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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Make Beef & Bean Burritos for the Freezer

Beef & Bean Burritos -- for the Freezer

makes 16-24 burritos per batch

I have only made the 8" variety and find them the perfect size for lunch -- just add a piece of fruit and you're all set.  A hearty appetite may require two of burritos for dinner; these are especially convenient when you need to feed someone who is running off to skating practice or choir rehearsal...  or when you're dining alone!


2 lbs ground beef
2 cans (16 oz each) plain refried beans (or similar quantity of homemade refried beans)
3 c shredded cheese ("Mexican" packaged or combo of monterey jack and cheddar -- whatever you like!)
1 1/3 c enchilada sauce (1 jar or can or similar quantity of homemade enchilada sauce)
1/2 c water
1/3 c chopped onion (one small onion)
2 T chili powder
1 T garlic powder
2 t dried oregano
1 t salt
16 (10") flour tortillas or 24 (8") flour tortilla

Optional toppings, later for serving (although I like them just plain, myself!): more shredded cheese, sour cream, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, chopped avocado, etc.

For assembly you will need plain white paper towels (tear or cut full sheets in half) and aluminum foil as well as zip freezer bags.


In a large heavy-bottom pan or Dutch oven, brown the beef over medium heat until cooked, drain off fat and leave the meat in the pan.  Add the refried beans, cheese, enchilada sauce, water, onion, chili powder, garlic powder, oregano, and salt.  Stir until thoroughly blended and bring the mixture to a gentle boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the onion is soft.

(At this point you will definitely want to get a spoon out and dig in.  Try and resist or at least act in moderation.)

Let the mixture cool slightly.   Set up for assembly as follows:
  1. keep a skillet on medium heat to warm each tortilla as you need it (for 5-10 seconds)
  2. place a piece of aluminum foil (about 8" wide) horizontally on your work surface
  3. place a half-paper towel on top of the foil
  4. place the warmed tortilla on the paper towel
  5. spoon 1/2 c (if using 10" tortillas) or 1/3 c (if using 8" tortillas) of the filling in the middle of the tortilla
  6. fold the sides of the tortilla towards the middle and then fold the bottom up and top down
  7. flip the wrapped burrito over (seam side down) onto the paper towel and wrap the same way in the paper towel (sides in, bottom up, top down)
  8. flip the burrito again and wrap the same way in the foil!
  9. place this little burrito package in a zip freezer bag (you should be able to fit about 8 in a gallon size bag) or other freezer container
  10. burritos may be frozen for up to 2 months!
When you are ready to eat, remove burrito from the freezer bag, unwrap the foil from the frozen burrito and place the paper towel-wrapped burrito on a microwave safe plate, seam side down.  Microwave for 3-4 minutes or until heated through.  If you have thawed the burrito first (by leaving it still wrapped out on a counter), remove the paper towel also, place burrito on the plate seam side down, and heat for no more than 2 minutes.

Serve with optional toppings of your choice or all by itself!

Recipe source: Taste of Home -- slightly modified with additional assembly directions and larger serving size.