Encouraging, exhorting, equipping Christian Families in Jesus Christ

Maxwells' Burrito Recipe


28-30 cups uncooked pinto beans

2 1/2 c. chili powder

1/2 c. salt

1/4 c. pepper

13-15 lbs. onions (we have never had too many onions)

22 large jalapeños for fairly spicey (18 is so so)


This recipe makes a large amount of burrito filling. We use two very large pots, plus two crock pots.

We make this on a weekend. Thursday evening, Sarah sorts and washes the pinto beans and lets them soak overnight. Then, she dumps out the water, and fills the pots with fresh water, and the beans cook all day until nice and soft. Late on Friday evening, Dad uses our big mixer and mashes the beans up until they are smooth as possible (no more chunks of beans). He drains most of the water out to get a nice consistency before mixing them up. You could cook the beans overnight to avoid having to store them in the refrig or oven overnight, but that just adds to the work in the morning.

At night is when we chop and puree the onions and jalapeños. Dad puts all the onions and jalapeños together in one pot and lets them cook over night. As you see, this requires a lot of dishes since you have LOTS of beans mashed up, onions/jalapeños cooking on the stove, etc. In the morning (you will all smell like burritos), Dad puts equal mixture of beans and onions/jalapeños together in each pot (this can be a challenge) and adds seasonings. The seasonings below are approximate—this recipe really depends on what you like taste wise. After stirring and mixing it all up, we let the burrito stuff cook all day and then package it up into containers. We will taste it periodically and add a little more of something if needed.

When Dad packages the burrito mixture up, he will dip from each pot to try and even out any taste difference. There is usually one pot that is best, but this way it is more consistent.

We used to add hamburger, but Dad found that you couldn't taste any difference and this makes it much less expensive.

More Notes:

We freeze the filling alone—not in tortillas. Then, on Sunday, we pull a container out of the freezer and put it in a pan, turn the oven on a lower temperature and pop it in the oven before we leave for church. When we come home, the filling is nice and warm, and we just have to set the table, put the tortillas and chips on, whatever toppings we want, etc. It usually lasts us about 9-12 meals.

(We had originally posted our burrito recipe on one of our message boards. Some of the ladies had asked questions, and Sarah responded to them.)

You say you let the onion/pepper mixture cook all night. Is that just simmering in water? Do you store the mashed beans in the fridge over night while the onion stuff is cooking?

When you puree the onion/pepper mixture, you will add some water to help it puree and make it smooth. We add as little water as possible otherwise, it gets too runny. It will be a thick mixture when you cook it. I would turn the mixture onto low so that it cooks but doesn't burn. The mashed beans go either in the fridge or oven on very low. If it is in the winter time, we can put them on our enclosed front porch.

Also, how do you chop your peppers? I have heard that you should wear rubber gloves, but I have never chopped any so don't know if this is true. Can you just put them in the food processor like you would the onions? Do you have to seed the peppers first? I've never handled a raw pepper, just the canned already chopped ones.

If you leave the seeds in it is more spicy. We usually leave them in. To start with, you might take them out and err on the side of the children's comfort. For us, we just wash the peppers and cut the top off, then into the blender. Be careful not to breathe the pepper vapors as they can be quite strong. The canned ones are fine, but do have more of a vinegar flavor. Whatever you prefer will work fine.

Do you put bean mixture in a corn/flour tortilla along with toppings, then roll up?

Yes, that way if one person likes tomatoes or cheese they can add it.

Also, after cooking the onion mixture all day, do you then mix it with cooked beans and cook all day again? How do you keep it from sticking/burning on the pots?

Actually, the onion mixture is just cooked over night. Then in the morning we combine the beans and spices and slow cook it all day. It takes a fair amount of sampling to get the spices right. We do have to stir it frequently (about every 15 minutes, setting a timer is important), and you have to make sure it is not turned up too high otherwise it will burn on the bottom.