Recipe: Freezer-Friendly Roasted Vegetable Burritos with Black Beans and Rice

Healthy Lunch Recipes from The Kitchn

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In one fell swoop, these burritos have changed the way we do lunch in my house. When we decide we're in the mood for burritos, we prep everything on the weekend — roasting the veggies, cooking the rice, even shredding the cheese — and then it's Burrito Bonanza all week long, baby! All that prep might sound like a lot, but it takes 30 minutes, tops. Your future self is going to be very happy.

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Burritos with tender, slightly charred roasted vegetables makes sense to me right now. It's the middle of winter and vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower are having their heyday. A burrito full of these roasted veggies feels healthy, but also hearty. Plus, the idea of turning on the stove and heating up the kitchen sounds incredibly cozy.

I roast all the veggies together on one big baking sheet. Leave the onions in wedges because it makes them easier to roast — I just pick them out and chop them up after cooking. At 450°F, the florets and cubes and wedges become tender in about 20 minutes, which is also just enough time for them to pick up some crunchy, charred spots. If you love super-charred roasted vegetables, you can cook them a little longer or run the tray under your broiler for a minute or two.

I've been playing around with seasonings on the roasted veggies. Sometimes I keep them plain with just salt, pepper, and olive oil, but sometimes I like to toss them with a bit of chili powder after roasting. Smoked paprika is also fantastic for an extra punch of smokiness. You can also add flavor when you make the burritos with a few scoops of salsa or some hot sauce.

This recipe makes eight good-sized burritos. This works out well for me and my husband — we each get four days of burritos plus one "freebie" day for eating out or taking dinner leftovers instead. And by "good-sized," I mean that I find that one burrito makes a good meal for me. They're not so small that I secretly want two, but they're also not the ginormous burritos of your favorite taqueria.

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But wait! What if you're just cooking for yourself won't eat all eight burritos in a week? Or you know your week is going to be extra-busy and you want to prep even the burritos themselves ahead of time? No problem: you can make freezer burritos!

I first heard about freezing burritos when my friend Tracy wrote about them on her blog Shutterbean. It was an idea that was quickly seconded and thirded by some of my fellow writers here on The Kitchn. All these smart folks are definitely onto something: if these make-ahead burritos revolutionized my lunches, freezer burritos have revolutionized my last-minute desperation meals.

One last note before we jump into the recipe. I tried really hard to make all the ingredients work out exactly so that you have two cups of each one to equally divide between eight burritos. But...it's really hard. And hard is the last thing we need. So don't worry if your broccoli is exactly the right size or if you run out of tofu on Wednesday; it's fine. Just aim for 1 to 1 1/2 cups of filling in your burrito and it will all work out in the end. Also, I often just make a bunch of roasted veggies without measuring exactly and use them for not only burritos but also frittatas, easy side dishes, and quick mid-week soups.

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Make-Ahead Roasted Vegetable Burritos

Makes 8 burritos

1 small head broccoli (about 1/2 pound)
1 small head cauliflower (about 1/2 pound)
1 large carrot
1 yellow onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder, optional
1 cup rice, brown or white
1 15.5-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 cups shredded cheese (5 to 6 ounces)
2 cups crumbled tofu, shredded chicken, or shredded beef (meat should be cooked prior to assembling the burritos)
8 large burrito-sized flour tortillas (9 to 10 inches wide)
Optional extras: sliced avocado, sour cream, salsa, hot sauce, sliced scallions

Pre-heat the oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a Silpat.

Chop the broccoli and cauliflower into bite-sized florets and stems. Chop the carrot into small pieces. Slice the onion through the root into wedges.

Toss all the vegetables together with the olive oil and salt, then spread in a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast until the vegetables are tender but still have some bite and have developed brown spots, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir the vegetables occasionally while they're roasting.

Remove the wedges of onion and roughly chop them into small pieces. Return the onion to the vegetables. Taste and toss with chili powder (if using) and additional salt if desired. Set aside.

While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the rice according to your package directions or following our instructions for cooking brown rice or white rice. Once cooked, fluff and set aside.

To assemble the burritos, wrap one or more tortillas in a clean, damp dishcloth and microwave for about 20 seconds to soften. (This helps prevent the tortillas from cracking when you roll them.) Lay the tortilla on the counter and layer about 1/4 cup of cheese, about 1/4 cup rice, about 1/4 cup black beans, about 1/4 cup vegetables, and about 1/4 cup crumbled tofu on the lower third of the burrito. Any extras can go on top. Don't worry too much about the exact amount of each component: aim for 1 to 1 1/2 cups total filling per burrito.

Roll the burrito tightly by folding the sides over the filling, then rolling from the bottom up. (See How to Wrap a Burrito.) If you're not eating the burrito immediately, wrap it tightly in foil and refrigerate for up to 12 hours; don't refrigerate burritos for more than 12 hours or they start to get soggy. Burritos can also be assembled, wrapped in foil, and frozen for up to 3 months. Individual burrito components can be refrigerated for up to a week.

→ To heat just-prepared burritos or refrigerated burritos: cover with a damp paper towel and microwave at high power for 1 minute, until heated through. (Unwrap refrigerated burritos before heating.)

To heat frozen burritos, unwrap, cover with a damp paper towel, and microwave at high power for 2 minutes. Flip the burrito over, cover again, and microwave for another 1 to 2 minutes, until the burrito is heated through.

Recipe Notes

  • If you have time or want some variety, try making Restaurant-Style Mexican Rice for your burritos!
  • Aim for 1 to 1 1/2 cups of total filling per burrito. Heads up, though: a burrito with 1 1/2 cups of filling can be challenging to roll up neatly, so until you refine your wrapping skills, use a little less.
  • You will likely end up with leftover vegetables after making your burritos. These leftover veggies can be eaten on ther own as a side dish, tossed into a pasta sauce or frittata, or added to a quick soup.
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Per serving, based on 10 servings. (% daily value)
Calories
406
Fat
13 g (20.1%)
Saturated
4.6 g (23.2%)
Trans
0 g
Carbs
55.5 g (18.5%)
Fiber
6.8 g (27.4%)
Sugars
2.9 g
Protein
18.5 g (36.9%)
Cholesterol
16.4 mg (5.5%)
Sodium
621.6 mg (25.9%)

(Image credits: Emma Christensen)

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