Slow Cooker Borracho Beans – Slender Kitchen

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.


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 glorious 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 barebcue 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, rice, roasted veggies, 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.

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.
  • 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.

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.

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