Burritos are a popular Tex-Mex food that typically consist of a flour tortilla wrapped around a filling. While the most common burrito fillings are meat, rice, beans, and cheese, vegetables can also make a tasty and nutritious addition. When choosing veggies for your burrito, you’ll want to consider flavor, texture, color, and nutrition. By selecting a variety of fresh, colorful produce, you can create a burrito that is as healthy as it is delicious.
The Basics: Onions, Tomatoes, Lettuce
There are three basic vegetables that are commonly used in burritos: onions, tomatoes, and lettuce. Here’s an overview of each:
- Onions: Onions add a sweet, aromatic flavor to burritos. They’re available in a few different varieties like yellow, white, and red onions. Diced or thinly sliced onions are the easiest to include in a burrito. They add a crunchy texture.
- Tomatoes: Sliced tomatoes or tomato-based salsas add a fresh, juicy sweetness to burritos. Plus, tomatoes provide nutritional benefits like vitamin C and lycopene. Try grape or cherry tomatoes for a burst of flavor in each bite.
- Lettuce: Crisp lettuce leaves like iceberg or romaine add a refreshing crunch to burritos. Shredded lettuce blends nicely with other fillings. Lettuce also balances out the richness from ingredients like cheese.
Onions, tomatoes, and lettuce are versatile, flavorful, and typically inexpensive. They make excellent additions to almost any burrito filling combo.
In addition to the basics, you can add other vegetables to burritos to vary the textures. Here are some options:
- Bell peppers: Bell peppers have a crisp, juicy crunch. Red, yellow, orange, and green peppers all work well in burritos. You can dice them up or use long slices.
- Jalapeños: For some heat, add diced or sliced jalapeños. They have a crunchy bite and spicy kick.
- Avocado: Sliced or mashed avocado makes a burrito creamier. It contrasts nicely with crunchy veggies.
- Carrots: Shredded carrots add sweetness and texture to burrito fillings. They pair well with cabbage too.
- Radishes: Thinly sliced radishes have a peppery bite. They add a mildly spicy crunch.
Mixing up the textures with crisp, juicy veggies keeps each bite of a burrito interesting. The variety makes the meal more enjoyable and satisfying.
Veggies for Color
Incorporating colorful vegetables into your burritos not only looks appealing, but also boosts the nutritional value. Try these vibrant veggie options:
- Corn: Kernels of sweet corn lend bright yellow flecks of color. They also add fiber and vitamin C.
- Red cabbage: Thinly shredded red cabbage has a purple hue. It contains antioxidants like vitamin C and anthocyanins.
- Spinach: Fresh spinach adds green color and nutrients like iron, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, E, and K.
- Pimentos: Diced pimentos (also called red peppers) have a bright red color. They’re milder than fresh chili peppers.
The more color variety you can add to your burrito with veggies, the better. It boosts the eye appeal in addition to the nutritional content.
Nutritious Veggie Fillings
While any vegetable makes a healthier addition to a burrito than meat alone, some options pack an extra nutritional punch. Try thesenutrient-dense veggies in your burritos:
- Black beans: Protein-rich black beans are a great meat substitute in burritos. They’re high in fiber, magnesium, folate, and antioxidants.
- Refried beans: Made from pinto or black beans, refried beans are an easy, tasty burrito filling. They’re high in fiber and plant-based protein.
- Sweet potatoes: Baked sweet potato cubes or mashed sweet potato lend antiviral and anti-inflammatory nutrients like vitamins A and C.
- Kale: Sturdy kale leaves can be chopped and added to burritos for nutrients like vitamins K, A, and C, as well as antioxidants.
- Bell peppers: Red bell peppers are an excellent source of the antioxidant vitamin C. Green, yellow, and orange bell peppers also provide it.
Using veggie fillings like beans, sweet potatoes, and leafy greens boosts the amount of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in a burrito.
Flavorful Herbs & Spices
Don’t forget about fresh herbs and dried spices when making vegetable burritos! They add lots of extra flavor without calories, sodium, fat, or sugar. Consider these options:
- Cilantro: Chopped cilantro leaves lend a fresh, bright, herbal flavor.
- Parsley: Parsley has a mild green flavor that complements other veggies nicely.
- Chili powder: Adds mild heat and robust flavor.
- Smoked paprika: Has a rich, smoky taste.
- Cumin: Earthy cumin provides a warm, distinctive flavor.
- Oregano: This aromatic herb has notes of balsam and mint.
Let your creative inspiration run wild when exploring herb and spice combinations! A savory blend can make veggie burritos even more scrumptious.
Best Veggies to Avoid
While most vegetables fare well in burritos, some are better left out. Steer clear of these watery produce picks:
- Cucumbers make burritos soggy and don’t add much flavor.
- Iceberg lettuce can create a watery mess. Stick to shredded romaine or darker leaf lettuces instead.
- Raw spinach cooks down and wilts faster than heartier greens like kale or chard.
- Zucchini has a high water content that doesn’t work well in burritos.
Firmer, drier vegetables are best for maintaining a tasty burrito with an intact tortilla. Avoid dousing your burritos with extra salsa or sauce as well, which creates sogginess.
Mix and Match Filling Ideas
One of the fun things about burritos is that you can customize the fillings to suit your tastes. Mix and match different veggie options to create delicious flavor and texture combos! Try out these winning mixes:
- Refried beans + Mexican-style rice + salsa + guacamole + lettuce
- Black beans + corn + bell peppers + avocado + cilantro
- Sweet potatoes + black beans + spinach + red onions + chili powder
- Refried beans + diced zucchini + shredded red cabbage + queso fresco + salsa
- Pinto beans + diced jicama + shredded carrots + sliced radishes + cumin
Feel free to create your own signature fillings too. The possibilities are endless when you load up your burrito with veggie goodness!
