While I haven’t been strictly vegetarian in a long time, I still hold petty grudges, grudges that I work out here in the form of the dishes I’d have preferred as options, over the mediocrity, the afterthought-ness, of most meatless entrees (gloopy pastas or vegetables cobbled together from sides from other dishes), sandwiches (cheese and sometimes soggy lettuce or tomato), and burritos (so much filler). A recent trip to a Tex-Mex chain left me surprised as not much had changed. And as I chewed down my football-sized wrap that was 80% rice, 15% beans, 5% salsa and cheese, my old resentment came back in full force. Vegetarian entrees, sandwiches, and tacos can be so much more! Let’s start here.
This is my core recipe for a perfect-every-time vegetable burrito, one that’s filling, hearty, and exactly the way I like it. This means there’s no rice in it, but you can of course add it. You can swap the spinach for another green. You can add vegetables you love and remove those you don’t. It’s totally flexible. Even more essential: You can freeze these for another day! For years, I defrosted and rewarmed burritos in the oven. It often took 45 minutes or more for them to be hot again, at which point it seemed like I could have just made it fresh. Not sure why it took me so long to realize you could warm a frozen burrito in the microwave in 3 to 5 minutes (ahem, or realize that’s why there’s even a market for frozen burritos), but my life has had three times the burritos, and thus joy, since.
6 months ago: Turkey Pesto Meatballs and Orecchiette
1 year ago: Banana Cream Pie and Simple Chicken Tortilla Soup
2 years ago: Hummingbird Cake
3 years ago: Carrot and White Bean Burgers
4 years ago: Extra-Billowy Dutch Baby Pancake
5 years ago: Sweet Potato Tacos
6 years ago: Pujabi-Style Black Lentils and Easiest French Fries
7 years ago: Churros, Nolita-Style Avocado Toast and Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart
8 years ago: Black-Bottom Oatmeal Pie and Potatoes with Soft Eggs and Bacon Vinaigrette
9 years ago: Broccoli, Cheddar, and Wild Rice Casserole and Double-Chocolate Banana Bread and Sizzling Chicken Fajitas
10 years ago: My Favorite Buttermilk Biscuits and Coconut Bread
11 years ago: Potato Knish, Two Ways
12 years ago: The Best Baked Spinach
13 years ago: Thick Chew Granola Bars, Arroz Con Leche, and Baked Rigatoni with Tiny Meatballs
14 years ago: Thick, Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
15 years ago: Pasta with Cauliflower, Walnuts, and Feta
16 years ago: Mediterranean Eggplant and Barley Salad
Bean and Vegetable Burritos
- 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, diced small
- 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 fresh jalapeño or habanero pepper, minced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 to 3 teaspoons ground chili powder (to taste)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- Kosher salt
- 2 (15.5-ounces) cans black, red, or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups corn kernels, fresh (from 2 ears), canned and drainned, or frozen (no need to thaw)
- 5 ounces baby spinach, roughly chopped
- 1 lime, halved
- 1 cup crumbled cotija cheese
- 8 ounces (about 2 cups) coarsely grated monterey jack or pepper jack cheese
- 8 large burrito-sized flour tortillas
- Hot sauce, to taste
Remove from heat and squeeze the juice of half the lime over the mixture, then the second half if you like more. Let cool slightly while you get ready to assemble your burritos.
Assemble your burritos: If your tortillas are unbendy from the package, you can warm them briefly in a dry skillet or for 15 seconds in the microwave to soften them. If they seem dry, I might spritz them lightly with water before warming.
Arrange first tortilla on counter and spoon about 3/4 cup of the filling in the lower third, closest to you. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup jack cheese and 2 tablespoons cotija. (If you like to make some burritos spicier than others, you can shake hot sauce on at this point.) Fold the bottom of the tortilla over the filling, fold in the sides, and roll it up, setting it to cool seam side-down. Repeat with remaining tortillas, filling, and cheese.
To eat right away: Go for it! but I love to brown it in a pan on both sides for some added texture and to ensure the cheese gets melty. Heat a skillet with a thin layer of oil over medium heat and add burritos you’re ready to eat. Cook until browned and crisp on both sides and dig in.
