Black Bean and Quinoa Freezer Burritos! These make-ahead vegetarian burritos are super easy to make, loaded with beans and veggies, and are freezer-friendly. Perfect for healthy lunch on the go or planning for busy times.
Last year when we renovated our kitchen, I insisted on putting in a side-by-side fridge and freezer. Most apartments here come with a rinkey-dink little fridge with a tiny freezer section at the bottom of it, and that just wasn’t going to cut it for this meal-prep aficionado.
When Niko was born we still lived in a smaller apartment with the aforementioned rinkey-dink freezer set up, and I PACKED that thing full of freezer meals. I got a lot in, because freezer tetris is one of my skills, but it pales in comparison to the meal prep I’m able to do now.
You know what another one of my skills is? Burrito rolling. I really missed my calling in that department. I should really be working at one of those wrap places where they cram an impressive amount of stuff into a super-sized tortilla, because I would be KILLING it.
Burrito roller of the month kind of a big deal. Burrito rolling hall of fame, probably.
Marry those two skills and what do we have? A beautiful Vegetarian Freezer Burrito love child.
Ok, so we’re going to make some freezer burritos today. Black Bean and Quinoa Freezer Burritos to be specific. Make ’em today, chuck them in the freezer, and you’ve got delicious veggie-packed black bean burritos on the ready whenever you need them.
When might you need a freezer burrito in your life? These are perfect if:
- You’re too tired to cook
- You forgot to pack your lunch and just need to grab something quick
- You’re an awesome friend and are making a batch for a new mom
- You just like to plan ahead
- You love tasty vegetarian burritos
- You want a meal idea that’s endlessly adaptable
What goes into these Freezer-Friendly Vegetarian Burritos?
Folks, don’t let the ingredient list intimidate you. Yes, there is a lot of chopping up front, but once that’s done these come together super quickly, and then you’ve got burritos on hand whenever you want. How awesome are you?! You’re gonna need:
- Large tortillas, preferably whole wheat.
- Beans! We’re going with black beans this time.
- Quinoa – we’re using this in place of rice to up the protein and reduce the carbs.
- Corn – frozen is totally fine.
- Red pepper – or whatever colour of pepper floats your boat.
- Garlic and onion
- Cheese – but you can totes skip this for vegan burritos.
How do you make these vegetarian freezer burritos?
It all starts with the filling, folks!
You’re going to want to bust out a nice large frying pan. Heat it up and add a bit of oil, then get in there with your aromatics (onion, garlic, jalapeno).
Once those are softened up, it’s time for the zucchini and red peppers to join the party. We want those to get a little bit browned, and a little bit soft but definitely not mushy.
Throw in the corn and tomatoes, followed closely by the quinoa, black beans, cilantro, and seasonings. We’re using cumin, smoked paprika, and chili powder, plus a bit of salt.
Stir it all together, taste to make sure it’s all good, and your filling is finished!
Now your filling is ready and it’s time to assemble your burritos. Take a deep breath. Have a glass of wine. It’s going to be ok.
The trick is taking a less is more approach if you’re a newbie in the burrito rolling department. If you over-stuff you’re burrito and you’re not a seasoned pro, it’s going to cause difficulties.
So perhaps buy a few extra tortillas and plan to make them a bit smaller but more of them if you need to.
I like to spoon filling onto the side of the tortilla that’s closest to me. Add a bit of cheese if you’re going that way. Then tuck the SIDES over the filling, followed by the long edge that’s facing you.
Use your hands to keep the sides tucked in while you fold the long edge over the filling, and then sort of scoop it back with your finger tips, tucking it slightly under the filling and finishing the roll.
Are you with me? No? Well here’s a handy burrito rolling tutorial.
Do I have to freeze these freezer burritos?
Lord, no. They’re your burritos so you do what you will. Want to make up a batch and eat ’em fresh? Be my guest!
What’s the best way to freeze burritos?
My preferred technique is to wrap them in foil and just chuck them into the freezer. You could also freeze them on a tray (as pictured above) and then transfer the burritos into a freezer bag once frozen.
How do I reheat frozen burritos?
You’ve got options! I tend to use the microwave, but you can also throw them into the oven at a low temperature until they’re nice and toasty.
How long will these burritos last in my freezer?
General wisdom / food safety guidelines suggest that up to three months is tickety boo for freezer meals.
Can I make these burritos vegan?
Yup! All you need to do is omit the cheese.
Can I make these burritos gluten-free?
Yup! You just need to find some gluten-free wraps and you’re in business.
Hey Nutrition Lady, what’s the deal with black beans?
Black 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.
Other tasty freezer-friendly meals you might enjoy:
Black Bean and Quinoa Freezer Burritos
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic crushed or minced
- 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 diced
- 1 cup cooked quinoa from about 1/2 cup uncooked
- 3 cups black beans approx two 14oz cans
- 1 Tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp hot smoked paprika
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 bunch cilantro chopped
- 1 cup shredded cheese optional
- 6 large whole wheat tortillas
- 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!
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the onions and sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and beginning to take on a bit of colour.
- Add the garlic and jalapeños and sauté for about 2 minutes more.
- 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.
- 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, chili, and salt. Stir to combine well.
- Taste, and adjust seasonings if necessary. Stir in the cilantro, and remove from the heat.
- 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!
- To freeze the burritos, wrap individually in foil or parchment paper, and place in a single layer in the freezer.
- 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!
- Nutrition values are an estimate only.
- What's the best way to freeze these burritos? My preferred technique is to wrap them in foil and just chuck them into the freezer. You could also freeze them on a tray (as pictured above) and then transfer the burritos into a freezer bag once frozen.
- How do I reheat these freezer burritos? You've got options! I tend to use the microwave, but you can also throw them into the oven at a low temperature until they're nice and toasty.
- How long will these burritos last in my freezer? General wisdom / food safety guidelines suggest that up to three months is fine for freezer meals.
- Can I make these burritos vegan? Yup! All you need to do is omit the cheese.
- Can I make these burritos gluten-free? Yup! You just need to find some gluten-free wraps and you're in business.
This recipe was originally published June 26, 2014. It was retested, rephotographed, and updated on September 7, 2018.