Instant Pot Rice & Bean Burritos
Burritos for dinner, burritos for the freezer!
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Now, on to the recipe!
I live in Los Angeles, which is a taco town. So I try not to announce the fact that I secretly love burritos even more. This recipe makes a big batch of burrito filling, so you can have them for dinner one night and then squirrel away a small batch of burritos in your freezer.
A batch of homemade frozen burritos in your freezer will make you feel like an MVP (most valuable parent). You can defrost them for lunch, after-school snacks, or quick dinners. They also make a very thoughtful and practical gift for new parents.
Instant Pot rice and bean burritos are a choose your own adventure recipe. No matter which option you choose, you’ll end up full and happy.
Option 1: Follow this recipe exactly for seasoned rice and bean vegetarian burrito filling. Roll up tortillas with the rice and bean filling, plus toppings like cheese, cabbage, cilantro, etc.
Option 2: Make the rice and bean burrito filling, and then add meat that you have cooked separately. You can add cooked, shredded chicken or cooked ground beef, or my personal favorite, Instant Pot Pork Butt that you made earlier in the week.
Option 3: Skip the tortillas, and serve the rice and beans in a bowl with all of your favorite burrito toppings.
The recipe below includes details about these three options, plus other variations. If you still have questions, just let me know in the comments section.
Instant Pot Burritos
Servings: 6 to 8 burritos, depending on the size
Cooking Method: Instant Pot
Approximate Total Cooking Time: 1 hour, mostly hands-off
8 minutes for the Instant Pot to reach pressure + 22 minutes cooking time + 10 minute natural release = 40 minutes + time to grate cheese and prep other toppings
2 cups brown rice
2 ½ cups water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 15-ounce can black or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
Plus Optional Toppings (add after the rice and beans cook)
2 cups grated cheddar or other cheese, plus more to taste
Meat - you can add any type of cooked meat, such as shredded chicken or pork or ground beef
Green onion, chopped (I use kitchen shears to snip green onions, it’s easier)
2 large handfuls shredded cabbage or shredded iceberg lettuce
Combine the first 7 ingredients in the Instant Pot: brown rice, water, vegetable oil, salt, chili powder, garlic powder and smoked paprika. Mix well.
Cook on high pressure for 22 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for at least 10 minutes, then release any remaining pressure.
Fluff the rice with a fork. Gently stir in the beans. Add salt to taste.
You can stir other toppings into the rice or let each family member add what they want to their burrito. (I like to immediately add grated cheese to the pot because it melts into the rice)
If you’re freezing the burritos, see the section below “how to freeze burritos” to learn which toppings freeze well.
(scroll to the bottom for a printable version of this recipe)
How to Roll Burritos
First, a few tips:
You can make small burritos (7-inch flour tortillas) but they’re harder to roll up. Big burritos (10-inch flour tortillas) hold more filling and are easier to wrap up.
Warm each tortilla in the microwave for 10 seconds right before you fill it, which makes the tortilla more pliable and less likely to tear.
I’m famous for over-stuffing burritos, so maybe don’t take my advice, but I usually scoop about ¾ cup of the rice and bean filling onto the tortilla, then add the other toppings.
Put the scoop of rice and beans just below the center of the tortilla and closest to the edge near you. Add any additional toppings.
Fold the short sides in. Then fold the bottom up and over the sides and over most of the filling. Try to tuck the tortilla under the filling, then cinch the tortilla tight over the filling and squeeze a little bit to secure, then continue rolling up tightly. Need a visual? Here’s a helpful video that shows how to roll a burrito.
If you want a crispy tortilla (trust me, you do!) warm a tablespoon or two of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add burritos seam side down and cook until golden brown, flipping once, for a total of 3 to 5 minutes.
Sometimes, my kids prefer to make themselves a quesadilla with a little bit of rice and beans instead of a burrito because they’re easier to eat. Totally fine!
If you don’t want to make burritos or quesadillas, then serve rice & bean bowls with toppings. Also delicious!
How to Freeze Burritos
Toppings like sour cream, salsa, avocado and shredded lettuce don’t freeze well. Leave them out if you’re freezing the burritos. You can add cheese, green onion, cilantro, crunchy red or green cabbage, and/or cooked meat to frozen burritos.
After you roll up the burrito, wrap it in foil. Place it in a freezer bag (you can put multiple burritos in the freezer bag together)
Freeze burritos for up to 3 months.
When you want to eat one, take it out of the freezer and remove the foil. Microwave the frozen burrito for 2 to 3 minutes, then fry it in a pan with oil to crisp up the tortilla.
Or, heat the frozen burrito in the oven (still wrapped in foil) for 20 to 25 minutes at 375 degrees.
Substitutions and Additions
Instead of adding chili powder, garlic powder and smoked paprika, you can substitute 1 tablespoon of you favorite taco seasoning.
You can skip the seasonings all together and just make plain rice and beans.
If you have time, you can can sauté 1 cup of finely chopped onion in the Instant Pot before adding the first 7 ingredients.
You can add a 4oz can of diced green chiles to the rice before it cooks.
Brown rice works best for this recipe. White rice needs a different cooking time, and tends to be too bland and sticky for burritos.