To freeze for later: Wrap burritos individually in foil (best for oven reheating) or plastic and pack in a freezer bag with all air pressed out. Burritos keep in the freezer a few months, or for as long as your freezer allows them to without imparting a “freezery” taste.
To reheat from frozen in an oven: Heat oven to 375°F. Heat foil-wrapped burrito for 40 to 50 minutes. To check for warmth, stick a toothpick or skewer into the center of a burrito and keep it there for 10 seconds. If the toothpick is warm when it’s remove, the burrito is too. If not, give it more time.
To reheat from frozen in a microwave: Unwrap burrito and microwave on a plate for 3 to 5 minutes, turning over once midway. To check for warmth, stick a toothpick or skewer into the center of a burrito and keep it there for 10 seconds. If the toothpick is warm when it’s remove, the burrito is too. If not, give it more time.
Both methods: For that extra crisp once warmed, follow the skillet instructions under “To eat right away” above.
- Chili powders tend to range a lot in heat level so give it a taste before you start to make sure you’re not surprised after adding the first 2 teaspoons.
- Depending on the size of my tortillas, I sometimes end up with 1 to 1.5 cups extra filling. You can use it to make more burritos or just heat it up with extra cheese and put an egg on top, and I did with delight last week.
91 comments on bean and vegetable burritos
I have been making very similar burritos for years, but with one small change: I let everyone fill their own burrito at the table, after making the filling and heating the tortillas separately, and putting out extras like cheese, salsa, other sauces, and some lettuce or fresh tomatoes if we’re feeling fancy. That way more customization can take place at the table: Maybe there’s a vegan who can forgo the cheese, maybe someone wants extra salsa or some lettuce… If you put the cheese on top of the hot tortilla and spoon hot filling over it, and then roll it all up, I find it also melts nicely.
Of course, this variant means you can’t simply heat up burritos in the microwave.
Bonus: This tastes delicious when camping, can be made largely from cans and spices, you only need one pot over the fire and if you’re lucky you can toast tortillas right on a stone by the side of the firepit for extra smokiness. I think those were the best burritos of my life.
Ha, that’s similar to the method I use for checking if the toaster oven has heated something enough: stick a fork in it for a couple seconds and then touch it lightly to my tongue. If you think “ow, hot!” then it’s done; if it’s comfortable, stick your food back in the oven…
Yes! See also: ziti, lasagna, casseroles. I have a cake tester that’s metal that gets used for almost everything but.
Thank you for validating my disdain of rice in burritos! A waste of space! Can’t wait to make these.
The recipe says 8 ounces of cheese (2 cups)… have I been measuring wrong? Would it not be 16 ounces?
The term ‘ounce’ is ambiguous, since it can refer to a volume measurement or a weight measurement, and they are not necessarily even close to the same. Think about what a cup measurement of feathers would be, versus what eight ounces by weight of feathers would be.
Another reason to prefer metric measurements, since grams always means ‘by weight.’
Easy and just good after freezing! I added chipotle chili powder and cayenne for some extra spice. Next time I’ll add rice to make them a bit more filling.
No, my 8-ounce blocks of cheese yield 2 coarsely grated cups.
I haven’t tried these yet, but I know I will for my vegetarian granddaughter and myself. Since I am very sensitive to heat, I will omit the hot pepper and chili powder, but I’m sure I will love them regardless. Thanks for a great looking recipe – I can’t wait to try it. BTW, I really like that they are freezer friendly.
This looks delicious, like a portable taco torte! Looking forward to making them.
Needed a meatless dinner idea for today and saw your post at the perfect time! Just took a bite of the filling and it’s amazing! Added some more spices that I like (smoked paprika, coriander powder). I think I’ll get everyone to assemble their own so they can add whatever else they prefer. Excited for dinner! Thank you!
Which alternatives could I use to substitute the cotija and jack cheese? I am based in Belgium and (as far as I know) these aren’t (widely) available here. Thanks in advance!
