Recipe Of The Week – Easy Beef And Bean Burritos

burritos topped with guacamole

If there is one thing I love, its a good burrito. Anyone who has read my survival guide for eating at Chipotle will be able to attest to that! Yet, what happens when you don’t want to spend the money or take the time to go out and get one? Why, make them at home, of course!

So far, I have shared two breakfast recipes on this website (though, if I’m being honest, pancakes are awesome no matter what time of day you decide to eat them!). I thought it was high time I provided a straight up dinner recipe!

Therefore, what follows is a meal that has become versatile a staple for my family over the years: Easy Beef and Bean Burritos!

Packed with protein, vegetables, and whole grains, these little babies (no, they don’t have to be the actual size of babies) are an awesome addition to your diet, whether you are looking to fuel workout recovery or just feed the family on a work night (my kids love them!).

This recipe will provide for a regular amount of servings, but most of the time, I double everything because who doesn’t need more burrito filling? Making it in bulk and freezing what you don’t use means you are ready to go next time you want to make burritos, quesadillas, or a have a great topping for nachos!

Not only will that save us time, but it will also save us money! For those budget-minded folks out there, that’s sweet music to the ears!

Now enough talk. Let’s dive in!

Easy Beef And Bean Burritos

Ingredients:
black beans

  • 1and 1/2 lbs ground beef (ground turkey or chicken are great substitutes and something my family uses all the time!)
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
  • Pepper to taste
  • 2 cups chopped frozen spinach (I also use a mix of chopped spinach and kale) thawed.
    • You can thaw the spinach mixture either by adding it to a strainer and running it under water or gradually in the microwave if you are pinched for time.
  • 1 and 1/4 cups of your favorite salsa
  • 1, 15.5 oz can of black beans
  • 1 cup of your favorite shredded cheese (Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Pepperjack, or a blend all work great!)
  • 8 large tortillas (You can go with any type, but I usually go with a whole-grain option)

Serve with more salsa and guacamole!

Instructions:frying pan

  • Set a large skillet over medium heat and when hot, add the ground meat.
  • Season with the chili powder, ground cumin, and pepper.
    • If you are using chili powder, chances are it already has salt in it, which is why I don’t recommend adding more on its own. You can always adjust the flavor later on. Remember, you can always put more salt in, but you can’t take it out once added!
    • Additionally, I season the meat right at the beginning so the spices can really incorporate. I find that seasoning the meat after it is already browned leaves the flavor on the outside rather than throughout.
  • Brown the meat, stirring occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, take your thawed spinach and try to squeeze as much of the water out as possible. Neglecting to do this can leave your burrito filling a bit watery, which is not the best.
  • Once the meat is browned, drain off the fat and return it to medium heat.
  • Now carefully stir in the spinach, salsa, black beans, and heat through.
  • Once hot, remove from the heat and add in your cheese.
    • If you add the cheese while the filling is still on the heat, you risk having the cheese overheat. If this happens, then the oil will separate from the cheese, which leaves you will an unappetizing, greasy mess of a burrito. Not fun! Not tasty!
  • At this point, slightly warm your tortillas in the microwave to make them more pliable.
  • Scoop about 1/2 cup of filling onto one side of the tortilla, fold it over the filling, tuck in the sides, and roll the rest of the way to close.
    • Before folding up your burrito, you may choose to add more cheese if you want, though it really isn’t necessary since its already in the mix.
  • Serve hot, or for a super-awesome serving suggestion, keep reading!

The Super-Awesome Serving Suggestion:guacamole

I had been making these burritos for a while and they were good…but then, maybe much to my shame, I saw an advertisement for the Grilled Stuffed Burrito from Taco Bell, and I thought, “What if?” I tried it, it took these burritos to the next level, and I haven’t looked back since.

After rolling all the burritos, take a clean, non-stick skillet and heat it over medium-high. Once the pan is hot, simply lay the burritos down and brown them for a couple of minutes on each side (you can also put a little olive oil in the pan, but I find it sometimes makes the outside a little greasy to handle).

The contrast of the crisped tortilla and the cheesy, meaty filling is awesome! Then add in some cool guacamole? Oh…YEAH.

Nutrition At A Glance

Now that we know what we’re making and HOW to make it, let’s take a look at the estimated nutrition. As with my Whole Wheat Pancake Recipe, I will be using the Very Well Fit nutrition calculator. I will also be showing one calculation for using ground beef and one for using ground chicken or turkey.

First up is the ground beef version, which was calculated with a regular, flour tortilla:

Next up is the ground turkey version, which was calculated with a whole-grain tortilla:

As you can see, both of these burritos pack a pretty good punch when it comes to fiber and protein content. They also aren’t too scary for those who are trying to watch their calories (especially the one made with ground turkey).

I think the big concerns for me would probably be the amount of saturated fat in the ground beef version, as well as the cholesterol and sodium of both versions. Now you can see why I didn’t recommend adding more salt along with what was already in the chili powder.

The great thing is, if you are not liking those nutritional numbers, there are always things you can do to modify and bring them down. If you were looking for a version that cut out all the meat, then you can load up on the beans, which will certainly bring the fat and cholesterol down, while keeping the protein and upping the fiber.

It is very customizable and I encourage you to try different things! You can add sauteed onions and peppers, tomatoes, etc! One thing is for sure though, when we make these burritos, no one is hungry afterwards and they really hit the spot!

That’s A Wrap!

burrito sign

Photo by Matt Artz on Unsplash

OK, the pun was absolutely intended there. I hope you find this recipe both do-able and delicious. It has become a definite fixture in our meal arsenal. The great thing is, whether you make them as presented, or with a few tweaks, you are getting a meal that will satisfy your taste buds and keep you full!

Now its your turn. Let me know in the comments what you think of this recipe. Do you have a go to burrito recipe you want to share? If you happen to try these out, please come back and comment on this page with your overall thoughts and any tweaks you made.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask!

Enjoy your burritos, everyone!