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:
- ½ 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.
I LOVE these burritos, thanks for posting! They are easy, inexpensive, delicious and I got to choose exactly what I wanted in them. I love them heated in a skillet, what a great idea that I had never heard of. I did not use cheese in either batch and added some drained sauteed veggies like onion, summer squash and peppers (green and hot). My cost was about .60 cents per 11 inch tortillas with 1 cup of filling in each – a great price for a filling meal that is so yummy! One batch was homemade pintos and picante chicken and the other black beans and salsa verde chicken. I used leftover chicken and the cooking sauce from the Crockpot chicken tacos recipe at mychocolatetherapy.com.
Can I add rice to my burritos? Will it still freeze ok?
It should be fine. Just be sure it’s cold first or chill the burritos before freezing.
Oh my goodness … frozen burritos are my new favourite go-to freezer meal!! I made about a dozen last weekend, froze them individually wrapped, and they are just brilliant. I haul one out for breakfast some days, or for a quick late lunch to stave off those mid-afternnon munchies. What a super idea – thanks for sharing:)
What is the longest the burritos can keep in the freezer?
That depends on which freezer? If the deep freeze that doesn’t get opened often, maybe six months? Otherwise in the fridge/freezer, about two.
Cheryl in France
hey- LOVING the Mexican recipes! It’s really hard to find good Mex in France, so this is awesome.
For potstickers (and TONS of other ethnic foods), I can’t recommend Mark Bittman’s ‘The Best Recipe in the World’ highly enough. I make them and can freeze them cooked or freeze the filling mixture and dumpling dough separately. I use 13-14g of dough for one dumpling, with ~2tsp filling.
For the cooking, it’s easy enough, you just have to pay attention- med/high heat, oil/2-3 minutes on one side, add a cup of water to the pan, close with lid, let cook 5 minutes, remove lid, cook 2 minutes on high. I usually do 6-7 at a time, I roll out most of the wrappers then fill batches as they cook. (I once gave 200-250 of these to someone as a wedding present for their reception, so I codified everything to make it go as fast as possible). They are AWESOME.
Still can’t find good Mex in France?! It was like that 20 years ago. But, I couldn’t find good Mex in Kansas City, either, so why am I surprised? I will have to try making potstickers. Everyone tells me to. Yum!
Do you think I could sub in mexican rice for the beans? We don’t like beans, but we do like burritos, and I’m about to pull my hair out on the days that we both work and then have to figure out something for dinner….
And it’s too hot right now for me to run the oven for lasagna, which is the winter time go to!
I’ve honestly not made freezer burritos with rice, but I know plenty of people who have. Give it a try and let me know!
Lasagna is delicious and so easy in a crockpot and does not heat up the house. My favorite is Spinach whole wheat cheese lasagna that cooks on low in 3 hours and frozen leftovers taste great!
These were awesome!!!
Having really been enjoying your blog and your simply, yummy recipes. I made these burritos tonight with left over salsa verde chicken that we ate two nights ago and some navy beans that I had (didn’t have pintos). They were really flavorful and got good reviews from the family :). Thanks for all you do!
I’ve been exploring several of your recipes and am really motivated to make and freeze more often (something new to me!). I have a question (maybe a little silly??). I was wondering what kind of burritos you were using in the video? I often buy the uncooked burritos from Costco, and am wondering if I could use those without cooking the tortillas first? Have you ever tried that? Do they cook when re-heated on the stove? Thanks so much!
I have never bought the uncooked tortillas at Costco, so I really don’t know. I think they would get mushy, but I don’t have any experience with them. Sorry.
I made these last night and they were delicious (I split one w/my co-worker for breakfast – she thought so too)!
I added some Spanish rice for extra filling. They tasted WAY better than the frozen kind you buy at the supermarket and much better tasting. Great post!
Great idea! So glad you enjoyed them.
I love this idea! Same could go for breakfast burritos (which cost me $5 at work to buy!) w/eggs, cheese, and potatoes. Thanks for the inspiration.
