About five years ago, another lady and I would get together every few months and cook together for a whole day making some freezer recipes. She and I would split up the food; and at the end of the day, we would each have a freezer full of meals. Best of all would be the fellowship we would share all day. Much laughter was had in our not-so-fashionable clothes and pulled-back hair. Our children would run through the house, enjoying their “play-date.” It was our work-day, but we let them think we had arranged the fun day just for them. As we started this venture, we had to find some freezer-friendly recipes. We discovered some that were great, and some that were not-so-great. I found out that the Quick Cooking Magazine (now called Simple and Delicious), had two pages of freezer recipes. So for three years, I ordered a subscription. It was in this magazine that I found the recipe for Make-Ahead Burritos.
It is one of the few recipes that I do still on my own (my friend has since moved away.) I like them, but my father, teenage nephew, husband, and brother-in-laws love them! I have given them away as a part of meals when someone is in need. I have posted the actual recipe below and my deviations from the actual recipe.
- 3 cups shredded chicken or beef (I will use chicken or ground beef.)
- 1 jar (16 ounces) salsa (I use my own home-made mild-medium canned salsa!)
- 1 can (16 ounces) refried beans
- 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies, drained (I do not use–we don’t love spice that much!)
- 1 envelope burrito seasoning (I use only about 2/3 envelope of Aldis taco seasoning–or season to your own taste.)
- 1/2 cup water
- 16 flour tortillas (8 inches), warmed (I use the burrito size; I try to get ones that are thinner and more flexible. )
- 16 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, cut into 5-inch x 1/2-in. strips (I use Colby-Jack usually, and I have used mild cheddar cheese as well.)
- In a large skillet, combine the meat, salsa, beans, chilies, seasoning and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until heated through.
- Spoon about 1/3 cup off-center on each tortilla.
- Top with a cheese strip.
- Fold edge of tortilla nearest filling over to cover. Fold ends of tortilla over filling and roll up. Wrap individually in aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 2 months.
**Here is the best change I have made with the directions in this recipe: I do not follow the direction below for the heating of the burritos, but instead I bake all of the burritos right away at 350° for 25 minutes.
Then we eat some for dinner and allow the rest to cool. After they cool, I freeze them.
When we want to eat them, I can just unwrap them from the aluminum foil and warm them up in the microwave instead of having to bake them. It would be best if I remembered to take them out earlier to let them defrost; but if I don’t, they just take a little longer to warm up in the microwave. If they are not baked when they are first made, then they will have to be baked before they can be eaten. My friend tried to just freeze them without baking them like the directions say and then later heat them up in the microwave. It did not work!
I give these to my dad for Father’s Day (his request), and he eats them for breakfast before he goes to work. I make about 35 of these, freeze them, take them on our family vacation with my side of the family, and they become one of our main meals. It is nice to be able to microwave them at my grandma’s house when she has up to 25 people all trying to eat dinner in her tiny house! I’ve given them to a friend who had cancer and was undergoing chemotherapy, but had a teenage son and husband who still needed to eat. They could take them out and microwave them themselves. So I love the fact that they can be microwaved.
Directions in the original recipe if you wish to freeze and bake later:
- To use frozen burritos: Place foil packets on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes or until heated through. If thawed, bake for 25-30 minutes. Yield: 16 burritos.