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What Is a Chili Cheese Burrito?

By M. Chambers
Updated May 16, 2024
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A chili cheese burrito is a type of burrito that contains ingredients such as refried beans, ground beef, shredded cheese, chili powder, tomato paste, and jalapeno slices. Diced onions, distilled vinegar, cayenne pepper, corn starch, and salt are also commonly used in the burrito. Canned chili can also be used to substitute tomato paste, chili powder, and cayenne pepper, if preferred. The burritos are usually eaten with flour tortillas, but can also be eaten with corn tortillas.

Like most traditional burrito recipes, a chili burrito usually consists of ground beef, beans, and shredded cheese. Instead of including sauce, lettuce, and other diced vegetables, a chili cheese burrito uses chili as the other key ingredient. Typically, the chili is prepared with the ground beef before being added to the refried beans, shredded cheese, and tortillas.

The chili used in the burrito is generally made by combining browned beef, tomato paste, water, seasoning, diced onions, and vinegar and cooking these ingredients in a saucepan. Jalapeno peppers or hot sauce can also be added for spicier versions of the chili. For a thicker consistency, corn starch or flour can be used in the chili.

Instead of making homemade chili, many prefer to use canned chili, as it is normally faster and more convenient. The chili can be left as is, or combined with more vegetables, spices, and meat. Typically, if the canned chili already contains meat, the cook will not need to add any additional ground beef to the burrito.

While chili is not commonly used in most variations of Mexican burritos, the tangy taste of the chili combined with shredded cheese, ground beef, and refried beans can give a burrito a unique, spicy flavor. Most versions of the chili cheese burrito contain refried beans, but the dish can be eaten with just chili, cheese, and ground beef, as well. The chili can also be poured on top of the burrito as a sauce instead of being included as a filling, if preferred.

Most often, however, the chili is used as a filling inside the burrito with the beans and shredded cheese. Some prefer to mix the refried beans with the chili, while others like to pour to chili mixture on top of the beans and cheese instead. As with the majority of Mexican dishes, diced vegetables and salsa can also be added to the chili cheese burrito for more flavor and texture.

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Discussion Comments
By Heavanet — On Nov 17, 2014

@talentryto- I love vegetarian chili, and it goes very well in chili cheese burrito recipes. Simply leave out the meat of your favorite chili recipe and replace it with more vegetables and beans. You won't miss the meat, but you will significantly decrease the amount of calories and fat in this favorite Mexican dish.

By Ocelot60 — On Nov 16, 2014

@talentryto- I think that you should try using low-fat cheese in your chili cheese burrito recipe. This will cut back on fat and calories without compromising the flavor of the finished recipe.

You can also replace the refried beans in the recipe for black beans. Not only are they better for you, but black beans have less calories and fat than refried beans.

By Rundocuri — On Nov 16, 2014

@talentryto- A great way to cut calories and add more fiber to any chili cheese burrito is to use tortilla shells that are made of whole grains. With more people than ever trying to eat healthier diets and lose weight, more companies are making traditional foods with ingredients that have health benefits.

If you look in the Mexican food section or bread isle of your favorite grocery store, you should be able to find several tortilla brands that make whole grain tortilla shells. A good rule of thumb to follow is to look for tortilla shells that have the fewest ingredients on the label, because this means that particular brand is more wholesome and uses less artificial ingredients and preservatives.

By Talentryto — On Nov 15, 2014

I love Mexican food and chili cheese burritos, but I'm trying to cut fat and calories from my diet. I'm looking for some cooking tips to make this Mexican dish less fattening and more healthful, yet just as tasty as traditional recipes.

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