A2D Cooking School:: Kristi’s Charro Beans

Due to technical difficulties, I’m posting this a day late. But I’m excited to share this recipe with you! You see, this is actually my very own recipe…my creation. I’ve said before that there are only two things that I’m confident that I cook quite well, and this is one of them…Charro Beans!

If you don’t live in the south, you may have never heard of charro beans. It’s simply Mexican pinto beans that are on the soupy side. Yeah…like bean soup! And these are quite tasty.

And for those who can’t (or don’t want to) watch the video, here is the recipe for you. This makes an 8 quart pot of beans. You can divide the recipe as needed.

2.5 pounds of pinto beans
2 medium onions, chopped
10 jalapenos, chopped (you can use less, depending on your taste for spicy foods)
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
4 tomatoes, diced
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1.5 to 2 pounds of sliced bacon, cut into about 1″ pieces
5 tbsp Johnny’s seasoned salt (if this brand is not available in your area, you can substitute another brand, but start with less, as other brands, in my experience, tend to be saltier)

Wash beans and add to 8-quart pot or crock pot. Add onions, tomatoes, jalapenos, cilantro, garlic, and seasoned salt. Fill pot with water just to the top of the ingredients, and mix thoroughly.

In a skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until the bacon is not quite completely cooked. You want it to be soft—not crunchy. Add bacon AND bacon grease to the pot of beans. Add more water to at least 1″ above the ingredients. Stir thoroughly, place lid on pot, and then turn on to cook.

I allow mine to cook for several hours, because it turns into more of a gravy consistency, which I love! These beans, in my opinion, definitely taste better the longer you cook them.

We eat ours over rice, with a bit of cheddar cheese on top. Yummy!!! This is especially good in cold weather, but we eat the year-round.

If you try this, let me know what you think!! And if you’d make any changes, let me know. I’m sure they can be improved upon, and I’m here to learn.




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  1. I love, love, LOVE beans, and picked up everything I need to make these this afternoon – I even found Johnny's Seasoned Salt at one of my usual grocery stores! (However, this version of JSS has MSG out the wazoo – it's the second ingredient listed.) I'm going to soak my beans overnight first, as I've never had any luck getting tender beans without that step, but plan to follow your recipe exactly otherwise. I'll be back tomorrow evening to let you know how they turn out.

  2. Okay, I'm back with my review 🙂 YUMMMMMMM! I did make one change (in addition to soaking the beans overnight) and that was scaling back the seasoned salt to 2 TB. I held off on adding any of the seasoned salt until the beans were good and tender (roughly four hours in) because I've just always had miserable luck getting soft, tender beans and I was told by someone once that salt added too early can affect that. I ladled out a bowlful of the beans to eat before I added any of the seasoned salt and they were REALLY good without it. Really, really good! Not wanting to mess up what was already really good, and figuring the bacon has a LOT of salt in it to begin with, I added only the two tablespoons of seasoned salt… and now wish I had either added one TB at a time or NONE because I really preferred them without it. Bottom line though, this recipe is a keeper and I'll be making it often! Thanks for sharing, Kristi.

  3. I love beans in their many splendid application and the tune as well. " beans , beans, the musical fruit, the more eat the more you eat the more you toot."

  4. I love beans in their many splendid application and the tune as well. " beans , beans, the musical fruit, the more eat the more you eat the more you toot."