Slow Cooker Borracho Beans

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Slow Cooker Borracho Beans is a hearty Southwestern side dish made with pinto beans, bacon, jalapenos, tomatoes, and a flavorful combination of spices. Serve it alongside a bowl of rice and veggies for a well-balanced and satisfying meal.

256 CAL 41g CARBS 10g FAT 17g PROTEIN

I am absolutely obsessed with slow cooker meals. They are such an easy way of cooking a flavorful meal or side dish, with the added bonus of most of the work being done for me. From Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup to these amazing Slow Cooker Charro Beans, I always include a slow cooker recipe in my weeknight rotation.

As a slow cooker connoisseur, you can trust me when I tell you that Slow Cooker Borracho Beans are the best of the best. Made with a combination of fiber-rich beans, protein-packed bacon, and dark Mexican beer, this mouth-watering dish basically defines comfort food at its core.

If you’re looking for a hearty and delicious side dish that is easy to make and requires just a few minutes of prep work, then Slow Cooker Borracho Beans are a must-try. They are a great swap for traditional baked beans for a barbecue and pair great with tacos and Mexican-inspired dishes.

This dish tastes amazing with anything, but lately I’ve been pairing them with everything from Mexican Cauliflower Rice and Mexican Corn Salad to Citrus Marinated Carne Asada for an extra meaty dinner.

The secret to this dish is the dark Mexican beer that these beans cook in. I like using Negra Modelo or Dos Equis Dark, but feel free to use your favorite kind. The beans will take on the rich flavors of the beer, so you’re going to want to make sure you’re working with something you really like.

Serve this dish alongside marinated steak, chicken street tacos, or fajitas for the ultimate cozy meal. Slow Cooker Borracho Beans guarantee to excite your taste buds, nourish your body, and fill your belly!

Borracho beans in a white bowl with cooked pinto beans, cilantro, bacon, jalapenos, and beer broth.

Key Ingredients

One of the great things about this borracho beans recipe is that it incorporates ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry! The key ingredients for this hearty dish include:

  • Pinto beans: Pinto beans are the heart of borracho beans. I recommend using dried beans, which will create a thicker and creamier end product than canned beans.
  • Bacon: This adds a ton of absolutely incredible flavor to this dish, so I highly recommend not leaving it out.
  • Dark Mexican beer: Think of this as a sort of marinade, as it forms the flavor base for our borracho beans. I typically opt for Negra Modelo or Dos Equis Dark, but you can use any kind you prefer.
  • Chicken broth: Broth combines with the beer to form the flavorful liquid base of this dish. If you’re worried it might be too much of a flavor bomb, swap it out for water instead.
  • Jalapenos: I prefer my borracho beans to have a bit of a kick, therefore I love adding diced jalapenos! However, if you’re not as much of a spice fanatic, feel free to leave them out or remove the seeds first for less of a kick.

Borracho Beans Recipe Tips

Here are my top tips and tricks for making the best borracho beans in the slow cooker:

  • Use dried beans. Although canned beans might seem easier, that doesn’t mean they’re better. Use dried pinto beans for a thick and creamy finished product, you won’t regret it!
  • Swap your peppers. Not a jalapeno fan? Feel free to swap them out for another kind of pepper. I recommend poblanos, serranos, or bell peppers for a mild version.
  • Make it vegan. Does bacon make this dish absolutely glorious? Yes. Does this dish still taste amazing without it? Absolutely. Feel free to leave out the bacon for a vegan-friendly borracho beans dish.
  • Basic bean recipe: If you are looking for a simple pinto bean recipe that can be customized any way you want, try these crockpot pinto beans.

What to Serve with Slow Cooker Borracho Beans

When it comes to serving these borracho beans, the world is your oyster. I’ve served this dish with all sorts of foods, but here are a few of my favorites:

  • Rice. Beans and rice is a Mexican classic. Serve your borracho beans alongside some brown rice, quinoa, or this Mexican Cauliflower Rice. Make cauliflower rice taco bowls with these beans for a really tasty meal.
  • Veggies. For a complete and balanced meal, pair this dish alongside your favorite cooked vegetables. Sauteed kale, brussels sprouts, and broccoli all work great.
  • Protein. Slow Cooker Borracho Beans are a healthy and delicious side dish for any of your favorite protein-packed entrées. This Citrus Marinated Carne Asada is a classic, or you can serve it alongside this Slow Cooker Beef Machaca.
  • Tortillas. Craving some bean tacos? Slow Cooker Borracho Beans are the perfect filling for your next taco night. Top them off with some sour cream and fresh cilantro, then enjoy!
  • Enchiladas. Serving a crowd? For a meal that guarantees to impress your guests, serve up this side dish with your favorite enchilada recipe. Personally, I recommend these Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas.
  • Salad. A Southwest or Mexican-inspired salad is the perfect way to lighten up this heavy dish. If you need a little inspiration, try this Mexican Chopped Salad with Honey Lime Dressing.

