A flavorful Mexican Borracho Beans recipe using dry beans! A great side dish that can be made in the Crock Pot. These beans are a delicious addition to any Mexican dinner, or weekly meal prep. Even better when made ahead. No soaking necessary. Check out the video!
Recipe first posted in 2016 and last updated with step-by-step images on February 6, 2024.
Every now and again I like to commit to a large pot of beans which we can then have for lunches, breakfasts, and snacks all week.
I tend to get very hungry around 10 am and a bowl of beans just hits the spot. Being able to dump all the ingredients in a Crock Pot and walk away makes these the easiest beans in the world.
It’s not just my family that loves these slow cooker borracho beans. I first published this pinto bean recipe in 2016 and it has always been a reader favorite too.
what are frijoles borrachos?
Frijoles Borrachos, or Drunken Beans, fall in that multitudinous category of Mexican bean recipes made with the humble but very satisfying pinto bean.
These Crockpot borracho beans are similar to Frijoles Charros or Cowboy Beans but unlike Charro beans, some of the cooking liquid is replaced with beer, giving them an almost sweet, yeasty flavor.
Bacon is also crucial, although some people use chorizo or ham hocks.
- Dry pinto beans
- Mexican lager-style beer
- White onions. Red onions would also work
- Jalapeños or serrano peppers
- Ground cumin
- Ground chili powder
- Ground coriander
- Dried Mexican oregano
- Bay leaves
- Chopped cilantro
- Green onions
- Kosher salt
How To Make This Recipe
Rinse the beans. Don’t skip this easy step. Beans have rocks and dirt mixed in with them. Place the dried beans in a colander and rinse under cold water. Look out for any small rocks or clumps of dirt and pick those out. Since we are cooking them low and slow in a slow cooker, you don’t need to soak the beans overnight.
Combine beans with liquid. Place beans into a large crock pot then add the bottle of beer, and water. I like to use a lager-style Mexican beer but you could also use a dark Mexican beer like Negra Modelo for a sweeter flavor.
Crisp bacon. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the bacon slices. Cook until crisp and the fat has rendered. You will cook your onions in the bacon grease. Line a plate with a paper towel and transfer the bacon to the plate.
Cook aromatics. Sauté the onions, jalapenos, and garlic in the bacon drippings, along with the chili powder and other spices.
Mix it all together. Stir to combine everything in the crock pot. Put the lid on and walk away! Set the slow cooker to high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.
Serve. Once beans are tender, taste them to see if they need more salt. Then stir in the cilantro and green onions and enjoy!
how to make them on the stove top
If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can make these beans on the stove instead, pretty much the same way. When cooking beans on the stove they spend less time being submerged in liquid than in the crock pot, therefore, you may want to soak the beans overnight for more even cooking.
- Place the beans in a large bowl and rinse with water. Drain.
- Cook the bacon in a large pot or Dutch oven. Once crisp remove bacon from the pot and add the onions, jalapeños, and garlic.
- Sauté the veggies then add the spices and toast them for a minute or two. Add the beans, beer, 6 cups of water. Crumble the cooked bacon and add that back to the pot.
- Bring this to a boil then reduce heat so it is simmering. Cook until beans are tender. The cooking time will depend on how fresh your beans are and if you soaked them before cooking or not. They could take anywhere from 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours. Scroll down to the recipe card for more details.
how to serve
Crock Pot Borracho Beans work as a main dish served as a soup with lots of the flavorful broth and sprinkled with herbs. They are also the perfect side dish. They go great with carne asada or my salsa verde chicken tacos.
variations on borracho beans
So many of you have made this recipe and have great suggestions for tweaks and variations. Lots of you add diced tomato, which sounds really good. Here are a few more ideas that stood out:
Tara added extra veggies and her favorite chili powder. Here’s what she said:
“My favorite “drunk” beans. I used New Mexico Chile powder, Mexican oregano, cilantro, cumin and coriander, 12 oz bottle of Dos Equis beer and beef broth instead of water and added two 10 oz cans of Rotel original tomatoes and green chile and threw in a table spoon of salt at the end.”
Kristen says: “I made this recipe for a family “fajita party” and EVERYONE raved about these! No other tips needed except just make them!”
Amber swapped out the bacon for spicy smoked sausage!
top 5 Most Popular Bean Recipes:
- Best Ever Canned Black Beans
- Sofrito Black Beans
- Crockpot Mexican Pinto Beans
- Vegan Refried Beans
- Frijoles Charros
the best beans are also the easiest? who knew?!
If you make this Borracho Beans recipe, let me know how you like it! Snap a pic and tag me on Instagram @holajalapeno and #holajalapeno so I can see or leave me a comment below (don’t forget to leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating) ! Also, sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!
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