This cheesy bean and rice burrito is such an easy meal to make at home, I bet it will replace your favorite fast-food burrito. These burritos are a great way to use up leftover ingredients from taco night. Plus, the optional chipotle crema gives this burrito a bit of a kick, some extra creaminess, and a bit of sophistication.
Growing up in the American Southwest, I was practically raised on bean and cheese burritos. They were a comforting and delicious meal that even as a child I could make for myself in the microwave. Simply pop open a can of refried beans, smear them onto a soft flour tortilla, then sprinkle with a bit of cheese. Rolled and cooked in the microwave for just a few seconds, I had a gooey, cheesy, delicious burrito ready to devour. As a grown-up, I still find comfort in this food from my childhood.
Since burritos are so easy to make at home using simple ingredients, I find myself making these burritos to use up leftovers that might be hanging out in my fridge or as an easy meal for my kids’ lunch! This simple recipe can be put together in just about 10 minutes and these particular bean and rice burritos are an excellent choice for an all-around family-pleasing meal.
This recipe includes an optional chipotle crema sauce to bring a bit of grown-up sophistication to this dish. If you are making this bean and rice burrito recipe for kids or folks who are sensitive to spice, then you can simply omit this sauce. Ready to get started?
What’s in cheesy bean and rice burritos?
For the burritos:
- vegetable oil
- refried beans
- cooked rice
- shredded cheese
- flour tortillas
For the chipotle crema:
- Mexican crema
- canned chipotles in adobo
- ground cumin
Be sure to check the recipe card for the full ingredient quantities.
Substitutions or variations
I usually have canola oil on hand, but you can use whatever mild-flavored oil you like to help sear and toast the outside of the burrito once it is assembled.
Canned or homemade refried beans
I have made this recipe with a variety of refried beans. You can use homemade or canned refried beans. And you can use refried black, pinto, or even Peruvian beans for this dish. Just a note of caution. Traditional refried beans are made with lard. If you want vegetarian refried beans, make sure you look for the canned vegetarian version at your store or make them at home using vegetable oil instead of lard.
I like to use cooked Mexican rice for this dish, but you could use cooked plain white rice or brown rice here as well. Spanish rice would also make a good substitution.
My kids love to eat these burritos with shredded cheddar cheese, Monterey jack, or pepper jack cheese. If you wanted something more traditional Mexican, you could use a queso Chihuahua or asadero. I have also made these burritos with manchego or shredded queso menonita. And to make things really simple, buy a Mexican cheese blend of already shredded cheese at your local grocer! Any of these variations will work for this dish!
I recently fell in love with a super large tortilla that is about 12 inches in diameter. These large flour tortillas are the perfect size for making burritos! Just know that the size of your tortilla will dictate how much filling and therefore how many burritos you can make.
Usually, I use a regular flour tortilla. But you could easily substitute a regular flour tortilla for a whole wheat tortilla or one that has a gluten-free flour alternative, like almond flour.
I use a crema Mexicana or Mexican-style cream to make the creamy chipotle sauce. I have seen this type of cream available in the dairy sections of large grocery stores near the sour cream. Mexican cream is less thick and less tangy than American sour cream. But you could substitute regular sour cream here if desired.
Chipotle crema alternatives
I love to make my cheesy bean and rice burritos with a spicy, but creamy chipotle crema. Although these beans and rice burritos are deliciously comforting without any sauce, I like to create a bit more interest by adding this chipotle crema to my burrito! Not only does it provide a bit of spice, it also provides a creamy texture that mixes beautifully with the melted cheese, and soft beans.
If you aren’t into chipotle crema sauce, you can simply omit it entirely. That’s what I do when I am making these burritos for my kids. Or you could use an alternative sauce or salsa inside this burrito if you wish! Here are a couple of suggestions.
How to make cheesy bean and rice burritos step-by-step
Start with warm ingredients
This recipe assumes that you are starting with warm beans and rice and that your tortillas are at room temperature. If you are pulling your ingredients out of the fridge, make sure to heat your beans and rice before starting.
Cold tortillas are not pliable enough to roll. You need warm tortillas or ones that are at room temperature at a minimum before starting. If needed, heat the tortillas for a couple of seconds on each side in a warmed skillet.
Make the chipotle crema sauce
Start by mixing together the mayonnaise, Mexican crema, chopped chipotle peppers, and ground cumin. in a small bowl. Set this aside to add to the burrito once you start assembling.
Heat the oil
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. I like to use a non-stick skillet for this step so I don’t have to use as much oil to keep the burrito from sticking to the pan. While the oil is heating, assemble the burritos.
