in Texas. I’ve never really gotten a taste of black beans. Great recipe. :)

  21. Hi! This looks incredibly satisfying! I just finished up a tuna melt and am working on a nice, tart apple, but blah! I want this now!

    – Lauren, Lauren’s Little Kitchen

  22. now I don’t think it gets any finer than a big bowl of cowboy beans setting in front of me, well, maybe with a stack of cornpones and tall pitcher of sweet tea… this looks like a perfect way to cook ‘em, I think you know what you’re talking ’bout girl…..

  23. I grew up in Houston, and I have been looking for a recipe to replicate the beans we use to eat at Mexican restaurants down there…I’m so excited! Thank you for sharing!

  24. I can never get tired of charro beans either. YUM! WE eat beans all the time here. And I love your recipe–good thing I have a bag of pintos waiting to be cooked!

  25. I don’t quite have the same love-affair with beans as you, but I’d love a bowl of these! My “last meal” would have to incorporate bacon, goat cheese and fresh basil.

  26. It sounds spicy and delicious! Yum!

  27. Looks delish!!


  28. Oh how delicious this looks! I love a simple and hearty meal.

  29. This is exactly the kind of thing I love to eat! It looks so hearty and delicious. The sausages are calling out for me!

  30. Veramente squisito questo piatto di fagioli, una ricetta da provare. Un abbraccio :*

  31. So comforting and delicious looking! What a wonderful combination! I’d love to taste that jalapeño sausage…



  32. This looks really good! Definitely comfort food…hearty and delicious!

  33. Yeah! Charro Beans. I love these with or without meat-they are so good and wholesome too. Something like this would probably be on my last meals list too, Bonnie!
    Hope you guys are doing well. Stella

  34. I would love to see a photo of the can or the beans dried. I will research this on google as I have not seen anything with the names you have given in our stores here in the dried bean or the canned bean sections. I love beans, too, as they are so easily influenced with flavour, digest so beautifully and are a responsible protein choice…. (but, don’t you get gas from eating so many of them? :) :) :) )

  35. I love charro beans!!! Your recipe sounds amazing…and yeah, I’m definitely a fellow lover of the frijole!! ;)

  36. Beans and me’s best buddies too! Love em! This looks stupendous!! I really could eat a big ole bowl of that everyday easily for a week and not be bored…..

  37. this is awesome delicious, definitely be a hit with my guests! :)

  38. This looks so tempting! I adore the beans.

  39. My dear friend, I could live on THIS frijles charros alone! :D
    Love it!

  40. I’m drooling here, it looks delicious, this dish looks a lot with something we have in Brazil. Jalapeno beef sausage sounds yummy.

  41. This looks like a bowl full of comfort. I know my husband would relish each bite of these beans.

  42. Oh my gosh this recipe sounds and looks soo good, my mouth was watering as I was reading this post!! Hmm I’m wondering if I can find the jalapeno beef sausage or something similar in ON! Thanks so much for sharing!!! :)

  43. This looks yummy! Thanks for sharing this recipe, I am sure we will love it at home.

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