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Bean and Cheese Burritos: A Classic Comfort Food Guide

Bean and cheese burritos are a staple in comfort food, combining the simple richness of melted cheese with the hearty texture of beans, all wrapped up in a soft tortilla.

Bean and Cheese Burritos

I’ve found that their versatility makes them a favorite among both quick lunch seekers and those looking for a satisfying dinner option. Whether tucked into a lunchbox or served alongside a crisp salad for an evening meal, they’re a delicious and convenient choice.

The joy of making bean and cheese burritos at home is the sheer variety of beans and cheese you can experiment with.

While refried beans are commonly used, I like to switch it up sometimes with black or pinto beans for a different flavor profile. As for cheese, a good melting variety like cheddar or Monterey Jack ensures that every bite is satisfyingly gooey.

When you’re in a rush or planning meals for the week, these burritos can be a lifesaver. They’re not just quick to whip up, but they’re also freezer-friendly, meaning I can prepare a batch in advance and have them ready for those days when time is tight.

Everyone has their own twist on bean and cheese burritos, and I’m looking forward to sharing how to make classic bean and cheese burritos, tips for customizing your own, and even how to store them for future enjoyment.

Ingredients You’ll Need

When I make bean and cheese burritos, I focus on simplicity and flavor. My essential ingredients list is concise and ensures a delicious outcome.

Here’s what I gather before I start:

  • Refried Beans: A can of your favorite brand will do, or make your own for that homemade touch. I enjoy the depth of flavor that traditional refried beans add to the burritos.

  • Cheese: For that gooey melt, I opt for grated cheddar or a Mexican cheese blend. About a cup should suffice.

  • Tortillas: Large, burrito-sized flour tortillas are my go-to. They fold well and hold all the fillings.

  • Oil: A little safflower or canola oil for cooking my veggies adds a nice base. Four tablespoons are usually just right.

Beyond the basics, you can personalize your burritos:

  • Vegetables: A mix of finely chopped onions and green bell peppers sautéed in oil is my foundation for flavor. Half a cup of each vegetable will do.

  • Seasonings: Garlic powder, cumin, and chili powder are my trifecta of spices that make the beans sing.

Optionally, you might like to include:

  • Salsa: Stir in some to your beans for an extra kick. How much? Just a few tablespoons or to taste.

  • Toppings: Think fresh with lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, or guacamole. Add these after heating for a fresh crunch or a cool dollop.

Remember, the best burritos are made with love and quality ingredients. Don’t be afraid to adjust quantities to match your taste!

How To Make Bean and Cheese Burritos

To start, I grab a skillet and warm up my refried beans gently over medium heat. I find that adding a bit of onion and spices—like cumin and garlic powder—really enhances the flavor. A scoop of salsa brings a delightful tang and moisture to the mix.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can refried beans
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Prepare the bean mixture:
    • Combine the refried beans, diced onions, salsa, and dried seasonings together.
  2. Season to taste:
    • Mix thoroughly, tasting as I go, and season with salt and pepper if needed.
  3. Assemble the burritos:
    • Lay a large flour tortilla flat and sprinkle a layer of shredded cheese in its center.
    • Add about 1/4 cup of the bean mixture on top of the cheese.
    • Fold the bottom edge of the tortilla up over the filling.
    • Tuck in the sides and roll up tightly to enclose everything.
  4. Final Touch:
    • If I’m in the mood for something crispier, I’ll sometimes heat a little oil in a pan and lightly fry each burrito until golden brown on both sides.

With these steps, I ensure every burrito is warm, cheesy, with a slight kick from the salsa all nicely wrapped in a soft tortilla. They’re perfect for a quick lunch or a hassle-free dinner!

Tips for the Best Bean and Cheese Burritos

When making Bean and Cheese Burritos, I always aim for a balance of flavors and textures—a blend of creamy beans, melty cheese, and the right seasonings to elevate the taste. Here’s a handful of tips for you to craft the most delicious homemade burritos:

  • Choose the Right Beans: While I often use refried beans for a smooth texture, sometimes I’ll opt for pinto or black beans for a different mouthfeel. You can find a great method for preparing a bean mixture at Isabel Eats.

  • Season Appropriately: A combination of spices such as chili powder, garlic powder, and cumin can take your burritos from good to great. Adjust the seasoning to your preference to ensure every bite is flavorful.

  • Perfect Your Tortilla Technique: To avoid breakage and to achieve that perfect roll, I make sure my tortillas are warm and pliable. If you want a crispy exterior, give this technique from Tastes Better from Scratch a try.

