black bean and quinoa freezer burritos

black bean and quinoa freezer burritos // the muffin myth

Hi, my name is Katie and I’m a lunch packer.

If you’ve been hanging around here for any length of time you’ve probably already figured this out. I plan meals. I pack meals. I prep in advance. One might even say I’m a bit compulsive about it, but I don’t care. I like having all of my ducks in a row, and I dislike having to think about what to eat. I also dislike feeling frenzied in the morning before work, so I really like when everything is done in advance.

black bean and quinoa freezer burritos // the muffin myth

Please know that this is essentially the only aspect of my life in which I’m this organized. In every other way I’m pretty much a complete disaster. I’m chronically late, my hair is a mess because I attempt to cut the back myself between appointments, I don’t know much about makeup or shoes, and although I exercise often it is somewhat begrudgingly. We’re all just people, right?

Anyways, I’m a lunch packer. So I’m sure you can imagine that when I go traveling and I’m not home during my normal lunch packing /organizing time AND our return flight gets us home in the wee hours of Monday morning when I’ve got to be at the office by 9, I’ve got a problem. What the heck am I going to do about lunch?

black bean and quinoa freezer burritos // the muffin myth

Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like you to meet my BFF, my main squeeze, and the apple of my manic meal-planning eye, THE FREEZER!

I can’t tell you how many times individual portions of healthy meals stashed in the freezer has saved my butt. Remember last summer when I came back from my vacation with a broken ankle? That sucked. But luckily I had made a batch of freezer burritos before I went away, so I had lunches sorted for the first week I was back at work.

Those times I was working bonkers long hours AND getting up in the wee hours of the morning to work on my thesis? Coming back from Istanbul in the wee hours of Monday morning? Thank you freezer! And thank you ME for having the foresight to make freezer burritos in the first place.

black bean and quinoa freezer burritos // the muffin myth

Who doesn’t need a handy batch of burritos in their freezer? No one, that’s who! These black bean and quinoa burritos whip up pretty quickly, and they freeze and reheat like a charm.

Why quinoa? Well, the rice that is so often the filler turns burritos into a carb on carb situation (read the nutrition info on your tortillas, they’re often equivalent to 2 or 3 slices of bread) so I’ve replaced it with the protein-rich super-seed. Black beans, corn, and a whole mess of veggies round the situation out into a tasty and nutritious meal.

black bean and quinoa freezer burritos // the muffin myth

I used a bit of jalapeño cheese in my burritos because hello, cheese + burrito = delicious, but it’s totally not necessary and can easily be left out for a 100% vegan burrito. Also, you totally don’t have to freeze these. You could whip them up and have a big old burrito bonanza on the spot if you’d prefer. But if you *do* want to freeze them I fully encourage individually wrapping  those cute little burrito butts in foil or parchment and tossing them in the freezer for another day.

To enjoy your freezer burrito you can a) bake it in the oven from frozen, b) microwave it (take off the foil first!) or c) let it defrost and enjoy at room temp. It’s the easiest packed lunch ever because you’ve done the work way in advance. I promise you, you won’t regret it one bit.

MM_Know_Icon_FINALBlack beans are a good source of folate, dietary fiber, protein, phosphorus, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium and vitamin K. The protein-plus-fiber combination in black beans is one of the things that makes them special. A one cup serving contains 15g of fiber (over half of the daily recommended intake), and 15g of protein. Much of the fiber is indigestible, which supports digestive health, particularly in the lower part of our digestive tract. The protein-fiber combination is also key in stabilizing blood sugar levels, as both protein and fiber move through our digestive systems at a moderate pace. Black beans are also rich in soluble fiber, which is helpful for lowering blood cholesterol levels and supporting cardiovascular health. You know what they say, beans beans good for the heart… but if the second part of that rhyme concerns you, be sure to discard the soaking water when cooking dried beans. You’ll be tossing out a good amount of flatulence causing compounds, as well as some of the phytates and tannins that lower nutrient availability.

