Ever been tempted by the contents of the frozen food aisle? It will be easy to just say NO when you’ve made your own homemade freezer burritos. These freezer burritos are loaded with beans, cheese, and tender chunks of chicken, making for a quick and easy lunch, snack, or dinner.
You’ve been there before. Strolling down the frozen food aisle late at night, little cries of hunger pangs echoing from your tummy. You’re tired after a long day, so you don’t want to cook. Should you succumb to that mediocre frozen burrito you see in the case?
Um, probably not.
As fascinating as frozen foods can be, they’re rarely as good as homemade. Not as cheap either!
And trust me, the commercially frozen burrito? It pales in comparison to the real deal.
The beauty of home cooking is that you can make whatever you want in the world of food yourself, frozen burritos not withstanding.
In my cookbook, Not Your Mother’s Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook, I share three very different, yet equally delicious burrito creations. I’m actually quite proud of them. I mean, Chipotle Chicken and Onion Wraps, Pepper Jack and Chile Burritos, and the aptly named Not Your Convenience Store’s Frozen Burritos are pretty rocking awesome, if I do say so myself.
But, I’m a California girl, and we can’t be content with just one type of burrito. No way, Jose. How about one that’s loaded with cheese, beans, and chicken?
Today’s burrito creation is one that comes together quite quickly and easily. It makes a big batch so that if you’re not feeding a crowd, you can stash the rest in the freezer for later. In fact, I recommend that you prepare a double batch so that you have enough to eat fresh and then some more to freeze.
But, as I said we can’t stick with just one burrito. When you’ve tried this freezer burrito recipe, be sure to try these:
- Red Burritos with Beef and Beans
- Green Chile Burritos
- Chicken Fajita Burritos
- Black Bean and Bell Pepper Wraps
How To Make Freezer Burritos Yourself
Burrito making is a simple affair. You don’t need too many ingredients, just large tortillas and a filling, like beans, chicken, and cheese.
If you plan to freeze the burritos, it’s helpful to have deli papers to make wrapping easier and a ziptop bag for storing them. If the tortillas come in a ziptop bag, you can reuse the bag to store the prepared burritos.
If you know you’re making burritos to freeze, it’s important to have your tortillas at room temperature and your ingredients cold. Room temp tortillas will roll better without cracking. Chilled filling will help the burrito freeze more quickly which reduces the risk of freezer burn.
The process for making these chicken and bean freezer burritos:
- Combine the beans, chicken, cheese, and salsa in a bowl. Stir well to combine.
- Lay out the deli papers on a large work surface. Place one tortilla on each deli paper.
- Divide the filling among the tortillas. You want to make sure to spread the mixture in a line across the middle of the tortilla.
- Fold one side of the tortilla over the filling, tuck in the ends, and continue rolling. Wrap in the deli wrapper and place in the ziptop bag. Store immediately in the freezer.
- To reheat, microwave until hot. Alternatively, you can thaw and bake, nuke and bake, or nuke and crisp on the griddle.
Of course, you can heat and eat these burritos right away if you like. If so, you don’t need to wrap them in the papers unless it will be easier for serving.
My family and I love heating the unwrapped burritos on the griddle to crisp, turning to brown all sides.
Do burritos freeze well?
As long as you wrap them well, burritos freeze incredibly well. Be sure to make them with cool ingredients so that the tortilla doesn’t get soggy.
Freezer burritos are excellent for quick lunches, snacks, or dinners on the go. You can grab as many as you want out of the bag and have a super convenient dinner ready in minutes!
How long can burritos be frozen for?
Your burritos will be good at least 2 months in the freezer (if they last you that long!). Once thawed, they will last you 1-2 days in the refrigerator.
How do you reheat frozen burritos?
You can heat your frozen burrito by placing it on a microwave safe plate and microwave for 1 minute on high. You can also thaw the burritos in the refrigerator and then bake them for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
Is it cheaper to make your own frozen burritos?
Anytime you’re making homemade, it’s important to determine if you’re really saving money. Let’s crunch the numbers on this recipe:
- 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast – $0.99
- shredded cheese – $1.50
- two cans pinto beans – $0.88
- salsa verde – $1.00
- dozen tortillas – $1.50
Total spent for a dozen burritos filled with chicken, beans, and cheese: $5.87 That works out to about $0.49 each!
Frozen commercial burritos range in price from $0.40 to $2.99, depending on the brand and quality. The quality? Yeah, there’s no comparison, really.
So, it’s not hard, it’s typically cheaper, it’s (probably) healthier, and it’s tastier to make your own frozen burritos.
How to save even more:
- Meal plan around what’s on sale. Don’t decide to make this when chicken breast is $7/pound and you have none in the freezer.
- Stock up on ingredients when they are on sale. For instance, when I see a great price on chicken breast, I buy a lot. The same goes for cheese. In some ways jack is a specialty item around here, so I shoot for buying it at less than $3/pound.
- Do a price comparison. I know that ALDI is the best place to buy ingredients like boneless, skinless chicken breast when there isn’t a great sale elsewhere. I keep track of prices so that I know who has the best deal where.
Tools I use to make this recipe easy:
This is a pretty straight-forward dish. You don’t need any fancy equipment. However, having some good basic kitchen tools can really make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable. Over time, I’ve honed my collection so that they are perfect for my needs. Here are the tools that I like to use in this recipe.
- plastic cutting boards – I have blue boards for veggies and white boards for meat.
- Ergo Chef chef’s knife – I’ve had my set for several years and they work well.
- box grater or food processor – for shredding cheese
- large ice cream scoop – This is great for evenly portioning burrito filling.
- deli wrap – I use deli waxed paper to wrap each burrito if I’m going to be freezing them.
- 2 15-ounce cans pinto beans rinsed and drained(or 4 cups homecooked pinto beans)
- 2 cup chicken (cooked and cubed)
- 8 oz cheddar cheese (shredded) (2 cups)
- 1 7-ounce can salsa verde
- 12 burrito-size flour tortillas or 8 extra large
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the beans, chicken, cheese, and salsa.
- Lay out the tortillas and divide the mixture in a line across the middles of the tortillas.
- Roll up the tortilla tucking in the sides as you go.
- The rolled tortillas can be placed in a ziptop freezer bag and frozen. Or you can heat them and serve them right away. We like to heat them on the griddle, turning to crisp all sides.
- Frozen burritos can be reheated in the microwave, oven, or on the griddle.
This post was originally published on October 3, 2013. It has been updated for content and clarity.