Here's another easy weeknight meal I've been making lately: Quick Charro Beans Dinner.
Charro Beans have a full, hearty flavor, and if you serve 'em up with some loaded tortillas then it quickly becomes a satisfying meal.
Feel free to get creative with the crispy, cheesy tortillas -- that's partly what makes me look forward to meals like this!
How To Make Quick Charro Beans Dinner
I used bacon for this batch, but keep in mind that Charro Beans are quite versatile -- both chorizo and ham are viable substitutes.
Of course, everything tastes a little better when made with bacon, so that is my Charro Bean default 🙂
Start by chopping up 2-3 bacon slices and cook them over medium-high heat.
If it's difficult to dice up the bacon slices then you know it's time to sharpen your knife! Or you can just put the bacon in the freezer for a few minutes to solidify 🙂
I like putting chunks of roasted tomatoes in Charro Beans for additional flavor -- normally I roast tomatoes for 20-25 minutes in the oven, but for this express batch I just sliced them in half and plopped them under the broiler for a few minutes.
Once the bacon is lightly browned I usually turn the heat down to medium for the remainder of the cook.
And yes, you are welcome to drain off any bacon fat if it seems excessive.
Finely chop 1/4 onion and add it to the pan, cooking it for a few minutes.
Once the onion has softened, add a minced garlic clove and briefly cook, then add the remaining ingredients:
1 can beans (drained and rinsed)
1-2 chipotles in adobo Working with chipotles in adobo
the roasted tomatoes
1.5 cups stock
1/4 teaspoon Mexican oregano What is Mexican oregano?
1/4 teaspoon salt
freshly cracked black pepper
I think Charro Beans are at their best when swimming in a bit of broth, so the 1.5 cups of stock will give them a soupy nature. Of course, you are welcome to adjust their consistency by adding less stock (or more!).
Cover and let simmer for 10-15 minutes.
And then take a final taste for seasoning!
I added another generous pinch of salt, but keep in mind the exact salt level will depend on which stock you're using. I used this zero sodium homemade stock.
You can also adjust the heat at this point. For a more fiery batch simply add another minced chipotle or a couple teaspoons of adobo sauce from the can.
These Charro Beans are loaded with flavor so you really don't need much else beyond a spoon. Feel free to serve them up like this:
Of course, if you want to top with Queso Fresco, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime then I would be the last person in the world to stop you 🙂
It's also quite satisfying to dip some crispy, cheesy tortillas in these Charro Beans.
For this batch I built the crispy tortillas with:
these Pickled Jalapenos
a few beans from the pot
Add the fixings to only half of the tortilla. Once it's warm you can fold it onto itself and then cook each side until light browns spots are forming on the tortillas.
Sometimes I will add a bit of lard (or oil) to the skillet to help crisp them up, but that is optional. At least half the time I make these I just cook 'em in a dry skillet and they are equally satisfying.
Feel free to dip these crispers in your Charro Bean broth before taking a bite 🙂
Okay I hope this Quick Charro Beans Dinner gives you some new ideas for weeknight meals. It's a real treat to come home and whip up some comfort food like this.
Quick Charro Beans Dinner
- 1 can beans (black or pinto, drained and rinsed)
- 2-3 slices bacon
- 2 plum tomatoes
- 1/4 onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 1-2 chipotles in adobo
- 1.5 cups stock
- 1/4 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
- freshly cracked black pepper
For the crispy tortillas (optional):
- 4-6 corn tortillas
- 1/2 cup cheese (I used Jack)
- pickled jalapenos
- sprinkling of the Charro Beans
- Start by giving the tomatoes a good rinse, I usually cut out the stem portion as well. You are welcome to roast the tomatoes in the oven (400F) for 20-25 minutes, but for this quick batch I just chopped them in half and gave them a few minutes underneath the broiler.
- Dice up 2-3 slices of bacon. If it's difficult to cut the bacon you can always plop it in the freezer for a few minutes to solidify. Cook the chopped bacon in a soup pot or saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring regularly.
- Once the bacon has cooked you are welcome to drain off any bacon fat if you want. Turn the heat down to medium and add 1/4 finely chopped onion. Cook for a few minutes, stirring regularly. Once the onion has softened add a single minced garlic clove, cooking briefly. Then add the remaining ingredients: the roasted tomatoes, 1 can beans (drained and rinsed), 1.5 cups stock, 1-2 minced chipotles in adobo, 1/4 teaspoon Mexican oregano, 1/4 teaspoon salt, freshly cracked black pepper. Combine well, cover, and let simmer over mediumish heat for 10-15 minutes. Note: I usually just plop the tomatoes in the pan and give 'em a squish -- they will mostly disintegrate during the simmer.
- Give a final taste for seasoning. I added another generous pinch of salt to this batch, but keep in mind the exact salt level will depend on which stock you're using. You can also increase the heat by adding another minced chipotle or a couple teaspoons of adobo sauce from the can.
- Charro Beans are loaded with flavor so feel free to serve them up plain Jane. Optional garnishes include: crumbled cheese (like Queso Fresco), freshly chopped cilantro, and a final squeeze of lime.
- It's also a real treat to serve up Charro Beans with some crispy, cheesy corn tortillas. Feel free to get creative with the fixings for these crispy delights! For this batch I built them using Jack cheese, these Pickled Jalapenos, and a few beans from the Charro Bean pot. Add fixings to half of the tortilla, then once it's warm you can fold it onto itself and cook each side until light brown spots are forming on the tortilla. Feel free to cook the tortillas in a smidge of fat, but for this batch I just cooked 'em in a dry skillet.
- Store leftover Charro Beans in the fridge where they will keep for a few days. Enjoy!!
Want to see the latest post? It's this Tiny Jar of Jalapeno Serrano Hot Sauce.