Freezer Beef and Bean Burritos

I kind of feel like I’ve been holding out on you guys. These amazing burritos have been gracing our freezer (and filling our tummies) for months now and I’m sorry that I’m just now getting around to sharing them with you. I’ve made them dozens of times in the last few months and along with these fabulous bean burritos, they’ve been our staple on hectic dinner nights or when Brian needs to grab a quick lunch for work or when the kids and I are sick of eating PB&J at noon. That’s the beauty of having them in the freezer just waiting to be warmed up for our eating pleasure.

Freezer Beef and Bean Burritos

The thing is, they aren’t just a burrito. Well, I mean, they are a burrito, but they aren’t your average, every day burrito. The flavor in these wrapped beauties is fantastic. You get the traditional smoky flavor from the cumin and chili but a bit of unexpected freshness from the lime juice. There are some mashed beans, whole beans, rice and cheese right there along with the meat, and the entire burrito, in my humble opinion, is screaming burrito perfection.

We were overjoyed with the deliciousness of these burritos the first time we had them. And I can happily report that we still haven’t gotten sick of them months later. In fact, it’s always a bit funny to me when Brian eats one for lunch or whenever and he’s oohing and aahing over the flavor and I’m looking at him quizzically, saying, “you know these are the same burritos you’ve been eating for weeks now” and he’s like, “Yeah, but man, they are so good.” Glad he likes them since they’ll be stocking our freezer for the forseeable future. Make some why don’t you!

Freezer Beef and Bean Burritos

What To ServeHomemade Refried Beans {Slow Cooker}
Green salad, or My Favorite Coleslaw
Fresh, seasonal fruit

One Year Ago: Peach-Orange Smoothie
Two Years Ago: Chocolate-Mint Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches
Three Years Ago: Cheesesteak Subs – Quick and Tasty!

Freezer Beef and Bean Burritos

Yield: Makes 6-8 burritos

Freezer Beef and Bean Burritos

You could most definitely substitute brown rice for the white but you'll need to increase the liquid according to the package directions and cook for much longer (around 40-45 minutes).

Ingredients

    Rice:
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup long grain white rice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • Filling:
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 12 ounces extra lean ground beef or lean ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6-8 (10-inch) flour tortillas, white or wheat
  • 5 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese (about 1 cup)
  • 5 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese (about 1 cup)
  • 6 tablespoons sour cream, light or regular

Directions

  1. For the rice, bring the broth, rice, garlic, and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 16-18 minutes. Remove the rice from the heat, keeping it covered, and let it sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. When ready to use, add the cilantro and fluff with a fork.
  2. For the filling, combine the broth and half of the beans in a small bowl and mash with a fork until the beans are coarsely mashed with the broth (reserve the whole beans for later). In a large, 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the vegetable oil until hot and rippling. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the tomato paste, garlic, cumin, oregano and chili powder and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the ground meat and cook until no longer pink, about 8-10 minutes, breaking the meat into small pieces while cooking. Drain any excess grease if needed.
  3. Stir the mashed bean mixture into the meat mixture and cook for 3-4 minutes until the mixture is thick and most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the rest of the whole beans, lime juice and salt. Remove from heat. If serving immediately, follow the instructions in the next paragraph. If freezing for later, let the beef and bean mixture and the rice cool to warm room temperature before proceeding.
  4. Wrap the tortillas in between damp paper towels and microwave until the tortillas are soft, about 1 minute. Arrange the tortillas on the counter and divide the rice, beef and bean filling and cheese evenly among the tortillas. Dollop each tortilla with a tablespoon (more or less) of sour cream. Fold the sides of the tortilla toward each other over the filling while lifting the bottom edge over, rolling into a burrito shape. Serve immediately (if desired).
  5. For freezer burritos, wrap each burrito in plastic wrap. Place burritos in a gallon-sized freezer ziploc bag. To reheat, unwrap the burrito from the plastic wrap and place on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave for 1-2 minutes. Poke the burrito with the tines of a fork all over and continue microwaving in 30-second increments until heated through.
http://www.melskitchencafe.com/freezer-beef-and-bean-burritos/
Recipe Source: adapted from Cook’s Country April/May 2013

80 Responses to Freezer Beef and Bean Burritos

  1. Kim in MD says:

    Yum! These look and sound delicious, and I love that they freeze well. I’m making a big batch of these this week!

