Recipes » Main Dish » Charro Beans
T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies

Traditional Charro beans are cooked with bacon, sausage, and/or chorizo. Bursting with wholesome ingredients, this recipe showcases the versatility of plant-based cooking while still capturing the essence of the original charro beans.


  • 3 cups cooked pinto beans in their broth
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 2 serrano chiles, seeded and minced (optional, see tips)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced or 1 cup diced grape tomatoes
  • ½ cup plant-based chorizo or ¼ cup diced tempeh bacon
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 ½ cups cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • ¾ tsp salt or to taste
  • ¾ cup chopped cilantro or to taste


  • 1. In a heated medium pan, sauté the onions for 4-5 minutes or until softened.
  • 2. Add beans, serrano chiles (if using), garlic, and tomatoes and sauté for 5-6 minutes.
  • 3. Add plant-based chorizo or tempeh bacon, smoked paprika, vegetable broth and salt. Cook for 15 minutes.
  • 4. Add cilantro just before serving.

Cooking Tips

  • 1. You can use red or white beans instead of the pinto beans.
  • 2. Serrano peppers are quite hot. For a mild version of this recipe, omit them or use ¼ cup sweet bell pepper instead.
  • 3. Add more or less vegetable broth depending on how thick you want your Charro beans. They are sometimes cooked like a soup and other versions are thick like a stew.
  • 4. Serve with Mexican Rice or Green Rice, corn tortillas, and guacamole for a hearty meal.

Copyright 2024 Center for Nutrition Studies. All rights reserved.

Program Overview

  • 23,000+ students
  • 100% online, learn at your own pace
  • No prerequisites
  • Continuing education credits