March 15, 2021

Smothered Beef & Bean Burrito Bake

An easy Mexican-inspired casserole recipe made from flour tortillas stuffed with ground beef, cheese and refried beans smothered in a savory queso sauce that comes together right in the oven.

My men-folk are “meat & potato” guys and aren’t too fond of many vegetables. And even though one is 50 and the other is almost 15, I do just what I did when my kids were little: I hide, sneak and smuggle vegetables in everywhere I can.

I shred carrots into meatballs and meatloaf, I add finely diced mushrooms when I’m browning ground beef, I add fresh spinach to anything I can say “oh, it’s just herbs” when they ask “what’s this green stuff?”

Smothered Beef & Bean Burrito Bake! An easy Mexican-inspired casserole recipe made from flour tortillas stuffed with ground beef, cheese and refried beans smothered in a savory queso sauce that comes together right in the oven.

I had this idea for a burrito bake where I wanted big, thick, beefy burritos to bake in this cheesy sauce (which is, btw, completely magical) but I didn’t want to have to use five pounds to meat to accomplish it.

And I didn’t want to add rice to the them because I always serve Mexican Restaurant-Style Rice as a side dish with meals like this.

Hmmm…

Smothered Beef & Bean Burrito Bake! An easy Mexican-inspired casserole recipe made from flour tortillas stuffed with ground beef, cheese and refried beans smothered in a savory queso sauce that comes together right in the oven.

So I decided to add refried beans and cheese to the filling and see what happened. What happened is I got six thick meaty burritos that were cheesy and delicious and two big boys who were none the wiser. 

Mwaahh-ahh-ahh-ahh-ahhhhhh!!

OK, so you may have a few questions already and I’ll try to get in front of them. 

Smothered Beef & Bean Burrito Bake! An easy Mexican-inspired casserole recipe made from flour tortillas stuffed with ground beef, cheese and refried beans smothered in a savory queso sauce that comes together right in the oven.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE IN A BURRITO AND AN ENCHILADA?

Two things set these two apart. Burritos are typically made with flour tortillas and enchiladas are usually made with corn tortillas. I prefer flour tortillas so I made these into burritos.

The other difference is that enchiladas are rolled with their ends left open and burritos are folded and rolled so that the ends are tucked in. 

So, Mandy, why then did you use enchilada sauce in this recipe if you’re going to be so picky about recipe vocabulary? Well, because, dear, there’s no such thing as burrito sauce!

Smothered Beef & Bean Burrito Bake! An easy Mexican-inspired casserole recipe made from flour tortillas stuffed with ground beef, cheese and refried beans smothered in a savory queso sauce that comes together right in the oven.

WHY USE WHITE AMERICAN CHEESE IN MEXICAN RECIPES?

After trying (and failing) many times to make queso dip at home like they have at our favorite Mexican restaurant chain, I finally just asked what the secret was. Though they were a little sheepish in admitting it, the secret is white American cheese. It’s the only cheese that yields velvety, smooth cheese sauce without having to make a roux (which I’m not a fan of when it comes to cheese sauce).

I knew I could simply heat cream or half-and-half, add white American cheese and POOF! have silky, smooth cheese dip (yep, that’s all you gotta do) so I gambled here and hoped that by letting the cheese melt into to enchilada sauce, I’d create a cheesy, spicy sauce to smother these burritos in. And I was right!!

Smothered Beef & Bean Burrito Bake! An easy Mexican-inspired casserole recipe made from flour tortillas stuffed with ground beef, cheese and refried beans smothered in a savory queso sauce that comes together right in the oven.

I’ve yet to find white American cheese anywhere other than the deli (though Kraft does make slices). If your deli attendant looks at you funny when say you need a pound of unsliced cheese, just tell him or her you need about two inches (providing you’re getting the standard square block of Land O’Lakes or Boar’s Head).

Seriously, I've yet to ask for it without a little hesitation from the deli. Most often I get two 1-inch thick slabs which, I think, is the thickest their deli slicer will go.

Meh, it's not rocket science. If you're a little over or a little under, it'll all turn out alright anyway. If you find that you have less than you need and want to add something else, add it in with the filling and leave the White American to work it's magic with the sauce.

Smothered Beef & Bean Burrito Bake! An easy Mexican-inspired casserole recipe made from flour tortillas stuffed with ground beef, cheese and refried beans smothered in a savory queso sauce that comes together right in the oven.

