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+ servings
A brown bowl with beans and a spoon.

Healthy Frijoles Charros Recipe

Hands down, the best Frijoles Charros Recipe! It’s rich, hearty and so flavorful! The beans are perfectly tender, served as a side or as a main dish. It’s a comforting meal in a bowl, that’s bound to please!
Course Side Dishes
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 55 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 248kcal
Author Ana Frias


  • 1 pound dried pinto beans. See Note #1
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt (divided 1/2 + 1/2)
  • 3 Tablespoon vegetable shortening
  • ½ medium onion sliced thinly
  • 1 ea jalapeño and yellow chile (aka Güero Chiles) See Note #2 seeded , cut in half (long way) then sliced thinly
  • ½ anaheim pepper sliced thinly
  • 1 large tomato cut in half then sliced thinly
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt (divided ½ and ½)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper preferably freshly grinded
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro


  • In a large bowl, add the pinto beans and top with water, ensuring that the beans are covered completely. Soak the beans overnight or at least for 5 hours. Drain out any excess water and rinse the beans off. See Note #3
  • In a large medium pot, add the beans and water. Cover pot with a lid and bring to a boil then lower heat to medium or medium low (to cook on soft boil).
  • Cook for 2.5 hours or until beans are soft and break easily with a spoon.
  • Add ½ tablespoon of kosher salt and turn heat to low while you saute the vegetables.
  • In a medium skillet, add the vegetable shortening and heat until very hot.
  • Add the onions, peppers and garlic. Saute for 2 minutes until vegetables start to get soft.
  • Add the tomato, the other ½ tablespoon of kosher salt, pepper and oregano and mix to integrate. Saute for another minute or so.
  • Add the vegetable mixture to beans plus the bay leaves and cilantro. Mix and cover the pot. Cook for 15 more minutes on medium-low to integrate all of the flavors into the beans.
  • Serve hot.


  1. Can't find or ran out of pinto beans? Use black beans, navy beans, kidney beans, great northern beans or black turtle beans instead!
  2. Add another jalapeño pepper if you can't find Yellow Chiles or add a serrano pepper instead if you want it more spicy. 
  3. If you don't have time to soak the beans, it's okay, they'll just take longer to cook so allow an extra hour of cooking time. 


Serving: 1large bowl | Sodium: 1156mg | Sugar: 3g | Fiber: 27g | Potassium: 1508mg | Calories: 248kcal | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Fat: 9g | Protein: 16g | Carbohydrates: 48g