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Easy Charro Beans (Instant Pot Recipe)

Charro beans are a delicious traditional Mexican side dish. Perfect for potlucks, quick lunches, or dinners. Spice up your meal with my Instant Pot Charro Beans that’ll fill your family with a hearty, spicy, and savory dish with a touch of Mexican flavor!

Angled view of bowls of cooked Charro Beans topped with slices of Jalapeno peppers

Beans work incredibly well in the pressure cooker. Our no-soak Instant Pot Charro Beans recipe will have you serving up delicious beans with tons of flavor and minimal effort. No more beans from a can!

Why You’ll Love Our Easy Charro Beans Recipe

  • Quick and easy. I mentioned this already, right? All you do is throw the ingredients in your Instant Pot, set it to cook, and walk away. Beans are perfectly cooked and ready on time, every single time. No reason to boil beans and the entire recipe is finished in an hour.
  • No Soak Beans Recipe. No complicated steps or things to remember here.
  • One Pot Meal. Easy cleanup and everything you need for a comforting meal in one pan.
  • Versatile. This is an incredibly hearty dish you can use as your main dish or served as a side.
  • Restaurant Quality Food. You don’t have to be a professional chef to enjoy Mexican food at home and these delicious ingredients can all be found in your grocery store. 
Top down view of a bowl filled with charros beans topped with jalapeno slices

Why are They Called Charro Beans?

Traditional Mexican cowboys were called “Charros” and are credited with this recipe, similar to Borracho Beans, Mexican Cowboy Beans, or Frijoles Charros.

Equipment Needed to Make Charro Beans Recipe

Instant Pot

Ingredients you’ll need for this recipe

Top-down view of the ingredients used to make Instant Pot Charro Beans
  • Water.
  • Dry Pinto Beans. You can make the same recipe with black beans but may need to adjust the amount of water according to the package directions and reduce the cooking time.
  • Onion. Medium white onion or yellow onion.
  • Verde Green Salsa. The Frontera brand is particularly good!
  • Jalapeño Pepper.
  • Fresh Cilantro. Small dice work best in this recipe.
  • Minced Garlic. Use real cloves of garlic and a garlic press for the best flavor.
  • Chili Powder.
  • Black Pepper.
  • Cumin.
  • Paprika.
  • Vegetable Bouillon. Three teaspoons or three cubes.
  • Bacon. Cooked and chopped into small pieces. 

How To Make Charro Beans Instant Pot Method

Please note, that the printable recipe card has ingredient quantities, complete instructions, and nutritional information. The following is a quick overview of the recipe.

Step One. Sort the beans.

Remove any broken, shriveled, or misshapen beans and rinse.

Step Two. Fill the pressure cooker.

Add the beans, water, and remaining ingredients except bacon to the Instant Pot.

Step Three. Start the Instant Pot Charro Beans

Set it to “manual” or the beans setting and high pressure for forty-five minutes.

A finger pointing at the proper setting on an instant pot - Hostess At Heart

Step Four. Naturally Release the Instant Pot.

Allow the pressure cooker to release pressure naturally for fifteen minutes once it has finished cooking.

Step Five. Vent and release the beans.

Top down view of a finger pointed to the seal valve on an instant pot. Hostess At Heart

After fifteen minutes, release any remaining steam.

Step Six. Add bacon to your Charro Beans recipe.

Top down view of an instant pot filled with cooked Charros beans topped with fresh cilantro and chopped bacon. Hostess At Heart

While the beans cook, cook the diced bacon. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and let the bacon grease drain on a paper towel. When the cooking process is complete, add the chopped bacon to the beans. It gives the beans a great smoky flavor. 

How to Serve Charro Beans?

I like adding garnishes to this easy bean recipe. Diced Roma tomatoes, fire-roasted tomatoes, pico de gallo, diced jalapenos, cotija or cheddar cheese, and fresh chopped cilantro.

These beans make a great side dish with these great recipes for Mexican cuisine recipes

For a full meal, add Mexican rice, warm tortillas, and a nice Mexican beer! 

A spoon filled with Borracho beans hovering over a bowl filled with the beans topped with jalapeno slices - Hostess At Heart

Variations

  • Make Charro Mexican-style Bean soup, – Add 7 to 8 cups of water and 5 bouillon cubes.
  • Replace 1 or 2 cups of the water with beer and you’ll have Drunken Beans.
  • Water and bouillon cubes can be replaced with an equal amount of flavorful broth, such as chicken or vegetable broth.
  • We like thick-cut bacon. Mexican chorizo or vegan chorizo can be substituted. To make a hearty dinner, add pork or chopped ham similar to what we did with our Pork Green Chili Recipe.
  • This recipe uses jalapeno peppers. You can combine different varieties of peppers, including Serrano for more heat or mild poblano peppers and the beans still taste great. You could also use a can of green chiles for convenience.
  • For the vegetarian version, omit the bacon.
  • Use your spice preference. Cayenne or crushed red pepper will give this Mexican version bean recipe a kick. I also often use Mexican dried oregano. Add a bay leaf that can lighten up a hearty dish. 
  • Adding pork, beef, and chicken are all great additions to your pot.
Side view of a bowl of cooked Mexican pinto beans topped with Jalapenos - Hostess At Heart

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it better to soak beans before cooking in the Instant Pot?

No. It is not necessary to soak pinto beans for this recipe. The pressure cooker will cook your beans evenly and perfectly. Soaked beans will split open under pressure and should not be cooked in the Instant Pot.

