These healthy bean and cheese burritos get a healthy upgrade with the addition of quinoa. Make them in bulk and pop them in the freezer. You’ll have a fast and nutritious meal ready for those nights you just can’t make dinner. They are also great to have on hand for lunch. But first, a story of how this recipe became a family legend…
Bulk Item Used: Quinoa
A Snapshot of Dinner at my House
I have wonderful children who are good at many things. There are two things, however, they are consistently great at:
Number one: automatically hating whatever I make for dinner that night. It doesn’t matter if they’ve never tried it before. It doesn’t matter if they liked it the last time I made it. It doesn’t even matter if this meal is actually their favorite meal, and they requested for their birthday dinner 3 years in a row. It’s what I made for dinner tonight, and so they hate it.
Number two: fighting with each other.
They recently combined their two great skills into an epic dinner conversation. Here’s how it went….
The family is seated around the table. Mom sets a plate down full of a new recipe they’ve never tried before.
Kid 1: “Eww, I hate Tacos!”
Kid 2: “That’s not a Taco! That’s a Burrito. I hate Burritos.”
Kid 1: “It’s a TACO! I hate it.”
Kid 2: “It’s a BURRITO!”
Kid 3: “I hate this dinner. I hate tacos and I hate Burritos.”
Mom and dad try to intervene.
Mom: “You haven’t even tried it. How can you hate it?”
Dad: “Stop it guys! It’s what we’re having for dinner.”
Kids hear none of it. They continue to argue about whether the food in front of them is a taco or a burrito. One of them even has the audacity to briefly suggest it may be an enchilada. The one thing they agree on is how much they all hate it. Mom and dad get increasingly frustrated. Finally….
Mom: “IT’S JUST A THING! It’s just a thing and it’s what we’re having for dinner! It’s a dinner thing!”
The kids sulkily start taking bites of their dinner things. They once again tell their parents how gross the meal is. At some point Mom pulls out her phone and starts playing the song, “Wild Thing” by the Troggs. She sings loudly to change the lyrics. “Dinner Thing, You make my heart sing…” This infuriates the children, but she feels like they deserve it. The kids eat every single bite of their Dinner Things, which is something they never do. And from that day on, the recipe is known in the family as “Dinner Thing.” The kids continue to say they hate it, but they also eat every bite, every time.
Tips for Making
Dinner Thing Healthy Freezer Bean Burritos
- This recipe freezes up great. I usually double this recipe. I set up a large assembly line and make at least 2 dozen at a time. Costco sells 12×12 sheets of tin foil that make it easy to individually wrap each burrito. Then I fit as many into a freezer plastic bag as possible.
- I always hate the texture of rice in frozen burritos. Even after defrosting and cooking, the rice is always just a little grainy (no pun intended). That’s why I have started putting quinoa, instead of brown rice, in my burritos. Not only does it defrost great, quinoa offers many more nutritional benefits than rice does. Want to learn more about quinoa? Check out “What is Quinoa?“
- To unfreeze and eat, I unwrap each burrito and defrost them in the microwave. Defrost time depends on how many you are making. For 1 burrito, however, I usually do 1 minute on 50% power Then flip it and cook for an additional minute. At this point you have two options. You can either microwave them a little longer until they are warm all the way through and then eat and enjoy. Or, my favorite way, you can grill the burritos on a skillet or non-stick pan. This gets the outside nice and crispy. Highly recommend.
- These are delicious on their own, but also great to dip in salsa, guacamole, or hot sauce.
Hearty and Healthy Bean Burritos
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1 cup water
- 1 onion
- 2 sweet bell peppers I think red, orange and yellow look best
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 cups pinto beans
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp coriander
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1 cup cheddar cheese
- Bring 1 cup of water to boil in a covered pot over high heat. Rinse the quinoa and add it to the boiling water. Cover and turn heat down to low, simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit, still covered for at least 5 minutes.
- While quinoa is cooking, chop peppers and onions and saute in olive oil in a large pan until soft, about 5 minutes. Coarsely mash the pinto beans* in a bowl and add them to the peppers and onions. Next, add in diced tomatoes, cream cheese, chili powder, cumin, coriander, and oregano. Stir until cream cheese is melted and incorporated throughout. Add in quinoa.
- Preheat skillet or griddle to 350°. Spoon 1/3 cup of filling into the center of a tortilla.** Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Fold sides over and roll up.*** Place each burrito on griddle, grilling each side until lightly golden. Serve immediately.
This recipe has been adapted from a post I found at Taste of Home.
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