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Mexican Beans are cooked in the crock pot overnight for a truly authentic taste. Made with just a few ingredients, these slow cooker pinto beans are the best side dish for all your favorite Mexican dishes.

You can serve Charro Beans with all of your favorite authentic Mexican recipes, from simple cheese quesadillas to my flavorful Beef Enchiladas.

Mexican beans in a slow cooker.
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The Best Slow Cooker Mexican Beans

Also known by other names, like Charro Beans, Borracho Beans or Frijoles Charros, my Slow Cooker Mexican Beans are the best complement to your favorite Mexican meals. Serve them with Mexican Sopes, Chicken Enchiladas, and Homemade Taquitos. They taste just like an authentic Mexican restaurant, and they are delicious on their own or paired with my Authentic Mexican Rice.

Crockpot Mexican Beans are cooked low and slow in a rich and flavorful broth for a very long time – we usually leave them at least 12 hours or so. Trust me when you walk through the door, or get up in the morning you will be met with the most amazing smell.


You only need 8 ingredients to make this delicious side dish. This is truly a dump and go recipe where you literally just dump everything in the crock pot, set it, and forget it!

  • Dried Pinto Beans – The beans go in dry and they soften and cook as the slow cooker does its thing. Be sure to pick through them for small rocks and broken beans and rinse them well.
  • Jalapeno Peppers – Chop it up, leave the seeds for heat or don’t. If you don’t want to bite into a piece of jalapeno, you can slice them into larger pieces and pick them out later.
  • Calde de Tomate A powdered tomato bouillon.
  • Garlic – fresh or jarred minced garlic adds flavor. You can leave it whole and peeled if you like.
  • Onion – the onion can also go in raw or you can saute it first. The beans cook for so long that the onion will be cooked and soft.
  • Pace Picante Sauce I don’t always recommend specific brands but to get the flavor that we love, I highly recommend that you use Pace.
  • Bacon – put it in raw to save time, or chop and cook for an extra smoky flavor. Fully cooked chorizo or ham are other options.
  • Salt – You want to add a generous amount of salt before cooking, then taste and add more before serving. Beans are starchy like potatoes and will absorb the water as they cook, so salt is important for flavor.
  • Water – Water is added to the slow cooker, fully covering the beans. You could even add a little beer if you want, but just keep in mind that beer in a slow cooker is going to retain more alcohol.

↪ About Caldo de Tomate

Tomato bouillon can be found in most grocery stores in the Hispanic foods aisle. If you can’t find it or don’t want to buy a special ingredient, you could sub chicken bouillon and a little tomato paste.

I recommend you buy a jar and plan to make some of my other recipes that call for it: 

How To Make Slow Cooker Mexican Beans

  1. Pour a bag of dried pinto beans into a colander and rinse with cold water. Pick through them to look for any broken beans or pebbles.
  2. Add the dry beans to the bottom of your slow cooker, then the salsa, bacon, jalapenos, onions, and spices.
  3. Add enough water to cover the beans completely, then put the lid on and turn the heat to low and cook for 12-14 hours.

I mentioned that these beans take a while to cook. We usually let them bathe in the slow cooker for 12-14 hours. And let me tell you – it’s worth every minute!

I will usually put them in the slow cooker the night before and let them cook on low until dinner the next day. Yes, that’s almost 20 hours! I’ll usually test them in the afternoon to make sure the beans are softening, and if they’re plenty soft enough I will turn the crockpot to the warm setting until dinnertime.

The long, low and slow cooking method will help elevate the flavors and they form this deliciously rich broth that thickens as the beans sit. You can turn them into refried beans too.

A spoon with beans over a slow cooker full of charro beans.

Stovetop Variation

If you’d prefer, you can cook the beans on the stovetop. It takes about an hour. If you want to skip soaking the beans, just plan to simmer a couple hours more.

  1. Place picked-through beans in a large pot or bowl filled with water at least 2-3 inches above the beans. Soak for 6-8 hours, then drain and set aside.
  2. Saute bacon, then remove and wipe most of the grease out of the skillet. Saute onion, jalapeno and garlic in the leftover bacon grease.
  3. Add beans, salsa, and seasoning and stir to coat. Pour in water (enough to cover 2-3 inches over the top of the beans). Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for about 45 minutes, or until beans are tender.

If you don’t want to soak the beans, just plan on adding a couple of hours to the simmer time.

Canned Beans Variation

For canned beans, use 3 (15-ounce) cans and 1 ½ cups of vegetable broth. Follow the steps in the stovetop version, omitting the water, and simmer for about 25 minutes.

What to Serve with Mexican Beans

Charro Beans and rice are a pretty classic side for just about any Mexican meal. Pinto beans are great because they are low in fat and high in protein, and they are actually a great meal or snack all on their own. Top with cheese and sour cream for something extra special, stuff them in warm tortillas or burritos or spread on top of tostadas.

Here are a few of our favorite Mexican meals to serve with beans:

Or you can go really crazy and just stand over a big bowl of beans with a bag of tortilla chips for dipping!


How to store leftovers – Cool beans and place in an airtight container. Store in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. Reheat in the microwave, simmer in a saucepan on the stove top or in your slow cooker.

