These fast-food inspired vegetarian bean burritos are fresh and flavorful. They are ready in under 30 minutes and perfect for lunch, or they can be frozen for a quick grab-and-go meal.
After driving across the country twice, and countless many other long road trips in the car, I've had my share of fast-food vegetarian burritos (I'm looking at you, Taco Bell). Although they can be a good option in a pinch, there's nothing like a homemade meal!
These pinto bean burritos are a healthy homemade alternative to fast food burritos. And they're ready in under 30 minutes!
- Quick & easy: Ready in under 30 minutes
- Freezer-friendly: These burritos can be frozen for a grab-and-go meal
- Satisfying: Packed with plant-based protein and fiber for a filling meal
- Great as a "blank slate": Easy to customize and can be made vegan
To make these vegetarian bean burritos we'll use a base of "refried" pinto beans combined with a homemade chipotle sauce and a few other flavorful additions.
What you'll need
- Pinto beans: Two cans is equal to about 3 cups. The pinto beans can be replaced with black beans (like these instant pot black beans), kidney beans, or even chickpeas.
- Vegetable broth and seasonings like onion powder, garlic powder, and smoked paprika flavor the beans. An equal amount of water works in a pinch.
- Sweet corn adds a pop of sweetness. Fresh, frozen, or canned work.
- The cilantro salad is made up of cilantro, fresh chopped spinach, and scallions.
- Chipotle sauce is made using plain Greek yogurt (mayonnaise also works) and chipotle chili peppers. It is lightly spicy.
- I love adding quick pickled onions. If you don't have time to make them, I highly recommend adding a squeeze of lime juice to each burrito for acidity.
Step by step instructions
Prepare the bean burrito filling by adding the beans, seasonings, and vegetable broth to a high-powered blender or food processor. A low-powered blender may require more liquid to fully smooth the beans. You may also need to pulse the beans or add extra liquid if they aren't blending well.
Assemble the cilantro salad by combining the chopped cilantro, spinach, and scallions/green onions. Squeeze with lime juice if you aren't using pickled onions.
Making the chipotle dressing is easy. You can either blend it after blending the beans for a super smooth sauce or mix together the ingredients in a bowl.
If you like this dressing you'll want to check out my chipotle ranch salad dressing.
Make the burritos by adding a layer of cilantro salad to a flour tortilla. Top with ½ cup beans and 1-2 tablespoons chipotle sauce. Divide the remaining ingredients across each burrito, then roll up tightly.
Nutrition and customization
These vegetarian bean burritos are perfect for meal prep because they contain a balance of protein, carbs, veggies, and healthy fats.
- Protein: Pinto beans are high in fiber and plant-based protein. Control the sodium content by cooking pinto beans from dry, or choose canned pinto beans labeled "low sodium". For extra protein, try adding vegan tempeh taco meat or tofu chorizo. Regular baked tofu would also be great here.
- Carbohydrates: Carbs give your body the energy it needs to power you through the day. Try a whole wheat tortilla for complex carbohydrates and extra fiber, or stick with a traditional white flour tortilla. Try adding rice or quinoa for extra carbs.
- Veggies: Spinach, sweet corn, and green onion are the main veggies in this recipe. Try adding sliced radishes, fresh bell pepper, or sauteed zucchini for an extra serving of veggies.
- Healthy fats: Pumpkin seeds are a good source of Zinc and hearty healthy fats. For the chipotle sauce, use greek yogurt in place of sour cream or mayo for a lower calorie, higher protein dressing.
These bean burritos are great to make ahead for last-minute grab-and-go meals. Assemble the burrito when the beans are at room temperature so that they don't get soggy in the freezer.
Once assembled, wrap the burrito in foil or place it in a freezer-safe container. Freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, remove the foil and reheat in the microwave on a plate for 2-3 minutes, flipping over halfway through.
For best quality, keep refrigerated in a closed container for 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave in just 1-2 minutes.
More weeknight meal ideas
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Easy Vegetarian Bean Burritos
- 2 (15 ounce) cans pinto beans drained and rinsed (~3 cups)
- ½ cup vegetable broth more as needed
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon salt more to taste
- 1 cup frozen sweet corn
- 4 12" flour tortillas
- 2 cups spinach roughly chopped
- ½ cup green onions sliced
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- ½ cup roasted salted pumpkin seeds
- ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese optional
- pickled onions optional, see note #1
- hot sauce or salsa optional
- 6 ounces plain Greek yogurt or an equal amount vegan mayo
- 3 cloves garlic minced; or ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice from half large lemon
- 1 chipotle chili pepper from a small can of canned chipotles in adobo sauce
- 1 tablespoon adobo sauce from canned chipotles
- In a high powered blender or food processor, combine pinto beans, vegetable broth, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika and salt. Blend until mostly smooth. If you have a weaker blender, you may need to pulse the beans instead of blend.
- Place a medium pot over medium heat. Add the beans and frozen corn. Heat until warmed through, stirring as needed.
- To make the chipotle sauce: Add yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, chipotle chili pepper, and adobo sauce to clean blender. Blend until smooth. You can also mix it by hand in a small bowl.
- To make the cilantro salad: Stir together the chopped spinach, cilantro, and green onions.
- To make one burrito: Add a small bunch of cilantro salad to the center of the tortilla. Top with ½ cup pureed beans. Divide remaining toppings evenly between 4 tortillas. Drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons chipotle sauce. Roll up into a burrito.
- To freeze burritos: Roll assembled burrito tightly into foil or place in a freezer-save bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, remove foil and place burrito on a microwave safe plate. Microwave for 2-3 minutes depending on microwave strength. Flip halfway through.
- Pickled onions add tang and brightness. If you don't have pickled onions or don't plan to make them, I recommend adding a squeeze of lime juice to the cilantro salad to replace the brightness that pickled onions add.
- Vegan option: Make these burritos vegan by using your favorite vegan shredded cheddar and using vegan mayo in place of Greek yogurt.
- Other add-ins: These burritos are a blank slate. You can add rice, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, etc.
Author's note: This recipe was originally shared May 2019. It was updated January 2022 with new photos, a video, and minor adjustments to the recipe including the addition of a cilantro salad instead of romaine lettuce.