Hi! I’m in Senegal and am also lacking those ingredients. When I made SK’s Swiss chard enchiladas subbed feta for cotija and did a mix of cheddar and Gouda-cumin for Monterey Jack/cheddar. I bet that would work here too.
A cheddar would be great.
For jack, I’d pick something melty. For the cotija, something sharp/salty and crumbly.
Hi! Also in Belgium :-) Made them yesterday with aged gouda and a leftover piece of smoked mozzarella. Can’t compare with the recipe as written, but it worked for me. Groetjes
My very elderly mother had an equally elderly room mate in her rehab. Roomie did not eat meat. “I just don’t like it.” So every lunch and dinner she got exactly the same thing everyone else got, but with the meat/protein omitted. And a peanut butter sandwich on the side. She’d have killed for a decent veg burrito.
Ohhh! This reminds me of the filling for your Taco Torte, which my family and I LOVE. I’ll be making these soon!
These were awesome. Since I, like Deb, am not a vegetarian but appreciate a good vegetarian meal, I used bacon fat to cook my aromatics, and unsurprisingly it was very good. I would recommend making sure that your diced tomatoes are well drained and do not contain any of the canning liquid, since I added the whole can and my bean mixture ended up kind of soupy which made the burritos hard to roll, but still tasty.
We made these too! The final mixture had quite a bit of liquid in it so we just used a slotted spoon to scoop up the good stuff before adding it the the burrito. I found the extra liquid helpful for keeping leftover filling a little more moist in the fridge for a few days.
These look delicious ! But I hope you don’t mind my saying that the bottom photo looks like ZABARS blintzes ! ( not a bad thing)
Bell pepper….do you mean green? Or red/yellow/orange?
I know I can choose, but Deb, originally which did you use?
The ones in the picture are orange!
I used an orange one, but that’s what was in my fridge. I dislike green, but you can use any color here.
I used a red bell pepper and instead of a jalapeno or habanero pepper, I used a Poblano (less spicy). The Poblano added green to the mixture, along with the spinach. I will make this recipe again for sure, and will make the same choices.
These burritos were really fun to try. The meal comes together very quickly and easily. The spice and salt suggestions were very helpful. I substituted an Irish cheddar for jack – because I wanted the sharpness and the cheese was on sale! The tortillas I used were just okay — I need to find a better option for next time. I think this filling would also be great with taco shells. Thanks Deb!
I too have not found good store bought tortillas. Any recommendations from folks would be very welcome!!
Tortillaland Tortillas are the best. Just a few simple ingredients and you cook them yourself on the stove for a minute when you are ready to eat/fill them. Usually they can be found in the refrigerated section at Costco or Walmart, sometimes Safeway.
We used smaller flour and corn tortillas, browned in a dry skillet with cheese and then added filling and folded like a taco. I think the corn were my favorite. Will do the same way next time.
I live in Connecticut and i really like the “Maria and Ricardo’s” brand. I’m not sure how widely available it is, but i find it at Whole Foods and (our local store) Caraluzzi’s. It’s a thin flour tortilla, and works great for enchiladas, burritos, and quesadillas. I like their corn ones for tacos.
I very ever question you Deb, but no red beans in the burrito. 😂 I’m a Mexican food snob from CA, forgive me. I know you understand these kind of preferences. 😉 This looks super tasty… cabbage and cilantro would be great.
From what I understand, black beans are more Tex-Mex and red/pinto beans more common in Mexico. But I might have read this wrong too. [Regardless, this burrito makes no claims to authenticity. For that, it would need strips of meat and not much else.]
I am not a bean lover so I will be leaving them out, but my husband likes all beans. He loves refried black beans-would this work, or do I need the bean whole?
This will work best with whole beans, as they will absorb some of the sauce.
Sounds good! I have a similar filling that I make for enchiladas. Try adding some smoked paprika. It’s wonderful. I hold off on the cheese and add it to the top of the enchiladas. My brother is both vegan and lactose intolerant so this works for him too.
I’ve made veggie burritos for a long time but never frozen them. Thanks for the details – will definitely make a batch for emergency meals, I mean teenagers.