  2. These look simple and healthy. Perfect summer meal. Will have to make these for the kids for the nights we need a quick meal.

  3. Another gem, Mel! Everyone needs freezer burritos! :)

  4. I’ve totally been thinking that i need to get my freezer stocked with stuff like this…with a baby underfoot, getting dinner on the table is a giant hassle, most days. These are perfect!!

  5. jenniferA says:

    These look amazing! My family will love them. Thank you for all the wonderful recipes, your website has become one of my favorite food blogs!

  6. These sound fantastic! Now I just need some room in my freezer.

  7. Jeanette says:

    So glad you posted this recipe today. Burritos are one of my “picky” son’s favorite foods. Looking forward to making some of these to freeze for school lunches. Thanks!

  8. Laura says:

    How convenient, and so much better than those poor excuses for burritos found in the freezer section!

  9. Oh these sound perfect for my son off at college. I’m currently making a list of foods for him to make in his apartment and he’ll love these! Thanks!!!!

  10. MelanieL says:

    I keep your super bean burritos in stock but I’m always asked by my husband for a meat version. I’m pretty sure he will love these:)

  11. Amy P says:

    These look perfect! Definitely making a batch of these. This has been my best blog discovery of the year!

  12. anon says:

    I made these out of CC, twice! It is easy to make the filling during nap time and reheat for a quick dinner. My family loves to customize their own burrito. They taste so much better than fast food, and don’t involve mystery meat. Great for busy school/sports schedules.

  13. Kesa says:

    You read my mind Mel! I was just getting on to look through your freezable meals and was hoping to find some great lunch options and here these are :) Thank you so much for all you do, I love knowing anything I try from your blog will be delish!

  14. Tahnycooks says:

    I’m leaving for a mini vacation and this will be perfect for the boys while I’m gone. Thank you! Thank you!

  15. Emily says:

    You know, I think I will make some! My husband often need a lunch to grab on his way out the door and I often get sick of PB&J for lunch. I might just choke on my lunch, though, if my daughter eats this without multiple complaints of “I don’t like that, it’s not my favorite.”

    Question: What do you do when you only use part of a can of tomato paste? I always groan when recipes only call for a small amount because then I have the rest of the can and what do I do with it?

    • Paula says:

      I found tomato paste in a tube which is the best thing to use with no waste. Once it’s opened, just store in refrigerator. Check in your grocery stores, one of them should have it. OR, you can do as I used to and freeze 1 Tbl portions of a canned paste in an ice cube tray and then remove and store them in a freezer bag for later use. But the paste in a tube is much easier!

  16. Katie says:

    Yum!
    Here’s the crowd feeding post I promised! Hope you like it : )
    http://toentertain.wordpress.com/2013/08/12/hosting-tips-how-to-feed-a-crowd-a-hot-meal-mels-kitchen-cafe/
    -Katie
    To Entertain

  17. Love, love, LOVE these freezable burritos! They seem like just the perfect thing to have on hand!

  18. Lachelle says:

    Emily, when I have extra tomato sauce from the can I will freeze it in 1 TBSP. amounts and then after frozen put it in a bag in the freezer and use it in another recipe.

    • Mel says:

      Emily – when I have leftover tomato paste, I usually try to plan another recipe in my menu plan that week that will use it up, otherwise I find little bits frozen in the freezer that I’ve forgotten about. If you can stay on top of freezing it and using it (before it gets freezer burned) that’s a great way to go.

