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How to use up leftover taco filling and tortillas: Recipe for lunch burritos

August 27, 2020

After all our company left the other week, I had some leftovers (rice, taco filling, refried beans) in my freezer that I wanted to use up but knew my husband was not a big fan of burritos. (I know, what is he thinking? Well, he doesn’t like the messy mess—and he has trouble enough keeping his front clean when chowing down. But he loves taco salad, because the mess is on his plate and he can fork it up rather than try to eat a taco in his hand with taco toppings coming out all over.)

So, I had some leftover taco filling, 3 leftover large tortillas, some rice and yes corn, because we’re harvesting that in the garden right now. I also have plenty of tomatoes, green/yellow peppers, onions.

I followed blogger Jennifer Murch’s suggestion here and watched this video on what makes a good burrito. Then I googled for a more precise burrito recipe, found here from The Seasoned Mom. I liked that they were freezer friendly so I could use up all the tortillas and other leftovers and have enough ready-made burritos for 6 lunches for myself, (because I agree that for a “mature” woman like me, a whole burrito for lunch is just too big).

I’m sharing my adaption of The Seasoned Mom’s list of ingredients if you happen to have on hand the four ingredients I shared above. And yes, most of us like to add a salsa on the side with the burrito, so I just quickly chop up some tomatoes, a little lettuce or cilantro, some onion, green pepper for a side of instant homemade salsa (but without any hot peppers, which don’t agree with me).

What do you think?

Ingredients for 3 tortillas, which you can eat whole, or halve into 6 half servings, and freeze for the future. All amounts are approximate: add or subtract according to your likes.

1 cup leftover taco filling
3/4 cup refried beans
1 ½ cups rice, cooked
1/2 cup kernels of corn, cooked
3 large tortillas
1 cup shredded cheese

Optional salsa—any of these: finely diced red onion; lettuce; diced tomato or salsa; sour cream; fresh cilantro; avocado or guacamole.

To prepare:

  1. Lightly brown tortilla in skillet on stove, both sides.
  2. To make 1 burrito: spread ¼ cup beans down center of tortillas; top with ½ cup rice; 1/3 cup taco-flavored ground beef; 2 tablespoons corn; and 1/3 cup cheese.

2. Fold in opposite sides of each tortilla, then roll up, burrito style. Place, seam-sides down, in dish. Repeat with remaining ingredients to prepare 6 total burritos. Freeze. To serve, unthaw and heat in microwave about 1 minute. Try first at 30 seconds and then increase time if needed.


I’ll remind you of another classic cookbook from Herald Press for even more late summer great ideas for using up garden goodies.

Simply in Season, Tenth Anniversary Edition

To purchase, head here:


From → Family Life, Food, Recipes

  1. Very appetizing photos, Melodie. You can tell Stuart that my husband eats with an apron because he too is a messy mess otherwise.

  2. It’s the artist or designer in them! 🙂 We could do worse. And thanks for the kudos.

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