Fajita Style Bean Burritos with Red Chile

Bean burritos with red chile are vegetarian burritos that consist of a flour tortilla wrapped around pinto beans and seared peppers and onions, smothered in New Mexico red chile sauce.#meatless #burritos #red #chile @mjskitchen mjskitchen.com


Back in a 2013 post I mentioned there were two dishes that Bobby brought into our kitchen from his college days that have remained dinner staples for over 40 years.  One was a green bean and potato dish and the other was the pinto bean burrito.  Of course both have been enhanced over the years, but they still remain two of our favorite comfort foods.  Bean burritos during our college days were canned pinto beans rolled in a flour tortilla with cheese, sour cream and Rotel green chile tomatoes. Once we moved to New Mexico, the salsa was replaced with a smothering of red chile, the canned beans with pressure cooked dried beans, and the toppings…well that changes on and off because of all of the possibilities.  However, one topping that we repeatedly choose is quick seared onion and sweet peppers.  We call these burritos our meatless Fajita Style Bean Burritos with Red Chile.

Normally, fajitas are all about seared meat (usually skirt or flank steak), served with a nice healthy serving of onion and sweet peppers also seared in a hot cast-iron skillet.  On the side are toppings such as sour cream, cheese, guacamole, sliced avocado, lime, salsa…whatever you desire at the time. So when you think of these bean burritos with red chile, think of your favorite fajitas, but with beans instead of meat, and a smothering of red chile sauce.

For this batch of bean burritos, I cooked up a pot of pinto beans, then added two chipotle in adobo sauce.  The chipotle added a smokiness to the bean burritos that complemented the red chile quite well.  Other toppings included seared peppers and onion (a must for any kind of fajita), cheese, and sour cream.  If I had had a good avocado, it would have been sliced and added to the filling as well. There are many other ingredients you can use, but the stars of this show are the beans, the seared vegetables and the red chile, of course.  Hope you enjoy these meatless bean burritos with red chile!


A vegetarian burrito with pinto beans and sweet peppers, smothered in New Mexico red chile sauce | mjskitchen.com


Fajita Style Bean Burritos with Red Chile (Recipe)

Recipe author:  MJ of MJ’s Kitchen

Makes 3 to 4 burritos
Prep and Cook Time:  less than 30 minutes if you already have the beans cooked or you use canned beans

IngredientsOnion and sweet pepper strips for fajitas | mjskitchen

1 medium onion, sliced then cut in half
1 large sweet bell pepper (any color or different colors), sliced and halved
1 tsp. oil*
~2 cups cooked pinto beans or black beans*
1 – 2 chipotle in adobo sauce
1/8 tsp. ground cumin*
¼ tsp. dried oregano*
Four, 6 or 8 inch flour tortillas
1 – 2 cups red chile sauce*

Topping (pick and choose to your liking)

Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, grated
Sour cream or sour cream substitute
Shredded lettuce or cabbage
1 firm tomato, chopped
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Green or black olives, chopped
Avocado – sliced or guacamole’
More red chile or your favorite salsa


  1. In a cast iron skillet (or heavy skillet) sear the onion and sweet pepper over high heat. Add a little oil to prevent sticking if you need to.  Cook until the onion starts to brown. At this point the peppers should be semi-soft.
  2. Heat the beans with the chipotle, cumin and oregano*.
  3. Heat the red chile.
  4. Warm the tortillas by placing on a cast iron griddle and turning until heated through.*
  5. Assemble each burrito by placing some beans on a tortilla with some vegetables and other desired toppings.
  6. Roll burrito and turn over so the seam side is down. Smother with red chile and additional toppings (if you want).

*See Kitchen Notes



Bean burritos with red chile are vegetarian burritos that consist of a flour tortilla wrapped around pinto beans and seared peppers and onions, smothered in New Mexico red chile sauce. #burritos #red #chile @mjskitchen mjskitchen.com


Kitchen Notes

The oil – If you use a well seasoned cast iron skillet, you shouldn’t need any oil.  However, if you are afraid of the vegetables sticking, especially the onion, then coat the skillet with a touch of oil.

Pinto Beans – Sometimes we’ll switch up the pinto beans with black beans.  You could also use a mix of beans.  My sister-in-law served these with canned tri-beans – a mix of pinto, black, and kidney.

Cumin and oregano – Added cumin and oregano is for when you use canned beans.  If you cook the beans from scratch, then add cumin and oregano when you initially cooked them. You won’t need to add anymore when you reheat the beans for the burritos.

Red Chile Sauce – If you don’t have any red chile, you can substitute your favorite enchilada sauce or salsa.  If you prefer green chile, you could also smother this in green chile sauce.  That makes a nice tasting burrito as well.

