Drunken Beans (Frijoles Borrachos)

April 30, 2014 by Ali

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)

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: About 6-8 servings


  • 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.

(c) 2013 Gimme Some Oven. All rights reserved.

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

filed in Appetizers

About Ali

Ali Ebright is a freelance recipe developer and food writer/photographer, and blogs at Gimme Some Oven and Gimme Some Life. She also loves all things music, traveling near and far, actually making things from Pinterest, cozying up with a good book and her sweet pup, Henry, and spending time with a wonderful group of friends. Come say hello and follow Ali on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ & Instagram.

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25 thoughts on “Drunken Beans (Frijoles Borrachos)

  1. 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

    - Heather

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

    - bev

  3. 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!

    - Luvtacook

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

    - Culinary Favorites From A to Z

  5. Who wouldn’t love these? Fabulous idea.

    - sue/the view from great island

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

    - Sommer @ASpicyPerspective

  7. 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.

    - Dixie

  8. 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!

    - Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking

  9. 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!!

    - Liz @ The Lemon Bowl

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

    - Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking

  11. 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!!!

    - Meg @ The Housewife in Training Files

    • 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.

      - angie glaze

  12. 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!

    - Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl

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

    - Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking

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

    - Deborah

  15. 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

    - Christine @ Cooking with Cakes

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

    - Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor

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

    - Tieghan

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

    - Medeja

  19. 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!

    - Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness

  20. 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!

    - Helen @ Scrummy Lane