I just discovered your blog through 100 days of real food. I love your site! This came just in time. I really need to stretch my dollars and have some easy meals on hand for my son, cooking traditional whole foods takes a lot of time and I just wasn’t sure what or how to freeze. Your book is on my wish list! How long can they be frozen and still safe to reheat and eat? I am so happy to have found my way here. Thanks!
Welcome! Glad you found me. I have another blog, LifeasMOM where I address a lot of family food topics as well.
As to storage, depending on what kind of freezer, two to three months is a general rule of thumb. If you have a deep freeze, you can store things longer.
Thanks Jessica, I just wanted to be sure I could do at least up to a month. I found your other blog too and liked it on FB. I got your book coming in from my library. Look forward to it..Thanks again!
Fun! I just found out that the kindle version is on sale for 2.99 in case you decide you want it. Good luck with your freezer meals. Let me know if you have any questions.
I’ve just run across your blog…really enjoying it so far. I sometimes make burritos that I brush with an egg white wash and bake in the oven to make chimichangas. I never thought to make a large batch to freeze…doh! I’ve also never thought to heat them in a dry pan. They look similar to the “grilled” burritos available at some fast food places.
They are so easy this way. My kids love it when I bust out the fryer, but this is cleaner, in soooo many ways. Ha!
We agree that homemade frozen burritos are a yummy and handy snack/meal. So much better than the commercial frozen ones that can get too chewy when reheated. And healthier too! By the way, I think that you are too hard on yourself. I suppose we all are critical of ourselves, but I think that your voice is very sweet and I don’t turn the volume down a bit when I watch your videos! Thanks for all of your practical and encouraging posts.
Ha! Thanks for your kind words. 🙂
Yum! We love the chicken ones in the cookbook, but I don’t make them frequently because it’s a lot of meat and not much else (ie, more expensive than the beef ones with beans). This is definitely going on the next menu plan:)
That’s true. These can be stretched. Those other ones are really yummy, too.
Can I substitute regular salsa? My husband doesn’t really go for the lime/cilantro flavors in salsa verde……
Yes, absolutely. It’s there to moisten and flavor, so use whatever you want, just nothing too soupy.
Your book just arrived on my porch yesterday. I’ve already decided that burritos will be my first to try out! I’ve only done a quick flip through over an afternoon cup of joe and the book contains more than I’d though it would!
The chicken and cream cheese ones are really good. They all are, really. But, those are super yum.
Do you ever heat them in a skillet from frozen? Dry skillet, I assume? Or does the oven or microwave oven work better for frozen? I like the skillet idea – I’ve never tried that.
Not typically from frozen. But, if I know we’re going to have them, I pull from the freezer and let them thaw and then throw them on the griddle.
I’ve never made these specific burritos before but when I reheat my freezer ones I do it in the microwave and then crisp up the tortilla in the skillet so it’s crunchier and has less of a soft microwave texture. Just a suggestion
what do you suggest for microwave timing? Thanks!
It really depends on your microwave. I have a 30 second button, so I keep pushing that until it’s hot enough. 🙂
I need to make up some more burritos and enchiladas for my freezer now that we’ve reached ‘crazy time’ in the evenings – they microwave back to pretty high quality – one of the things I love about them!
Great analysis – but for something like this the difference in quality would make it worthwhile even at twice the price.
That said – I too have never made the leap to making my own wontons and dumplings – I think I have a block LOL – been meaning to try shrimp wontons though . . . one of these days!
Yum! I love frozen burritos as a “it’s 9 pm and I just got home” go-to meal. But my favorites (evol) are pretty pricey. This would be a great weekend project. You should try potstickers sometime. Especially if you have lots of helpers to do the filling and crimping. They are not easier than using store bought, but I still drool when I think of the last batch I made.
I will add potstickers to my list. My kids loved making egg rolls at New Year’s, so we’ll give that a go.
And yes, burritos are the perfect midnight snack.