Oh Boy! This is amazing. I did add a pound of ground chicken and halved the recipe. But so very good
Oh yum, this is a keeper! Husband and kids also loved it – plan to add this recipe to the dinner rotation!!
Made these for dinner tonight, as they looked so good, and a recipe that makes extra for the freezer is perfect. They were delicious.
My go-to for veggie taco/nacho/burrito is sweet potato + kale with black bean and corn relish. It never dawned on me to put rice in any of it. Being in a country that doesn’t easily support Mexican (ahem, UK) I’ve had to get creative with my combination. Feta for cotija,which is stronger but better than cheddar. Chipotle because it’s the only thing I can find easily. Kale for spinach, because spinach never lasts longer than a day, if I’m lucky.
I miss salsa.
Yes to the sweet potato addition-i think it would be so good here. I love sweet potatoes, kale and black beans in my tacos, burritos and on nachos. So good! We’ve been known to add SK broccoli rubble when when there’s no kale in the garden.
Made this for dinner last night and loved it. The recipe makes a large amount, and for my current household of two it is too much, but we froze some for later use. As Deb would say, our future selves will be happy we did!
This may will be an odd question, but is there anything I could substitute the beans for? I’ve tried to like them but alas I do not but I love the idea of a vegetable forward burrito without 90% rice.
That’s a little tricky, because the beans are proteins and also gluing the stuff together. You could probably try sweet potatoes, cooked until they are smoosh-able, and then a bunch of other veggies. Not sure what you’d do to make up the protein: tofu cubes sautéed in spices? more cheese (too much doesn’t sound delicious to me)? bits of chicken (now we’ve gone full circle…)
My husband can’t eat beans, so I would swap them for a little ground pork sauteed in the spices, lots of vegetables, and a little rice and cheese. These changes obviously make them non-vegetarian.
There’s an SK recipe for breakfast burritos that uses eggs and potatoes! (It also uses beans but you could sub the beans with an equal weight of rice and maybe an extra potato.)
Maureen, how a about a meatless protein like veggie crumbles? I would probably use Impossible with all the same seasonings and ingredients used here.
I am wanting to start meal planning and these look like a perfect fit! Yummm! I love how colorful they are also. Always inspiring Deb!
So delicious, even though I forgot to squeeze the lime juice in and had it on the side. My hubby made a lime-sour cream dipping sauce for his (he came home later) and I was jealous. It’s critical to crisp up the outside in a hot pan of melted butter. My son made a crispy cheese coating on his, and while he ate two, he wished there was meat in them. I didn’t miss it.
Thank you! I eat meat, but love vegetables and don’t understand why they’re so undervalued in so many places. Thanks for continuing to inspire delicious vegetarian options for the days we feel like omitting meat!
I totally hear you on the vegetarian restaurant options, even though here in Germany it has gotten so much better.
I’m married to a vegetarian with several food allergies plus I have two small kids (who – fortunately – are not picky eaters) and I have developed this ambition of making delicious vegetarian food without nuts, tomatoes, pepper etc. that is devoured by the whole family. Your site is a constant source of inspiration. Just the other night I made your banana-oatmeal pancakes in my adapted, savoury version (no bananas) for dinner, topped with cheese and veggies, and it made them so happy. Thanks for all the delicious ideas for vegetables and simple family dinners!
this was really fun to make and came out so delicious! although i had enough filling for 6 burritos, not 8 – and made a lot of changes with the spices and would recommend going hard on additional spices: oregano, coriander, smoked paprika, extra cumin and i had no chili powder so just improvised with cayenne – also used fire roasted tomatoes and added a lil extra msg at the end – they came out so delicious even though i forgot the lime!!! the stovetop browning is essential – definitely one to make again!
Thank you for including the details on eating right now and then freezing too. I made them and they are delicious and am excited that I have extra tucked away in the freezer! Awesome recipe!
Yesterday, I made this with some minor tweaks. I cut a chicken breast into cubes and seasoned them with pasilla negro chili powder and rolled them in panko. After sautéing them, I set them aside, and added all the chopped veggies, and also some sun-dried tomatoes and oil. Added back the chicken and some lime juice and salt. The burrito was wonderful. Tonight I’ll eat it with rice. Yum.
