This recipe has been updated from the September 2011 version
Before kids, I used to buy those frozen bean and cheese burritos at the grocery store. I didn’t grow up eating burritos, but it was something that caught on in my young adulthood and has stuck with me.
Looking back at old posts, I realize I was kind of obsessed with coming up with my own recipe for freezer bean and cheese burritos. I went from using a pot to the slow cooker to the instant pot, which makes the whole process a lot easier.
So, I adapted my old recipe for the instant pot about a year ago and am finally getting around to posting it. Now seems like a good time, especially with hungry kids at home for lunch. All you do is zap it in the microwave and top it with avocado, salsa, or whatever you like.
What I love about using the instant pot is that it cuts down the cooking time significantly. That being said, I include directions for using the pot or slow cooker if you prefer one of those methods.
I usually make these as part of my weekly prep on the weekend, setting aside a couple of hours and making other stuff while waiting on the beans. You can also use this recipe to make pinto beans for dinner or mash them to have a nutritious refried version.
Here’s the step-by-step process.
Start with beans
Take the pinto beans and rinse them in a colander removing the beans that are cracked or discolored.
Add the beans to the instant pot with two bay leaves and 5 cups of water. Turn it on high pressure for 45 minutes and let it naturally release for about 15 minutes.
Once the beans are done, remove the pot and let the beans cool for 5-10 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and reserve about one cup of cooking liquid. In a small pot, cook the garlic with the oil until fragrant and add it to the beans. Then add the salt, red pepper, and black pepper. Mash the beans with a potato masher, but you can also use an immersion blender. The beans are usually a little goopy at this point.
I let them rest for another 15 minutes or so to absorb more water. If they are stiff, I add the reserved cooking liquid. If not, it’s time to make burritos.
Make the Burritos
Take the whole wheat tortilla wraps/tortialls and spoon the beans down the middle. I make about half of them bigger burritos with a hearty amount of beans and some cheese and fold the bottom up and both sides over. The other half I make with fewer beans, more cheese, and roll up the tortilla (the way my son likes them).
Then I put them in large freezer bags and into the freezer they go. To prepare, just put in the microwave on high for just over a minute per side and less than a minute (50 seconds) for the smaller ones. Let cool and eat.
Of course, you can add more or different spices, veggies, or anything else. Make them your own.
- 1 pound (2 cups) dry pinto beans
- 2 bay leaves
- 5 cups of water
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1-2 tsp salt
- ½ tsp red pepper
- 15 cranks fresh ground pepper
- Large flour tortillas or wraps
- Mexican blend grated cheese
- Put pinto beans into a colander and rinse them removing ones that are cracked or discolored. Add beans to the instant pot* with water and bay leaves. Turn on high pressure for 45 minutes.
- Once the beans are done, let the beans cool for 5-10 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and about a cup full of liquid.
- Cook the garlic in the oil until it sizzles and add it to the beans. Then add the salt, red pepper, and black pepper.
- Mash the beans with a potato masher, but you can also use an immersion blender. The beans are usually a little goopy at this point. Let them rest about 15 more minutes to absorb the water. If they are too stiff add more of the reserved cooking liquid until they reach the desired consistency.
- Make burritos by putting beans down the middle and topping with cheese. Fold the bottom of the tortilla up and then fold over both sides. You can also make burritos by rolling them after adding beans and cheese.
- Place into freezer bags and into the freezer. To heat up, put in the microwave for about 1 minute per side (time may vary). Let cook a few minutes before eating.
- *Slow cooker: Add pinto beans and bay leaves with 7 cups water and cook on low for 8-10 hours (check the beans after 8).
- *Large pot: Put the beans in a big pot with 8 cups of water and bay leaves. Cook on high and cover the pot partially with a lid. As soon as the beans start to boil, lower the heat a little but continue to boil. Cook for 2 hours and keep adding water as it gets absorbed. Try to keep the water 2 inches above the beans. Stir occasionally. After about two hours of cooking, bring the beans to a boil again and lower the heat to low. You want to cook them on a slow boil for an additional 1 to 1½ hours (when they start sticking to the pot that’s a sign that they are done.)