Warm up your Season with Beans (Recipe: Frijoles Rancheros)

Written by Diana of A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa.

I am so excited to be here at Simple Bites sharing my family’s traditional Spanish and Mexican recipes. My hope is that you will be encouraged to try new flavors that are sure to spice up your life.

Since the weather outside is calling for dishes to warm our souls, I wanted to share with you one of my favorite Mexican bean recipes. Frijoles rancheros or Mexican ranch style beans.

They are easy to make and the flavors captured can’t be beat by anything you buy in a can.

These beans make a great side dish to enchiladas, tacos or anything you can come up with. However, what I love about these beans is that you can add a brisket or ham hock to the cooking beans and have a complete meal in a pot.

Shred the meat, warm up some tortillas and you’ll have a quick and easy meal of authentic Mexican tacos and beans.

Photo by Diana

Don’t forget to add a quick and easy homemade salsa verde and your neighbors will start lining up at your door.

Frijoles Rancheros

For this recipe I used an heirloom variety of beans called Good Mother Stallard. They are a meaty and creamy bean that taste wonderful eaten alone. A great substitute is the traditional pinto bean.
This recipe does cook slowly, however, it's simple and sure to please the pickiest of eaters.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dishes
Servings: 4 cups
Calories: 549kcal
Author: Diana


  • 2 cups dried pinto beans or any other variety dense meaty bean
  • 1 onion diced
  • 4-5 pieces bacon sliced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro packed
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 ham hock or brisket, optional
  • Salt to taste


  • Soak 2 cups beans overnight. (Make sure to rinse your beans and rid of any dirt or small pebbles)
  • The next day, drain the beans and rinse.
  • In a thick bottomed pot or cast iron dutch oven, add the beans, onions and optional ham hock or brisket.
  • Add enough water to the pot to cover the beans by 2 inches. Add salt to taste.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Cover and drop the heat to low for 2 to 3 hours or until the beans are soft and the meat is tender and cooked through. Throughout the cooking time, make sure to check the beans and add more water if necessary.
  • With about a half hour left of cooking time you can begin to cook down the remaining flavors of bacon, garlic and cilantro.
  • In a pan or cast iron skillet, add the sliced bacon and cook until most of its fat has been rendered. There is no need to brown the bacon.
  • Once most of the fat has been rendered add the garlic and cilantro and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
  • Add all of the contents in the pan to the pot of beans and simmer for an additional 15 minutes to infuse the flavors.
  • If you added pork or brisket, remove from the beans, shred and set aside for tacos.
  • Serve the beans in a bowl topped with freshly grated Queso Fresco, or any other soft cheese, and cilantro.


Calories: 549kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 241mg | Potassium: 1567mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 135IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 126mg | Iron: 6mg

Beans are comfort food in Mexico. What is your comfort food during the winter months?

About Diana

As a first generation American, Diana shares her family’s traditional Spanish and Mexican recipes at her blog, A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa. As a mami and urban homesteader she also writes about her faith, family, organic gardening, raising backyard chickens and preserving the harvest.

Subscribe For Free!

Like reading this post?
Get more delivered to your email inbox.


  1. Welcome, Diana! These look so tasty and as a family of bean lovers I can’t wait to give them a try. For us comfort food equates to chicken pot pies and big pots of soup.

  2. Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies says

    Okay, so normally I stick to Borracho Beans (or Frijoles Borracho), but these look fantastic, without the added calories of the beer. I’ve just printed this, it’s going on next week’s menu.

  3. Am trying to cook more beans because a) we love them and b) trying to have more meatless meals so this recipe is going to be a keeper!

    Hot soup on a cold winter day in Minnesota is the ultimate comfort food in my book!

  4. The pictures make my mouth water!. I am printing the recipes as they look wonderful and I love that type of food. Thanks.

  5. I’m so glad to be over here today and hope you enjoy these beans as much as my family does. You definitely can’t go wrong with soup 🙂

  6. This looks delicious (as does the salsa)! We like beans and potatoes, not together, in the winter.

  7. Excuse me, but that bacon shot is FANTASTIC. Like, should be in Bon Appetit. You rock!

  8. These look delicious! I’ve never made my own homemade Frijoles Rancheros, but I really enjoyed them growing up in Texas at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants.

