Drunken Beans (Frijoles Borrachos)

This drunken beans recipe (also known as "frijoles borrachos") is simmered in beer, bacon and seasonings, and comes together in just 30 minutes!

Drunken Beans (Frijoles Borrachos) | gimmesomeoven.com #mexican

The magical fruit meets bacon and beer.

That’s right, today we’re talking drunken beans.  Also known as frijoles borrachos.  Or if I were given the naming rights to this one, which I guess I am, I’d probably go more along the lines of Bacon and Beer Simmered Beans.

Whatever you call them, though, these guys have been on my Mexican food cooking bucket list for awhile.  I somehow only discovered them a few years ago at a local Mexican restaurant.  (Where had they been all my life?!)  And ever since, I instantly order them whenever I spot them on a menu.  I mean, is there any way to go wrong with beans simmered in dark beer and bacon?!  Not in my book.  Well, my only complaint is that most people simmer these guys low and slow for hours, and I usually tend to be fairly impatient when it comes to wanting Mexican food right now.

So I created a 30-minute drunken beans recipe that is way more my style.  And way easy.  And way good.

Drunken Beans (Frijoles Borrachos) | gimmesomeoven.com #mexican

For those of you who’ve never tried drunken beans, they are basically just that — pinto beans simmered in dark Mexican beer, bacon, onions, a handful of seasonings, and topped with cilantro.  Most of the alcohol from the beer boils out during cooking, and you’re left with some seriously savory, soupy, and scrumptious frijoles.  I went with Negra Modelo beer to get that nice, deep, dark flavor, but really just about any beer would work.  

Here’s how to make ’em…

Drunken Beans (Frijoles Borrachos) | gimmesomeoven.com #mexican

Begin with your bacon.  Mmmmmbacon.

Dice up a few slices, then fry them in a large saute pan or medium saute pan until crispy.  Remove bacon with a slotted spoon, and leave about 1 tablespoon of bacon grease in the pan.

Drunken Beans (Frijoles Borrachos) | gimmesomeoven.com #mexican

Then saute the onions and jalapeno up in that bacon grease for extra bacon-y flavor.

Drunken Beans (Frijoles Borrachos) | gimmesomeoven.com #mexican

Add your beer…

Drunken Beans (Frijoles Borrachos) | gimmesomeoven.com #mexican

…and frijoles…

Drunken Beans (Frijoles Borrachos) | gimmesomeoven.com #mexican

…and a few seasonings.  Then let ’em simmer for about 20 minutes on medium-low heat.

Drunken Beans (Frijoles Borrachos) | gimmesomeoven.com #mexican

Then serve warm, and sprinkle on a little cilantro for freshness.  And dive in with a spoon.  :)

Ok, after staring at these photos for an hour, I’m off to make another batch with my leftover beer.  So frijole-flippin’ good.  Cheers!

Drunken Beans (Frijoles Borrochos)

These drunken beans (frijoles borrochos) are simmered in bacon and beer, and ready to go in just 30 minutes!


  • 4 pieces (uncooked) bacon, diced
  • 1 small white onion, finely diced
  • 1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and diced (add an extra jalapeno for more heat)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle dark Mexican beer (I used Negra Modelo)
  • 4 (15-ounce) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


Cook bacon in a large saute pan over medium-high heat until crispy, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and transfer to a separate plate. Set aside.

Meanwhile, reserve 1 tablespoon of bacon grease in the saute pan, discarding the extra. Add the onion and jalapeno, and saute for 5 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the garlic, and saute for an additional 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add the beer, beans, brown sugar, oregano, chili powder, salt and cumin, and stir to combine. Continue cooking until the beans reach a simmer. Then reduce heat to medium-low, and continue simmering uncovered for about 15 minutes.

When ready to serve, stir in the bacon and lime juice. Then serve the beans topped with fresh cilantro.

*If you are cooking these gluten-free, you need to use gluten-free beer and be sure to inspect the labels of your ingredients (especially the beans) to be certain that they contain only gluten-free ingredients.

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

Drunken Beans (Frijoles Borrachos) | gimmesomeoven.com #mexican

Leave a Comment:


  1. Helen @ Scrummy Lane — April 30, 2014 @ 5:16 am (#)

    I used some beer in a chicken dish a few weeks ago and absolutely loved the result. These sound just as good, and I’m sure the bacon takes them right up to another level! Heavenly!

