Bean Burritos

I have a funny story for you.  A kitchen failure which, ironically, turned into a kitchen victory.  Love it when that happens.  My kitchen fails have been coming in droves, it seems, so this when this happened, I was shouting expletives so loud that I’m pretty sure my neighbors were concerned for a few minutes there.

I had seen both Josie and Annie post these burritos on their blogs, and I had been dying to try them.  Something to make on a weekend (or, actually, these are so quick they are great for weeknights, too) that I could have extra leftovers to reheat in the evenings.  I stocked up on my ingredients at the grocery store (actually, in all honesty, quite proud of my efficiency in the store..I have since learned my lesson…) and headed home for a date with my kitchen.  I may or may not still have been in my pajamas (that’s the benefit of living in a place where a full-length down parka is the norm-it can hide my pj’s..)  After some major apartment cleaning (and the impromptu and smart(?) idea to rearrange all the furniture in my living room), I took a break to make these burritos.  So, there I was, in my pj’s in my half-rearranged apartment, starting to sauté some shallot on my stove, when I went to open the can of black beans….

….and they were kidney beans.  I must have grabbed the wrong can in my so-thought efficiency at the store.  And there wasn’t a spare in my pantry.

I couldn’t leave in the middle of already cooking the onions and spices (and not that I wanted to anyways), so, after the expletives, I decided to forge ahead and just make the burritos with kidney beans.  I mean, they are beans.  Can they make that much of a difference anyways?  I started to divert my thoughts to trying to convert the recipe over to some Cincinnati chili burrito recipe (still thinking about that one, by the way), but then got too intimidated on the fly and followed through with the original.

Victory!  These were some a-may-zing burritos.  Seriously.  It worked.  I will make them again.  The kidney beans added a bit of earthy flavor, but I honestly didn’t think there was a huge difference from the black beans.  So, feel free to add the black beans in, but if you’re feeling slightly scatterbrained or have them on hand, I would recommend experimenting with the kidney beans.

Bean Burritos

Servings:  4 burritos


2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1 medium shallot (or small onion) chopped finely

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

Sea salt, to taste

1/3 cup water

One 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed (or black beans….)

One 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

Four 8-inch flour tortillas

Toppings:  Shredded cheese, lettuce (I used spinach-it worked), onions, tomatoes, etc.


1.  In a large sauté pan over medium heat, heat the oil until shimmering.

2. Add the shallot and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 4-5 minutes.

3. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and salt, and cook for about 1 more minute.

4.  Add the water and the beans to the mixture, and bring to a boil.

5. Once boiling, decrease the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes.

6. To assemble the burritos: spread a few tablespoons of the hot bean mixture in the center of the tortilla and top with additional garnishes as desired.  Roll the burrito, and serve immediately.


Sources:  Adapted from Annie’s Eats,  seen on Pink Parsley Catering, originally from Cooking Light.


January 8, 2012 - 10:19 am

Blog is the New Black - These look great to me, even with the kidney beans! Great fail! 😉

January 8, 2012 - 12:27 pm

Melissa @ Kids in the Sink - I always just sub in whatever beans I have on hand. I have made these too and they’re on our blog but I can’t even remember which beans we used. Just know they were delicious! Oh and I think ours had chipotle in them too. I love it when kitchen fails turn into something equally delicious!

January 8, 2012 - 2:41 pm

Claire - Ha, too funny, I was planning to make these but realized that I only had one can of beans and didn’t have that frozen bag of tortillas that I though I had. (Though, I guess that gives me all the reason to try Annie’s homemade tortilla recipe, eh?)

January 8, 2012 - 5:42 pm

Ann P. - I have a friend that would LOVE these! They seem way healthier than the bean burritos from the usual joints around my place 🙂

January 8, 2012 - 11:32 pm

sara - Yum, I love vegetarian burritos! These look really fantastic – yum! 🙂 Great photos!

January 8, 2012 - 11:37 pm

Laurel @ Lolly's Sweet & Savory Treats - Chocolate chip cookies were invented by accident! Sometimes mistakes are glorious- just like your bean burritos. These look delicious.

January 9, 2012 - 3:04 pm

Krissy @ Krissy's Creations - Bean Burritos are one of me and my husbands favorites! He doesn’t even miss the meat. Great recipe!

April 21, 2013 - 5:47 pm

Bean Burritos | Well Cooked - […] Recipe Link […]

May 8, 2013 - 10:54 am

Bean Burritos - […] For recipe visit: […]

May 8, 2013 - 3:02 pm

Val - I’m eating one of these Bean Burritos as I enter this comment….They are fantastic, followed the recipe, except left out the Pinto Beans (didn’t have any on hand). I didn’t try any substitutes. So with Kidney Beans only, the Burritos still are fantastic. As toppings I used fresh-made Pico de Gallo, chopped leafy Lettuce & a bit of grated cheese. Love your Blog, keep up with the great recipes….

May 8, 2013 - 3:07 pm

srlacy - Yay! So glad to hear that! Thanks, Val!

January 19, 2014 - 11:07 am

mark - just cooked these very nice indeed. i added a a bit of fresh coriander and a squeeze of lime juice but only because i had both to hand and needed to use.

thanks for the recipe

January 19, 2014 - 11:09 am

mark - just spotted the lime wedges in the pic so that must’ve been the inspiration. thanks again