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Bean & Rice Burritos

Bean & Rice Burritos are perfect for an easy, wholesome hot lunch or dinner with little effort but big flavor. These vegetarian burritos can be customized with your favorite extra add-ins and your favorite toppings. They’ve got just the right amount of seasoning and they are seriously delicious.

Also, since I’m a health and nutrition editor and all-around nerd, I had to share that dairy foods are a great complement to a plant-based diet. They can help supplement many of the nutrients we don’t get enough of, such as calcium, vitamin D and potassium.

In fact, milk, cheese and yogurt contain a unique package of nine essential nutrients. That’s a lot of goodness in a really affordable – and delicious – package.

Bean and Rice Burritos

A few notes on making these burritos:

  • Brown rice is our go-to and it gives these a bit of extra heft and flavor. However, you could certainly substitute white rice. Or you could use a yellow rice for a different take.
  • The recipe calls for a can of black beans, but you could substitute pinto beans, as well. Or, use black beans that you cooked yourself.
  • I love these with a sharp white cheddar, which is our favorite. But you could use regular cheddar, Monterey Jack or even a Pepper Jack cheese for a little kick. Or use a pre-shredded Mexican style cheese mix. Whatever you’ve got!
  • We always go for whole wheat tortillas – again, I love the whole grains! – but any kind will work. You could even substitute a gluten-free tortilla if you want this recipe to be gluten-free.

Want to add some extra veggies? You know I support that. You could sauté some onions, peppers and/or zucchini to go with the bean and rice filling. Or, grate a zucchini and add that to the skillet with the beans. It pretty much melts in but adds some extra nutrition.

Another favorite easy, healthy dinner for our family is Cheesy Mexican Chicken Quinoa Casserole. Give it a try!

Bean & Rice Burritos

Photo of Bean & Rice Burritos
  • 5 minutes
  • 30 minutes
  • 35 minutes
  • 6-7 small burritos

Ingredients

1 cup brown rice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 - 14.5 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup packed baby spinach, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
6-7 8-inch whole wheat tortillas

Optional Toppings: 

Extra salsa or fresh Pico de Gallo
Extra cheese
Avocado slices or guacamole
Greek yogurt or sour cream
Chopped fresh cilantro
Hot sauce or sriracha
Pickled red onions
Pickled or fresh jalapeños


Instructions

  1. Cook rice according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 1/2 teaspoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds, just until fragrant.
  3. Add the black beans, spinach, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are warmed through and the spinach is slightly wilted, 2-3 minutes.
  4. Lay a tortilla flat on a plate or clean surface. Scoop in 1/3 cup of cooked rice, 1/3 cup black bean mixture and 1/4 cup shredded cheese. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
  5. Fold up the burrito: fold the sides in, then fold the bottom up and over the ingredients and roll it up, continuing to tuck the sides in as you roll.
  6. Heat the remaining oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. (I just wipe out the one I already used and use that skillet again.) Add the burritos, seam side down, working in batches if needed. Sear in the pan for 2-3 minutes per side, until browned. Repeat with any remaining burritos.
  7. Serve hot with desired toppings and enjoy!

Notes:

Double the recipe: If you want to make more (the recipe makes 6-7 burritos, depending on the size of your tortillas and how full you stuff them), you can double the recipe and get 12-14 burritos. You can either follow the recipe and sear then each in a pan. OR, if you don’t want to stand and flip them, you can add the wrapped burritos and place them seam-side down in a 9x13 pan. Bake then in the oven at 400 for 15 minutes, until the tops are browned.

Storing leftovers: Wrap each burrito in plastic wrap to keep it tightly together. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Warm in the microwave and then sear in the pan if you want that crispy edge.

These also freeze great! Wrap the burrito in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil. Label and date the foil and place directly in the freezer or group a bunch of burritos together in a freezer plastic bag that you’ve labelled and dated. Thaw the burritos overnight in the fridge. Then warm through in the microwave and sear in the pan to get the crispy edge. (You can try defrosting in the microwave if you want to enjoy straight from the freezer)

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