Smothered Beef & Bean Burrito Bake

Smothered Beef & Bean Burrito Bake
Yield: 6 Servings
Author: Mandy Rivers | South Your Mouth
Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 35 MinTotal time: 50 Min
An easy Mexican-inspired casserole recipe made from flour tortillas stuffed with beef, cheese and refried beans smothered in a velvety, savory cheese sauce.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 16-oz can refried beans
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 10-oz cans enchilada sauce
  • 1 lb. white American cheese, divided
  • 6 large (burrito-size) flour tortillas
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 3-quart 13x9 baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Pour half of 1 can of enchilada sauce in the bottom of the baking dish then spread evenly.
  3. Brown and crumble beef with onions over high heat in a large skillet until beef is cooked through; drain fat.
  4. Add refried beans, taco seasoning and remaining spices to skillet then stir well. Add a little water if necessary but filling should be very thick. Remove from heat to cool a little.
  5. Taste for seasoning then add more salt if necessary (salt content in refried beans and taco seasoning varies so I didn't want to use too much in the recipe but you may need to add more).
  6. Shred cheese then add one heaping cup of it to beef and bean mixture; stir to combine. Set remaining cheese aside.
  7. Arrange tortillas on a clean work surface then divide meat filling evenly onto the center of each. Using a rubber spatula or the back of a spoon, shape the filling into little rolls about 4 to 5 inches long, centered left to right on the tortilla. Wrap each into a burrito (see notes) then place seam-side down into the baking dish, arranging as pictured.
  8. Slowly drizzle remaining enchilada sauce (one and a half cans) over burritos, taking care to pour over all of the exposed tortillas. If needed, use a pastry brush to spread the sauce over any “dry” areas.
  9. Top each burrito with remaining cheese.
  10. Cover dish with foil, tenting the foil if necessary to ensure it doesn’t stick to the cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until cheese is completely melted and sauce is bubbly.
  11. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro if desired. Serve with favorite burrito toppings such as pico de gallo, salsa, sour cream, avocado slices, more cheese, shredded lettuce, etc. I just like mine with extra cilantro and diced red onion.

Notes:

To fold these burritos, shape the filling into little rolls about 4 to 5 inches long, keeping the filling centered left to right. Fold the sides over the filling then fold the bottom up to cover the filling. Using your fingers to keep everything tucked in tight, roll the tortilla away from you to create a burrito. If you need a visual for rolling the burritos, search online for a quick video or take a look at this one.

1 pound of white American cheese yields about 4 heaping cups of shredded cheese.

You can use another type of cheese but I do not recommend it as the sauce will be separated and lumpy instead of velvety and smooth.

Recipe updated 3/24/21 to increase enchilada sauce.

burrito, burritos, enchilada, enchiladas, casserole, bake, baked, ground beef, hamburger, beans, refried beans, taco, white american, cheese, sauce, homewrecker, flour tortilla, recipe, how to, best, original
main course, dinner
mexican
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Smothered Beef & Bean Burrito Bake! An easy Mexican-inspired casserole recipe made from flour tortillas stuffed with ground beef, cheese and refried beans smothered in a savory queso sauce that comes together right in the oven.
Smothered Beef & Bean Burrito Bake! An easy Mexican-inspired casserole recipe made from flour tortillas stuffed with ground beef, cheese and refried beans smothered in a savory queso sauce that comes together right in the oven.
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10 comments:

  1. Hello
    I'm in Canada and have never come across American white cheese in my local grocery stores or independent cheese shops. Could you give me an idea of the texture and taste of your American white cheddar? I'm guessing from your description of not having to make a roux if might be the same as blocks of Velveeta or Kraft cheese slices but white in colour instead perhaps?
    Thank you
    Stay safe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The texture is going to be between velveeta and what my Ontario visits have shown me is "new" cheese. The taste is very similar to traditional American cheese. I hope that helps! And thank you!

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  2. Thank you Mandy. I'll have to check out what "new" cheese is in Ontario as I live in BC a different Province, but at least its a good start!
    thanks again,
    Stay safe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is ENTIRELY possible I'm going to get ALL this wrong and maybe that's just what Husband's family calls it but when we're up for a visit and stop by the big dairy stores for cheese (we gorge on curd daily because we can't get the good stuff here) we buy other cheeses, among which are "old" cheese and "new" cheese. I *think* it's cheddar and the name refers to how aged it is. New cheese, to me, is similar to good American cheese (not the crappy stuff in individual wrappers).

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  3. YUM!! I'll definitely be trying these.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Made this today. It was pretty tasty, just my husband didn't like no variation in the texture. They are a great base so next time I'll add some Mexican style corn or green peppers to give it a little crunch.

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  5. This looks so yummy! I have lot of leftover roast beef. Do you think it would work here instead of ground beef? Trying to use it up. Also feeding men that could do without any veggies:).

    ReplyDelete

Hi there! While I’m not able to respond to every comment, I try hard to answer any questions that haven’t been addressed in the post, recipe or in other comments.

I can tell you now 1) I have no idea if you can substitute Minute Rice or brown rice in my recipes because I’ve never used them and 2) If I know how to convert a recipe to a Crock Pot version, I will make a note about it (otherwise, I don’t know).

And though I may not respond to them all, I do read each and every comment and I LOVE to hear from you guys! Thanks, y’all! - Mandy