Pinto Beans with Bacon and Jalapeños

Pinto beans with sautéed onions, bacon, and pan roasted jalapenos.

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 to 3 whole jalapeño chile peppers
  • 2 to 3 thick-cut slices of bacon
  • 2 cups of chopped onion
  • 2 medium clove of garlic, minced
  • 4 cups of cooked pinto beans (2 15-ounce cans, rinsed and drained)
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup, loosely packed, chopped fresh cilantro


1 Cook and prep jalapeños: Heat oil in a medium skillet on high heat. Put the jalapeños in the pan and stir to coat with the oil. Let cook, turning occasionally, on all sides, until all sides are nicely browned (about 10-15 minutes, depending on how hot your burner is).

Remove from pan. Cut away and discard the stem, core, seeds, and veins. Coarsely chop the remaining jalapeño flesh.

2 Cook bacon: While the jalapeños are cooking, cook the bacon slices on medium low heat in a large skillet, until crispy. Remove bacon from the pan to a paper towel-lined plate. Pour off (do not discard down the drain!) all but 2 tablespoons of bacon fat.

3 Cook onion in bacon fat: Add the chopped onion to the pan with the bacon fat. Increase the heat to medium high and cook until translucent and lightly browned. Add the minced garlic and cook a minute more. While the onion is cooking, chop the cooked bacon.

4 Add the cooked beans, chopped bacon, and the chopped jalapeños to the pan and stir to mix. Sprinkle with salt.

Serve with chopped fresh cilantro, and steak and salsa.

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  • Lauren

    So simple, quick, and flavorful! I kept it all in one skillet. While the jalapeno was roasting, I chopped up vegetables for plum and cabbage salsas, and prepped a simple chicken for the grill. The beans were a perfect accompaniment.


  • Jerry Gartner

    Great recipe! For a vegetarian twist, I forewent the bacon, (one of the hardest things I’d ever done!), and settled for 5 or 6 shakes of liquid smoke.

    A good squish of lime also sets the flavors off quite nicely.

  • Beverly

    This was excellent. I don’t really care for beans that much but this was great! My husband loved it. It was easy, fast and very flavorful. I will definitely make this again.


  • Andrew Frappier

    I just made this and it is fantastic. This will become a regular on our home menu. I know there are a lot of cooking sites out there, but yours is on my Google homepage and every recipe of yours I have made comes out amazing.

    Keep up the good work. mmmmmmmmmm


  • Marita

    We had this last night for dinner and it was delicious! I didn’t have any bacon on hand so I added a half teaspoon of liquid smoke and a few splashes of dark beer. Fantastic! I’ll definitely be making this again.

  • Kalashnikov Dude

    I used this recipe the first time I saw it here and made it for my familys New Years dinner celebration right next to the fried turkey.Everybody raved.Its a new tradition.Thanks!I did some changes though.I used roasted green chilles from Hatch New Mexico,grilled and frozen some time back instead of Jalapenos.That and I did cook my own Pintos.The rest was all you.And it rocked : )

  • Susanne

    Steak strips rolled in tortillas with salsa and beans was my dad’s favorite meal, and became my favorite way to enjoy steak! Can’t wait to try this, we always reheat or refry our beans in bacon fat yum! thank you!

  • Kelly

    Eating this as we speak, used Serrano, they are
    really spicy!
    This is very warm and smokey!
    Thanks for all the great recipes!
    Happy New Year!


  • KimH

    I never met a pinto bean I didnt love.. Thanks for a quickie version of charro beans, my most favorite of all pintos.

  • JoAnn

    I love your recipes Elise, but I just couldn’t let this one go by! I understand the need for quick recipes, but cooking dried beans in a crockpot or on the stovetop is REALLY the best way to eat them! I grew up on pinto beans once a week as our protein with cornbread. It’s a staple here in Texas! A piece of bread with butter and a bowl of beans right off the stove before dinner was served was a special treat from my mom’s kitchen! Of course bacon, pork or ham bone is the best seasoning. Leftover beans can be used for refried beans by mashing and heating in a skillet with a little oil. Keep those recipes coming and try a pot of beans cooked all day on a cold winter day!

    I absolutely agree, which is why the recipe specifies cooked beans. They can come from a can or you can cook them from scratch. ~Elise

  • Sally

    I’m not sure if I ever told you this, so as the year comes to a close, I wanted to be sure to share it. When I wrote about my ‘Mexico excursion’ on my blog, my nephew’s girlfriend e-mailed me to say how excited she was that I had met ELISE BAUER !!! because she practically learned to cook on your site. All your hard work is so appreciated by so many people; may it continue to enrich all of us. Happy, happy new year, to you and your family. dear Elise. I hope it brings you blessings, and all of your heart’s desires.

    Wow, thanks Sally, and the same to you! Happy happy new year! ~Elise

  • Sade

    This looks great! If you don’t discard the bacon fat down the drain, how DO you do discard it?

    Soak it up with paper towels and discard. Or, save to a bacon fat jar to use in cooking. See how to render bacon fat. If you dump it down the drain, over time your pipes will definitely clog. ~Elise

  • Tracee

    I don’t see where the steak is added in…???

    This dish is a side, excellent served with steak. ~Elise