Smoky, spicy beans with just a hint of heat- that’s what you get with these charro beans. Named for the Mexican cowboys who compete in charreadas, these beans have just a bit of bacon and a bit of jalapeño in them to bring a hefty dose of flavor to the whole pot. They go perfectly with cornbread and I’m partial to having them over rice.
These beans have just the right spice and flavor and some versions of this dish are more like a stew. So feel free to add more broth to the pot if you’re in the mood for something more like a soup. Simply double or triple up on the broth for a dish that you can dunk your cornbread into.
To begin making this recipe you’ll need to brown 6 ounces of bacon or ham in a large pot along with some onion and jalapeño peppers. This releases the flavors of the onion and peppers. It’s traditional to use pork grease to cook them, which you’ll have some extra of if you are working with bacon. Or you can use can olive oil if you prefer- the choice is yours.
Then add in the beans and the seasonings and then let the flavors come together. This recipe uses canned beans for a quick dinner. If you wanted to use dried beans you could, just follow the directions on the package to cook before adding to the pan.
These charro beans make great weeknight meal since you can rustle up some dinner in no time! No wonder this dish has been a Mexican and Southwestern favorite for so many generations.
15m prep time
12m cook time
- 6 oz crumbled cooked bacon slices or equivalent diced ham
- 1 teaspoon olive oil or bacon grease
- 1/2 white onion, chopped
- 2 jalapeño chiles, seeded and chopped (or to taste)
- 4 (14 oz) cans cooked pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup water or broth
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- black pepper to taste
- Add pork to stock pot along with olive oil or drippings. Heat to medium-high and add onion and jalapeño. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Add remaining ingredients to pan and cook for 8-10 minutes or until liquid is reduced. Serve with rice and/or cornbread.
Recipe adapted from Southern Living.