Easy Vegetarian Rice and Bean Burrito

Basic rice and beans burrito recipe

​The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

  • Total: 20 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Make a quick and easy vegetarian rice and bean burrito using leftover rice, canned black beans, store-bought salsa, and cheese. For a vegan variation, use vegan cheese or omit it altogether.

Recipes such as this one are perfect for vegetarians, as there's plenty of protein from the beans. With just a few simple ingredients, this is a great way for anyone cooking on a budget or needing to feed their family fast. Add whatever extra spices and veggies you like, such as some cayenne pepper or chili powder for a spicier vegetarian burrito.

It's true that burritos are more popular as a Mexican-American food than as Mexican food. Some burrito purists insist that burritos should not be prepared with rice at all, and others insist that lettuce on a burrito is an anathema. No matter how you personally feel, this is a tasty and easy meal that uses up that leftover rice.

Ingredients

  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans (drained)
  • 1 1/2 cups salsa
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 3/4 cup rice (cooked)
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese (grated)
  • Optional: shredded lettuce
  • Optional: 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Optional: avocado slices or homemade guacamole
  • 6 to 8 flour tortillas

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for rice and beans burrito
    ​The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii
  2. In a large skillet or frying pan over low heat, combine the black beans, salsa, and cumin powder, stirring to combine.

    Rice and peppers
    ​The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii
  3. Add the pre-cooked or leftover rice and allow it to cook just until hot. Alternatively, you can mix the ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl and then heat in the microwave.

    Add rice
    ​The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii
  4. If the tortillas are cold and just taken out of the refrigerator, you may want to warm the tortillas quickly in the microwave on a hot skillet. This will make them more pliable for rolling. Spoon the rice and beans mixture onto the flour tortillas, dividing evenly.

    Put in tortilla
    ​The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii
  5. Top each tortilla with grated cheese, sour cream, lettuce, two or three slices of avocado, a splash of hot sauce, or any other toppings you'd like.

    Top with avocado
    ​The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii 
  6. Wrap your burrito and serve hot.

    Wrap your burrito
    ​The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii
  7. Enjoy!

    Vegetarian burrito
    ​The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

Food Safety Tip

Leftover cooked rice should not be left out for more than two hours at room temperature or it may grow bacteria. It should be refrigerated and used within four to six days. Discard any leftover refrigerated rice if it has an off smell or appearance.

Recipe Variations

The beauty of this recipe is in its simplicity, but that doesn't mean that you can use it as a base and customize it to make it even better.

  • Swap out the plain leftover rice for some prepared Mexican rice, brown rice, or Spanish rice.
  • Instead of canned black beans, use some homemade frijoles negroes or homemade refried beans.
  • Pump up the flavor and complexity of your ground cumin by toasting cumin seeds in a small frying pan and then grinding them in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle. You'll be amazed at the difference in the flavor, even if you save your freshly toasted and ground cumin for a couple of weeks.
  • Other toppings to consider for your burrito include green onions, chopped fresh cilantro, diced tomatoes, pickled jalapenos, and homemade guacamole. If you are not a vegetarian, add some leftover meat. Just make sure it's diced, shredded, or small pieces that are evenly distributed.