If you enjoy bean burritos, or if you are looking for a new vegetarian recipe, give this recipe a try. These flavorful burritos are filled with healthy pinto beans, vegetables, green chiles, and quesadilla cheese. These burritos freeze well for future meals and are a great option for meals on the go.
Why These Burritos Are So Good
These burritos are a vegetarian meal option that are both satisfying and healthy. The dried beans cook in a pressure cooker or Instant Pot. The beans are then added to a skillet with other flavorful ingredients and seasonings. After adding the bean mixture and cheese to the tortillas they are rolled up and ready to go.
This recipe is great for making ahead of time and packing in lunches or other meals on the go. I like to make extra burritos that I can freeze individually and bring to work for my lunch. They pair well with tortillas chips and salad, or you can pack a burrito along with baby carrots or cucumber slices for an easier side.
Ingredients for Vegetarian Bean Burritos
This recipe calls for dried pinto beans that are cooked in an Instant Pot. Vegetable broth is used as the liquid. You may also use chicken broth if you do not follow a vegetarian diet, or water may be used if you do not have broth.
If you are short on time you can opt to swap the dried beans out with canned beans. If you do this, you will need two cans of pinto beans. You would need to drain the beans (reserving some of the liquid) and rinse them. After that you can continue with the same directions as outlined below.
Seasonings and vegetables
Other ingredients you will need for this recipe include olive oil, diced onion, jalapeno and garlic. Green chiles are used to add a bright flavor to these burritos. Chimichurri seasoning and chili powder add additional flavor. You can adjust the seasonings to your liking. Make sure you taste test the bean mixture prior to filling your tortillas.
Tortillas and cheese
The tortilla is naturally a large component of the burrito, so you want to be sure you like the tortillas you are using. I have found that many store bought tortillas taste bitter to me and I do not like most of them. I’ve also noticed that most tortillas have a list of ingredients that seem a mile long. They often have less healthy ingredients like trans fats (hydrogenated oils), gums, etc.
My favorite go to tortillas are from Trader Joes. I use their whole wheat tortillas that are about 8-9″ in diameter. Trader Joes also offers white flour tortillas among other options. Corn tortillas can be a healthy option too, but they are usually much smaller and more difficult to fill and roll up into a burrito. I also find that the wheat tortillas do not need to be warmed prior to filling and rolling as they do not tear as easy as corn tortillas.
When picking a cheese, I highly recommend using an authentic Mexican cheese that melts well. For example, you may consider using Chihuahua cheese or other cheese labeled as quesadilla cheese.
Vegetarian Bean Burrito Nutrition
It is notable that one vegetarian bean burrito provides 15 gm of protein and over 10 gm of fiber. The protein comes from the beans, cheese and whole wheat tortilla. The fiber is from the beans and the whole wheat tortilla. Both the protein and fiber make these burritos filling and satisfying.
Traditionally, refried beans are made with lard. I use olive oil in this recipe to decrease the saturated fats, cholesterol and trans fats you would receive from using lard. This means that these bean burritos are more heart healthy. If you would like to read more about heart healthy eating check out this article that I wrote.
If you are looking to further reduce the sodium in this recipe, you can opt to not add salt to the beans while sautéing in the skillet. You can also look carefully at the sodium content of the cheese and the tortillas that you are using.
Cooking the Pinto Beans
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The first step to making these burritos is to pressure cook the pinto beans. This step is easy and takes a little more than an hour to do. Thankfully, the pressure cooker will do all of the work for you. You can use an Instant Pot like this one.
After cooking the beans, divide the beans in half (make sure you reserve the liquid after cooking the beans). Sauté the diced vegetables in the oil. Then you will add half of the beans to the skillet along with some of the bean liquid. After heating and mashing this mixture you will then add the rest of the beans. Combine all of this with the seasonings and green chiles. You may add more bean liquid as needed to prevent the beans from burning and to prevent the mixture from getting too thick. I ended up using about 1/2 cup of liquid total.
Assembling the Burritos
When the bean mixture is ready and when you are satisfied with the seasonings, it is time to assemble the burritos!
I use about 1/3 cup of the bean mixture and about 2 Tbsp of cheese for each tortilla.
As each tortilla is rolled, make sure you tuck in both ends just before rolling the last part of the burrito up. This ensures that your burrito won’t flip open.
Freezing the Burritos
If you wish to freeze these burritos for future meals, make sure you first let them cool completely. I recommend wrapping each burrito in plastic wrap individually to prevent freezer burn and to also prevent the burritos from freezing together. You can then place all of the wrapped burritos into a larger plastic or reusable zipped bag.
Recipe For Vegetarian Bean Burritos
- 1 1/3 cup dried pinto beans
- 3 cups lower sodium vegetable broth
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup onion, diced
- 1 jalapeno, medium diced
- 2 garlic cloves, diced
- 1, 4 oz can green chiles
- 1 tsp chimichurri seasoning
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 8 tortillas, 8-9" diameter
- 1 cup quesadilla cheese
- Rinse pinto beans. Add to Instant Pot with vegetable broth. Cook with high pressure for 45 minutes.
- Allow pressure to release naturally for 30 minutes, then quick release remaining pressure.
- Separate beans from liquid, reserving liquid. Divide beans in half.
- Heat olive oil in skillet until hot. Add onion and jalapeno. Sautee about 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté an additional minute.
- Add half of the beans along with 1/2 cup of bean liquid. When heated through mash this mixture well with a potato masher.
- Add the other half of the pinto beans, green chiles, chimichurri seasoning, chili powder and salt. Gently combine and cook until heated through. Do not mash this mixture as you want some whole beans in the mixture too. Add additional bean liquid as needed if mixture becomes too thick.
- Remove bean mixture from heat.
- Assemble burritos by placing about 1/3 cup of the bean mixture at one end of the tortilla. Add about 2 tbsp quesadilla cheese. Roll up the burrito, tucking both ends in before rolling the last portion up.
Each burrito has about 449 mg of potassium.
Serving Size1 burrito
Amount Per Serving Calories 324Total Fat 12.25gSaturated Fat 3.25gTrans Fat 0gCholesterol 15mgSodium 541mgCarbohydrates 43.5gFiber 10.25gSugar 1.75gProtein 15g
Nutrition facts are calculated using data from nutrient analysis software that utilizes data from USDA and Nutritionix. Therefore, the nutrition facts are estimates based on general nutrient analysis data. Different variables may affect the accuracy of these nutrition facts. Variables may include different brands of food items used and any changes made to the ingredients called for in the recipe. Nutrition facts are most accurate when using nutrition fact labels on actual ingredients used.