  2. Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness — April 30, 2014 @ 5:28 am (#)

    You’re my husbands new favorite person because you just combined beer, bacon and beans in one pot. Which makes you my favorite person because I get to make this easy and ahmayzing dinner for him! Pinned!

  3. Medeja — April 30, 2014 @ 5:39 am (#)

    This recipe sounds and looks so delicious! I like that beer is one of the ingredients.. yummy!

  4. Tieghan — April 30, 2014 @ 7:51 am (#)

    These bean could not look any better!! Perfect for Cinco de Mayo!

  5. Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor — April 30, 2014 @ 8:42 am (#)

    Oh, yes! Bring on the drunken beans. I want to dive right into that pan of bacon!

  6. Christine @ Cooking with Cakes — April 30, 2014 @ 8:44 am (#)

    I’m pretty sure you could label any recipe “drunk”_______ whatever and you’d automatically get my attention, but these look seriously yums! perfect for le Cinco

  7. Deborah — April 30, 2014 @ 11:26 am (#)

    Looks yummy and just in time for Cinco de Mayo, can go veg w/o the bacon or make a batch of each…

  8. Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking — April 30, 2014 @ 1:12 pm (#)

    Yes!!! I love beans so much!!!! I could eat that bowl solo as a meal.

  9. Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl — April 30, 2014 @ 1:45 pm (#)

    Do you think I could make these without the bacon…or add something else in place of the bacon? I am a vegetarian, but you have me really intrigued by these!

  10. Meg @ The Housewife in Training Files — April 30, 2014 @ 2:29 pm (#)

    How have I missed these all my life? These sound so much better than refried beans.

    What restaurant did you order them at in KC? I definitely want to make a trip there ASAP!!!

    • angie glaze — August 23rd, 2014 @ 11:57 am

      I am not sure if its the same restuarant but we have had these at El Potro in Bonner Springs. They are yummy. Now i am addicted and make at home.

  11. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — April 30, 2014 @ 3:31 pm (#)

    I smell a Cinco celebration a’brewin… These beans have got me in the mood to party! They look SO delicious, Ali!

  12. Liz @ The Lemon Bowl — April 30, 2014 @ 7:55 pm (#)

    We are on the same beans and pork page! We had collards and navy beans tonight cooked with a ham bone… so freaking good. Love this Mexican twist!!

  13. Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking — April 30, 2014 @ 8:12 pm (#)

    Girl, how I have I never heard of these?!! Bacon and beer! Together! Sigh. These look crazy good! Aaaand I happen to love Negra Modelo, so that’s a huge bonus! Can’t wait to try these out! Hubs is going to be super excited!

  14. Dixie — May 1, 2014 @ 8:46 am (#)

    Living in South Texas, I’m more of the “long-low cooking starting with dried beans” type… I’ve thought about trying to use canned beans… Thanks for the recipe… I think I’ll give it a try… A hint for those that don’t like to add the jalapeño diced pepper… In my long cooking recipe, I just simmer the pepper whole. Don’t know if that would work with the quick recipe though.

  15. Sommer @ASpicyPerspective — May 1, 2014 @ 11:41 am (#)

    These beans sound so very savory! This recipe is a must try for sure!

  16. sue/the view from great island — May 2, 2014 @ 9:42 am (#)

    Who wouldn’t love these? Fabulous idea.

  17. Culinary Favorites From A to Z — May 3, 2014 @ 11:29 am (#)

    These beans sound very interesting & you are right, any beer would do.

  18. Luvtacook — May 4, 2014 @ 8:03 am (#)

    Been making something similar for years – try leaving out the brown sugar and adding 1/2 lb of lean ground beef for a heartier dish the family is sure to love!

  19. bev — May 25, 2014 @ 10:24 am (#)

    do u add the bacon back to the pot of beans?

    • Ali — July 18th, 2014 @ 4:48 pm

      Oooh, yes! Thanks for catching the typo. I just edited the recipe.

  20. Heather — September 8, 2014 @ 5:49 pm (#)

    I made this tonight and it was soooo tasty! I was looking forward to making it all day. I have to admit when it was cooking I was looking at it and was thinking “Is that all there is to it?”. But then I tasted it! The flavours were amazing. I served it over a brown rice and lentil mix for a meal. Great recipe

  21. Diana betancur — October 13, 2014 @ 10:49 pm (#)

    Por favor quisiera la receta en español. Gracias

  22. Heather — December 31, 2014 @ 12:56 pm (#)

    Drunken Beans in Spanish = Frijoles Borrachos** (with an “a”)  Just an FYI :) Looks yummy!

