Lentejas Borrachas (Drunken Lentils), photo by Leslie LimónPhoto by Leslie Limón

Lentejas Borrachas (Drunken Lentils)

Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Servings: 8 servings

Lentejas borrachas, which literally means "drunken lentils," is a mash-up of traditional Mexican lentil soup and frijoles borrachos (drunken beans), which are two of my favorite bean dishes. Lentils cook up faster than pinto or black beans, and the bacon, sautéed veggies, and dark Mexican beer add a robust flavor to this lentil dish that can be served as a side at your summer cookouts with carne asada (grilled steak) or served as a stew with warm corn tortillas.


  • 2 cups uncooked lentils
  • 8 cups 8 cups water
  • 6 slices bacon cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 3 Roma tomatoes diced
  • 1 12-ounce bottle dark Mexican beer
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro finely chopped

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  1. Bring lentils and water to a boil in a Dutch oven over high heat. Cover and reduce heat to low. Let simmer for 30 minutes until lentils have softened.
  2. Cook the bacon in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until browned and crisp. Stir in the onion, jalapeño, and garlic; saute for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion turns transparent. Remove from heat.
  3. Add the bacon mixture to the lentils along with the tomatoes and Mexican beer. Cover and let simmer for an additional 15 to 20 minutes. Lightly mash some of the lentils with a potato masher to thicken the mixture. Season with salt to taste. Remove from heat. Stir in the fresh cilantro just before serving.

Chef Notes

If you prefer a soupier texture, increase the water to 10 cups from 8 cups.

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