Chicken and Bean Faux-Ritos

I have one more recipe for you this week that I made from my cookbook… I had saved this one from June’s Cooking Light Magazine (my favvv) and the only thing I had to buy was another package of chicken breasts.

The original recipe was supposed to be a Burrito that was folded and grilled in a pan to seal it and make it nice and warm and toasty.  My tortillas that I picked up were too “healthy” for it and I think the Flax seeds and multi-grain factor made the wraps crack when I tried to fold them properly.  Instead of getting all frazzled… we just ate them as a sloppy mess.  I think they may have tasted better 🙂 … but you should use Flour Tortillas if you want to make them into actual burritos as the recipe suggests.

To make the recipe go even farther and healthier, I added an entire bag of Baby Spinach to the mix.  We love doing that- it’s a really easy and delicious way to take a recipe to the next level!

Chicken and Bean Burritos Faux-Ritos

Recipe Adapted from:  Cooking Light


1lb Chicken Breast, thinly sliced and cut into 1-inch pieces

1/2 Sweet Onion, chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons Chili Powder

1/2 teaspoon Cumin

1/8 teaspoon Sea Salt & Black Pepper

1/2 Can Small Red Beans (calls for Black but I didn’t have any left!) rinsed and drained

1 teaspoon Garlic, minced

1 Bag Baby Spinach

2 10-inch Flour Tortillas (I used multigrain from Trader Joe’s which would NOT fold properly)

1/4 Cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, reduced fat

Cooking Spray

Fresh Cilantro, Hot Sauce, Salsa  (I used TJ’s Fresh Mild Salsa) & Fat Free Sour Cream


1.  Combine chopped Chicken, Onions, Chili Powder, Cumin, Salt, and Pepper in a bowl.  Mix well to combine.

2.  Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan.  Add chicken mixture and cook for 8 minutes while stirring occasionally.  Add beans and garlic- cook 2 minutes while stirring.  Add whole bag of spinach (maybe 1/2 at a time if need be), stirring to combine and wilt spinach.  Cook for 2-3 minutes.  Remove mixture from heat and put into a bowl.  Clean the pan and get ready to use again if you’re going to be making them into actual burritos.

3.  Put about 3/4 Cup of mixture into the center of the tortilla.  Top with hot sauce, cilantro, and cheese.  Fold the burrito (if you want… if not skip to step 5).

4.  Re-heat the pan over medium-high.  Coat both sides of the burritos with cooking spray and place in the hot pan.  Cook for 2 minutes on each side or until it is browned.  Cut in half.

5.  Top with Salsa, Hot Sauce, Cilantro, Sour Cream, or any other desired garnish.

Ready to heat up the chicken and onion mixture.

Ready to heat up the chicken and onion mixture.

Gorg!  Loving our new Fiesta dishes from my Mommom and Poppop :)  They make everything so pretty

Gorg! Loving our new Fiesta dishes from my Mommom and Poppop 🙂 They make everything so pretty

So in typical Beth fashion, I put too much hot sauce on my Faux-Rito 😦  I had just opened a bottle of Trader Joe’s Habenero Hot Sauce… and should have known better.



Beth:  How’s the new hot sauce?  Is it really hot?

Dave:  No, not at all.

Beth:  Even with it being Habenero??!

Dave:  Habenero is just the flavor, it’s really good, not too spicy.

Beth: (as I liberally shake some ontop of my entire meal) That’s weird, Habenero Peppers are usually really ——- (I take a bite) SPICY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

Typical, typical.  My mouth was burning for maybe a half hour.  Nice.

Destroyed.  MMMMMMM

Destroyed. MMMMMMM

This recipe was great for a late, rushed dinner… it was super easy to make but was a little more special than my typical Mexican Night dinners.  We had about 2 servings of filling leftover which we ate without the tortilla, so you could probably stretch this to 4 servings- or you can use the full can of beans!


You may also like these recipes:

Simple Guacamole

Simple Guacamole

Tex-Mex Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Tex-Mex Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup

California Tortilla

I was spoiled rotten my Junior summer of Penn State when I lived a block away from Belly Buster Burrito.  Belly Buster Burrito was similar to Qdoba/Chipotle, etc… but it wasn’t a chain.  It was owned by the nicest man who was always behind the counter putting together our burritos and nachos… and most importantly- he didn’t charge extra for Guacamole.  Loved him.  Obviously.  

Besides enjoying the satisfaction of sticking it to “the man” (McDonalds) and not ordering from Chipotle, everything was better about Belly Buster Burrito.  The price, the quality of the food, the ingredients, the menu, the service, just about everything.  They even had Diet Dr. Pepper “on tap” with free refills and free wifi.  I miss this place.  

Sadly, Belly Buster closed down sometime after I graduated (:(:(:() which was a huge disappointment.  I’ve tried the chain burrito places, and none of them do it for me.  My fast-food Mexican cravings soon subsided (you’re crazy if you’re thinking TacoBell) and I finally accepted the fact that I was never again going to enjoy another Make-Your-Own burrito.  That was… until Dave discovered California Tortilla.

Cue the heavenly choir sound effect… ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

The first thing you need to know about California Tortilla is that they have a “Wall of Flame”.  Yup.  They have an entire wall of ranked hot sauces with 75+ varieties.  OMG.  How much fun?  Also, have you seen any of those new spaceship-like soda machines?  Yup, CA Tortilla has those too.  It’s so much fun!  You can pick any type of soda (and so many diet ones too) and add your own flavor.  I obviously stare at this thing for a good 5 minutes before deciding on some type of Diet Dr. Pepper- already beats Belly Buster in one category!

The “Wall of Flame” so many to choose from!

Okay so now onto the food-  they have fresh ingredients, and many of them.  They have a bunch of different options and pre-put together meal ideas that are pretty interesting.  You can get almost anything you want in a burrito, a burrito bowl (everything in a bowl, no tortilla), or a salad (everything in a bowl, no tortilla + a bed of lettuce).  Oh, and then you get to smother whatever it is you decide to get with tons of hot sauce!

Okay I gave in and got cheese on it… but it was sooooooooooo good!

The California Tortilla location that Dave and I went to is right before we get to Delaware (we go there to shop, tax free!).  Not too long ago when I took a few days off of work for some vacay, we went to my new love- CA Tortilla.  We both got whatever was on special- I know it had spicy chicken, and I know it had mango and black beans involved.  Delish.

Why the sad face when I’m eating a delicious Burrito Bowl in my new favorite fast-food Mexican spot?  I put WAY too much SPICY Jamaican Jerk Hot Sauce ALL over it!  😦  Oh well!  I learned my lesson for next time 🙂