My recipe for Slow Cooker Ranchero Beans taste just like Chuy’s Tex-Mex ranchero beans! They’ll be your go-to side dish for every Mexican fiesta!
I’m back from vacation and feeling refreshed. However, I know I’ll be leaning on my slow cooker to get me through this week as I adjust back to cooking meals for the family, doing endless laundry, and of course just adjusting back to life. You guys know how much I love Mexican food. We just got back from a Carnival cruise and I got to enjoy Mexican food at the Blue Iguana Cantina ever day! Like, breakfast and lunch daily #EatalltheMexicanFood.
But let’s talk about when I’m home there is nothing more that I like to do than to make a huge Mexican feast. Beans are always on the menu. They are a must. I know it’s something my son will always eat and it’s something everyone always enjoys. I love Chuy’s Tex-Mex restaurant. They serve the most delicious ranchero beans. They are super spicy but oh-so full of flavor.
Since I can’t eat at Chuy’s all the time I have resorted to making my own in my slow cooker. Let me just tell you that this recipe tastes just like theirs (a little less spicy—but if you like it spicy make it spicier), and it makes a large batch.
- Dried Pinto Beans
- White Onion
- Fire Roasted Ro-Tel
How do you soak dried beans?
Whenever you make dried beans you need to pre-soak them. You will use this method if you are cooking them on the stove top or in a slow cooker. The only time I’ve found I don’t need to soak dried beans is when I’m using an electric pressure cooker.
To soak the beans you want to do this at least 12 hours prior to cooking. I like to soak my beans over night in a pot of water. You can always do that in the slow cooker (just don’t turn it on). Once the beans have soaked you simply rinse and strain in a colander. Then, the beans are ready to be cooked.
Making the slow cooker ranchero beans are pretty simple! If you have a Multi-Cooker you’ll want to preheat it to the sear setting. Cook the bacon, add in the diced onion, garlic and jalapeno and cook for a few minutes until bacon fat is rendered and it’s a little crispy.
Then add in your tomatoes. I find that I like using the fire roasted Ro-tel the best. But any fire roasted canned tomato would work fine. (If you don’t have a Multi-Cooker you can do this step in a skillet then transfer to a slow cooker.)
Place the soaked beans back in the slow cooker with the water. Then, I add in a tablespoon of salt to the beans and water. Give it a big stir and set the slow cooker on high for 8 hours. You might think high is too much, but I promise you will still have crisp beans. Remember these are dried beans so the cooking process takes much longer.
Once the beans are done I stir in chopped cilantro and then take about 2 cups of beans and puree it in my food processor. Before I add the pureed beans back to the slow cooker. I strain out any additional liquid I might not want. That’s a total preference thing. Then, I add the pureed beans back to the slow cooker. Give it a good stir and serve the slow cooker ranchero beans over Mexican rice!
Can you freeze ranchero beans?
Since this recipe makes a lot and we aren’t always entertaining I will freeze these beans. Once we are done with dinner I package the leftovers up into 2-4 quart size freezer bags, label it, and freeze it for a later dinner. Then once I know we are going to have another Mexican dinner I thaw the beans and reheat on the stove top! Same great slow cooked taste but with minimal effort on my behalf.
Slow Cooker Ranchero Beans
- Slow Cooker
- 2 lbs Dried Pinto Beans
- 4 Slices of Bacon chopped
- 1 Small White Onion diced
- 3 Garlic Cloves minced
- 1 Jalapeño seeded and diced
- 1 10 oz. Can Fire Roasted Ro-Tel
- 1 tbsp Salt
- 6 cups Water
- 1/2 cup Cilantro chopped
- The night before you want to cook the beans (or at least 8 hours prior) you’ll want to soak your beans. Place beans in a large pot and fill with 8 cups of water. Place a lid on top and let sit for at least 8 hours if not 12 hours. After the beans have soaked, drain all water, rinse the beans, and set to the side.
- Using a Multi-Cooker, preheat to sear setting. Place the bacon in the multi-cooker and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add in the white onion, cook 1 minute, followed by the garlic and jalapeño. Mix occasionally and cook for a total of 10 minutes until the bacon starts to crisp and onions start to turn translucent.
- Reduce the heat on the Multi-Cooker to “slow cooker high” mode. Add in the can of fire-roasted tomatoes and the beans. Mix well, then add in the salt and 6 cups of water. Mix well, place the lid on the beans and cook on high for 8 hours.
- Once the beans are done place two cups of beans in a blender and puree. Drain excess water from the slow cooker. Pour the pureed beans back into the slow cooker, and mix in the freshly chopped cilantro. Serve immediately or keep on "warm" setting until ready to serve.