Colorado Cowboy Beans

Easy and flavorful. Beans made delicious thanks to your Slow Cooker

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Southwestern Mexican
Keyword Cowboy Beans
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 364 kcal
Author Lea Ann


  • 4 ounces bacon 4 slices, thick cut, cut crosswise into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 medium white onion cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 jalapeño peppers seeded if you wish and cut into ¼-inch pieces
  • 15 ounce diced tomatoes canned, preferably fire-roasted
  • 1 pound dried pinto beans about 2 1/2 cupsw
  • 1 Tablespoon lard heaping (optional)
  • Salt
  • 1 cup cilantro roughly chopped


  1. In a removeable insert of a 6-quart slow cooker (or a large 10-inch skillet if your slow cooker does not have a stove-top safe insert) set over medium heat, cook the bacon several minutes, stirring regularly, until bacon starts to brown and renders its fat. Add the onion and cook until golden, about 6-8 minutes. Add garlic and jalapeños and cook until the garlic begins to brown and is fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes and cook another minute.
  2. Fit the insert into the slow cooker (or transfer the mixture from the skillet to the slow cooker) and add the beans, the lard (if using) and 7 cups of water. Cover and turn the slow cooker to high. Your beans will be done in 3 to 4 hours, though you can hold them for longer. (My slow cooker can be programmed to switch from high after 3 ½ hours to a “keep warm” temperature for another 6 hours. Some slow cookers click to “keep warm” automatically; others need to be switched manually.)

  3. When ready to serve, remove 2 cups of the beans and process in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add the smooth beans back to pot and stir in the cilantro. Taste and season with salt. Ladle into bowls and serve.

Nutrition Facts
Colorado Cowboy Beans
Amount Per Serving
Calories 364 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 12%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 12mg 4%
Sodium 143mg 6%
Potassium 1275mg 36%
Total Carbohydrates 52g 17%
Dietary Fiber 13g 52%
Sugars 4g
Protein 19g 38%
Vitamin A 8.7%
Vitamin C 24.4%
Calcium 12.1%
Iron 26%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.