I feel so prepared with a batch of burritos in the freezer. I used black beans in the filling and added a few chipotle peppers in adobo with the tomato paste. Love these!
I’m pretty sure the answer is no, but are we supposed to drain the can of diced tomatoes?
No need to. I promise I’d tell you if you needed to!
I, like you, hate rice in my burritos. Adding this recipe to my meal prep plans later this year – baby #2 coming in sept and this time around I want to be prepared!!! Will also be scouring your freezer friendly tag (thank you in advance)
Hi Deb, which skillet are you using when must use non stick?
I currently have this one. I like that it has a lid. I just added it to the shop page, too.
I live in Japan where taco rice is a thing – instead of using tortillas, you put everything over rice instead. (Tortillas are not easy to come by!) This recipe would work as well. Looking forward to trying it soon!
I’m in. But what is the secret to stopping the burritos from opening? Yours certainly don’t look like they’ll open, but that flap on the side always opens for me. (When I cook them right away, I use a toothpick to hold them together.)
Second, funnily enough, I put the leftovers on rice in a bowl for a quick lunch. :)
I always appreciate Deb’s flexibility in her recipes, and enjoy reading the comments and tweaks from readers. But I wanted to mention–for those of you who prefer your burritos without rice, it is the combination of beans with a grain that makes a complete protein for vegetarians. Beans have some protein, of course, but when you combine them with a grain, it’s even better.
True, but in this case, the tortillas add the necessary grains (wheat), I believe.
Delicious, made a 1/2 batch using 1 can of beans and full amount of veggies. Ate for three days in a row with GLEE IN MY HEART! Always toasted in the skillet, and I used about a third cup of salsa with a little water in lieu of the tomatoes, then let it simmer down. A keeper, 10/10. Thanks Deb!
I’m very excited to make this but had a question for those who have made this. In the past, spinach tends to be quite watery for me and wondering if anyone ran into any issues with this for the filling? I figured the answer would be to cook it longer but wondered if anyone had any issues!
May, I always use spinach in mine and have not had problems with wateriness, but the spinach must be fresh. And, of course, it must not be newly washed. I make burritos with crab meat, cilantro, jack cheese, and onion and a ton of spinach (my favorite veggie), and they’ve never been watery. Good luck!
My husband and I both agree these were the best Bean and Vegetable Burritos we have ever had. We browned smaller corn and flour tortillas without fat in a dry skillet and then filled them with cheese and filling.
I just literally laughed out loud, because your burritos look like blintzes. Now I want both!
A new go-to for me! Absolutely delicious and vegetarian too! I love that Deb uses the sofrito method, combining the onions, garlic and peppers with tomato paste and spices, creating a fragrant base for everything else. I am freezing the leftover burritos for another night…
These are so good. Even my picky young children ate them. I omitted the lime juice (forgot it), and used feta instead of cojita. Marble cheddar as the cheese for the kids. Served with guacamole and green cabbage/cilantro/lime juice slaw. Warning- fold them WELL before freezing! I clearly didn’t fold mine snuggly enough and they started opening up and leaking out in the microwave. MAKE THESE!
Made these for National Burrito Day. WOW, so delicious. Froze the extras and will use them as travel food on our next adventure. Will be easy to heat in the hotel room microwave. THANK YOU
I’ve never made burritos before. These were terrific. I’m trying to add more beans and vegetables to our diet and this recipe helps. I appreciate the excellent instructions for making them and for freezing the extras. I will definitely make these again.
Great meal prep recipe. Very tasty and filling.
These were so delicious, healthy, and easy to make! Best burritos we’ve ever had and ate them 3 days in a row. Enjoyed light crispy texture from pan browning and didn’t miss the rice! My husband requested them weekly. Thanks so much Deb and looking forward to more vegetarian recipes. Have enjoyed your website and recipes for years!
These were delicious! Followed the recipe as written, and did brown the burritos in a pan with a little oil as recommended.
Thanks for another great recipe, Deb!