  19. Jen T says:

    Love, love, love freezer food–homemade freezer food. These look wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

  20. You know ewhat, I could never convince myself to start to like burritos. I do eat them from time to time (ok once per year), but I can’t get excited about them. I only hope that it will come one day, as it happened with herring and other meals that I love right now :)

  21. Emily Wells says:

    I made these for dinner tonight, and my nine-year-old son said “mom, dad should quit his job and stay home with us so that you can go to work in a restaurant and make these. These are delicious!” These are SO good! I omitted the sour cream inside the burritos, and just served it on the side for us to dip the burritos into. Otherwise I followed the recipe to the letter. Thank you so much!

  22. Anne says:

    Mel, do you ever make your own tortillas? The store tortillas around these parts are either gross or crazy expensive. I make them occasionally, but I am not sure if I have my forever recipe yet. I would love to hear if you have a recipe you love. These burritos sound fabulous.

  23. Sheila says:

    I made these beef and bean burritos tonight and they were so very good! I followed the recipe exactly weighing out 12 ozs. of ground beef. When I divided the ingredients among “8″ tortillas, they were stuffed so full it was hard for me to fold and shape them. Next time I think I will divide the filling among 9 or 10 tortillas. You never disappoint. Another winner from Mels Kitchen. You are so appreciated.

  24. Stacey says:

    By reading the ingredient list, I can tell these will be infinitely better than my freezer burritos, and hey, those have come in handy so many times. Look forward to kicking up the tastiness!

  25. pwrrkc6 says:

    I have the exact same question as Anne! Thanks Anne! I would love to know more about home made tortilla’s.

    • Mel says:

      Anne – I am on the quest to the perfect homemade tortilla. I make them a lot and have even taken step-by-step pictures several times with the intent of posting a tutorial but like you, haven’t quite tweaked the recipe perfectly. But I’ll be sure to post when I do!

  26. Susan says:

    I swear by the tubes of tomato paste. I’ve used them since I first saw it used and I think it probably saves in the end. However, for three TBL, you may as well open the can.
    I’m excited to make these for my grandsons.

  27. Jackie says:

    What brand of whole wheat tortillas do you like? I have had whole wheat at restaurants and like them, but every brand I have bought tastes dry and nasty.

    • Mel says:

      Jackie – I agree that whole wheat tortillas are hit and miss. I like the ones I’ve found at Sam’s Club and Costco (I can’t remember the brand, sorry!).

  28. Hilary says:

    I’m so glad you posted this! My mind is switching over to school mode and I have been trying to think of quick and easy lunch options to send with my kiddos. What do you usually send your kids with? Any other great lunch ideas? Or any good after-school snack ideas? We love your peanut butter balls too!

  29. VikkiB says:

    What wonderful timing! I am just getting ready to fill my freezer for the fall and back to school. This are going on my list to make for this week -my husband is going to love them!

  30. enya says:

    Emily, I store my tomatoe paste in a small pyrex glass container in the fridge..flatten the paste and drizzle a little bit of oil on top just enough to create a protective layer it never grows mold….the longest I saved it was a little over a week and it was still good…..by that time I use it up never tested it how long it can keep like that

  31. Melanie says:

    Adapted these to make a meatless version (added peppers and greens and used black beans) and they were delicious! Made a double recipe and we ate 1/2 for dinner and then stocked the freezer with burritos for quick lunches/dinner after baby #5 arrives in a couple of weeks. Thanks!

  32. enya says:

    The trick with tortillas is not in a recipe it’s just patience….when you divide dough in balls let it rest for a while most recipes call for 10 to 15 minutes, that will not do the gluten has to relax for a while that way you can roll them up paper thin otherwise they will keep springing back like elastic….once you roll them out they have to rest again because now that you worked that gluten the same thing will happen when they hit the hot pan….they will shrink up and become flat bread

  33. Allyson says:

    LOVE the look and sound of this recipe! Yum! I, too, was wondering about homemade tortillas. Enya, I am so intrigued by your advice on “waiting awhile” … how long, in your experience, is long enough for both times (as balls and again as rolled out dough)?? I’ve made them once and definitely had the problems you mentioned.