Warming the tortilla – There are many ways to warm flour tortillas.  When I only need 2 to 4 tortillas, I’ll either warm them on a hot griddle or turn a gas burner down low to where the flame is well below the grate and warm them directly over the flame by laying them on the grate and turning often.  This method you need to be careful of, because they can burn pretty quickly.


Parting Shot

While I was photographing these burritos the other day, I drew an audience.  One of our neighborhood roadrunners came to check out what I was doing.  This picture was taken through the window with a 50 mm lens.  Wish I had had a longer lens.

Roadrunners are very adaptable to city environments, especially in New Mexico | mjskitchen.com


Now go grab yourself a beer and enjoy one of these Fajita Style Bean Burritos with Red Chile!  And if you are looking for other dishes that you can smother with some of the leftover red chile, check out this Smothered in Red post.

Click the link for more recipes with New Mexico Red Chile.


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61 Responses to “Fajita Style Bean Burritos with Red Chile”

  1. Kelly Mulcair July 16, 2017 at 10:20 am #

    Well you know how much I love this recipe (and your brilliant photos)… I’ve got to get myself to New Mexico! The burritos & desertscape are calling me (by the way, do you & Bobby watch Better Call Saul – prelude to Breaking Bad – set and filmed in Albuquerque) – always think of you ;-).

    • mj July 16, 2017 at 12:44 pm #

      This is one of our favorites as well. 🙂 We’re now making with corn tortillas, trying to reduce the amount of white flour, even though I LOVE flour tortillas. Just as good with corn though. YES, we are HUGE BB and Better Call Saul watchers! 🙂 New Mexico gets a lot of movies and series shot here. We watched a movie last night – Whiskey Tango Foxtrot – and recognized quite a few Albuquerque locations (even though it was suppose to have been Afghanistan. 🙂 Hope you do make it out here. I would love to meet you in person!!!

  2. Makesushi October 2, 2015 at 7:45 am #

    the food pictures on this are fantastic! very well done 🙂
    might have to give this burrito recipe a try!

  3. Easyfoodsmith May 4, 2015 at 6:12 am #

    Its high time I made burritos. I have never tasted or tried them and they sound so amazing. Thanks for sharing.

    • mj May 4, 2015 at 9:26 am #

      It’s so hard for a person like to imagine anyone not ever having had a burrito. 🙂 Well, you’re right…”It’s high time!”

  4. Bill May 2, 2015 at 7:22 am #

    With Cinco de Mayo coming up, I’ve had Mexican food on my mind for days. I have to try these burritos. I’ve been eating less meat and more beans this year and this vegetarian dish is definitely going on my to-do list! Great post and beautiful photos!

    • mj May 3, 2015 at 7:24 pm #

      Thanks Bill! These are one of our favorite meatless meals. But then it’s always easy to go meatless when you have beans and chile. 🙂 hope you enjoy these if you do make them! Happy Cinco de Mayo!

  5. Roz @ La Bella Vita Cucina April 29, 2015 at 6:23 pm #

    We so love Mexican and Southwestern food! I’m a huge burrito and enchilada fan, especially with red sauces! This sounds perfect for Cinco de Mayo! Love the shot of the roadrunner … beep beep! 🙂

    • mj April 29, 2015 at 7:29 pm #

      You’re right…this is a great Cinco de Mayo dish!!! Thanks Roz! Another cartoon watcher I see. 🙂 Beep Beep!

  6. Raymund April 28, 2015 at 1:55 pm #

    Wow that sauce looks amazing on the burritos

    • mj April 28, 2015 at 2:53 pm #

      Thanks Raymund! NM red chile sauce is pretty amazing!

  7. Soni April 28, 2015 at 9:35 am #

    Ooh I drool at your red chili sauce every time I look at your pics and recipe!Love a vegetarian version of fajita and they’ll surely come in handy!Yet another fantastic recipe MJ!!

    • mj April 28, 2015 at 2:53 pm #

      Thanks so much Soni! Oh yes, our red chile sauce is definitely drool worthy! 🙂

  8. Katerina April 28, 2015 at 12:10 am #

    I love Mexican and I love your vegetarian version! I love the sauce smothering the tortillas!

    • mj April 28, 2015 at 2:52 pm #

      Thanks so much Katerina!

  9. The Duo Dishes April 27, 2015 at 7:58 am #

    Definitely two chipotles! Love that smokey flavor.

    • mj April 27, 2015 at 8:06 pm #


  10. Debra April 25, 2015 at 8:06 am #

    Love the no meat alternative. I have got to get me a pressure cooker this summer and check out your bean canning process.

    • mj April 26, 2015 at 12:36 pm #

      Thanks Debra! I love my pressure cooker for dried beans! There’s nothing better IMO.

  11. cquek April 25, 2015 at 2:21 am #

    It sounds fantastic! perfect for lunch time

    • mj April 26, 2015 at 12:36 pm #

      Lunch, brunch, dinner…any time! 🙂 Thanks!