Can You Freeze Pinto Beans? This recipe is perfect for portioning and freezing because it makes a ton. Once the beans are cooled you can portion them into airtight freezer-safe containers or freezer bags. Freeze them for up to 6 months and thaw in the fridge when you’re ready to enjoy them. Reheat smaller portions in a saucepan on the stove, or large portions in a crock pot.

A bowl of Mexican beans topped with jalapeno slices.

Expert Tips

  • You can see in the photos that we cut the jalapenos and onions a bit larger so that anyone who doesn’t like them can pick them out. You can dice them up small if you like.
  • See that crispy bacon? You can skip the cooking step for that if you want, but you’ll get a richer flavor if you render the fat and crisp the bacon in a skillet first.
  • You’ll want to use a 6-quart slow cooker for this recipe because it will fill it up. Anything smaller and you’ll want to cut the recipe in half.
  • Feel free to drain some of the liquid from the slow cooker if you want or if it doesn’t thicken enough for you. Otherwise, use a slotted spoon for serving.
  • Add a few squeezes of lime juice for a tangy bite.
  • Season really well with salt. You can add salt before cooking, but be sure to taste them afterward because beans on their own can be very bland.
  • Try adding some additional spices, like oregano, chili powder or cumin.
Mexican pinto beans with jalapeno slices.

Slow Cooker Mexican Beans

4.86 from 28 votes
Mexican Beans are cooked in the crock pot overnight for a truly authentic taste. These slow cooker pinto beans are the best side for all your favorite Mexican dishes.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 hours
Total Time 12 hours 15 minutes
Servings 10 servings


  • 1 pound dry pinto beans rinsed and picked through
  • 1 cup Pace Picante Sauce or other salsa
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic 2-3 cloves
  • 6 slices bacon diced and some fat rendered
  • 2 jalapenos seeded and sliced
  • 1/2 cup diced onion (half of 1 small onion)
  • 1 tablespoon Caldo de Tomate
  • 1 teaspoon salt or more to taste
  • 5-6 cups water (enough to cover the beans completely)
  • Optional: fresh cilantro for garnish
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  • Stir all ingredients together in the slow cooker. Add about 5-6 cups of water or as much is needed to fully immerse the beans.
  • Cover and set slow cooker to low. Cook for 12 hours, or until beans are nice and soft. Since slow cookers vary, cook times can vary as well.
  • Garnish with sliced jalapenos and cilantro if desired


Nutritional information is approximate and based on 10 serving of approximately 1/2-¾ of a cup.
Bacon can be added raw if time is short. If cooking, it doesn’t need to be crispy. Just saute to render some of the fat.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4 days, or in the freezer for 6 months.
Optional – Saute the diced onions for a few minutes in olive oil or butter, just to soften. Do not overcook or brown them.
Keyword mexican beans,, slow cooker pinto beans


Calories: 94kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 6gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 640mgPotassium: 317mgFiber: 5gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 155IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 36mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer Kristin Maxwell of “Yellow Bliss Road” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. For accurate calorie counts and other nutritional values, we recommend running the ingredients through your preferred online nutritional calculator. Calories and other nutritional values can vary depending on which brands were used.

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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  1. Jackie Maxwell says:

    Hi! These beans are beyond delicious!!! It was too late to use crockpot when I decided to try this recipe so I cooked them on the stove. I didn’t have Caldo de tomate, so left it out; no bacon, so I used diced ham steak, otherwise followed the recipe. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, as it is definitely a keeper! Sooo good❤️

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      Sounds like you made some great substitutions. So glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  2. Ben says:

    Ok, I followed the recipe, let it cook over night,. Tried it early this morning, however I noticed I had to add more water lastnight, not sure if anyone else had to do the same a few hours in or if I didn’t need to do that, I original used about 5-6 cups of water which just covered beans and everything , I’d say about one knuckle on your finger over the beans, I added more water later because the water was down and I didn’t want the beans to burn overnight, even on low. I think I may have diluted the flavor a bit because of that, but it’s still good, and I woke up to my house smelling amazing lol. Thanks .

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      You did good! You do have to watch and make sure the water doesn’t get all soaked up. I have had times where’s its been enough, and times when I’ve had to add more. So glad you enjoyed them – they are famous in our house!

  3. Chris says:

    I made this recipe and substituted chicken bouillon since I didn’t have the tomato bouillon. Delicious!!

    1. Kristin says:

      Nice! Thanks for stopping by Chris.

  4. Annmarie says:

    Just curious … I’m wondering if I should add the salsa once the beans are almost done since the acid in tomatoes can cause a tough bean ?

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      Nope! Make just as directed. The beans will be nice and soft if you give them adequate time to cook.

  5. Flo says:

    Just woke up to these and they are some of the best beans I’ve ever had! I used medium Pace Picante sauce although I was tempted to try the hot, and left the jalapenos and onion in large slices to be removed because I have a picky eater that can take too much spice in the house, and I’m still so impressed with the great flavors of this. Nice heat, but not too much. I’m looking forward to trying your Mexican rice recipe tonight — we are making burritos!

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      This one is near and dear to me and a real family favorite, so I appreciate your kind words so much!

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