Burritos have humble origins. During the early 20th century, Mexican workers would head out for the day with a bit of last night’s dinner—some beans, a little meat, maybe some rice—wrapped in a tortilla to keep it warm until lunch.
Burritos are a take-out go-to because not only are they delicious, but they are fast to make and highly portable, and easy to scarf down quickly as your lunch break draws to a close. The bad news is that most store-bought burritos have gone off the deep end. In particular, it’s the combination of rice, beans, sour cream, cheese, and guacamole that lifts calorie and sodium counts into the thousands.
This burrito is American in spirit, which is to say it’s hearty and generously filled, but without the caloric excesses found at Chipotle Mexican Grill, Baja Fresh, and the country’s other burrito barons. We’ve not only made this recipe so that it will save you in calories, but it’s also quick and easy to make, so it’ll save you time, too.
355 calories, 13 g fat (6 g saturated), 740 mg sodium
1⁄2 Tbsp canola oil
1 large onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 poblano or green bell pepper, sliced
Salt and black pepper to taste
1⁄2 can (14–16oz) black beans, drained
1⁄4 tsp cumin
Juice of 1 lime
4 (10″) whole-wheat tortillas
1 cup low-fat shredded Jack cheese
2 cups shredded chicken (about half a store-bought rotisserie chicken)
Salsa (salsa verde is especially good here)
How to Make It
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat.
- Add the onion and red and poblano peppers and cook until browned, about 7 to 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Combine the beans with cumin in a saucepan and warm through. Add the lime juice and a few shakes of hot sauce.
- Preheat a griddle, cast-iron skillet, or large nonstick pan over medium heat.
- Microwave the tortillas for 20 seconds, just enough so they’re pliable.
- Building one burrito at a time, sprinkle on some cheese, top with some beans, the onion-pepper mixture, chicken, and salsa.
- Roll into a tight package.
- Place the burritos directly on the skillet, cooking for a minute on each side until lightly toasted.