Before celiac disease, Taco Bell was one of a few fast food restaurants that were my guilty pleasure.
Bean and cheese burritos were one of my Taco Bell favorites. Gooey, cheesy beans with a little spicy sauce and crunch from the onions, all wrapped up in a warm tortilla. A warm flour tortilla.
And then, I was placed on a gluten-free diet for life.
Taco Bell is up front that its products are not recommended for those of us with celiac disease.
So no more Taco Bell menu items for me. Until last week…
I was planning to heat up BeanVIVO Chili for an easy dinner, when my daughter suggested wrapping it in tortillas.
Great idea! Then, thinking about the Taco Bell burritos I have really missed, I decided to add a little diced onion and shredded cheese.
I was amazed by the first bite. If you have been “living without” something due to dietary restrictions, you know how an old aroma or flavor can take you back in time. I had one of those moments with this burrito…. similar to when I discovered Caputo Fioreglut gluten-free flour (the best flour for pizza dough) and found myself leaning over my stand mixer inhaling the scent of the pizza dough.
The discovery of this copycat Taco Bell recipe was just like that pizza dough. The flavors of the BeanVIVO chili echo the beans and red sauce in the original recipe.
You will love how healthy this copycat version is. It is vegetarian and gluten-free. If you use vegan cheese, it is also plant-based and vegan. The ingredients listed below are quality ingredients.
You will also love how simple it is to make this 4-ingredient Taco Bell bean & cheese burrito!
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BeanVIVO Chili is the magic ingredient in this great recipe. The seasonings in the chili have all of the flavors of the original Taco Bell bean & cheese burrito. It tastes just right, straight out of the package.
No need to start with a can of refried beans, and struggle to figure out just the right amounts of chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, taco seasoning, and hot sauce.
This simple pouch of chili makes the copycat recipe so easy. 60 seconds in the microwave and your burrito filling is ready to be assembled in a few simple steps.
Here are the ingredients listed on the package: Water, three-bean blend* (red beans*, black beans*, navy beans*), diced tomatoes in juice*, plant-based chorizo* [water, textured soy protein*, soybean oil*, distilled vinegar*, seasoning* (spices*, sea salt, dextrose*, onion powder*, garlic powder*, natural extractives of paprika), caramel color*, sea salt, natural extractives of paprika* (for color)], tomatoes*, avocado oil*, sea salt, spice*, dehydrated garlic*, garlic*.
The chili is labeled vegan, gluten-free, and organic.
If you can’t find it in your local grocery store, BeanVIVO Chili is sold on Amazon. I just placed an Amazon order today, so I can make this recipe again very soon. It is also sold at Walmart, and is very affordable there!
I chose to use BFree Gluten-Free Quinoa & Chia Seed Wraps for two reasons.
- They are bendy, which is a requirement for making a burrito. (If you know gluten-free wraps and tortillas, you know this is a big deal.)
- The ingredients. Gluten-free replacement foods are often made with not-so-great ingredients. The first two ingredients are water and a wholegrain flour blend, made with sorghum, millet, brown rice, buckwheat, teff, amaranth, and quinoa.
In addition to being certified gluten-free, the package notes these wraps are wheat-free, high in fiber, nut-free, egg-free, soy-free, vegan-friendly, and dairy-free.
While BFree labels these as “wraps”, they function as a large tortilla. You can use any flexible, gluten-free tortilla you love to make these copycat taco bell bean burritos.
The BeanVivo chili is essential to the recipe, but your choice of large tortillas is as flexible as the BFree wraps.
Small White Onion (Diced)
For me, onions are a must in this Taco Bell copycat recipe. I have always loved the mildly spicy flavor and crunch they add to the bean and cheese burrito.
But many onion-hating Taco Bell fans order their bean and cheese burritos “without onions”. So go right ahead and leave out the onions, if you don’t like them.
Because each burrito is assembled separately, you can also skip onions for one burrito and add them to the other. Everyone’s happy!
Red onions or yellow onions work in a pinch.
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Taco Bell uses real cheddar cheese in its bean and cheese burritos, so stick to that if you are looking for the authentic taste of Taco Bell.
