Smothered Cheese & Bean Burritos

Perhaps like us you have been blessed with a vegetarian in your family. If so, give thanks for Cheese and Bean Burritos. Even a confirmed carnivore like me finds them a tasty and satisfying main dish for a meatless meal.

Our grandson Will is a vegetarian who really does not like vegetables very much. Going on eleven, he is doing much better than one of his distant cousins who seems to subsist exclusively on a diet of bread and ketchup. Will does like beans and cheese, which explains how I came upon this recipe.

He and I have made these cheese and bean burritos together a half dozen times now. He grates the cheese and sprinkles it on the filling as I spoon on the bean mixture and roll the tortillas.

We make an even better team eating them. Though I have never managed more than two, he once downed three of them. He is, after all, a growing boy.


1 medium onion (3 inch diameter)
4 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 (16 ounce) can black beans
1 (16 ounce) can pinto beans
2 cups enchilada sauce
1/2 cup salsa
1 T cumin
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
8 – 10 large flour tortillas
2 T water
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese


Preheat the oven to 350º.

Peel and chop the onion medium fine. Peel and mince the garlic. Open and drain the beans. Put three tablespoons of vegetable oil in a two quart saucepan over low heat and cook the garlic and onion until it is translucent.

Spoon half of each can of beans over the onions and mash them with a potato masher, then stir in the rest of the beans. Add a cup of enchilada sauce, a half cup of salsa, the cumin, salt and pepper. Stir over low heat and simmer for three or four minutes.

Grate the cheese while the bean mixture is simmering.

Put about three tablespoons of bean mixture in a row about a quarter of the way up on a tortilla. Sprinkle the mixture with cheese. Fold about a quarter of the tortilla over the mixture, then fold in the ends and roll up the tortilla to make a burrito. Arrange the burritos seam side down in a greased 9 x 13 inch glass baking dish.

Mix the two tablespoons of water with the remaining enchilada sauce and pour it evenly over the burritos. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the sauce and bake, covered, for about twenty minutes.

Pass extra salsa and serve with your favorite beverage. Try a glass of root beer or a good ale.

NOTES: We use medium salsa, so our burritos are pretty mild. If you prefer spicier food, try hot salsa or add some hot sauce to the bean mixture.

Burritos are the Mexican version of a sandwich, a hand-held food you can eat on the go. Fast food vendors were selling tortillas with various fillings in Tenochtitlan (modern Mexico City) five hundred years ago, but the modern burrito apparently was invented in the 19th century. If you cook burritos with sauce, like enchiladas, they are “smothered” and meant to be eaten with a fork.

One thought on “Smothered Cheese & Bean Burritos”

  1. I can’t wait to try this Chuck! “Sometimes” I do the Meatless Monday thing and these sound great!


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