  23. Genoveva Contreras. — February 26, 2015 @ 5:09 pm (#)

    We as Mexicans have been cooking this recipe for years and years,and even that your recipe looks good,the original recipe doesn’t have brown sugar and you are missing diced fresh tomatoes. Other than that all is the same, and also we cook the beans from scratch.

  24. Tracy morales — March 16, 2015 @ 1:10 pm (#)

    do you think these would be able to be easily made in a slow cooker as well or only to keep warm after cooked?

    • Ali — March 21st, 2015 @ 12:24 pm

      I haven’t tried these in a slow cooker, but imagine it would do well! If you give it a try, let me know! :)

  25. Genoveva Contreras. — April 8, 2015 @ 12:01 am (#)

    You missed the diced tomatoes, and we don’t use chili powder, other than that we use the same ingredients. Congratulations 

  26. barnabas — April 16, 2015 @ 9:55 pm (#)

    this sounds and seems delicious! did you use canned beans or did you pre wash them?

  27. Cass — June 25, 2015 @ 10:55 pm (#)

    Oh my gosh that looks sooooo good.  Only thing is my soon to be hubby is gluten free.  Would a hard cider work ok in it?  

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — June 28th, 2015 @ 7:48 pm

      Thank you, Cass! Hmm, we haven’t tried this with a hard cider, but it sounds delicious, and we don’t see why it wouldn’t work. We say go for it! Let us know how it turns out. : )

  28. JoAnn — December 19, 2015 @ 6:45 pm (#)

    That’s one quick honky way of making Frijoles Borrachos!!!  Gonna have to try it…..

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — December 19th, 2015 @ 9:22 pm

      We hope you enjoy the recipe JoAnn! :)

  29. KC — February 15, 2016 @ 9:54 am (#)

    Is there any way I can make this ahead of time??

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — February 15th, 2016 @ 1:48 pm

      Yes, you can make these, let them cool completely, refrigerate and then reheat. We hope you enjoy! :)

  30. Lindsey | Lou Lou Biscuit — March 10, 2016 @ 12:14 am (#)

    Just made these tonight for a dinner party and they were AMAZING! Thanks so much for the recipe :) 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — March 10th, 2016 @ 7:22 pm

      You’re welcome Lindsey — we’re so glad they were a hit! :)

  31. Mantras — May 5, 2016 @ 3:57 am (#)

    Those sound AMAZING!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — May 5th, 2016 @ 8:09 am

      Thanks — we hope you enjoy them! :)

  32. Mary Ann — November 27, 2016 @ 9:46 pm (#)

    My sis is a great cook. She took this version and stunned us with hers. I dare you! Fry bacon, remove meat using the fat. Brown garlic onion, Anaheim pepper til soft. Add forth cup tomato paste and stir til paste carmelizes, then add half cup of TEQUILA! Yes!  Then add beans and a bundle of cilantro plus 3 cups water. Cook for at least 3hours in low ove. Remove to stovetop, and when simmering add beer and cook for few minutes more! Serve with fresh quesso and lime.  Yuosser! Sprinkle w/bacon if that hasn’t already been snatched up!
    Thank you Rose!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — November 28th, 2016 @ 4:38 pm

      Thanks for sharing, we think that sounds great! :)

  33. RainDrop — December 26, 2016 @ 12:52 pm (#)

    Thank you for this super super tasty recipe! For a second I’ve been tempted to add some pureed tomatoes but I resisted and I’m happy that I did. The recipe did not need any improvement – it’s delicious.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — December 27th, 2016 @ 9:26 am

      Thank you, we’re so glad you enjoyed it!

  34. Kristee — March 3, 2017 @ 9:59 pm (#)

    Wow! The flavor of these beans is amazing. I followed the recipe exactly, but I did omit the salt. Can’t wait for my husband to try! Sure to be a staple around here. Thank you for the delicious recipe!!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — March 8th, 2017 @ 10:22 am

      Thank you, Kristee — we’re so glad you enjoyed them and we hope your husband does as well!


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