I didn't even understand the hype behind a Chuy's restaurant until one finally landed in my hometown area of Northwest Arkansas about 2 years ago. I'm not usually one for chain restaurants. I will pass up a chain restaurant to eat at a more quirky, unique, authentic little hole-in-the-wall restaurant any day! But when the Chuy's opened in Northwest Arkansas I cannot tell you how many countless times I was recommended to give this restaurant a try by my friends and colleagues.
Oh, and Chuy's isn't even paying me to write these things. This article is not sponsored in any way by Chuy's. I just really wanted to recreate a charro bean recipe similar to the Chuy's version but with a healthier twist.
Oh, and the bacon is a must. Don't leave out the bacon. Yes, this is a healthier take on charro beans, but the bacon and the bacon grease added to the slow cooker is essential. Just do it. You'll thank me later.
Healthy Charro Beans
1 lb. pinto beans, rinsed and soaked
3/4 cup diced sweet (vidalia) onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 large or 3 medium roma tomatoes, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
5-7 pieces reduced fat bacon
1 1/2 Tbsp. cumin
1 1/2 tsp. chipotle powder
2 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. sugar or stevia
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
1. Rinse the pinto beans and soak overnight (at least 24 hours). Drain the pinto beans after soaking.
2. Chop the bacon into small pieces and saute in a pan over medium-high heat until crispy. Remove pan from heat. You will add bacon and the bacon grease to the slow cooker.
3. Add pinto beans, diced onion, diced bell pepper, diced tomatoes, diced jalapeno, minced garlic cloves, and all spices to slow cooker. Add the cooked bacon pieces and bacon grease from the pan. Cover all ingredients with 4 cups of chicken stock and 2 cups of water. Cook on low heat for 7-8 hours until beans are tender.
Have you ever tried charro beans at another restaurant?