Quinoa not only has a very high protein content (about 18%), but this super seed also contains a complete set of essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. It’s a great source of dietary fiber, phosphorous, and is high in magnesium and iron.

black bean and quinoa freezer burritos // the muffin myth

Two years ago: Goat Cheese, Arugula, and Honey Baguette 

5.0 from 3 reviews
black bean and quinoa freezer burritos
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
There is a good amount of chopping to make these burritos, but if you do it all at once the filling comes together quickly. I use a garlic crusher basically 100% of the time when a recipe calls for minced garlic (it's waaaaaay faster than mincing), and I totally encourage you to do the same. To make it vegan: leave out the cheese. To make it gluten-free: use gluten-free tortillas.
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp canola or grape seed oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ - 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely minced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 cup corn kernels (fresh, frozen, or canned are all fine)
  • 1 large tomato, dice
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (from about ½ cup uncooked
  • 3 cups cooked black beans (2 cans)
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp hot smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp chile powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ a bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded jalapeño cheese (optional)
  • 6 large whole wheat tortillas
Instructions
  1. Start by getting all of your chopping out of the way, it'll help everything come together faster once you start cooking. Chop the onion, crush the garlic, mince the jalapeño, dice the zucchini and red pepper, and set everything into little bowls or on plates. Now you're ready to go!
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the onions and sauté for about 6-8 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and beginning to take on a bit of colour.
  4. Add the garlic and jalapeños and sauté for about 2 minutes more.
  5. Now add the zucchini and red pepper and sauté for 8-10 minutes. The vegetables should be softened but not mushy, and just starting to brown.
  6. At this point add the corn, and tomato and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture is well heated. Add the quinoa, black beans, cumin, smoked paprika, chile, and salt. Stir to combine well.
  7. Taste, and adjust seasonings if necessary. Stir in the cilantro, and remove from the heat.
  8. Now you're ready to roll! Divide the burrito filling between the six tortillas (or more if you want smaller burritos), sprinkle with cheese if desired, and roll!
  9. If you're freezing the burritos, wrap individually in foil or parchment paper, and place in a single layer in the freezer. You can totally stack 'em, the worst case is that they may be a bit misshapen, but I assure you your stomach will never know.
  10. To enjoy your freezer burrito you can plan ahead and pull one out of the freezer the night before, or just grab one straight from the freezer in the morning. I let mine thaw beside me on my desk, then heat it up in the office microwave at lunch time. Enjoy!

 

 

Comments

      • Patti says

        Do you know the nutrition values of the freezer burritos? looking to make healthy choices without eating more than 1 serving? Thanks

        Patti

        • says

          Hi Patti,

          I don’t provide nutrition values with my recipes as they can be triggering for some people who struggle with disordered eating, and I like to take a whole foods approach to nutrition where counting calories etc isn’t necessary. But! There are great recipe calculators online. For when I need nutrition information (working with my clients) I like to use My Fitness Pal. You can simply paste the recipe URL into their calculator and it will do the work for you!

  1. says

    Freezer burritos are always such a lifesaver when you need FOOD RIGHT NOW. I love the idea of switching up the usual rice with quinoa!

  2. says

    I’m also a plan-ahead meal cooker. Sometimes my husband will wake me up on his way out the door to ask “what was I supposed to take for lunch today?” haha. Love these freezer burritos! Definitely going to make a batch and stick them in there for days I don’t have time to cook!

    • says

      That’s funny! My husband is a plan ahead lunch packer himself, so you should see our fridge on a Sunday night! It’s like playing Tetris trying to pack everything in.

  3. says

    I so admire your lunch organisation – so many mornings I find myself just about to head out the door when I remember about lunch and have to throw something together from whatever I can find in the freezer. I’m definitely going to take some lessons from you!

    • says

      Aww thanks Kathryn! As I said, this is really the only aspect of life in which I’m organized. But it definitely makes a huge difference to my daily living and ability to eat healthy on busy days. Get into it!

