This recipe for quick beef burritos make two meals–one for tonight and one for the freezer!
Thank you to the Ohio Beef Council for sponsoring this post! All opinions are always my own.
I have a household full of guys who all love meat. Especially meat inside taco shells and tortillas and preferably covered in melted cheese.
Beef burritos are a slam-dunk in my house. They’re reliable, easy, and satisfying. They also freeze beautifully (read: How Your Freezer Can Make Home Cooking Easier ).
We eat beef regularly, whether it’s spooned into soft tacos or cooked into a meaty pasta sauce. It’s a great source of essential nutrients like zinc, B vitamins, and iron–and you can get a lot of nutrients in a small package (case in point: three ounces of beef have the same amount of iron as eight ounces of chicken breast). Even if you’re trying to eat more plant-based sources of iron, adding some beef into your meals can help your body absorb that plant-based iron even better. Beef is also an excellent source of protein. A three-ounce serving has about half the protein you need each day.
When shopping for beef, my personal preference is organic or grass-fed–or I buy from a local farmer here in Central Ohio. The Ohio Beef Council represents the 17,000 beef farming families in Ohio, including both conventional and organic.
This recipe was inspired by The Pioneer Woman’s Beef and Bean Burritos, but I’ve made some changes. The biggest: I’m stretching the beef further by adding mushrooms. Finely-chopped white mushrooms practically disappear into cooked ground beef. It’s a nice way to add in extra vegetables without changing the taste or texture (especially good for picky eaters). By adding both mushrooms and beans, you can get two meals instead of one from a pound of ground beef.
Here’s how to make them:
Brown the ground beef. I don’t drain it after cooking, because the mushrooms will absorb the liquid.
Finely chop the mushrooms (I did this by hand but you could also toss them in your food processor). Add the chopped mushrooms to the meat.
Sprinkle on your spices and add the enchilada sauce. If you don’t want to use store-bought enchilada sauce, try this recipe from The Lean Green Bean.
Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer the mixture for five minutes, then remove from heat and stir in the shredded cheese and refried beans. You could layer the meat, beans, and cheese in the burritos, but I like them incorporated together. [Note: Because organic canned refried beans are affordable and readily available, I have no qualms about using them and savoring the convenience–and it’s nice to know there aren’t any hydrogenated fats or artificial ingredients inside. But you can also make your own. I’ve made this recipe from Ellie Krieger with canned pinto beans and this recipe from 100 Days of Real Food for slow cooker refried beans that starts with dry pinto beans.]
I choose whole wheat tortillas, which offer more fiber and whole grains. Pick “burrito” size tortillas.
Spoon the beef mixture evenly in the center of the 8 tortillas (about a heaping 1/2-cup onto each). If these beef burritos are destined for the freezer, go ahead and roll them up. If you’re serving them immediately, fill with your favorite toppings if you’d like (such as guacamole, sour cream, salsa, or more veggies), then roll and serve.
For freezing, I package mine in gallon-size freezer bags and lay them flat in the freezer.
To reheat from frozen: Thaw in the refrigerator. I like to cover the defrosted burritos with more enchilada sauce and cheese and bake in the oven (covered with foil) at 350 degrees until hot and bubbling. But you can also heat them up in a skillet on the stove top until browned and serve with your family’s favorite toppings. (Need a quick homemade guacamole recipe? Try my No-Fuss Guacamole).
And consider defrosting one of these burritos for lunch too: An analysis of studies found that protein spread throughout the day (25-30 grams at each meal) was more effective for weight management than getting most of your protein at one time of the day.
Freezer-Friendly Beef Burritos
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 pound ground beef
- 8 ounces white mushrooms finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup enchilada sauce store-bought or homemade
- 16 ounces refried beans 1 small can
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 8 whole wheat burrito-size tortillas
Add oil to skillet set over medium heat and swirl to coat. Add ground beef and cook until almost browned.
Add chopped mushroom, spices (chili powder through salt), and enchilada sauce to beef mixture and stir to combine. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add beans and cheese, stirring until well combined. Remove from heat.
Place a heaping 1/2-cup beef mixture in the center of each tortilla. If serving immediately, add choice of toppings (such as sour cream, guacamole, or cilantro). Fold edges of tortilla in, then fold top over and roll tightly.
If freezing, roll burritos and place on a baking sheet to cool (if you have room in your freezer, set the tray inside for about 10 minutes). Place burritos in a labeled gallon-size zip-top bag and freeze for up to three months.