Assemble the burrito
I like to use a large cutting board or plate to assemble my burritos. First, place a soft flour tortilla on top of the plate, cutting board, or clean, flat work surface. Place 1/4 cup of beans about 1/3 of the way up from the bottom of the tortilla. Spread the beans outward towards the sides of the tortilla, leaving at least 1 1/2 inches of tortilla at the edge. Next, layer on 1/4 cup of rice, 1/4 portion of the chipotle crema sauce, and 2 tablespoons of shredded cheese. See the photos below for reference.
Roll the burrito
Fold the bottom of the tortilla over the ingredients. Then fold each side of the tortilla towards the center. Roll the burrito towards the empty end of the tortilla to create a packet with the ingredients sealed inside. Repeat this step for each burrito.
Seal and toast the burritos
Once the burritos are rolled, place each burrito seam-side down in the warm oil. Toast each burrito for about 30 seconds to 1 minute per side, or until the burritos are golden brown.
How do I store leftover burritos?
Once the burritos are cool, I wrap my leftover burritos up individually in aluminum foil or a plastic bag and store them in the fridge for up to 4 days. I would suggest storing assembled burritos without any salsa, guacamole, avocado, or chipotle crema to prevent your tortilla from getting soggy.
Alternatively, you could store each of the ingredients separately in an airtight container and assemble the burritos each time you need one.
How do I reheat leftover burritos?
To reheat burritos stored in aluminum foil, I simply pop them in a preheated oven at about 350F for 5-7 minutes or until heated through.
If you have the burritos stored in a plastic bag, you could remove them from the bag and pop them in the microwave for a couple of minutes until they are warmed through.
Here are a couple more easy, kid-friendly Mexican meals you can make at home!
I hope you enjoy these cheesy bean and rice burritos as much as we do! Let me know how they turn out for you in the comments below!
Cheesy Bean and Rice Burritos
For the chipotle crema
- 1 tbs Mexican crema see notes
- 1 tbs mayonnaise
- 3-4 chipotle peppers in adobo, finely chopped see notes
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
For the burrito assembly
- 1 cup warm refried beans see notes
- 1 cup warm, cooked rice see notes
- 1/2 cup shredded cheese see notes
- 4 large flour tortillas ~12 inches in diameter at room temperature, see notes
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil I use canola
- Start by making the chipotle crema by mixing all sauce ingredients together in a bowl.1 tbs Mexican crema, 1 tbs mayonnaise, 3-4 chipotle peppers in adobo, finely chopped, 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- Next, heat the canola oil over medium heat in a large non-stick skillet until shimmering, ~3 minutes.1 tbsp vegetable oil
- While the oil is heating up, assemble your burritos. Add 1/4 cup of warm refried beans to the bottom third of your burrito. Next layer on top a 1/4 cup of warmed, cooked rice. Add 2 tablespoons shredded cheese, and 1/4 portion of the chipotle crema.1 cup warm refried beans, 1 cup warm, cooked rice, 1/2 cup shredded cheese, 4 large flour tortillas
- Fold the bottom of the tortilla over the ingredients, them fold the side flaps towards the center. Roll the burrito towards the open end of the tortilla, ensuring that the sides of the tortilla are tucked in so all ingredients are inside the tortilla packet.
- Repeat the previous 2 steps for each remaining burrito.
- Place the burritos in the warm skillet, seam side down. Toast the burritos on all sides until the tortilla is slightly golden brown and crunchy. Serve immediately.
- You can use canned or homemade refried beans of your choice. I like to use pinto, black, or Peruvian refried beans.
- My preference is to use cooked leftover Mexican rice. But if you have leftover cooked plain white or brown rice, you could use these here as well.
- I would suggest the following types of cheese for this burrito: cheddar, Monterey jack, pepper jack (for extra spice), asadero, queso Chihuahua, manchego, or a blend of these cheeses.
- I like to use large flour tortillas with a 12 inch diameter for this recipe. You could substitute for whole wheat or a gluten-free flour alternative tortilla, like almond. If you use a smaller tortilla, you will be able to make more, but smaller sized burritos than the recipe calls for here.
- If you keep your tortillas in the fridge, make sure to pull them out and let them come to room temperature before making these burritos. Alternatively, you can heat the tortillas for a couple of seconds on each side in a warm non-stick skillet until they are pliable. Cold tortillas won’t be as flexible and will be harder to roll into the burrito shape that you need.
- Crema Mexicana or Mexican cream or crema can be found in large grocery stores near the sour cream. If you can’t find Mexican cream, you can substitute for regular sour cream.
- Adjust the amount of chipotle peppers to your spice level tolerance. You can add more if you want a spicier sauce or use less or omit the sauce entirely for a milder burrito.
(The below nutrition label is included as a courtesy. Our terms and conditions explain our nutrition policy.)