You’ll be so glad to have these freezer burritos in your freezer. They make the perfect easy lunch or dinner when you need something hearty and filling but fast.
One of the very kindest things you can do for yourself is to take a little extra time on a Saturday, prep a few meals in advance, and freeze them for future you. Knowing there’s something homemade and delicious waiting in your freezer when it’s been a year of a day is such a load off your mind.
These freezer burritos are the ideal rainy-day meal to keep in your freezer. They’re *so* good, filling, and they go from frozen to piping hot and ready to eat in just 4 to 5 minutes.
The best thing about these burritos is that they are totally customizable. The base filling is packed with spices, so it’s incredibly flavorful on its own, meaning you can add just about any meat or protein to it and you’re going to have a fantastic burrito.
I always have some version of these burritos in my freezer these days, and I’ve filled them with tons of different fillings and loved every single one of them.
- Cilantro rice: I like to use a long-grain rice like jasmine or basmati for burritos, but you can use whatever rice you have on hand. It cooks with chicken broth instead of water for extra flavor and fresh chopped cilantro is stirred in at the end. Don’t skip the cilantro in this recipe. Even though there’s only 1/4 cup, it really adds so much good flavor!
- Beans: You can use canned pinto or black beans here, but I prefer pinto beans.
- A large onion: Any color onion will work. I typically use a yellow onion.
- Tomato paste and fresh garlic: Tomato paste and garlic both help build the base flavor of the beans. If you have extra tomato paste, check out my post What to Do With Leftover Tomato Paste for storage tips and recipe ideas for the leftovers.
- Spices: This recipe will use ground cumin, oregano, and either chipotle chili powder or plain chili powder. If you have it, I love chipotle chili powder here. It adds a fantastic heat to the burrito filling, but regular chili powder is also delicious.
- Meat of choice: For this recipe, you’ll use ether 1 pound of raw meat or 2 cups of cooked meat. That means if you want to use raw hamburger or chopped chicken breast use 1 pound—the recipe will explain how to cook it. Or add 2 cups cooked meat like carnitas, carne asada, cooked chicken, barbacoa, or even shredded tri-tip towards the end of the cooking time.
- Chicken broth and lime juice: Chicken broth added to the mix helps keep everything moist, and a squeeze of lime juice adds just the right acidic kick to finish off the filling.
- 10-inch flour tortillas: 10-inch “burrito-size” tortillas are the perfect size for this amount of filling. If all you can find at the store are 12-inch tortillas, I recommend cutting them down to 10 inches with a paring knife or kitchen shears. (You can cut the scraps into pieces, spray them with cooking spray and bake them to make them into tortilla chips.)
- Cheese: Cheese is optional. If you want to use it, go with a good melting cheese like cheddar or jack.
- Toppings: Sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo, your favorite salsa, or hot sauce are always good options.
How to Make Freezer Burritos
- Start your rice. You’ll want to cook your rice according to package instructions and just replace the water with chicken broth. Once it’s cooked, you’ll stir in fresh chopped cilantro and then let it cool to room temperature.
- While your rice cooks, make the filling. Start by pouring the drained and rinsed beans into a bowl and smashing about half of them with a potato masher or fork. Smashing just some of the beans means you will still have plenty of texture in your filling but the smashed beans will help hold the rest of the filling together.
- In a large skillet, cook the onions until softened and then add the tomato paste, spices, and garlic and cook until the tomato paste has started to caramelize and stick to the bottom of the pan. This adds depth of flavor to the filling and makes sure you’re cooking all the raw tomato flavor out of the paste.
- If you’re using raw hamburger or chicken, now’s the time to add it to the pan and cook it all the way through.
- Add beans and chicken broth and cooked meat if you’re using cooked meat, and stir until most of the liquid has evaporated.
- Add lime juice and add salt and pepper to taste. Remember that this filling is going to be wrapped inside a tortilla, so it should be a little on the salty side. Don’t be afraid to add more!
- Once the filling is done, let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes to come down to room temperature. If you fill freezer burritos with warm filling, the steam will make the tortillas soggy. (If you’re eating the burritos right away, you can fill them immediately.)
- Microwave the tortillas to make them easily pliable and then fill them with equal parts rice and filling. Roll the burritos tightly by folding in the ends, folding the long side closest to you over the filling and then rolling the burrito away from you.
How to Freeze Burritos
To prepare burritos for freezing, wrap them individually in plastic wrap and store them in a large freezer bag.
How to Reheat Frozen Burritos
To reheat frozen burritos in the microwave, remove plastic, wrap burrito in a paper towel, and microwave for 4 to 5 minutes, flipping once halfway through.
How long will burritos last in the freezer?
For best results, eat burritos within a month. The tortillas will slowly dry out in the freezer, and the places where you have a double layer of folded tortilla can become tough.
However, I often store mine for up to two months without a huge noticeable loss in quality. If I find the bottom seam of the burritos is getting hard to cut through, I’ll just tear it off right after it comes out of the microwave while it’s still warm and pliable. These burritos are easiest to eat with a fork anyway, so it doesn’t matter it some of the filling is coming out of the bottom.
What to serve with freezer burritos?
Go with a super simple side for your burritos like microwave steamed broccoli or green beans. Or serve alongside tortilla chips and salsa (or maybe smothered in nacho sauce or cheese sauce).
More Easy Dinner Recipes
- 1 cup uncooked rice
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup minced fresh cilantro
- 1 15-ounce can pinto or black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 large onion diced
- 3 tablespoons (50g) tomato paste
- 3 garlic cloves minced or pressed
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder OR regular chili powder
- 1 pound raw ground beef or chopped raw chicken breast or 2 cups cooked meat
- 2/3 cup chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 10-inch flour tortillas
- 2 cups (8oz) shredded cheddar, jack, or Mexican cheese blend optional
- Sour cream
- Cook the rice according to package instructions, replacing the water with chicken broth and adding 1/2 teaspoon of salt (if package instructions already call for additional salt, do not add more than the package calls for).
- Stir in minced cilantro and set aside to cool.
- While your rice cooks, pour your drained and rinsed beans into a bowl and use a potato masher or fork to mash about half of the beans. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium heat and add onions. Cook for 5 minutes if using raw meat, about 10 if using cooked meat, until onions are mostly softened. If they begin to brown too quickly at any point, turn the heat down.
- Add tomato paste, garlic, and spices, and cook until paste just begins to caramelize and stick to the bottom of the pan and spices are fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
- If using raw hamburger or chicken, add meat and cook until meat is cooked through.
- Add beans and chicken broth and stir, cooking until most of the liquid has evaporated.
- If using cooked meat, stir in the cooked meat and heat until heated through.
- Add lime juice and salt and stir to combine. Add more salt to taste if necessary. If making burritos to freeze, cool filling to room temperature, 20 to 30 minutes.
- Gently heat tortillas in the microwave by wrapping them in a barely damp dish towel and microwaving for about 1 minute.
- Fill each tortilla with 1/2 cup of rice, 1/2 cup of filling, and 1/4 cup of cheese if desired. Fold into a burrito and wrap each individually in plastic wrap. Store wrapped burritos in an airtight freezer bag or container in the freezer for up to 1 month.
- Remove plastic wrap and wrap burrito in a paper towel. Microwave for 4 to 5 minutes, flipping once halfway through.
- Add any desired toppings, serve and enjoy!
Recipe Adapted From: The Make-ahead Cook
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