Turkey and Brown Rice Taco Burritos

Like I always say, if you’re going to make eight burritos, you might as well make 80. Burritos freeze fabulously and are perfect to keep on hand every minute of the day.

If you do so, you can even fake your family into believing you actually thought about dinner in advance. When really, you got to 6:00 p.m., panicked because that magical and mysterious dinner angel refused to appear AGAIN, opened the freezer in desperation and spied the glorious burritos (and perhaps we can all agree that mysterious dinner angels take many forms, hmmm?).

My mom always had homemade super cheesy beef and bean burritos in the freezer. It was a staple for those late night second dinners as a teenager (I’d kill for that same metabolism now, BTW) and weekend lunches.

A love of burritos, frozen burritos, was instilled in me from a young age. That’s why I love this recipe and this one and why there are always burritos in my freezer. Plus, you never know what your kids will choose to tell you while sitting at the kitchen island devouring a heated up burrito. Burritos bring everyone together.

Turkey and Brown Rice Taco Burritos

Today’s burrito is a delicious change – taco style. I use my homemade taco seasoning blend in this recipe (see the notes below) but I’m guessing storebought would work just fine, too.

I also use brown rice because I’m addicted to making it in the InstantPot (1 cup rice + 1 1/4 cups water or broth + pinch of salt + 22 minutes high pressure + natural release = brown rice perfection), but again, you could play around with a different type of rice (and cooking method).

We smother these healthy and hearty burritos with all the taco toppings our little hearts desire, which differs by family  member. I’ve learned that what one chooses to put atop their burrito tells a lot about them. Brian and the kids looooove (another word for endure) my therapeutic dinner evaluations.

And if you just can’t handle the making of large quantities of burritos, never fear, these taco burritos make a delicious and simple weeknight dinner, and no one will care if you don’t 16X the recipe. Banish the guilt and eat a burrito instead.

Turkey and Brown Rice Taco Burritos

What To ServeTaco toppings (as listed in the recipe)
Seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables
Mexican Corn and Tomato Salad

One Year Ago: Skillet Taco Pasta Shells {30-Minute Meal}
Two Years Ago: Overnight Raised Waffles
Three Years Ago: Soft Chocolate Sugar Cookies

Turkey and Brown Rice Taco Burritos

Yield: Makes 8 large burritos

Turkey and Brown Rice Taco Burritos

I took the spice makeup from my favorite homemade taco seasoning, so if you have some of that on hand, omit the salt, pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, oregano, paprika and cumin and instead use that (or you could try subbing in packaged taco seasoning although I haven't tried it).

This recipe calls for already cooked brown rice. My favorite (favorite!) way to cook brown rice is in the pressure cooker. In the InstantPot (or other electric pressure cooker), combine 1 cup brown rice with 1 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth and a pinch of salt (you can sub water but the broth gives it great flavor). Cook at high pressure for 22 minutes and let the pressure naturally release. For stovetop pressure cookers, do the same but cook for 20 minutes.

This recipe makes large burritos but you could definitely use smaller tortillas and get more out of the batch. The assembled burritos can be frozen (I like to wrap each burrito in plastic wrap and then pack them in a gallon-size ziploc bag) and reheated in the oven or microwave.


  • 1 pound ground turkey (can substitute ground beef)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth or water
  • 15-ounce can black or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice (see note above)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • Chopped cilantro to taste
  • Shredded cheddar and/or Monterey Jack cheese (about 2 cups)
  • 8 burrito-sized (10-inch) flour tortillas, white or whole wheat
  • Taco toppings like tomatoes, sour cream, salsa, olives, lettuce, avocados


  1. In a large, 12-inch nonstick skillet, cook the ground turkey, onion, salt and pepper over medium heat, breaking the meat into small pieces, until the meat is fully cooked. Drain any excess grease, if needed.
  2. Add the chili powder, garlic powder, oregano, paprika and cumin and stir well to combine. Stir in the tomato sauce, chicken broth and beans. Simmer for 5-6 minutes.
  3. Stir in the rice, lime juice and cilantro until the mixture is evenly combined. Cook until the rice and other ingredients are hot and bubbling, 2-3 minutes.
  4. Fill each tortilla evenly with the hot meat and rice filling. Top with cheese and roll the tortilla up burrito style, tucking in the ends.
  5. Serve immediately (or keep warm in a 200 degree oven until ready to serve) smothered with any and all taco toppings your heart desires.

Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Disclaimer: this post contains an Amazon affiliate link for the InstantPot.

46 Responses to Turkey and Brown Rice Taco Burritos

  1. Amy says:

    This was better than I was expecting! I used the raw tortillas you heat yourself and topped with sour cream, lettuce, olives, and tomatoes. It made enough for my little family of 5 to eat for dinner and than I froze 5 more for later. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Heidi says:

    Would you pack these on vacation to a rental house?? I need a good meal so we don’t have to eat out every single night:)))

  3. K says:

    My family and I (including our kids, one is 18 months and the other 4 years old) loved this recipe!!!

  4. Greta says:

    Hi Mel! I am going to make these ahead of time and freeze. How you recommend reheating in the oven? What temp and for how long? Do you keep them covered or put on a cookie sheet? Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      It kind of depends on if they have been thawed or not. If they are frozen, I usually place them on a baking sheet and cover with foil – then bake at 300 or 325 until heated through – maybe an hour (usually uncover them at the end). That can be sped up if they are thawed already.

  5. NancyV908 says:

    I made these last night (except for the cilantro, which I dislike). They were easy and delicious. I have never frozen burritos before, but had four leftover tortillas so they’re stuffed and in the freezer now. In the future I will make at least a double recipe and freeze some of the filling, without wrapping, as well. Thank you for this recipe! I felt good about serving it to my family.

  6. Casey says:

    Absolutely delicious! This recipe made it to our family favorites list, thank you!

  7. Jodi says:

    Oh, I am glad you are vacation! I, too, was a bit worried. Have fun!

  8. Jean says:

    Hi Mel
    My question is the same as Ciera’s (April 15 @ 4:49).
    Is it necessary to thaw before microwave or oven, etc.
    Thank you for taking the time for your very clear instructions.

  9. Daphne says:

    I was worried, too. SO glad to hear all is well with you and your adorable family. Have fun!

  10. Lauren says:

    So glad to hear u r enjoying some time off with the fam!!! It certainly puts a bright spot in my day to read the scoop & know I can look forward to your posts in the coming weeks…Love you!

  11. Teresa R. says:

    So glad to hear you’re on vacation. I was worried about you! Have a wonderful time.

  12. Ciera says:

    I would love to try these!! I’m curious about heating them back up after freezing. I saw you mentioned the oven or microwave both work great. Do you let them thaw in the fridge first or just go straight to the microwave or oven frozen? What temperature and time do you use also?

    • Mel says:

      I rarely thaw them first – usually just warm them up from frozen (if in the microwave, it helps to poke some holes in with a fork about halfway through reheating so there aren’t molten lava spots next to still frozen spots).

  13. Ruth says:

    I too was really worried! I told my husband today after checking your site and Facebook for the umpteenth time this week that I kinda think of you as a daughter. I am so glad that you are ok and that you are off with your family making some happy memories. I miss you, though! You are always such a bright spot in my day when I read your post or your comments, OR try one of your wonderful recipes.

  14. k says:

    Is it weird that I’m having MKC withdrawals and am a little bit worried about whether you’re ok? 😉

    • Alicia says:

      I had the same thoughts early in the week, and was worried as well. Happily (thanks to Instagram) Mel has shared she is at Disneyland with her family. Doesn’t stop my withdrawals, though. 🙂

    • Barbara says:

      ME TOO!!!!

    • Mel says:

      You are so sweet to check and even worry! You too, Barbara and Alicia. Alicia’s right, my family and I are in California for a wedding and took a detour to Disneyland. Just between you gals and me, I’ve never gone on vacation or even gone a week without having posts ready to go up in my absence (in the last eight years of blogging) but I have to be honest, I was running on empty leading up to leaving for vacation and didn’t have the time to get anything going. So I guess it’s a week off. Sorry for not having any yummy recipes! I’ll be back at it next week.

