Instant Pot Charro Beans

Prep 35 mins
Cook 1 hr
Total 1 hr 35 mins

These delicious Mexican-style Instant Pot Charro Beans are full of meat (chorizo, bacon, smoked sausage or salchichas, and chicharron or pork rinds), chilis, garlic, onion, tomato, and cilantro. They are perfect as a meal or as a side for any Mexican dish.

Spoonful of Instant Pot charro beans.

Easy Instant Pot Charro Beans (Frijoles Charros)

These Instant Pot Charro Beans are an easy Mexican inspired recipe that checks all of the right dinnertime boxes. Flavorful? You bet. Protein-packed? Yep. Bacon? Check! Jokes aside, these so-called Cowboy Beans are the real delicious deal!

My love of Charro Beans happened when I was growing up in Texas. They are rare in Florida, so I love whipping up a batch when I am feeling homesick. They make an amazing side dish or are filling enough to be the main meal! Made up of pinto beans, bacon, chorizo, smoked sausage, fresh Roma tomatoes, and more, this meal can be a light dinner, a quick lunch, or a tasty side dish.

If you’re on what feels like your 1000th batch of baked beans, or just a fan of cooking new dishes, give these charro beans a try – I don’t think you’ll be one bit sorry!

Spoonful of Instant Pot charro beans with vegetables.

What Are Charro Beans?

Charro Beans are a flavorful Mexican soup or stew-style meal, made with onions, tomatoes, tender beans, spices, and an assortment of meats. The name ‘charro’ is the Mexican word for cowboy, hence why they are sometimes also known as Cowboy Beans!

Charro beans are different from other classic pinto bean dishes, like refried beans. Charro beans are simply cooked in a seasoned broth, whereas refried beans are cooked, smashed, and finally pan-fried. Charro beans are also loaded with different kinds of meats as well. Both dishes are super tasty though!

Ingredients for Instant Pot charro beans.

Ingredients

Now that you’re all caught up, let’s get to cooking these beans. Here are the essential ingredients for this recipe (see full list on recipe card):

  • Pinto Beans – These are traditionally made with pinto beans, but if you aren’t looking for traditional charro beans, you can use whatever beans you like.
  • Bacon – I like a nice smoked bacon, but turkey bacon can be used as well.
  • Smoked Sausage or Hotdogs – Hotdogs are commonly used for this recipe, but I like to use smoked sausage.
  • Chicharron or Pork Rinds – These are traditionally used in this dish, but you can omit them if you prefer! It’s definitely a personal preference thing!
  • Chorizo – I used a 10 ounce package of ground Chorizo for this recipe. There are multiple types of chorizo, but this recipe uses Mexican style ground chorizo, not the sausage style.
Instant pot full of charro beans stew.

How to Make Charro Beans in the Instant Pot

If you’ve ever made charro beans in the slow cooker, you know that it can be really time consuming. Making them in the Instant Pot is so much quicker and easier! Here’s how I do it:

Cook the Beans: Place the pinto beans in the instant pot with 1/2 cup of diced onion and salt. Add water to the 3 quart line. Lock the lid on and set the Instant Pot to Manual, High Pressure for 30 minutes. When the beans have finished cooking, do a quick pressure release (according to manufacturers directions).

Pinto beans with sliced onion.

Fry the Bacon: While the beans are cooking, in a large skillet, cook the bacon, then remove to a bowl, keeping the bacon fat in the skillet.

Cook the Chorizo & Tomatoes: Add the Chorizo to the pan and cook until browned, then add the tomatoes, onion, jalapeños, and garlic and cook until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add Smoked Sausage: Add the bacon and smoked sausage into the skillet mixture and heat through. Set chorizo mixture aside until beans are finished cooking in instant pot.

Sausage and vegetables being sautéed in a pan.

Sauté Meat, Vegetables & Beans: Once the beans are done, open the instant pot and add all the cooked ingredients and turn on the sauté feature on the instant pot. Sauté for 20 minutes, stirring often, until beans have thickened and broth has reduced to desired texture.

Sausage and vegetables in a strainer.

Garnish, Cook & Serve: Add the cilantro (and optional chicharron if keeping it traditional!) and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Serve!

Tips for Success

And that’s how charro beans come together in 6 easy steps! Here are some extra tips for the best bean results:

  • Rinse Your Beans: It’s a good idea to make sure they’re nice and clean before you start.
  • Soaking the Beans: This is not necessary. Soaking beans can reduce the cooking time, which is helpful when making slow cooker bean recipes, but again, it’s not necessary for this Instant Pot recipe.
  • Bean Texture: The beans should be soft and tender by the time you’re done, so if for some reason they’re still tough, cook them for 5-10 more minutes.
Charro beans in a serving dish.

Serving Suggestions

You can serve these beans alongside practically any Mexican main course. I love them when served with fresh hot corn tortillas, and they go fabulously with cornbread, too.

Feel free to serve on Huevos Rancheros, rice, or as a side dish as well!

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

Store these beans in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat them in the microwave, or heat a pan on the stovetop on low until they reach the desired temperature.

Can I Freeze Extras?

Yes! You can also store charro beans in the freezer for up to 3 months.

A bowl of charro beans with a spoon.

Looking for more Mexican inspired dinner recipes? Here are some of my other favorites:

Yield: 6 as a side dish

Instant Pot Charro Beans

Spoonful of Instant Pot charro beans.

Instant Pot Charro Beans will instantaneously become your new favorite Mexican side dish! These Cowboy Beans are so tender and soft, and they're packed in with bacon, smoked sausage, chorizo, and more!

Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups uncooked pinto beans, rinsed off
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 10 ounce package of chorizo
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup white onion, diced
  • 2 jalapeños, deseed and minced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, sliced
  • ½ pound smoked sausage or hotdogs
  • ⅓ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 cups chicharron or pork rinds, optional

Instructions

1. Place the pinto beans in the instant pot with 1/2 cup of diced onion and salt. Add water to the 3 quart line. Lock the lid on and set the Instant Pot to Manual, High Pressure for 30 minutes. When the beans have finished cooking, do a quick pressure release (according to manufacturers directions).

2. While the beans are cooking, in a large skillet, cook the bacon, then remove to a bowl, keeping the bacon fat in the skillet.

3. Add the Chorizo to the pan and cook until browned, then add the tomatoes, onion, jalapeños, and garlic and cook until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.

4. Add the bacon and smoked sausage into the skillet mixture and heat through. Set chorizo mixture aside until beans are finished cooking in instant pot.

5. Once the beans are done, open the instant pot and add all the cooked ingredients and turn on the sauté feature on the instant pot. Sauté for 20 minutes, stirring often, until beans have thickened and broth has reduced to desired texture.

6. Add the cilantro (and optional chicharron if keeping it traditional!) and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Serve!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 734Total Fat: 41gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 95mgSodium: 1800mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 11gSugar: 3gProtein: 45g

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Jessica
I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.
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