  4. Shannon says

    is it necessary to let the filling cool before rolling the burritos? Thanks, recipe looks and smells amazing! 🙂

  5. Marina Mochar says

    I finally got around to making these and they are absolutely delicious! My 20 year old son and husband thought they were great too and they’re not always a fan of vegetarian dishes. I will definitely be making these again. I wasn’t sure when to add the beans or how much exactly. I used canned black beans and rinsed them before adding them, hoping that was right but it tasted good. 🙂 it took me about an hour and a half to make them…I must chop slow…

    • says

      Hi Marina! Did you get the recipe by email? I forgot the beans when I hit publish, but quickly edited the recipe to include the quantity and instructions for adding them in! The emailed posts are always the original version, so they come with any mistakes I didn’t catch before I hit publish, unfortunately. Anyways, glad you liked them! It is a lot of chopping but I think worth the effort!

    • says

      I haven’t run them through a nutritional calculator – it would really depend on the type of tortillas you used, if you included cheese, etc. There are some good online calculators if you are so inclined, I quite like SparkPeople for recipe calculations.

  6. Sheri says

    Just made these and used Daiya cheese to keep them vegan. OMG soooo good! I ended up with 10 burritos. So nice to have healthy meals ready and waiting! Thank you so much for the recipe!

    • says

      I’m so glad you liked them! Daiya cheese is a great option for keeping them vegan. 10 burritos in the freezer is great for upcoming grab and go meals. Way to go!

  7. Monica F says

    I just discovered this recipe and your blog. Perfect timing since we are starting to make meals to freeze for school lunches. So nice to find yummy vegetarian meals. Thanks!

  8. Terri says

    I just made these and very easy to do- my only ask would be tips on rolling burritos. I think there must be an easier way but love the make a heads!

  9. Rebecca says

    Love the convenience! If taken from freezer in foil to cook in oven… what temperature for the oven and how long to bake from frozen? I assume you leave it in the foil if it is in the oven is that the best way?

    • says

      To be honest I usually let them thaw at room temperature and then either heat in the microwave (no foil) or eat at room temp. To reheat in the oven I would think that around 180°C / 350°F for about 30 minutes should do the trick.

    • says

      Hi Kelly, the black beans should be cooked prior to going into the burrito filling (if you’re using canned beans they’re already cooked) but once you’ve cooked up the burrito filling you’re good to go! You can eat them right away, or toss them in the freezer as is.

  10. Toni says

    These were really good. I put in green peas instead of zucchini cos shopping and they got the rare tick of approval from mr 10.

  11. jpie says

    Just wanted to let you know that I *love* these burritos. My fella and I have made three batches thus far, and we actually get 10 burritos out of the recipe which means two for dinner and eight for the freezer. We use three ears of corn (so more than a cup) and cook the quinoa with veggie broth, but those are the only changes we’ve made, and they are fantastic. Thank you kindly!

    • says

      So glad to hear that, Jodie! This reminds me I need to whip up another batch of these soon. Fresh ears of corn sounds like it would be perfect in these, I’ll keep it in mind for when corn is in season this summer. Yum!

  12. David says

    I just came across this post and I must say, it’s a god send. You’ve probably never heard this one before, but I’m a vegan Body Builder so I plan, plan, plan meals. Even further, I also pack lunches and since I normally work out in the mornings before work, I try and make packing a lunch as quick and painless as possible.

    This Recipe is amazing!

    • says

      Thanks David! Glad you enjoyed this recipe so much. It’s definitely one of my favourites (along with the butternut squash freezer burritos) and I like to have a batch on hand at all times for easy healthy lunches. Yay!

  13. Brandi says

    Found your site through Pinterest (thank-you all mighty Pinterest!) Just made these to take for lunches this week and the filling is so tasty! I’m not a fan of zucchini, so I replaced it with mushrooms and some spinach. Such a versatile recipe, love it!

    • says

      Funny – I’m not a fan of mushrooms so I never post recipes using them, but good to know they’re a good sub for zucchini here. Glad you enjoyed the burritos, and all hail Pinterest!

    • says

      Definitely! The cheese is basically just a garnish for those who want. They’re delish with cheese, but if you’re vegan or just don’t like cheese, you can certainly leave it out.

  14. Helen says

    I stumbled upon this blog in an effort to get out of my fast food for lunch every day at work rut. I made a big batch of these to freeze. They are delicious! I can’t remember the last time I was excited about a packed lunch. I’m looking forward to trying your other recipes. Thank you!

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