You may recall my blog post from a few months ago where I made a bunch of breakfast burritos for Josh before he left for a tournament in Florida. Basically, I spent a couple hours making a bunch of burritos with eggs and sausage and cheese and yummy veggies that all got wrapped up in parchment paper and popped into the freezer for him to pull out and throw into the microwave for a super fast breakfast before he hits the water for the day. While he's been living the lake life, I've been keeping it real with #cubelife which means sandwiches for lunches most days at the office gets real old, real fast. I try to switch it up with interesting meats, spreads and cheeses, or make a salad but after a week or so I end up at Chipotle because I just can't take it anymore! Enter make ahead burritos.
There are so many different variations you can take with this recipe. Myself, not one to eat a ton of meat opted to go veggie with my burritos. But you can easily add any meat you'd like to these. Pulled pork would be amazing, so would one of those rotisserie chickens that you get at the grocery store. Shred that sucker up and toss 'er in! Cheeses can be mixed up, too. Ideally, I would have liked to use a mexican cheese, like queso fresco or cotija but my local grocer doesn't like to venture out much with the cheese selection so cheddar cheese city it was!
First thing I did was soak the black beans. If you want to skip this step all together, just get 3 cans but make sure you drain and rinse them first. Making your own beans is so simple and inexpensive, though. I did about 5 minutes of actual work the entire time. The first step is measuring 2 cups of dried black beans, and placing them in a large bowl. Be sure to remove all the unsavory looking beans that look like rocks or are split in half. Cover the beans with water by about 2-3 inches. The water is going to soak into those beans so you want to make sure you have plenty excess headspace when they do. After that, walk away for 7-8 hours leaving them at room temperature to do it's thang. Drain and rinse before moving them to a large saucepan. Add the rinsed beans and cover with water with another couple inches of headspace. Bring to a low boil and simmer for about an hour. A good way to test when they're done is to put one on a spoon and blow on it. If the skin peels back, then they're ready. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
While the beans are cooking would be a great time to make the rice. I'm not sure if this is a Mexican rice or Spanish one, but I just took a bunch of recipes and put together my own version. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Chop 2 medium onions, 1 large green pepper and 6-8 cloves of garlic. Looking back, I really should have added some jalapeños or sermons for some heat. Once your pot is nice and toasty, pour in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add 2 cups of long grain white rice to begin the browning process and bring out a nuttier flavor. After a minute or so add the onions, pepper and garlic.
Once the rice turns a light shade of brown, add one can of tomato sauce and one can of diced tomatoes along with 4 cups of chicken stock. Stir all of that together, then add 2 teaspoons dried oregano, 1 teaspoon cumin and 1 teaspoon chili powder. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes or so until the rice is cooked through and all the liquid is absorbed.
Remove the pan from the heat and let cool. You may want to transfer it all to a big bowl and throw it in the freezer for a bit if you're short on time. Just keep in mind that the last thing you want to do is put hot filling into the tortilla before you wrap it in the parchment, essentially creating a steam pocket for it right before you throw it in the freezer. It creates a nice little layer of ice on the outside which is not so great when it comes to re-heating.
When the rice mixture has cooled, drain the beans and add them to the pot. Gently mix everything together.
Now you gotta set up the station. What that means is take your tortillas, the cheese, the rice mixture and whatever else you want to throw in there and line everybody up in a row. Wrap the tortillas up in a cloth and microwave for 1-2 minutes to soften them up. Take a tortilla and place about 1 cup of rice mixture, some cheese, and your meat choice if you so choose.
Wrap it up into a tight little roll being sure to fold in the edges before wrapping it up again in parchment paper. Put in a freezer safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months! Out of this batch, I got 17 burritos that will make great lunch alternatives for when I just can't handle the dreaded sandwich anymore.
Since I know you all love a good cost breakdown, I couldn't not tell you how cheap you can make these for!
Black Beans - $2.15 for 16oz bag
Rice - $1.15 for 16oz bag
Onion, Green Pepper, Garlic - $2.19
Tomato Sauce & Diced Tomatoes - $1.89
Olive Oil, and Seasonings - $.75, maybe?
Chicken Stock - $3
Tortillas - $3.13 for 20 pack
Grand Total of $14.26 / 17 burritos = $0.84 per burrito. You can pay 2-3 times that much for a pre-made one that will be mediocre at best. For a few hours of your time, you can have lunches or dinner any time you need something that is truly grab and go!
Make Ahead Burritos
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add the rice to lightly brown. Add the onions, peppers, and garlic. Brown for about 5 minutes before adding the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and chicken stock. Stir together. Add the seasonings and bring to a light boil. Simmer on low heat, covered for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely. Add the drained black beans and stir gently. Place the tortillas in a towel and warm in the microwave for 1-2 minutes. Lay a tortilla down and add about 1 cup of rice mixture, cheese plus whatever fixin's you'd like in there. Roll into a tight little burrito before wrapping it up again in parchment paper and putting in a freezer safe bag to freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, place wrapped burrito in the microwave for 2-4 minutes depending on the power.
Hey there -
I'm Bri! Lover of food, wine, and photography that is currently traveling with my professional bass fishing husband along with our cantankerous rottie, Kigen. When not traveling you can find me living the lake life off the shores of Lake Mille Lacs in Isle, MN. Pour a drink, pull up a chair and join me as I journey across the country documenting it all along the way!