  34. Julia says:

    Oooooh, thanks, Enya. I’ve made tortillas many times and noticed that sometimes they shrink up and sometimes they don’t so much. It must be the difference between how long I let the balls rest! Do you stack them up to rest once they are rolled out or do they stick? Mel, made these burritos today. They are yummy. Glad they turned out because I made a double batch! Thanks!

  35. enya says:

    I let them rest for 30 minutes at least but it really depends on a gluten content in your flour so try after 30 minutes and if they are still not easy to roll wait some more, once you get to know your flour it’ll be much easier…the longer they rest the easier it gets.
    I stack them up using a smidgen of flour but I never made more than 6 at the time, they are really not even stacked just kind of overlapping on a cookie sheet….maybe somebody else has a good idea how to stack them when you are making a lot for a freezer meal.

  36. Emily says:

    I made this tonight and it was great! I changed it a little for our needs…I had no time for long-grain rice so I used the minute stuff, followed the directions on the box but replaced it with chicken broth and then followed you’re recipe Mel…sort of. I know all you foodies out there are having a fit because I used Minute Rice, it’s better than fast food! I also used a pound of hamburger just because I buy my meat in bulk and that’s how I freeze it. I used a smaller taco sized tortilla and got about 10-11 burritos out of it. Great recipe! I love recipes that make tons and the leftovers can be frozen. I have 4 kids playing on 4 different soccer teams this season and my husband and I both coach. I need more recipes like this! THANK YOU!

  37. Emily says:

    I made these tonight and they were great! I changed things a little to accommodate our needs. Super busy night tonight so I used Minute Rice and followed the directions on the box but used chicken broth and added the garlic, then used Mel’s directions…sort of. I know all you foodies out there are throwing a fit because I used Minute Rice, but it’s better than fast food! :) I also used a full pound of hamburger because I buy my meat in bulk and freeze it by the pound. I used taco sized tortillas and I got about 10-11 burritos out of it. This recipe was great! I have 4 kids playing on 4 different soccer teams this season and my husband and I both coach. I need meals that make a ton and then the leftovers can be frozen for another quick meal. THANK YOU!

  38. Natalie S says:

    HI Mel, I made these tonight and they were fantastic! I was a little unsure of the beans mixed in with the meat (because we never have beans in our burritos or tacos) but my family loved it. I made the rice in our rice cooker, which made this meal a breeze. I’m so glad we have some extra frozen for later. Thanks for another great recipe.

  39. Stephanie says:

    I made these tonight for company we had over and it was a hit! I used leftover Sunday roast instead of ground beef. Thank you, Mel!

  40. Cammee says:

    I always have breakfast burritos in the freezer, but I need to make these as well. As for the wheat tortillas…I buy them at Cafe Rio. You can buy them by the dozen. I can’t stand pre-cooked tortillas. I wish Costco carried uncooked wheat tortillas.

  41. Tami says:

    The fam loved these. Thanks Mel.

  42. Erin G says:

    Perfect for this Mexican loving mama. We are expecting another baby this winter and I’m looking for recipes to stock the freezer with. This one will be made in a double batch!

  43. Lacy says:

    In line with another comment above, I would love a post on school lunches!! I am always needing ideas. I will be trying these burritos!

  44. Helen says:

    Re: home made whole wheat tortillas “Snack Girl” has the best recipe I have found:
    http://www.snack-girl.com/snack/whole-wheat-tortilla-recipe/ I make them with 1/4 cup oil and they turn out great! Delicious and easier than other recipes I’ve tried.

  45. Jennifer G. says:

    These were absolutely delicious! Flavorful without being spicy. Both of my kids and I thought they were very tasty. I made a double batch for the freezer for emergency meals but would make them specifically for dinner.

