Well, it’s that time again: back-to-school season! Since starting grad school a few weeks ago, I’ve returned to a lot of my college meal staples.
Frozen burritos, both store-bought and homemade, were one of my go-tos on busy days during undergrad when I got home right around dinnertime. They’re not glamorous, but they’re relatively healthy and taste great.
I’m not at all against storebought frozen burritos. I’ll buy my favorite brands of frozen burritos when they’re on sale, and then I typically make my own when I have leftover ingredients from fajita or taco night. I do think homemade ones taste better!
Here’s what you’ll need: whole-wheat tortillas, shredded chicken (you can use an already cooked rotisserie chicken to save lots of time), refried beans, shredded cheese, and sautéed vegetables. You’ll also need aluminum foil and paper towels. Place a tortilla on top of a paper towel. Layer with refried beans, then shredded chicken, then cheese, and then veggies.
Fold two of the sides in toward each other. Fold in the third side and then tightly roll up, making sure none of the filling escapes.
Tuck sides in and roll the burrito up in paper towel. Roll paper towel-wrapped burrito tightly in aluminum foil. Place burritos in freezer bag and freeze for later.
To reheat, there are two options! To microwave. remove foil from frozen burrito and leave it wrapped in the paper towel. Microwave in paper towel for 3 minutes, let cool briefly, and enjoy! For even better results, you can thaw in fridge the night before and only microwave for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
They’re also really adaptable:
• For protein, use shredded chicken or ground taco meat, or only add beans for a vegetarian option
• Use sautéed onions, bell peppers, and/or frozen corn
I hope you love these homemade frozen burritos! If you make them, let me know in a comment or take a picture and tag me @livbane on Instagram!
- 6 medium-sized whole wheat tortillas
- 2 cups refried beans
- 3 cups cooked, shredded chicken (can use leftover grilled chicken or rotisserie chicken)
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
- 1 cup sautéed vegetables (bell peppers, onions, etc.)
- 6 paper towel sheets
- Aluminum foil
On top of a paper towel, place the first tortilla. Spoon 1/3 cup refried beans, 1/2 cup shredded chicken, and 1/4 cup shredded cheese onto the center of the tortilla. Top with a sprinkle of sautéed veggies.
Fold two opposite sides of the tortilla together. Fold in a third side of the tortilla and roll up, keeping the ends tucked in as you go.
Roll burrito up in paper towel, and then roll up in foil. Repeat for the rest of the burritos, and then place in gallon-size freezer bag. Write today's date on the bag and store for up to several months.
To reheat: Remove foil and microwave burrito inside of paper towel for 3-4 minutes if frozen. For best results, place burrito in fridge to thaw the night before and then microwave for 1 1/2-2 minutes. Let cool briefly before enjoying!
Variations: Use black beans instead of refried beans, leave out the chicken and increase the veggies for a vegetarian version, substitute shredded beef instead of the chicken, or add enchilada sauce for some extra spice. (I'd avoid using salsa, though, since it may make your tortilla soggy.)
And, just for fun, here are the stats of the homemade chicken and bean burrito (which can obviously vary depending on the specific ingredients you use), compared to my favorite all-natural evol chicken, bean & rice burrito.
Homemade: 345 calories, 36 grams protein, 8 grams fiber
evol: 340 calories, 15 grams protein, 4 grams fiber
The homemade burrito’s a clear winner! I love frozen burritos and will definitely still buy them sometimes since they’re convenient and don’t require any cooking, but it’s great to have 2 different options. Plus, if there’s ever a worldwide frozen burrito shortage, you’ll be set.
Recipe originally published in 2014. Text and photos updated in 2018.
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