  12. Viviane Bauquet Farre April 24, 2015 at 6:10 pm #

    Love this, MJ. And I love the story of how it evolved from a young-and-broke college recipe into this gorgeous creation. An inspiration as always!

    • mj April 26, 2015 at 12:35 pm #

      Thanks so much Viviane!

  13. Mrs Major Hoff April 24, 2015 at 11:09 am #

    We can’t get enough of enchiladas in our house! I can’t wait to try yours!

    • mj April 26, 2015 at 12:34 pm #

      Thanks Mrs. Hoff! Hope you and your family enjoy them!

  14. Judy @Savoring Today April 24, 2015 at 6:01 am #

    One of these days I will have to try the red chile sauce, but I’ve fallen in love with the red chile (powder) sauce. It would be fabulous on this burrito. Yum!

    • mj April 24, 2015 at 9:42 am #

      Thanks Judy! I actually used red chile sauce made from red chile powder for this meal. I switch back and forth between pods and powder. When I have the pods and time, I make a BIG batch from pods. When I have neither, I use powder. It is a little different in flavor and texture, but they both are pretty awesome. 🙂

  15. Aquasan April 24, 2015 at 5:50 am #

    Beautiful and probably very tasty.

    • mj April 24, 2015 at 9:40 am #

      Thanks Aquasan!

  16. Tessa April 23, 2015 at 6:42 pm #

    Love that photo of the road runner! Sounds like you need to save your lunch money and get a longer lens :D. Have a great day!

    • mj April 23, 2015 at 7:39 pm #

      Thanks Tessa! Oh yes…a new lens would be fun wouldn’t it. 🙂

  17. Abbe @ This is How I Cook April 23, 2015 at 2:55 pm #

    I am needing this now! Red chile is one of my very favorites! But i have to say that the roadrunner is sure cute! Perhaps you should leave out a bite for him?

    • mj April 23, 2015 at 7:38 pm #

      Come on over Abbe and I’ll dish one up. 🙂 From the looks of this roadrunner it looks like he is getting quite a few bites from somewhere. 🙂

  18. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles April 23, 2015 at 12:54 pm #

    Let me just say that this is one of the most spectacular looking burritos I’ve ever seen! That main capture is gorgeous – with the light reflecting on the sauce right at the corner of the tortilla, the perspective and the overall deliciousness of the image you’ve captured here 😀 – everything is glistening. Your smokey chipotle beans sound sublime. I find chipotle in adobo really hot — is it just me? Maybe I need to try again 🙂 — the first recipe I ever made with it was a creamy spinach chipotle – dear heavens it was good. Do you know what’s funny, I’ve never had sauce over a burrito (we always tuck it into the tortilla) — I think I like yours better. That parting shot… really, through a window? Incredible! And, does that bird look almost camouflaged? How cool.

    • mj April 23, 2015 at 7:37 pm #

      Well, thank you Kelly!!! Here in New Mexico we do make some of the best burritos one can find. 🙂 So you like my highlighties. That’s what I call them and I love it when I came make it work, which is not that often. So thanks for noticing! Chipotle adobo IS really HOT! But a couple of them in a full pot of beans (~6 cups) is just perfect. In 2 cups, I would cut it back to 1 chile. That creamy spinach chipotle sounds awesome! Is it on your website? I wouldn’t hesitate to smother a burrito in that any day. Oh and you should try smothering burritos. It’s SO much better than putting it in the tortilla. It’s the only way to go. As far as the camouflaged roadrunner…since they are desert birds, yes, they do blend in with the scenery to hide from predators. Of course here in the city, they have no predators, so they are multiplying quite quickly. I love it! Last summer I was reading on the front porch and one came right up to my chair and started barking at me. Scared the pee out of me. 🙂 Interesting birds.

      • Kelly @ Inspired Edibles April 23, 2015 at 9:38 pm #

        Scared the pee out of me – lol. Highlights they are (but highlighties is even cuter 😉 ) and they are indeed gorgeous, transforms the whole shot. I’m so going to use the smother method. So in your list of ingredients for this recipe, is it 2 cups of cooked beans? (for a moment I thought maybe 2 cups dry, yielding 6 cups cooked but for 4 burritos that would be quite a lot of beans 😀 ) — I’ll start with 1 chipotle and see how we do! Thanks MJ.

        • mj April 24, 2015 at 9:40 am #

          Thanks for catching that Kelly! Yes, it is 2 cups “cooked” beans. I’ve added that to the recipe.