If you want to tweak the flavor a bit, pick a cheese that suits your taste buds. Monterey jack cheese, pepper jack cheese, a Mexican cheese blend, or a sharp cheddar would all be great in these burritos.
Vegan Option: use Violife Cheddar Shreds (which are labeled gluten-free) or your favorite vegan cheese. The three other ingredients are already vegan.
It doesn’t get easier than this. Four ingredients, ready in under ten minutes!
Preheat a skillet on the stove, on medium heat.
It takes approximately two minutes to warm up the pan So, preheat the skillet for the tortillas in step one, giving it time to heat up while you start step two…
Microwave BeanVIVO chili on high for 60 seconds, per package directions.
Follow the package instructions, and tear open the BPA-free pouch two inches to vent. Heat in the microwave on high for 60 seconds, per package directions.
The package also has directions to cook the chili on the stovetop. I opted for the microwave method to keep the recipe down to seven minutes of preparation time.
Warm the tortillas in a skillet over medium heat.
Warming the tortilla helps it to stay flexible while you stuff and roll it.
Warm each tortilla for about 20-30 seconds per side. By the time you’ve warmed the tortillas, your chili is ready to remove from the microwave.
Place one tortilla on a plate. Put ½ of the chili, cheese, and onions in the center of the tortilla.
Option to omit onions on one or both burritos, and/or use a different cheese, according to individual taste.
Now it’s time to fold the burrito. Two options.
Option 1: Fold the bottom and top of the tortilla inward. Fold in one of the tortilla sides, and then roll the burrito tightly. This gives you a completely wrapped burrito, which is less messy.
Option 2: Fold the bottom of the tortilla inward. Fold in one of the tortilla sides, and then roll the burrito tightly. This leaves the burrito open at top, like they do at Taco Bell!
Microwave the assembled burrito for 30 seconds.
30 seconds in the microwave is just long enough to melt the cheese and meld the flavors together.
Repeat with the second burrito.
While the first burrito is heating up in the microwave, assemble the second burrito.
If doubling the recipe (or more), build each burrito while the previous one is in the microwave to keep things moving!
Adjusting the Recipe
Speaking of doubling the recipe… it’s very easy. Buy more chili. One chili pouch has enough to make precisely two burritos. So buy more 2 or 3 more pouches of chili to double or triple your recipe.
Your other ingredients (tortillas, shredded cheese, and onions) already contain enough to double or triple the recipe.
For halving the recipe, I recommend assembling two burritos. Skip the final 30 seconds in the microwave. Place the extra burrito in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
What to Serve with Copycat Taco Bell Bean & Cheese Burritos
- Rice: Spanish Rice, Cilantro-Lime White Rice or Brown Rice
- Tortilla Chips
- Avocado Salad
Healthy Copycat Recipe: Taco Bell Bean & Cheese Burrito (gluten-free)
- 1 package BeanVIVO – Organic Three Bean Vegan Chili
- 2 BFree Gluten-Free Quinoa & Chia Seed Wraps or your favorite gluten-free tortilla
- ¼ small white onion, diced
- ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese Vegan Option: use Violife Cheddar Shreds or your favorite vegan cheese
- Pre-heat a skillet on the stove on medium heat. (approx 2 minutes before warming tortillas in step 3)
- Tear BeanVIVO chili pouch 2 inches to vent and heat in microwave on high for 60 seconds, per package directions.
- Warm tortillas in a skillet over medium heat. (20-30 seconds each side)
- Assemble burritos. Place ½ of the chili, cheese, and onions on one tortilla. Fold the bottom and top of the tortilla inward. Tightly fold the sides of the burrito.
- Microwave the assembled burrito for 30 seconds.
- Repeat with second burrito.
Whether you are missing your favorite Taco Bell offerings or other fast-food restaurants, know that you can always make it better (and better for you) at home!
And when you decide to dine out with celiac disease, choose restaurants with good cross-contamination protocols appropriate for individuals with celiac disease (Taco Bell isn’t one of them), communicate with the restaurant staff, and ask key questions. Fill out the form below to get my Free Celiac Guide to Dining Out.