Pinto Bean and Swiss Chard Baked Burritos

posted in: Main Dish, Tex-Mex, Vegetarian        date:

pinto bean burritos

Vegetarian dinners are pretty regular at our house, and I’m always looking for new meatless main dishes that aren’t pasta. This has been even more true lately, thanks to my weird pregnancy appetite. I am lucky in that I haven’t suffered from morning sickness with either of my pregnancies, but I still have days where nothing sounds good to eat (and days where the complete opposite is true).

I’ve craved Mexican food even more than usual lately, which is to say basically all the time, but my on-again, off-again meat aversion has kept me from satisfying that craving. Given my love for all sorts of Mexican food, it should come as no surprise that finding a good recipe for vegetarian burritos was a total win for me, meat aversion or not. I’m usually wary of greens in burritos and enchiladas because they seem to get too wilted, but the Swiss chard holds up wonderfully. Flavorful rice and beans, along with a good dose of cheese, bulk up the filling. These burritos are so hearty and delicious that I was happy to eat the leftovers for lunch for several days in a row, and that rarely happens. Serve them with chips and tomatillo salsa or guacamole on the side, and you’ve got yourself a perfect dinner. Bonus: they freeze wonderfully, which means I’ll have an awesome meal to have ready to go once the baby arrives (in the next eight or so weeks!), assuming I can make another batch and manage to not eat them all before then.

pinto bean burritos

  • YIELD: 6 burritos
  • 2¼ cups vegetable broth, divided

  • ¾ cup brown rice, rinsed

  • 6 cloves garlic, minced, divided

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • ¼ cup minced fresh cilantro

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 teaspoon minced chipotle chile in adobo sauce

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 pound Swiss chard, stemmed and sliced into 1-inch wide strips

  • 1 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed, divided

  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

  • 6 10-inch flour tortillas

  • 10 ounces Monterey jack cheese, shredded (about 2½ cups), divided


To freeze the cooked burritos, place on a sheet pan lined with parchment and freeze until solid. Store in an airtight container, and reheat in the microwave or oven.

  • 1

    Combine 1¼ cups of broth, rice, half the garlic and ½ teaspoon of salt in a small saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook until the rice is tender and broth has been absorbed, about 45 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to sit, covered, for 10 minutes. Add the cilantro and fluff with a fork. Cover to keep warm.

  • 2

    Meanwhile, heat the oil in a Dutch oven set over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, chipotle, cumin, oregano, remaining garlic and remaining ½ teaspoon of salt. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chard and ½ cup of the broth. Cover and simmer until the chard is tender, about 15 minutes.

  • 3

    Combine half the beans with the remaining ½ cup of broth in a medium bowl. Using a fork or potato masher, coarsely mash the beans, then stir into the pot. Cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid is nearly evaporated, about 3 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the lime juice and remaining whole beans. Cover to keep warm.

  • 4

    Adjust an oven rack to 6 inches underneath the broiler element and heat the broiler. Wrap tortillas in a damp dish towel and microwave until warm and pliable, about 1 minute. Lay warm tortillas on a work surface. Mound warm rice, chard-bean mixture and 1½ cups of the cheese in the center of the tortillas, close to the bottom edge. Working with 1 tortilla at a time, fold the sides of the tortilla over the filling, then fold up the bottom of the tortilla, pulling back on it firmly to tightly wrap around the filling and into a burrito.

    Place the burritos seam side down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of cheese over the top. Broil until the cheese is melted and starting to brown, 3-5 minutes. Serve warm.

  • If you haven’t actually bought that ATK cookbook yet, then you NEED TO! It is seriously my favorite cookbook. I’m kind of kicking myself that I haven’t made these yet even after hearing Annie rave about them…need to change that. I wonder if they would freeze well for after baby…

    • They do! I am definitely making a batch to keep in the freezer. I’ve already frozen some with great results, but there’s only one left. I can’t believe we’ll be meeting our little babes soon!

  • Delicious—even better than the sum of their parts! I shouldn’t be surprised since I love America’s Test Kitchen and Tex-Mex. Between chopping, stirring, and cleaning up as I went, they did take a little longer than expected; I was surprised that I found myself hands-on almost the whole time. Worth it!

    • I totally agree! This one is still a big favorite here.