Made them yesterday. I tripled the cumin and did not regret it 😀 Also added some ground coriander. Used aged gouda and smoked mozzarella because that’s what I had and the recommended cheeses are difficult/impossible to find in Belgium. Will add cilantro next time, because I will definitely make them again.
Thank you SmittenKitchen for the regular-person sounding and easy to follow instructions: friendly and approachable for this non-cooker. :)
Delicious! We left half the spinach to pile on for crunch.
I loved how easy and popular this recipe was, even with my 7yo. I sautéed 1/2 sweet potato (cubed) before adding the first load of veggies to the skillet, 1/2 t. chili powder to suit our kid’s palate, no added salt, drained the tomatoes before adding, and only used about 1/4 c. corn (and I liked it with less corn). We used the whole lime and sharp white cheddar plus feta because that was what we had on hand. I added melted butter to the skillet and browned the burritos before serving with hot sauce, cilantro, and crema. This recipe is a keeper!
Best burrito in recent memory*
*I only had one ear of corn, used ketchup for tomato paste, and didn’t drain the tomatoes (which I now see Deb says that’s unnecessary anywho). My burritos were tasty but slightly stew-y. Still pleased to freeze 4 of them, tonight during meal prep I added roasted sweet potato flesh, instant pot black beans, and salsa after microwaving one. I ate with glorious rapture standing in the kitchen. Contained it with foil, especially after being opened and bulked up : ) the cotija and jack is PERFECT
This is an amazing recipe with the use various protein based and healthy beans.
One can also use sprout pulses like green gram dal and black chickpeas with the same recipe. This can be also be a nutritious and fulfilling option. This can be consumed by health conscious people too with little adjustments according to one’s choice. You must try this recipe.
Organic and unpolished pulses can be more entrusting and beneficial. To get the same visit this website.
Another home run, Deb! I added a finely diced sweet potato because I love it in my vegetarian chili. I had no fresh spinach, the price has been crazy lately for something that melts down to nothing, so was going to sub chard or kale but it looked so pretty the way it was! I used my favorite cheddar, made 6 hefty ones for the 3 of us for dinner and have plenty left to have them for lunch one day soon. I didn’t stuff and roll the rest ’cause I would have had to grate more cheese and I wanted to eat them RIGHT AWAY!! So good! Have been trying to make meatless dinners a few times a week, this one is a keeper!
These are delicious! Made exactly per the recipe and added a little bit of rice. I’m so happy to have them to freeze for weeknight meals. Thank you!
Made this recipe this weekend. Found it straightforward and loved the results. My burrito rolling, on the other hand, has room for improvement!
My new favorite burrito. Filling but not heavy and with great flavor. I made them with Alexandra Stafford’s (Alexandra’s Kitchen) easy homemade tortilla recipe and they were amazing.
Mine ended up a little soupy also but tasty. I think next time I might use just half the can of diced tomatoes so the beans have a bigger presence. Looking forward to future lunches from my stash in the freezer!
These were amazing! My husband liked them enough he told me twice how good they were, and that if I wanted to make them again that would be terrific. The only swap I made was a gluten free tortilla. Thank you for another great recipe, they never disappoint!
These were amazing. Added chopped cilantro and omitted cotija bc I thought I had it in the fridge (I didn’t) but otherwise, aside from adding the spices loosey goosey, followed the recipe pretty closely. Made them tonight for my four kids (10, 7, 6 and 2)- the big kids had seconds and my 6 year old asked if I’d make them every night forever. Will definitely make them again soon.
Another winner that’s going in rotation. I’ve made a couple times. I make with cheese and salsa and hot sauce on the side and let everyone choose their own burrito adventure. I’ve also added more bell peppers for extra veggies. Flexible recipe and I think it’s pretty easy to customize to your own taste.
I never thought burritos of all things would need a recipe, until I followed this one. Amazing!! These are delicious. I’m a card carrying member of the sandwich generation and I love a meal I can make for all the generations, eating mine while running around getting the older generation settled and the younger out the door to swim practice. I keep the leftovers in foil in the freezer. Thaw one in the fridge overnight and grill it up in the morning for a quick school day breakfast. Thank you Deb!