Frijoles a la Charra Cowboy Beans

Have you ever been to a Mexican Carne Asada?

If you have, there is most likely a deep pot simmering away with frijoles a la charra (In addition to all the meats of course.) This brothy, bean dish, has so much flavor, thanks to the slow simmering layers of staple ingredients like onion sauteed in bacon fat, chorizo and plenty of flavorful stock from the slow-cooked pinto beans. Growing up, this was typically served on the weekend or at parties. If my mom made them, she’d make a huge batch and if any Frijoles a la charra were left, we’d have them during the week with either eggs and bolillos or as a side with one of her weekly meat stews.

What are Frijoles a la Charra-Cowboy Beans?

Frijoles a la Charra are beans slow simmered and cooked in broth with bacon, onion, beef franks, jalapenos, chorizo and garlic. It’s a classic bean dish in Mexican cuisine. “Charro” or “Charra “in Spanish, refers to cowboys; horse riders looking after the cattle.  This dish is typical of northern Mexico as cattle ranching was one of the main industries of the region.
How to Make Frijoles a la Charra – Cowboy Beans?

Ranchers need good, hearty meals to hold them over during their long, hard labor days. Frijoles a la Charra offer a comforting and fulfilling lunch with loads of protein in the meats and finished off with herbs and seasonings slow simmered in the beans broth. Frijoles a la Charra build exquisite layers of flavor developed over time in a slow stew of beans, onions, chorizo, beef franks and bacon.
We love to make ours with jalapeños and cilantro for that bright balance in this meaty stew! It’s delicious and a family favorite. 

Tips when making Frijoles a la Charra – Cowboy Beans:

Because I prep my beans biweekly this recipe comes together really quick. Chop and prep your ingredients ahead of time, this will make it easy at the time of preparation and you can essentially throw everything in the pot and let it simmer away on low. We love to serve ours for Sunday Carne Asada or backyard cookouts. It’s great because you can double the recipe for all your parties and barbecues. I even freeze little batches for later use.

How to serve Frijoles a la Charra- Cowboy Beans:

Growing up, this was a staple dish for the weekend or at parties. They pair great with a skirt steak or accompany any taco night, quesadillas or roasted chicken. We love to eat frijoles a la charra year round as it is a great comfort meal and go-to soup in our home. I like to offer extra diced jalapenos, cilantro and onion as a garnish. It adds a bright note at the end and some extra spice!

Your turn!

Now that we’ve met, you don’t have to wait around for an invite to a carne asada! I’ve given you the recipe below so you can enjoy this exquisite dish from the north of Mexico. Reminisce with a warm bowl of all the fiestas you went to as a kid. If your memory bank doesn’t have any of these, it’s time to make some! Below is the recipe. I hope your family enjoys them as much as mine does!

Frijoles A La Charra Cowboy Beans

Frijoles a La Charra are brothy pinto beans loaded with bacon, chorizo and fresh onion, slow simmered in a flavorful broth. Fit to satisfy any cowboy hunger!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 12


  • 1 lb pinto beans
  • 4 c broth of cooked beans
  • 4 c chicken broth
  • 8-12 oz bacon
  • 8-12 oz chorizo
  • 10 oz ham
  • 16 oz beef franks or sausage, sliced
  • 8-12 oz diced tomatoes
  • 1 diced onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 3 jalapenos
  • 1 handful chopped cilantro


  • In a deep stock pan or dutch oven, start by frying the bacon. When bacon is cooked, remove and set aside; leave bacon fat in the stock pan.
  • Add chorizo and cook while breaking it apart in the stock pot.
  • After chorizo is cooked, add ham and sliced beef franks.
  • Next add the chopped fresh ingredients: onions, tomato, jalapeños and garlic.
  • When all meats are cooked though, add previously cooked beans,
  • and their broth.
  • Finally, add the chicken stock. The longer it simmers, the thicker it will get.
  • Keep adding bean broth (from where the pinto beans cooked) until I reach my desired consistency. We like our Frijoles a la Charra very brothy.
  • Bring to a boil and lower heat to simmer. Add chopped bacon and cilantro at the end.
  • Serve with freshly diced onions and more jalapeno for more spice. 
    ¡Buen Provecho! 


Because this dish gets its flavor from the different meats and fresh veggies, it's helpful to have everything chopped & prepped. Cooking frijoles a la charra is a  breeze when all you have to do is add the ready- made components.  You can always use your own ceramic bowls or cereal bowls but if you like having clear containers I've linked them below.
See my Amazon storefront for my prep containers

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Chef Bio


Hi! My name is Sarah. My family in Mexico calls me Sarita. I love cooking and sharing the homemade meals my mom prepared for me when I was a child. At Casa Sarita, if there’s food, there’s a fiesta! I’m so glad you are here!

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