  9. Ooo – would definitely add that ham hock!!

  10. This looks amazing! Oh yum! I will certainly be trying these very soon. The beans you used are so pretty too 🙂

  11. Hay! Diana, this is exactly what I have in my mind for some weeks now. This dish is so comforting for my soul and my belly. It is a tradition in my family to cook this soup every time we make carne asada, a bowl of this soup has to be there next to the tortillas.

    Thanks for posting this recipe.



  12. These sound fantastic, Diana, and I’m in love with those beans. Gorgeous!

  13. I’m happy my boys love beans. These are on the menu over here this week, too! Now if I could only find some of those heirloom beans of yours, Diana.

  14. LOVE beans! these look divine!

  15. Thanks everyone! Mely, I’m so glad you stopped by! Thank you to because I should have mentioned that these beans are eaten as a soup. Make sure to pour a nice bowl with the broth.

    Aimee, the beans were a Christmas gift and were ordered from the the online store Rancho Gordo. A beautiful site filled with delicious heirloom beans.

  16. Diana,

    These look amazing!! Maybe 2011 will be the year that I finally can perfect the art of dried beans! I have never had luck…they’ve never softened for me! Of course, I haven’t tried in at least 6 years. 😉

    I love the addition of bacon and cilantro. This is going on my grocery list/meal plan. Can’t wait to try them.

    Slowly easing my way back into my food blog and food blogging community. Last summer proved to be especially busy & I never found my way back. I’m hoping that in 2011 I can find a way to strike a balance in my food blogging without getting overly obsessive. It was eating into all of my other areas which I know it can do at first. Here’s to a great year!!

  17. YUM! I’ll be honest…I’ve only ever bought canned beans-GASP! I always thought cooking dried beans would be hard. This looks super simple, & I cannot wait to give it a try! 😉

  18. Tacos were already in the meal plan for early next week and these look like the perfect side dish. I can’t wait to try them.

  19. Diana: que buenos! hearty and comforting. And what a great dinner combination with the enchiladas and salsa verde. I will try them soon!

  20. i have been trying to get more beans into our diet – and that sure looks good, I can’t wait to try it.
    I just made a batch of my favourite Hearty 9 bean soup – I hope some of you will enjoy trying that as well!

  21. Two Chicks and a Hen says

    Yum!! I can’t wait to make these. I use a Brazilian bean recipe right now that is very, very good, but I’ll try this one to spice things up. One of my favorite winter comfort foods is homemade chicken pot pie. Delicious!

  22. Great job Diana! Looks deeeeelish!

  23. This sounds and looks like a very good bean recipe. I love a bean dish prepared from dry beans, tastes so much better.


  24. Sounds delicious! I’m serving beans tonight, in white chicken chili. Yum! I love serving beans, it makes a nice cheap meal!

  25. Steph (The Cheapskate Cook) says

    Thanks for a great post, Diana! Your beans sound delicious!
    My comfort food…. usually some kind of beans and rice dish – and it MUST be smothered in cheese, or it doesn’t count.
    Tonight I actually fixed my favorite beans and rice comfort food: we call it “Mush.” Lentils, rice, tomato sauce, seasoning, cheddar cheese.

  26. What an amazing community! I hope the beans turn out well 😀

  27. I could eat a whole pot of these beans. So delicious looking!

  28. I’m so happy I stopped by and saw this recipe. I just ordered Good Mother Stollard beans from Rancho Gordo and they will be here in a few days. Now I know what to do with them, thank you!

  29. This sounds simple and delicious. Adding the ingredients to my grocery list now! Look forward to seeing what you post here and also checking out all the “going ons” of Simple Bites.

  30. Great, great, great recipe and as always the pictures are beautiful! I can’t wait to try this with some shredded chicken added to it.

  31. Delicious! We love beans, and I am constantly looking for new meals to make with them. Thanks for the recipe!

  32. I have tried the delicious recipe. its very easy and good for health. Thank you for adding one more taste in our lives.

  33. Shannon Sarver says

    Hi! I am doing a taco bar for a crowd and am hoping to include these beans as a side. Do you think this makes enough for 12 people (side dish, not main)?

    Thank you!

Speak Your Mind

Recipe Rating