          • Kelly @ Inspired Edibles April 25, 2015 at 11:27 am #

            Oh my goodness MJ, the best Friday night meal we have had in ages… we loved the smoky chipotle flavored beans (I used black beans with about 1 + 1/2 peppers in adobo 😉 ) so good! also loved trying your method of smothering the outside tortilla in the chile sauce (by the way, do you serve your sauce cold or warm it up?) next time I will make your red chile sauce (this time I bought but it was quite good). You reminded me of two other methods I was very happy to reintroduce — the slow cooking/caramelization of onions and peppers (tender morsels of heavenliness) and warming the tortilla right over the gas flame element (i used to do this with small tortillas for the boys after school — those delicious little burn marks — covered in hummus). I served the whole mess with a big batch of garlicky guacamole starring garden fresh cilantro (since it’s the first time I’ve actually been able to grow cilantro beyond one week 😉 it was a must!). Thank you so much for this amazing recipe which we will no doubt make again and again!

          • mj April 26, 2015 at 12:47 pm #

            Oh Kelly!! You have made my week!! I am THRILLED that you and your family enjoyed this meal and especially the smothering of red chile, which I pour on hot/warm BTW. There’s something so natural about heating a tortilla over the flame, isn’t there? Some times for a “snack”, I’ll heat a tortilla (corn or flour…whichever I have) and slather it with butter. Hummus would be much for me 🙂 and sounds delicious! Thanks again for your thrilling and kind feedback!! You’re a sweetheart!

  19. Angie@Angie's Recipes April 23, 2015 at 10:20 am #

    Your burrito looks fantastic, and so are the photos. Love those circular bokeh. How did you do it so perfectly?

    • mj April 23, 2015 at 7:27 pm #

      Thanks so much Angie! The bokeh is one of those happy accidents. It’s created by direct sunlight reflecting off the leaves of a jade plant in the background. Pretty cool, huh? 🙂

  20. Amy (Savory Moments) April 23, 2015 at 4:41 am #

    These are a meal I would love! Your road runner photo is so cute!

    • mj April 23, 2015 at 10:07 am #

      Thanks Amy! 🙂

  21. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef April 22, 2015 at 6:03 pm #

    Did anyone look at that last photo and not say “Beep Beep” in their heads (or out loud)? Maybe I’m just odd. 🙂

    Your burrito looks amazing and I would love to sink my teeth into that right now.

    • mj April 22, 2015 at 8:28 pm #

      No, you are not odd. I say it all of the time, every time I see one running down the street for that matter. 🙂 Thanks Maureen!

  22. minnie@thelady8home April 22, 2015 at 2:04 pm #

    That’s a great recipe MJ! Such a great vegetarian option.

    No wonder you got such a cute visitor.

    • mj April 22, 2015 at 8:26 pm #

      Thanks Minnie! Since it was a New Mexico roadrummer, it probably would love some NM chile. 🙂

  23. Evelyne@cheapethniceatz April 22, 2015 at 1:19 pm #

    Thank you had a great vacation! So cool never saw a real roadrunners before! great shot. And what a great dish too, nice to see a vegetarian version in a fajita fashion. Love the smoky flavor created here too. I am coming over for dinner!

    • mj April 22, 2015 at 8:24 pm #

      Come on over Evelyne! We’d love to have you!! Roadrunners are so cool and actually quite beautiful. Bobby has some really great shots that show the florescent colors in the head.

  24. Asmita April 22, 2015 at 6:37 am #

    These burritos look incredible! Love your presentation too 🙂

    • mj April 22, 2015 at 8:21 pm #

      Thanks so much Asmita!

  25. Bam's Kitchen April 21, 2015 at 9:34 pm #

    How do you do it?!?! You make even brown food look amazing. I just want to do a face plant in your dish. Love it!

    • mj April 22, 2015 at 8:20 pm #

      You’re so sweet Bobbi! Thanks!

  26. Joanne T Ferguson April 21, 2015 at 8:31 pm #

    You burritos look absolutely delicious MJ and I wish I could be your taste tester!
    these bring back lots of fond, childhood memories and GREAT photography!

    • mj April 22, 2015 at 8:18 pm #

      Thanks so much Joanne! You are welcome to be a test tester. The more the merrier! 🙂

  27. John@Kitchen Riffs April 21, 2015 at 4:14 pm #

    Love anything with red chile! And I love anything with beans (in fact we’re having beans and tortillas for dinner tonight!). This looks fabulous — my kind of dinner. Love the picture of the roadrunner. Really good recipe — thanks.

    • mj April 21, 2015 at 8:03 pm #

      You and me both John! We’re having a huge increase in the roadrunner population here in our neighborhood. It’s so cool seeing them running around. 🙂 Thanks for your comments!

  28. Vicki Bensinger April 21, 2015 at 2:28 pm #

    Oh heavens this looks amazing. I love the looks of that thick sauce smothered over the burrito. My family would love this and craves great authentic southwestern food. This will be a winner in my home. Fabulous recipe!!!

    • mj April 21, 2015 at 8:02 pm #

      Thanks so much Vicki! There’s nothing like smothering food with New Mexico red chile! 🙂


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