Tips for Making Vegetable Burritos
To create flavor-packed veggie burritos at home, keep these tips in mind:
- Warm the tortilla first to prevent cracking. Heat it in the microwave for 20 seconds or warm it over the stove on each side for a few seconds.
- Chop, dice, shred, and slice vegetables into small pieces that are easy to eat in a burrito.
- Pre-cook vegetables like sweet potatoes and squash to soften them.
- Drain and rinse canned beans to remove excess sodium.
- Add lime or lemon juice to keep avocados from browning.
- Use a generous amount of filling but roll the burrito tightly to prevent spillage.
- Wrap burritos in foil after assembling and heating to help keep ingredients secure.
With fresh, flavorful produce and a warm tortilla, you can make tantalizing vegetable burritos at home. Adjust the ingredients to suit your tastes.
Storing and Reheating Veggie Burritos
Properly storing cooked veggie burritos will keep them fresh and safe to eat later.
- Let burritos cool completely before refrigerating. This prevents condensation inside the foil.
- Wrap each burrito tightly in foil or plastic wrap. This prevents the tortilla from drying out.
- Refrigerate burritos for 3-4 days.
- Freeze burritos for longer storage. They will keep for 2-3 months.
To reheat veggie burritos:
- Oven: Unwrap burrito and place on a baking sheet. Heat at 350°F for 10-15 minutes.
- Microwave: Leave wrapped in foil and microwave for 1-2 minutes. Check for hot spots and adjust time as needed.
- Stovetop: Unwrap burrito and place in a lightly oiled skillet over medium heat. Heat each side for 2-3 minutes.
The microwave provides the speediest reheating, while the oven and skillet will crisp up the tortilla again.
Vegetable Burrito Recipes to Try
Looking for some tasty veggie burrito recipes to make at home? Here are a few popular options:
Spicy Sweet Potato Burritos
- Ingredients: mashed roasted sweet potatoes, black beans, salsa, cilantro, spinach, cumin, cayenne pepper, avocado, shredded cabbage
- Flavor profile: sweet, spicy, fresh, hearty
- Ingredients: pinto beans, corn, peppers, red onion, tomato, spinach, pepper jack cheese, cilantro, lime juice
- Flavor profile: zesty, bright, robust
Veggie Fajita Burritos
- Ingredients: sautéed onions, bell peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, black beans, avocado, brown rice, salsa, lettuce
- Flavor profile: savory, satisfying
Bean and Cheese Burritos
- Ingredients: refried beans, peppers, onion, cheddar cheese, Mexican cheese blend, spinach, tomatoes
- Flavor profile: rich, mild
Try out a new veggie burrito recipe each week to enjoy a wide range of flavors and ingredients. Mix up the spice levels and textures too!
Vegetarian and Vegan Burrito Options
Veggie burritos make for an easy, delicious meatless meal. To make completely vegetarian or vegan burritos, keep these tips in mind:
- Use beans, lentils, or soy protein crumbles instead of meat.
- Substitute vegan cheese for regular cheese.
- Choose vegan yogurt or sour cream instead of the dairy versions.
- Add extra veggies like mushrooms, spinach, or avocado for richness.
- Use a plant milk like almond or oat milk for creaminess.
- Flavor with onions, peppers, herbs, spices, etc. instead of meat seasoning.
With so many delicious plant-based ingredients to pick from, vegetarian and vegan burritos can be just as flavorful and satisfying as traditional versions.
Nutritional Benefits of Veggie Burritos
Choosing veggie fillings for your burritos has many nutritional perks. Here are some of the benefits:
- Higher fiber: Beans, vegetables, lentils, etc. provide more filling fiber than meat.
- More vitamins and minerals: Produce packs in a range of vitamins and minerals like A, C, E, K, magnesium, potassium, etc.
- Lower fat: Beans and veggies contain little to no fat compared to meat-based options.
- Less sodium: Fresh vegetables don’t add extra sodium like processed meats can.
- More antioxidants: Colorful veggies and beans contain various antioxidants that fight disease.
- Higher protein (with beans): Beans provide a plant-based protein boost.
Adding more veggies to your burritos offers significant nutritional value. They make the meal healthier overall.
Customizing Veggie Burritos
Once you’ve mastered the art of making veggie burritos, have fun customizing them to satisfy your personal tastes!
- Try different tortillas like whole wheat, spinach, tomato-basil, etc. for variety.
- Mix up your bean choices with pinto, navy, garbanzo beans, soy crumbles, etc.
- Add unique grains like quinoa or bulgur wheat for extra nutrition.
- Top with spicy salsas, creamy sauces, tangy dressings, etc.
- Incorporate trendy veggies like broccoli slaw, roasted squash or eggplant.
- Change up herbs and global spice blends like harissa, za’atar, or shawarma seasoning.
There are endless ways to give your veggie burritos a unique twist! Part of the fun is trying inventive combinations.
Vegetable Burritos: A Healthy, Delicious Meal
Vegetable burritos make for a quick, nutritious lunch or dinner. Loading up the tortilla with produce instead of meat adds fiber, vitamins, and flavor. Try combining beans, rice, cheese, and an assortment of fresh vegetables for a winning combo. With so many veggies to select from, you can enjoy a different burrito filling every night of the week. Getting creative with fillings, herbs, and spices results in a satisfying meal that’s good for you too. Veggie burritos are truly a tasty way to eat healthy!