  • Cheese Matters: A good melting cheese, like shreddable Cheddar or Monterey Jack, adds delightful gooeyness. Spread cheese evenly to ensure every bite has a cheesy goodness.

  • Add Freshness: I like to incorporate fresh ingredients like diced onion or a dollop of salsa for extra flavor. This can brighten up your burritos significantly.

  • Customize to Your Taste: The best aspect of homemade burritos is making them your own. Add ingredients like corn, rice, or other veggies to suit your taste as seen in this flavorful recipe at Chelsea’s Messy Apron.

By following these steps, I ensure my bean and cheese burritos are a crowd-pleaser every time. Happy cooking!

What to Serve with Bean and Cheese Burritos

When I whip up a batch of hearty bean and cheese burritos, I like to think about sides that offer a blend of flavors and textures to round out the meal. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Salads: A light, avocado tomato salad brings a refreshing touch to the table. I toss in some cucumber and jalapeño for a bit of crunch and heat. The dressing is simple—olive oil, lime juice, and a dash of cumin.

    Ingredient Amount
    Avocado 1, diced
    Cherry tomatoes ½ cup, halved
    Cucumber ½ cup, chopped
    Jalapeño 1, seeded, minced
    Dressing To taste
  • Rice: A side of cilantro lime rice complements the burritos with its zesty flavor. It’s fluffy and aromatic, making it a perfect base for any burrito bowl.

  • Vegetables: Roasted vegetables like bell peppers, onions, and zucchini add both color and nutrition to the plate.

  • Chips and Dips: No Mexican-inspired meal is complete without crunchy tortilla chips coupled with a vibrant salsa or creamy guacamole.

  • Soups: During colder months, I love serving my burritos with a warm bowl of tortilla soup.

I always look for side dishes that aren’t too heavy since the burritos themselves are quite filling. The balance is key to ensuring variety without overwhelming the palate.

How to Make Ahead

When I’m looking to save time during a busy week, I often prepare bean and cheese burritos in advance. This way, I can have a quick and satisfying meal ready to go. Here’s how I make them ahead:

Ingredients:

  • Refried beans
  • Shredded cheese
  • Flour tortillas
  • Optional: Salsa, seasonings

Steps:

  1. I first lay out the flour tortillas on a clean surface.
  2. In the center of each tortilla, I spread a generous portion of refried beans.
  3. I sprinkle shredded cheese on top of the beans, sometimes adding a spoonful of salsa or my preferred seasonings for extra flavor.
  4. I fold in the sides of the tortilla and roll them up tightly, making sure the contents are securely enclosed.

To freeze:

  • I wrap each burrito individually in foil or parchment paper.
  • I then place the wrapped burritos in a freezer-safe bag or container, squeezing out as much air as possible before sealing.

To reheat:

  • I remove a burrito from the freezer.
  • If it’s wrapped in foil, I replace it with parchment paper.
  • I bake the burrito in an oven preheated to 350°F for about 25-30 minutes, or until it’s heated through and the cheese is melted.

For a more crispy texture:

  • I sometimes pan-fry the thawed burritos in a little oil over medium heat. This gives the tortillas a nice crunchy exterior.

This practical and easy method ensures that I always have a delicious option that just needs reheating, making my meal prep effortless and efficient. Enjoying homemade bean and cheese burritos anytime is truly a convenience I appreciate.

How to Store Bean and Cheese Burritos

Proper storage is essential to maintain the freshness and flavor of my bean and cheese burritos. I always ensure they’re cool before storing to prevent condensation, which can lead to sogginess.

Refrigeration:

  • Wrap individually: I tightly wrap each burrito in aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
  • Airtight container: Sometimes, I place the wrapped burritos in an airtight container to keep them fresher for longer.
  • Shelf life: In my fridge, they last for about 3-5 days.

Freezing:

  • Wrap and bag: After wrapping them individually, I put the burritos into freezer bags.
  • Label: I label the bags with the date, so I remember when I froze them.
  • Freeze: They can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Reheating:

  • From fridge: If I’ve kept them in the fridge, I reheat them in the microwave after removing the foil for 1-2 minutes.
  • From freezer: For frozen burritos, I thaw them overnight in the fridge first, or reheat them directly in the microwave for 3-4 minutes on medium power, turning halfway through.

Tips:

  • If I use a microwave, I sometimes wrap the burrito in a damp paper towel to keep the tortilla from drying out.
  • I avoid storing burritos with fresh ingredients like lettuce or tomato inside, as these do not freeze or reheat well.
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CEO at Happy Muncher | benjamin@happymuncher.com | Website | + posts

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.