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Drunken Beans (Frijoles Borrachos)

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Drunken Beans (Frijoles Borrachos) | #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) | #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) | #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) | #mexican

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

Drunken Beans (Frijoles Borrachos) | #mexican

Add your beer…

Drunken Beans (Frijoles Borrachos) | #mexican

…and frijoles…

Drunken Beans (Frijoles Borrachos) | #mexican

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

Drunken Beans (Frijoles Borrachos) | #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!

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Drunken Beans (Frijoles Borrochos)

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: About 6-8 servings 1x


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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Drunken Beans (Frijoles Borrachos) | #mexican

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68 comments on “Drunken Beans (Frijoles Borrachos)”

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

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

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

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

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

  9. 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. 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!!!

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

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

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

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

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

  20. 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. Por favor quisiera la receta en español. Gracias

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

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

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

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

  27. 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?  

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

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

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

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

  31. Those sound AMAZING!

  32. 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!

  33. 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.

  34. 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!!

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

  35. I made this to add to a taco bar for a large family gathering and we ran out of these first. People are still talking about them! It is super easy to make too. Through everything together and walk away.

  36. A little too sweet, will make again withoug brown sugar. Maybe my beer wasnt dark enough.

    • Hi Kath! We’re sorry you found this too sweet. Definitely feel free to use less brown sugar or leave it out entirely if you like.

  37. excellent do leftovers freeze well

  38. I’m not a great cook but I was able to replicate it. It tasted delicious. However, the farts are BAD. Totes worth it tho.

  39. This recipe was fast, easy and so delicious. I’m not a bean fan of any kind. However, even I ate them?

  40. Awesome!!!! Everything about this dish is phenomenal.

  41. OMG! SO EXCITED that I found this recipe! I had borrochos beans down in Texas at a BBQ place and have never found a recipe to replicate them! PLUS, I was looking for a side dish to make with Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti (Mexican flavored with Rotel) and was coming up empty! I will try for dinner this weekend and report back! ;)

  42. I made this recipe two weeks ago. You’ve got a major winner here. At 64 my husband is going vegetarian 4 days a week and this one is a real treat for those other 4 days.

  43. Made this recipe for the first time and absolutely loved it! Perfectly complimented my carnitas tacos!

  44. I NEVER take the time to leave reviews, but I just had to for this recipe. These beans were ahhh-mazing!!! So easy to make to. I made them to go with tacos before I had back to school night for my kiddos. I ate them with dinner and then had more when I got home after BTS night and I’m eating more for lunch now. Definitely my new favorite side dish for Mexican food. Thank you!!!!

  45. Got it right!

  46. These are the best beans I have ever had. Amazing!

  47. I made this as the recipe called for, and I didn’t care for it. It had a overwhelming beer tang. I will definitely be making again, but without the beer.

  48. I made this recipe just as directed. The beans were pretty good, but I don’t think they were any better than my other recipes that don’t take as much time and effort. I expected them to be really special , but I like my regular black-eyed peas and pinto beans just as much. I doubt if I will make these again.

  49. Hi Ali ! Great recipe! I made it vegan so skipped the bacon. I wanted to give some use to the left open cans of beer from last wknd haha and it worked very well! The beans are delicious ! I started with the raw beans added more beer water and left them until soft but yes, definitely tasty ! Thank you for sharing ! I’ll be sharing this soon on my Instagram ! I’llbe sure to tag you ! ?

  50. Made these for a family gathering. Rave reviews from everyone! Thanks so much!