  46. Melanie says:

    I made these for my husband to take to work. He loves them! He said they are very flavorful, and get this, waaaaay better than any store bought frozen burritos he’s had. :)

  47. Nita says:

    I made these a few days ago and my picky husband and children loved them! I’m making more today so I can freeze them.

  48. Elizabeth says:

    Oooohhhh! These are simply wonderful! By far, the BEST burritos I’ve ever had. Thank you so much for sharing. =D

  49. Margaret says:

    Thanks Mel for making me a hero at dinner last night! These were a hit with the whole family! Your site is my go-to source when I plan my meals. Thanks for sharing all of your great ideas!

  50. Jan Tallent says:

    These look and sound wonderful! Just bought another package of frozen beef and bean burritos and they were pretty economical but I bet these will be just as “cheap” to make plus I will know exactly what is IN them! Great recipe – thanks!

  51. Michelle says:

    I just made a double batch of these to have on hand as we approach the busy fall season. I ate one before freezing the rest, and they are phenomenal!! The most flavorful burrito I’ve ever had! :) The only change I made was to substitute Minute Brown Rice for the white. Two cups of that (dry) was a perfect amount for a double batch, so if anyone’s looking to make that substitution, I’d use a cup per batch. Thanks for sharing this one!!

  52. Katherine says:

    Made these last week and they are soooo good! Makes me feel good to know what my kids are actually eating! Thanks again Mel!

  53. Gail says:

    I’m so impressed with the flavor of these simple burritos…they taste so fresh even after being frozen! With some chips and salsa, one was enough for me for a very satisfying lunch. I’m sure my “boys” home from college will eat two for sure at any given time hunger strikes. So nice to have these in the freezer for everyone to serve themselves.
    Thanks so much for the freezer tips…that is extremely helpful!!!

  54. I have already made these twice since you posted! My husband will take them to work and we’ve even sent some extras for his friends at work. What a fabulous recipe! We’ve gone through them too fast to actually freeze any, but one day I hope to freeze some and have them on hand. I have really enjoyed the burritos loaded with fresh cilantro! Thank you, Thank you!

  55. JaNae says:

    I made these tonight and they were wonderful – the whole family loved them! I always love having quick homemade meals to pull out of my freezer! Thanks for another great recipe! What would I do without you?!

  56. Summer says:

    Made these last night and my family loved them… even my picky eaters! Made it into a double batch and put a bunch in the freezer. These are perfect to just grab and go… Baby #5 is coming in a couple of weeks. THANK YOU!! Just heard about this blog from a friend and I’m already hooked. Thanks again!

  57. Summer says:

    P.S. For the tortillas, I use the raw ones from the cold section at Wal-Mart or Costco… They’re so easy to warm up real quick and they are soooo yummy and fresh. Unfortunately not all Wal-Marts carry them. Thank you again, Mel!

  58. Megan says:

    I made these awhile ago and was so sad to discover the other day that I was eating the last one out of the freezer! These are so tasty & so easy to grab one on the way out the door to work after getting three kiddos ready for their day. Thanks for another great recipe!

  59. Cris says:

    Mel-
    Could these be heated in a casserole dish in the oven? How hot and long would you do that? Also would they be good to drizzle green enchilada sauce over them for a smothered burrito?

    • Mel says:

      Cris – sure, I think that would work. If they have just been made (and aren’t frozen), I’d heat them for 20 minutes or so at 350 degrees. If they are frozen, I’d probably cover the casserole dish, bake at 325 for an hour then uncover and bake until heated through (maybe another 30 minutes or so?). You’d probably want to recover the dish if the tops are getting too crispy.

  60. Lisa says:

    These were so yummy. The whole family from my 2 year old grand daughter to my 50 year old husband all loved them. It took a few trys to get the filling to tortilla ratio correct but by the time I was done they looked pretty good. I’m so excited to have a bag full of deliciousness in my freezer. I used the uncooked tortillas from Walmart and they were great. Thanks Mel. You bring great food to my table all the time!

