My Recipe Box

Smoky Black Bean & Cheddar Burrito with Baby Spinach


Serves 4

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 85

Chipotle chiles in adobo lend a nice smoky overtone to this meatless meal, while toasted pepitas folded into the filling give it an unexpected crunch.

  • 4 burrito-size (9- to 10-inch) flour tortillas
  • 15 grape tomatoes, quartered lengthwise (from 1 pint)
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice; more as needed
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup raw pepitas (optional)
  • 1 tsp. seeded and minced chipotle plus 1 tsp. adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles en adobo)
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 19-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup grated sharp Cheddar
  • 1-1/2 oz. baby spinach (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup sour cream (optional)

Heat the oven to 250°F. Wrap the tortillas in aluminum foil and warm in the oven.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl toss the tomatoes with 1 Tbs. of the lime juice, about 1-1/2 Tbs. of the cilantro, and a generous pinch of salt. Set aside.

If using the pepitas, heat 1 Tbs. of the olive oil and the pepitas in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until they are puffed and some are golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pepitas to a plate lined with a paper towel. Sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt and toss.

Return the pan to medium heat. Add the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil. (Or if not using pepitas, heat the 2 Tbs. oil over medium heat.) Add the chipotle, adobo sauce, and cumin. Stir to blend into the oil, and then add the beans and 2 Tbs. water to the pan, stirring to blend. Simmer until warmed through, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Mash about half of the beans with a fork. Stir in the cheddar and the remaining 2-1/2 Tbs. cilantro and 1 Tbs. lime juice. Season to taste with salt. If the beans seem too thick, add a tablespoon or two of water to thin to a soft, spreadable consistency.

Working with one tortilla at a time, spread about 1/4 of the beans along the bottom third of a tortilla. Top with 1/4 of the spinach, and sprinkle with about 1/4 of the tomatoes and pepitas (if using). If you like, add a little lime juice and sour cream on top. Fold the bottom edge over the filling, fold in the sides, and roll up the burrito.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with Cilantro-Lime Guacamole plus tortilla chips or fresh vegetables for dipping. And make a refreshing pitcher of Watermelon Agua Fresca to drink.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on four servings, Calories (kcal): 510, Fat (kcal): 21, Fat Calories (g): 190, Saturated Fat (g): 6, Protein (g): 19, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 10, Carbohydrates (mg): 63, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 4, Sodium (g): 1020, Cholesterol (g): 15, Fiber (g): 9,

Photo: Scott Phillips

Tasty but not family friendly--for kids, serve the chipotle chiles on the side as a smoky sauce. To compensate for the lost flavour by holding the chipotles (I love these but they are a bit much for little palates), start beans by sautéing half a finely chopped onion, to which you will add 1Tbsp ground ancho chili powder with the cumin (I reserve the fat from cooking bacon...freezes a tsp of this will amp up smokiness). A couple of drops of liquid smoke will also work to give you smokiness for those who don't like their food too spicy. I also liked adding cooked potatoes to the burritos for "heft"

Oh la la! This is fantastic: spicy, crunchy, smoky, and tangy. Easy to make, vegetarian, and delicious. This is my go-to meal when I want something good, but quickly.

This was really good,and easy to make.

I served this for some friends and it was a hit. Healthy and delicious!

I make all kinds of Mexican food regularly. This is a great meatless dish!

This is a winner! Don't skip the pepitas, the crunch and toasty flavor add great flavor and texture. We sometimes will include shredded chicken for the meat lovers in our home.

Healthy and was easy to make.

Healthy and was easy to make.

Cookbooks, DVDs & More