This easy recipe for crockpot Borracho Beans yields a pot full of creamy, spicy, and delicious pinto beans. While I could eat a whole bowlful all on their own, they also make an excellent side for any gathering.
Pair these smoky, bacon-y pinto beans with some shredded brisket and cornbread for a true Tex-Mex summer feast, or serve alongside homemade carne asada and fresh corn tortillas for a real Mexican fiesta!
I am so excited to share this recipe for borracho beans with you! It’s a delicious dish that is published in my very good friend Vianney’s cookbook, The Tex-Mex Slow Cooker.
Why I Love This Recipe
Borracho beans remind me of my hometown of El Paso and all the many family summer cookouts we used to have. They hold a special place in my heart! After you have your first bite, I’m sure they’ll become one of your favorites, too.
Soft and creamy pinto beans are slow simmered in a sauce made from Mexican amber beer, smoky bacon, and spicy jalapeños for a side dish that is dreamy.
I also love how simple and easy this recipe is! You literally place a handful of ingredients into the slow cooker, have a good nights sleep, wake up, and your house will be filled with the aroma of bacon.
They’re so easy that you can make them as a delightful side for busy weeknights, but tasty enough that you’ll want to share them with company. These borracho beans will be on repeat at my house all summer long.
Finally, since this slow cooker recipe calls for dried beans, it is exceptionally cost effective! A pound of dried beans usually costs less than $2, and makes up to ten servings. I honestly can’t think of a less expensive side.
What Are Borracho Beans?
Very similar to frijoles de la olla, but with the addition of chopped bacon, onion, garlic, jalapeños, diced tomatoes, and beer, borracho beans are an authentic Mexican side dish.
Borracho translates to “drunk” in Spanish. With your choice of Mexican beer in addition to water you will have true, savory, and spicy borracho beans.
Oh, and don’t worry. These “drunken” beans are perfectly kid friendly – the booze completely cooks off during the cooking process. Go ahead and make a batch today – your whole family will thank you!
The Tex-Mex Slow Cooker Cookbook
I hope you have a chance to order Vianney’s cookbook, because it is full of delicious Tex-Mex recipes that are so simple to make — all in your slow cooker. It doesn’t get any easier than that! Especially during hot months when the last thing you want to do is turn on your stove or oven.
If you didn’t know, Vianney is my co-author for Latin Twist: Traditional and Modern Cocktails and she knows a thing or two about delicious cocktails. In her new cookbook you will also find plenty of thirst-quenching Tex-Mex inspired beverages and cocktails.
The Tex-Mex Slow Cooker is filled with tried and true Tex-Mex recipes all made in your handy crockpot. You can plan an entire fiesta with the recipes in this cookbook – everything from breakfast to appetizers to entrees to desserts. Be ready to be hypnotized with queso, tequila, hibiscus, and plenty of pecans.
How to Make Tasty Slow Cooker Pinto Beans
First thing’s first, you have to sort your beans. Spread them over your counter so you can look for beans that are broken, discolored, or shriveled and remove them. There may also be small stones or pebbles that should be sorted out of the beans during this phase. Discard all of the undesirable pieces.
Place beans in a colander. Rinse the beans thoroughly with cool water to remove any dust or dirt. Soak your beans for 30 minutes to 1 hour before cooking, then drain.
Add soaked beans, beer, water, and garlic to slow cooker.
Now it’s flavor time. Chop bacon into 1⁄2-inch pieces and fry in a large skillet until crispy; drain and set aside.
Add the onions to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently to loosen the brown bits left behind in the pan from the bacon, for two to three minutes.
Add tomatoes and jalapeños (if using) and, cook, continuing to stir and incorporate and leftover bits from the skillet, keeping all the delicious goodness in your beans, for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
Add the contents of the skillet to the slow cooker, along with the cooked bacon. Add salt and stir until well combined.
Cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours. Garnish with cilantro and serve warm. Enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
If you plan on going the slow cooker route, dried beans are the best option. Not only are they less expensive than their canned counterparts, they are also able to withstand the 7 to 8 hour cook time without breaking down or becoming mushy. Using dried beans also means you get the opportunity to add as much flavor as possible.
While pinto beans are the traditional variety used for borracho beans, you can swap in dried navy beans, great northern beans, or cranberry beans instead, depending on what you have available.
Absolutely! Generally speaking, anything that gets made in a slow cooker will do just fine being made ahead. Borracho beans will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week, or can be frozen for up to three months.
If you want an authentic Mexican flavor, you should reach for a Mexican beer. I tend to like amber beer for this recipe, so I generally opt for Dos Equis. You can also sub in Modelo or Victoria if you prefer.
Other delicious bean recipes you’ll love:
If you love these easy and delicious Slow Cooker Borracho Beans, be sure to check out some of my other favorite bean recipes below.
- Frijoles Charros (Cowboy Beans)
- Cowboy Caviar (Texas Caviar)
- Frijoles de la Olla
- Homemade Refried Beans
- Instant Pot Black Beans
- Easy Navy Bean Soup
- Brazilian Feijoada
If you make this recipe for Slow Cooker Borracho Beans, please be sure to rate and review the recipe below. I always love hearing from you!
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Slow Cooker Borracho Beans
- Spread beans over your counter so you can look for beans that are broken, discolored, or shriveled and remove them. There will also be small stones or pebbles that should be sorted out of the beans during this phase. Discard all of the undesirable pieces.
- Place beans in a colander. Rinse the beans thoroughly with cool water.
- Soak your beans for 30 minutes to 1 hour before cooking.
- Add soaked beans, beer, water, and garlic to slow cooker.
- Chop bacon into 1⁄2-inch pieces and fry in a large skillet until crispy; drain and set aside.
- Add the onions to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently to loosen the brown bits left behind in the pan from the bacon, for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add tomatoes and jalapeños (if using) and, cook, continuing to stir and incorporate and leftover bits from the skillet, keeping all the delicious goodness in your beans, for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Add the contents of the skillet to the slow cooker, along with the cooked bacon. Add salt and stir until well combined.
- Cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve warm.
Photography by Jenna Sparks
Originally published: May 2018.