  61. Piper says:

    I used the TortillaLand uncooked tortillas from Costco or most grocery stores- they are way better than any other store bought tortilla I’ve tried. The shells are smaller- I made a double batch of meat/rice and got about 24 burritos. I was skeptical that they’d be amazing after being frozen/reheated but I stand corrected- they are amazing! I made them during a ‘stock the freezer’ cooking spree in preparation for baby #2 and now we’re about two weeks away from meeting baby and I’m making another double batch tonight since we’ve already ate all the others! My husband even did the ‘man, these are good’ when he was eating them weeks later. The only downside was the ends of the burrito would get a little hard/dried out during the reheating so we started putting a damp paper towel over it while reheating and they come out perfect!

  62. […] you’ve got a little more time up your sleeve on a weekend afternoon, or a week night perhaps, these Freezer Burritos are an excellent idea.  Filled with your choice of contents, and wrapped and loaded into the […]

  63. Kathleen says:

    Hi Mel ive been following your blog and finally decided to make these this weekend I doubled the recipe and made about 20 so my husband can eat them after his workouts and he loves them!!!! I haven’t tried them yet but if he likes them I’m sure I will too. Thanks for all the awesome recipes!

  64. Nicole says:

    Hi Mel – quick question on tortillas. We are a little finicky when it comes to tortillas. We usually buy the uncooked ones or the ones made by our local grocery store. But the ones at our local grocery store are probably too small for burritos. So. Do you think the uncooked variety will work ok and freeze ok or do you have a favorite tortilla brand you use? Thanks :)

  65. Piper says:

    I was just coming to leave a comment on how awesome these are and I saw Nicole’s question! Nicole- we also use the uncooked tortillas and they are on the smaller side. It works perfectly for our family, though, because the smaller ones are a perfect size for my daughter and I like eating a smaller one for lunch. If my husband is really hungry he just heats up two of them. I get about twice as many burritos out of a batch using the smaller tortillas. They are the best!

  66. Valerie says:

    I scrolled through the comments to see if anyone else had this dilemma. I guess I’m special. (; I have made these burritos twice now and they are AWESOME. They get devoured before they even have a chance to be frozen. I followed the recipe to a ‘T’, but both times I have had trouble with my rice. The first time it was crunchy, which was a little distracting to the burrito’s delicious flavors, so the second time I checked the rice after about 20 minutes and it was still crunchy. I kept cooking and cooking and cooking. Finally after what felt like an hour, I had tender rice, but by that time it was really gummy. Anyways, still an amazing burrito, but I wonder how good it would be if I could figure out how to cook rice? (: I even let it boil a little longer before reducing the temperature and covering.

  67. Nicole says:

    Thanks Piper!! :)

  68. Nicole says:

    These are great! I really wanted to freeze some and may still, but we’ve enjoyed them enough it looks like they may be all gone before that happens. Thanks!!

  69. Valerie says:

    Made these burritos for the third time and figured out the rice problem! I wasn’t letting my rice (covered) simmer at a high enough temperature. This time it was simmering pretty vigorously (maybe like a low-medium heat?) and by 20 minutes the liquid was gone and the rice was just right.
    Make these burritos! You will LOVE them.

  70. Sara says:

    Making these right now and they look (and smell!) amazing! Can’t wait to try them out on my family. The hubby doesn’t like rice, so we will see if I snuck it in well enough ;)

  71. Jenn says:

    These were very yummy! We enjoyed them for lunch today after having froze them. Really hit the spot.

  72. Heidi says:

    Just made these last and had one today–oh my! I am wishing it wouldn’t be wrong to have another! Added a bit of homemade guac on top. Yummy!

  73. Juliana says:

    Mel, I came across your website while searching for a flat bread recipe and fell in love with several recipes. These burritos are a delight, my husband and I loved it so much that we both had two each ;)
    I also made your Sloppy Joe’s and the Lemon Bread, all so delicious that you are now my go to place for recipes. I also recommend your page to all of my friends who are looking for good, reliable and tasty recipes. Thank you so much!!!

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