This tasty, inexpensive Mexican bean recipe goes together in a flash but requires long, slow cooking.  The savory flavor comes from salt pork, tomatoes, cilantro, onion and garlic that are simmered together for about 3 hours. 

Traditional Frijoles

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Servings 6


  • 8 cups water
  • 1 pound dried pinto beans rinsed, drained, and sorted
  • 4 ounces salt pork
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 large tomato chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt divided
  • 1 serrano chile optional


  • Bring first 8 ingredients, 1/4 tsp. salt, and, if desired, serrano chile to a boil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven.
  • Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, over medium-low heat 3 hours or until beans are tender.
  • Stir in remaining 1 tsp. salt.
  • Remove and discard salt pork and chile before serving.


  • Cook 4 cups Traditional Frijoles in 1 Tbsp. hot vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Reduce heat, and mash beans with a potato masher as they cook, adding water if necessary to keep moist.
  • Simmer, stirring often
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!