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Turn your leftover chili into a delicious and satisfying meal with this Chili Burrito recipe! Packed with the bold flavors of hearty chili, this easy-to-make burrito is a perfect solution for repurposing leftovers and creating a mouthwatering meal in every bite.
If you’ve got leftover chili, a can of your favorite chili, or even just a can of beans, you can make this easy chili burrito! Add some leftover rice, dairy-free cheese, and your favorite toppings for a simple yet delicious meal you can whip up any time!
I love making a big batch of chili, but after several days, it’s nice to mix it up by throwing it into a burrito. These easy chili burritos are reminiscent of a Taco Bell chili cheese burrito, but better—packed with more flavor and filling ingredients. In fact, it’s more like a Chipotle burrito, with rice and all the best toppings but without the price tag. What’s not to love?
Why you’ll love this recipe
If you need more convincing, here are more reasons why you’re going to want to make these burritos all the time:
- Effortless Meal: Say goodbye to boring leftovers! This Chili Burrito recipe transforms your leftover chili into a brand-new recipe, saving you time and effort in the kitchen.
- Customizable: Personalize your burrito by adding your favorite toppings like creamy guacamole, cheesy shreds, or zesty salsa. This recipe is versatile, allowing you to tailor it to your taste preferences and experiment with different combinations.
- Quick Weeknight Dinner: Perfect for busy days, this recipe is quick and convenient, providing a satisfying meal without sacrificing on taste. It’s a go-to option for those looking to whip up a delicious dinner in a pinch.
- Economical and Sustainable: Reduce food waste by repurposing leftover chili into a completely new and delectable dish.
Ingredient notes and substitutions
You don’t need much to make this tasty chili cheese burrito! Here’s what you need:
- Large Burrito-Sized Flour Tortillas: Choose soft and pliable tortillas that are at least 10 inches in diameter. Any soft tortilla will work so feel free to use gluten-free tortillas, whole wheat, or any other variety you prefer.
- Refried Beans: Opt for fat-free refried beans to add a creamy and satisfying element to your burrito without compromising on health. This also helps hold all the filling ingredients together. Use regular pinto refried beans or try black bean re-fried beans for a fun twist!
- Leftover Chili: Give new life to your leftover chili by incorporating it into this burrito recipe. Any chili can work: chili sin carne, three-bean chili, or even canned chili. Even your favorite beans work in a pinch. Add some chili seasoning to give it more flavor.
- Cooked Rice: Enhance the burrito’s heartiness by including cooked rice. Whether you prefer the fluffiness of white rice, the nuttiness of brown rice, or flavorful Mexican rice, this ingredient adds a delightful balance to the dish.
- Avocado: Sliced or mashed avocado adds a creamy component. If you really want to up the flavor, try adding this incredible homemade guacamole.
- Shredded Dairy-Free Cheddar Cheese: For a cheesy indulgence without dairy, opt for shredded dairy-free cheddar. This optional ingredient adds a melty and savory layer to your burrito.
- Fresh Cilantro Leaves: If you’re a cilantro lover like me, you know this ingredient is a must. Sprinkle it over your burrito filling before rolling it up. Not a fan? You can leave it out.
- Salsa or Hot Sauce: Tailor the heat level of your burrito by topping it with your favorite salsa or hot sauce!
For exact measurements, check out the printable recipe card below.
How to make chili burritos
Here’s the step-by-step process for making this chili cheese burrito recipe.
To prepare the tortillas, heat them in a dry skillet or microwave for approximately 20 seconds so that they become pliable and easy to roll up. Lay each warm tortilla on a flat, clean surface and evenly spread a layer of the refried beans at the center.
Next, layer on the chili, cooked rice, avocado slices, and, if desired, shredded vegan cheese, along with a sprinkling of cilantro leaves.
Fold in the sides of the tortilla, then roll it up from the bottom to form a tightly sealed burrito.
In a large skillet over medium heat, place the burritos seam side down and cook for 3-4 minutes per side until the tortilla becomes a light golden brown color and has a crispy texture. Serve your delicious burritos with your preferred salsa or hot sauce for an extra kick of flavor.
Tips & Tricks
- Heat up your chili before using to make sure everything is properly heated and melds together. I like to heat up my chili in the microwave before adding it to my burritos.
- If your chili has a lot of liquid, place it in a fine mesh strainer over the sink to remove some of the water before using. This will help keep your burritos from becoming too soggy and prevent them from crisping up.
Make your chili cheese burritos extra special by customizing it with your favorite variations. Here are some ideas to mix it up:
- Veggie Heavy – Add some more fiber, texture, and flavor by adding some fajita veggies or even just some diced onions to the filling.
- Creamy – Spoon some dairy-free sour cream over the filling before rolling it up.
- Freshen It Up – If you don’t have salsa, add some fresh tomatoes diced up or make pico de gallo. If you’re not a fan of tomatoes, try this roasted corn salsa!
- Like it spicy? Add some chili powder or cayenne pepper to your burrito filling. Don’t forget a drizzle of your favorite hot sauce. Want something more mild? Add some diced green chiles for a mild heat.
- Smothered – Make a smothered burrito by topping it with some tomato sauce or enchilada sauce.
I like to make my chili burritos right before serving, but they also are great for meal prep. Simply wrap each burrito individually in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
Refrigerate: If you plan to consume your burritos soon, you can store them in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Freezer: For longer storage, they can be stored in the freezer for 2-3 months.
Reheat: When ready to enjoy, unwrap the burrito and reheat in the microwave on a microwave-safe plate. Cover with a damp paper towel so the tortilla doesn’t dry out, and heat for about 3 minutes or until heated through, flipping the burrito over halfway through.
Frequently asked questions
The chili cheese burrito at Taco Bell was originally known as the “Chilito.” It was a menu item that feature chili and cheese wrapped in a tortilla. Over time, Taco Bell changed the name, and in some regions it has been known by different names, including the “chili cheese burrito” or simple “chili burrito.”
Easy Chili Cheese Burrito
- 4 large burrito-sized flour tortillas about 10 inch
- ¼ cup refried beans fat-free
- 2 cups leftover chili Three Bean Chili, Chili Sin Carne, or even canned chili
- 1 cup cooked rice white or brown
- 1 avocado sliced
- ½ cup shredded dairy-free cheddar cheese optional
- fresh cilantro leaves chopped
- salsa or hot sauce for serving (optional)
- Warm the tortillas in a dry skillet or microwave for about 20 seconds to make them pliable.4 large burrito-sized flour tortillas
- Lay the tortillas on a flat, clean surface, and spread 1⁄4 of the refried beans in the center of each tortilla.¼ cup refried beans
- Top with chili, cooked rice, avocado slices, shredded vegan cheese (if using) and cilantro leaves.2 cups leftover chili, 1 cup cooked rice, 1 avocado, ½ cup shredded dairy-free cheddar cheese, fresh cilantro leaves
- Fold in the sides of the tortilla and then roll it up from the bottom to create your burrito. Repeat with the rest of the tortillas.
- Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place the burritos seam side down in the skillet and heat for 3-4 minutes per side until lightly browned and crispy.
- Serve with your favorite salsa or hot sauce.salsa or hot sauce