Make a batch of these freezer black bean fajita burritos and have a healthy vegetarian lunch ready to go any time you want. Just like store-bought, but a fraction of the price and you can control what goes inside, each burrito reheats in about 2 minutes.
Looking for more make ahead lunch ideas? Check out my favourite make-ahead kale salad and this versitle baked tofu that I put on everything!
By nature, I am not a freezer stasher. I am not one of those with meals for days stocked away in the deep freeze for the just-in-case. I'm not that organized. If I'm lucky I might find a bag or two of cooked beans or grains, or maybe half of a batch of soup. But no casseroles or prep dinners.
Black bean freezer burritos for make-ahead lunches
What I do like to have in my freezer are single-serve things.
Things that I can grab on my way out the door when I don't have time to put together a lunch for myself. More importantly, I like to have things I can stuff into my husband's hand as he leaves for work. He has a hard time taking a break to feed himself. I figure if I can help him make the decision about what to eat, actually eating should be a no-brainer.
I believe all meals are created equal. And I will do what I can to ensure no lunch is missed. A day without lunch is just not a good day.
These black bean burritos are perfect and make lunch decisions easy. Whether you are at home and need something quick, or throw one in your bag to heat up later in the day, a burrito is a complete meal - full of protein from the beans, veggies, healthy brown rice, all wrapped up in a flour tortilla.
How to prepare burritos for the freezer
Step 1 - Make the filling.
This is an easy filling of sauteed peppers (I like green and red), some onions, black beans, of course, cooked brown rice and some spices. I add a splash of water once the beans and rice are added to help heat them both through and make a bit of a sauce.
Use your favourite fajita spice mix packet or make your own.
Since these burritos will be frozen and then reheated, I like to make sure the filling gets nice and thick so it doesn't make the wrapper soggy later. Adding a little brown rice helps absorb the juices.
I use leftover cooked rice for this recipe.
I use leftover cooked rice for this recipe
TIP -- make a little extra rice next time and plan to use the leftovers for this burrito recipe.
Allow the filling to cool before rolling the burritos.
Step 2 - Warm the flour tortillas before wrapping.
This step is important. Cold tortillas will crack and break when you bend them and wrap them around the filling. Warming the tortillas in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute (depending on how many you are doing at once) will make them more pliable and easier to wrap around fillings.
How to warm tortillas in the microwave
I do this by damping a paper towel and rolling a stack of tortillas gently into a roll with the paper towel around them. Then heat the bundle in the microwave for 45-60 seconds. They are warm enough when they are warm to the touch.
Step 3 - Roll burritos
Lay a tortilla down on a cutting board or work surface.
Down the middle of the tortilla, place about ¼ cup of cheese and ½ -⅔ cup of the bean and vegetable mixture on top of the cheese.
Fold the sides of the burrito in towards the center and then fold the bottom over the filling forming a pocket.
Roll the rest of the way up.
See step by step in the image to the right -->
Wrap each burrito individually in wax paper. And stack several wrapped burritos in a large zip-top plastic bag for freezing.
When ready to eat, take out what you need and allow to thaw slightly before reheating.
How to use frozen burritos
I tend to take these out of the freezer first thing in the morning and let them thaw at room temperature until lunch time. Then they only take a couple of minutes in the microwave - at most - to heat through and be ready to eat. If you cook them from frozen they will take a bit longer, but still we are talking minutes to a meal.
Remove wax paper before reheating and place on a microwave safe plate.
To cook mostly thawed - Microwave on high 1-½ to 2 minutes. I like to test the center with a sharp knife to make sure they are heated all the way through. Allow to stand and cool about 5 minutes before eating.
To cook from frozen - Microwave on high 2-3 minutes. I like to test the center of the burrito by poking with a sharp knife to make sure it is hot all the way through. Allow to stand and cool for about 5 minutes before eating.
These Black Bean Fajita Burritos will keep frozen for about 3 months.
Be sure to mark the date on the bag when you freeze them so you don't forgot when you made them.
Freezer Black Bean Fajita Burritos
- 2 large bell peppers thinly sliced
- 2 small red onions thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon chilli powder
- 1 package fajita seasoning mix I used low sodium Ol El Paso, plus ¼ cup of water
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- ¼ teaspoon salt or to taste, depends if you use low sodium beans or not
- 1 19 oz can black beans rinsed and drained (about 2 cups cooked)
- juice of ½ of a lime
- shredded cheddar or mexican blend cheese about 2 cups
- 8-10 large tortilla shells
- In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium heat and add peppers and onions. Cook until vegetables are soft, but not browned, about 7 minutes. Add fajita seasoning mix, chili powder and ¼ cup of water and stirr well toc combine. Allow the mixture to cook down slightly and thicken, stir in salt, brown rice, black beans and lime juice. Simmer for a few more minutes. Mixture will thicken slightly, then remove from heat.
- Heat tortilla wraps so they are easier to wrap without breaking. I do this by dampening a paper towel with a little bit of water and rolling a stack of wraps into a roll with the paper towel around them. Heat the bundle in the microwave for 45-60 seconds. Until they are warm to the touch.
- Lay a tortilla down on a cutting board or work surface. Down the middle of the tortilla, place about ¼ cup of cheese and ½ -⅔ cup of the bean and vegetable mixture on top of the cheese. Fold the sides of the burrito in towards the center and then fold the bottom over the filling forming a pocket.
- At this point, just roll the rest of the way up.
- Wrap each burrito separately in wax or parchment paper for storing in the freezer. Place 3-4 burritos in a large freezer bag and label
- Remove wax paper and place on a microwave safe plate. Microwave on high for about 2 minutes. How long will depend on how frozen the burrito still is when you put in the microwave. I usually take mine out of the freezer first thing in the morning and let it sit out on the counter until lunch time so 1-½ to 2 minutes usually does just fine. Check the center to be sure it is hot all the way through. Allow the burrito to cool slightly before eating.
This recipe is amazing! Its easy for lunches during the week and very inexpensive. I don't care for peppers so I used finely chopped broccoli tops instead because that's what I had laying around and it was good!