Can you overcook beans in the Instant Pot?

Yes. That’s why if your beans aren’t quite cooked at the end of the recipe time, you should only add more time in five-minute increments. Do not overcook your beans, because they will become mushy and soft. Beans that are falling apart have been overcooked and will not keep well as leftovers.

Is it possible to make vegan Frijoles Charros without bacon fat and lard?

Yes. Bacon is an optional ingredient in this dish.

Are jalapeno peppers essential in Frijoles Charros, or can they be omitted if someone doesn’t like heat?

Use a milder variety such as poblano or anaheim peppers.

Top down view of bowls of charra beans topped with jalapeno pepper slices - Hostess At Heart

How To Reheat & Store Charro Beans

Best Way to Store Instant Pot Charro Beans

Leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. The beans will keep for up to five days.

Can I freeze Charro Beans?

Yes. You can freeze your cooked charro beans for up to three months. It’s easiest to reheat the beans if you freeze individual servings in airtight containers. If you freeze a large amount, place it in an oven-safe pan to freeze, and then thaw and reheat it directly in the oven.

How to reheat Charro Beans?

Reheat your beans in the microwave for thirty seconds at a time until they are hot or put them in a saucepan over medium heat on the stovetop and stir occasionally until heated through.

Angled view of a bowl of cooked Pinto beans topped with jalapeno pepper slices - Hostess At Heart

Tips for the Perfect Charro Beans Recipe

If beans are hard after cooking, place them under pressure and cook for 5 additional minutes. In order to restart your pressure cooker right away, it will be ideal if you use a fresh sealing ring. Once the sealing ring gets hot, it expands and it is harder for it to create a seal in the Instant Pot. Using a cold seal can help.

Next time you cook a ham or ham steak, chop up the leftovers and put them in the freezer for this delicious recipe.

I hope you enjoyed this delicious recipe as much as we do. Drop me a comment below, and don’t forget to give it a star rating. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Your comments and ratings help others decide if this recipe is for them too.

Top down view of bowls filled with Charro Beans topped with jalapeno slices - Hostess At Heart

Instant Pot Charro Beans Recipe

Author: Julie Menghini
Spice up your meal with my Instant Pot Charro Beans recipe that'll fill your family with a hearty, spicy, dish with a touch of Mexican flavor!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Natural release time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Mexican
Keyword: Bean recipe, Instant Pot
Servings: 6

Equipment

Ingredients
 
 

  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups pinto beans dry, rinsed
  • 1 onion large, chopped, approximately 1 cup
  • 1/2 cup verde green salsa
  • 1/2 cup jalapeño pepper fresh, chopped
  • 1/3 cup cilantro fresh, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 3 cubes vegetable bouillon (3 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 cup bacon cooked and chopped

Instructions
 

  • Sort the beans and remove any broken or misshapen beans. Rinse using a colander or strainer.
  • Place the pinto beans into the Instant Pot and pour the water over the beans..
  • Add the jalapeños, salsa, cilantro, onion, garlic, cumin, pepper, paprika, and chili pepper.
  • Replace the lid and set the vent to SEALING position.
  • Select MANUAL or BEANS setting and set to HIGH. Adjust the time to 45 minutes. The Instant Pot will start automatically. It will take 10-12 minutes to reach pressure and for the timer to start.
  • Once the timer is finished, allow the pressure to release naturally, about 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes, turn the vent to VENTING position and allow the remainder of the steam to release.
  • Open the lid and add the cooked bacon. Stir in the bacon, allow to sit for 2 minutes and serve.

Notes

For a vegetarian version, omit the bacon

Nutrition

Calories: 191kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 8gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.03gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 759mgPotassium: 404mgFiber: 6gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 401IUVitamin C: 12mgCalcium: 46mgIron: 2mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. My calculations are intended as a guide only.

Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

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Top-down view of a bowl of cooked charros beans topped with sliced jalapenos - Hostess At Heart
Recipe Rating




Ann

Saturday 15th of April 2023

Count me in! I need to try this recipe. It looks so good.

Julie Menghini

Sunday 16th of April 2023

Thanks, Ann!

Chris

Saturday 15th of April 2023

I’ve made my share of Mexican inspired refried beans and side dishes, but, I can see that this is something completely unique!

I’m breaking out my IP and rummaging around my pantry to pull this simple recipe together!

Sometimes, out of experience and instinct, you know when something’s special! This is one of those moments!

Tortilla chips, Shakshouka, Breakfast, Snacks, Side Dish… Oh My! The possibilities!

Thanks for sharing this recipe!

A wonderful discovery in my email this morning and a force too powerful to ignore!

Julie Menghini

Saturday 15th of April 2023

Thanks, Chris! You're the best. I need to make a good refried beans recipe! Please stop back and let me know what you think.

Mindy

Monday 3rd of April 2023

This charro beans recipe is super easy using the instant pot and turned out delicious. Even better than the Mexican restaurants we frequent, I must say!

Julie Menghini

Tuesday 4th of April 2023

I agree that it's better than take out! Thank you, Mindy.

Lynn

Saturday 1st of April 2023

We make these and freeze them in individual portions for quick meals. They are perfect with nachos.

Julie Menghini

Saturday 1st of April 2023

Thank you, Lynn!

Erin

Thursday 30th of March 2023

Served these alongside tacos for dinner earlier this week and we were all so impressed with the flavors of these beans. Also, they're so easy to make in the IP. Thanks!

Julie Menghini

Saturday 1st of April 2023

They make an amazing side dish. Thank you!

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