Quick Weeknight Meal Idea for the Fall: Homemade Frozen Burritos

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A few months ago, a good friend mentioned in passing that she had been making her own frozen burritos. Genius. Totally genius. How had I never thought of something so brilliant and simple?

Freezer burritos are a great solution for the occasional oops-I-thought-I-was-cooking-for-a-village moment. Instead of scooping leftover fiesta fixings into separate containers, divide evenly among the remaining tortillas, wrap tightly in foil, and freeze. Voila — a frozen burrito that puts one of those tiny store bought bricks to shame.

Great for lunches and dinner alike, these are easy on the budget and a perfect make-ahead idea for fall. Here are a few trial and error tested tips from experimenting in the kitchen:

1. Keep the burritos small. We're not talking mission style burrito here. Keep these along the lines of store bought frozen burritos by using 10-inch flour tortillas. Hungrier? Heat up two and pair it with a fresh salad.

2. Don't be afraid of whole grains. Brown rice and wheat tortillas do wonders in the freezer burrito. The end result is wholesome, filling, and stands up well to the freeze.

3. Toss in a few veggies. While store bought frozen burritos often stick to the classic Rice/Beans/Cheese formula, homemade provides a chance to slip in flavorful, spiced vegetables. I've taken to dicing the vegetables, rather than slicing in long strips, to keep the size consistent across all ingredients. Sauté up anything you like. I've had great success with peppers, summer squash, and onions.

4. Sometimes less is best. Keep ingredients simple and flavorful. Rice, beans, sautéed vegetables, and a sprinkle of cheese will do the trick. My secret: a last splash of my favorite smoky hot sauce before folding.

While I do eat meat, I've mostly stuck to vegetarian fare with these. The one attempt with chicken turned out a bit drier and paled in comparison to previous batches of spicy black beans.

Has anyone else tried freezer burritos? What are your favorite ingredients? How about a breakfast burrito?

(Image: Emma Christensen)

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