Mexican Charra Beans Recipe

click to rate
3 votes | 5511 views

Very flavorful beans, slightly soupy. Frequently served as a side dish with a Mexican meal in many restaurants along the border.

Prep time:
Cook time:
Servings: 8


Cost per serving $0.42 view details
  • 2 cups dried pinto beans
  • 5 cups water
  • 3 cups beef bouillon or stock (can use 3 beef bouillon cubes or granules dissolved in hot water)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 to 6 slices bacon, chopped or cut in small pieces across the strips
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2 fresh jalapeño chilies*, sliced into thin strips (discard seeds and ribs before slicing)
  • 1 cup canned tomatoes, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves (optional)


  1. *CAUTION: When cutting up jalapeño chilies, do not handle them with bare hands. Wear kitchen gloves or put your hand in a plastic bag when holding them. The juice in the chili can blister your skin if it makes skin contact.
  2. Clean the dried beans, wash and drain them. Place in a large heavy saucepan. Add the water, bouillon and bay leaves. Simmer uncovered over low heat.
  3. After 1 hour, stir the beans and check the water level. If the water doesn’t cover the beans by an inch, add enough hot water to do so. Check water level again in 30 minutes, and add more hot water to maintain the 1-inch above beans level.
  4. In a small skillet cook the bacon until brown. Remove the bacon and reserve, leaving the drippings in the skillet. Add the onion, garlic and jalapeños to the drippings and cook until tender. Stir in canned tomatoes and cook about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the cooked vegetables to the beans and continue cooking. Check beans every 15 minutes, keeping water level just above the beans. When beans are fully cooked, there should be extra liquid, but the beans should not be watery. If too watery, take about ½ to 1 cup of beans, mash them, and add them back to the pot of beans, bringing them to a boil to thicken the bean liquid somewhat. Stir in the cilantro and reserved bacon just before the beans are done. Delicious!


Add the recipe to which day?
« Today - Jul 10 »
Today - Jul 10
July 11 - 17
July 18 - 24
July 25 - 31
Please select a day
or Cancel
Loading... Adding to Planner

Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving %DV
Serving Size 349g
Recipe makes 8 servings
Calories 269  
Calories from Fat 81 30%
Total Fat 9.01g 11%
Saturated Fat 2.94g 12%
Trans Fat 0.0g  
Cholesterol 12mg 4%
Sodium 791mg 33%
Potassium 840mg 24%
Total Carbs 33.13g 9%
Dietary Fiber 8.0g 27%
Sugars 2.27g 2%
Protein 13.92g 22%
How good does this recipe look to you?
Click to rate it:

Link to Recipe

Embed Recipe 400px wide (preview)

Embed Recipe 300px wide (preview)


Leave a review or comment