Today’s recipe is something you can make for dinner tonight, or whip up and throw in the freezer to have handy on those days when time is scarce. Every once in a while when I’m in a hurry I will grab a frozen burrito from the grocery store, but I have yet to ever be fully satisfied by one.
Frozen burritos always seem to be heavy on the tortilla (they’re always so bready and thick, right??) and light on the filling—which is usually pretty one-dimensional to start off with, and always missing a respectable dose of vegetables. Plus, I always want a sauce on top, but of course, that’s not really part of the deal.
So, those were all the problems I was out to conquer with this recipe, and I think I’ve done it. These burritos can go straight from the freezer to the oven, and the sauce can be defrosted on the stove top in just minutes. And they will kick some serious grocery store freezer burrito ass, I promise.
If you plan to make these from start to finish rather than freezing, simply skip any of the “freezer” steps below, and reduce the cook time by 10 to 15 minutes.
Black Bean Burritos
Four Servings, Prep and Freeze | Vegetarian
Prep time: 40 min | Cook & serve time: 40 min
1 14-ounce container of salsa
1-1/2 cups chopped cilantro
2 bell peppers (any color), chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 jalapeno, minced
I white onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 14-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
4 large flour tortillas (the bigger, the better!)
4 small resealable freezer bags
2 gallon-size resealable freezer bags
3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium high heat, then add onions, garlic, and jalapeno. Cook, stirring constantly, until onions are soft and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat.
5. Place a tortilla on a piece of plastic wrap (at least 14 inches long). Spoon about 1-1/2 cups of black bean mixture from the large bowl onto the tortilla, just off-center, in the shape of a rectangle. Leave about an inch of empty tortilla space at the top and bottom.
6. Fold the short end of the tortilla (e.g. the right side in picture above) over the top of the black bean mixture until the end of the tortilla meets the left side of the mixture and the middle(ish) of the tortilla. Still holding that first fold in place, fold the open ends (the top and bottom in picture above) towards the center of the tortilla, then continue to roll towards the long end (the left side in picture above) into a burrito, tucking the sides if needed as you go. Finish with the end of the tortilla facing down. (NOTE: This process can be a little tricky, so just do what you need to do—once you get everything tucked in and wrapped, you’re good to go. Everything will stay in place once its wrapped in plastic and frozen.)
7. Tightly wrap rolled burrito in plastic wrap.
8. Repeat with remaining three tortillas and store in the freezer in a gallon-size resealable freezer bag.
9. Divide any remaining black bean mixture, plus the amount you set aside, between the 4 small resealable freezer bags with salsa. Press all the air out and seal, then fold bag in half so that mixture is contained to half of the bag. (Optional: place all four small bags in a gallon-size bag.) Lie flat in freezer.
Cook and serve:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Remove plastic wrap and place burrito in a small baking dish coated with cooking spray. The side with the end of the folded tortilla should be facing down, with the solid side (as pictured above), facing up.
- Cook until burrito is heated through and tortilla is crispy, 35 to 40 minutes. (Cooking these defrosted? Just cook for 20 to 25 minutes.)
- Cook frozen salsa mixture in a medium skillet on medium heat. (The easiest way to remove it from the bag is to cut it open and peel off the plastic.) Break up and stir mixture as it defrosts. Cook until heated through, 5-8 minutes. (You can also place it in a separate baking dish and put it in the oven with the burrito for the last 10 to 15 minutes. But, don’t put them in the same baking dish—the sauce will make the burrito soggy if it sits in there that long with it. Remove from oven after 5 minutes or so to stir, the slide it back in.)
- To serve, place burrito on a plate and pour salsa mixture on top.
Sonoma organic wraps are THE BEST. They have a bit of an elastic quality (but, not in a gross way) that makes them seem almost unbreakable and very easy to work with for a recipe like this. I would seriously make a special trip to visit a grocery store that sells these—they’re that good.
Make it heartier:
Between the filling and the salsa topping, this meal will definitely not leave you hungry, but for nights when you need a little more (did you just go for a run? Good for you—you’re awesome!), make some rice and freeze in four Ziplock freezer bags. Make sure you spread it out and lay it flat in the freezer, and you should be able to easily defrost it with the salsa topping while the burrito is cooking.