Crockpot borracho beans served in a white bowl with crispy bacon pieces and fresh cilamtro.

How to Store Slow Cooker Beans

Stuck with leftovers? Not to worry! Leftover borracho beans taste great on their own, made into tacos, or served over salads for a healthy and delicious lunch option. To store leftovers, simply seal them up in an airtight storage container once cooled. Then, you can store them one of two ways:

  • In the fridge for up to 3-5 days.
  • In the freezer for up to 2-3 months.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this healthy side dish recipe:

Borracho beans translate to “drunken beans,” which refers to the fact that they are cooked in beer. However, don’t be alarmed! The beans may be drunken, but the alcohol cooks off as the beans cook and simply acts as a flavor enhancer.

While borracho beans traditionally call for pinto beans, you could also make this dish using black beans, navy beans, kidney beans, or great northern beans. Just use whichever kind you have at home, as long as they’re dried beans.

Borracho beans and charro beans are incredibly similar. The main difference is that borracho beans are cooked in a dark Mexican beer and water or broth, while charro beans are cooked only in water or broth.

If you prefer to make these with canned beans, start by sauteing the onions, jalapenos, and garlic as directed. Then add the beans. Stir and then add the beer and about 1 cup of chicken broth. Simmer for 30-40 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Drunken pinto beans in a white bowl with cilantro, bacon pieces, and paprika on the side.
The Recipe
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Slow Cooker Borracho Beans

256 CAL 41g CARBS 10g FAT 17g PROTEIN
COOK TIME: 8 Hours
TOTAL TIME: 8 Hours, 15 Min
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  • 1 lb dry pinto beans
  • 6 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 jalapenos, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp oregano (Mexican if possible)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 14 oz canned fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 12 ounces dark Mexican beer (Negro modela or Dos Equis Dark)
  • 6 cups water (or chicken broth)

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Sort through the beans to remove any debris. Soak in water for at least 4 hours, ideally overnight. If you want to skip this step, add boiling water to the slow cooker when starting to cook the beans.

Pinto beans soaking in a bowl in water.

Add the bacon to a heavy skillet and cook until crispy. Remove bacon and set aside.

Bacon cooking in a hot skillet.

Add the onions and jalapenos to the skillet. Cook for 4-6 minutes until beginning to brown. Add the garlic and cook for 30-60 seconds until fragrant. Add a splash of beer to the skillet to scrape up any of the browned bits.

Jalapenos, onion, and beer cooking in a skillet.

Add this to the slow cooker along with the drained pinto beans, oregano, salt, cumin, tomatoes, remaining beer, and water.

Pinto beans, beer, tomatoes, jalapenos, and onions in a slow cooker.

Cook on low for 7-8 hours. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Garnish with cilantro.

Creamy cooked borracho pinto beans in a slow cooker.
Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 2/3 cup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 256
Calories from Fat 93
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10g
Saturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 15mg
Sodium 608mg
Total Carbohydrate 41g
Dietary Fiber 10g
Sugars 3g
Protein 17g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
On Slow Cooker Borracho Beans
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October 29, 2022 - 20:56
Add a Rating:
First time I made these I followed the recipe exactly and the beans were delicious. Had enough to freeze and after thawing, were just as good. My second time I used what was in my pantry. 1/2 lb each navy/great northern beans, 1 jalapeño and 1 bell pepper, with the rest of the exact ingredients. They are cooking right now, overnight, and the house smells good. Excited to taste them!
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October 29, 2022 - 10:29
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Let's just say delicious!! Had for dinner two nights in a row and put the rest in the freezer, in two person servings. Makes for an excellent and yummy side dish with a shredded pork BBQ sandwich/wrap or just mixed with the beans. Soooo good!
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