  15. Chari says:

    This is a great idea. Question. I love to use your recipe for homemade tortillas. Do you use those or store bought when you make and freeze them?

    • Mel says:

      I have only used storebought tortillas for this particular burrito recipe but I’ve used the homemade version for several of my other burrito recipes so they should work great here, too!

  16. Meghan says:

    Loved these!!! They tasted yummy and were easy. I doubled the recipe and froze some as you suggested. They were delicious pulled out of the freezer as well. I foresee many of these in the future as my boys get older.

  17. Teresa says:

    Mel, these were delicious. Made them for dinner tonight, except no cilantro in our family. We served them with a simple green salad and topped them with sour cream and diced tomatoes. A great, quick and filling meal. Loved it!!!

  18. Cheryl says:

    I use Frankie’s method (from Diet for a Small Planet) to avoid sticking, and other tricks: Put 2-3 in. of water into the pressure cooker and start it heating. Put the rice in a small stainless steel bowl (or even in a tin can or two) that will fit easily into the cooker without obstructing any vents. Fill the bowl with water to an inch above the grain. Put the bowl in the cooker, cover and bring to 15 lbs. pressure. Cook 20 min. When it’s done you will have a bowl or rice! The trick when using this method is to put beans in the 2-3 in. of water that are on the bottom of the cooker. Your beans and grain are both cooked!

  19. Elizabeth says:

    Made this dish last night for dinner , it was delicious ….
    Would definitely make it again thanks again mel

  20. Lauren says:

    I love to freeze burritos and am def. trying this version. I wrap mine in a folded paper towel, then in foil before putting in a freezer bag. That way my husband can grab a couple for work and they are little bit more sturdy. He tosses the foil and microwaves in the paper towel.

  21. Susan says:

    These are going to save me once swim team starts. I need reminders about good food, that’s what I love about your blog. Thank you!

  22. Jane says:

    Is there anything special I should do to get the other 72 ready for the freezer? Do you wrap them individually, saran? foil? plastic baggies?

  23. Alysa says:

    Thanks for including how you wrap the burritos to freeze them. 🙂 I adore burritos, but have never frozen any, and always wondered how exactly to do it. The plastic wrap/ziplock method sounds great! In hindsight, I probably could have experimented and found that out, but who wants to waste a burrito on an experiment? Not me. I think maybe I’ll start by freezing some simple bean and cheese ones first.

  24. Laurel says:

    Holy smokes this looks amazing!! I want it for breakfast, right now! I think one of my toppings will be fried egg. Yum! Knocked it out of the park, Mel!

  25. Angela says:

    Thanks, Mel, for another great post! You are the best! I keep a link to your site bookmarked on my toolbar and visit regularly. Thanks, again!

  26. Amy from TN says:

    Mel, these look great! How many cups of brown rice have you made in your Instant Pot? I’m afraid to overfill it, but if I’m going to make extra to freeze, I’d love to make a bunch of brown rice at once. 2 cups or 3 cups dry?? More? Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Amy – the most I’ve done is four cups. If I only add two cups of rice, I don’t change the cooking time but if I add three or four cups rice, I add another minute to the cooking time (so 23 minutes).

  27. Sheila H. says:

    You truly are a genius. My 11 year old is eating like crazy and these are the perfect solution. I will put my InstaPot to work and fill my freezer.

  28. Paige says:

    These burritos look amazing! I love easy and simple weeknight meals like this!

  29. Lauren says:

    Thx for the burrito posting today, Mel. Such a yummy, simple thing to make, & everyone agrees they’re delicious! Score! I haven’t gotten around to jumping on the insta pot band wagon yet but am seriously considering it again after reading that you make brown rice in it. Where space is always at a premium, I am wondering if the insta pot is something people keep on the counter or store in cabinet space. Nonetheless, I can’t wait to make these babies times 16!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Lauren, because it also replaced a similar sized crockpot I had been using for years (and that died), I keep the InstantPot in the cupboard where that used to be. I don’t keep it out on top of the counter but I probably should since I use it almost every night. 🙂

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