Three Recipes for a Homemade Taco Bell Bean Burrito

IMG 3420 Edited Three Recipes for a Homemade Taco Bell Bean Burrito

While planning a Cinco de Mayo menu, I received a request to recreate the red sauce Taco Bell serves in their bean burritos. The request for the sauce itself seemed fairly tame, and it gave me the perfect opportunity to try two new DIY recipes – homemade tortillas and homemade refried beans.

I first saw homemade tortillas posted at Fearless Homemaker. The tortillas pictured in my post may look slightly more brown than a traditional flour tortilla as I used 1/2 cup whole wheat flour and 3 cups all-purpose flour in place of  3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour. When making tortillas at home, I can not stress enough the importance of rolling the tortillas very thin. I was hesitant to do so at first, and I ended up with tortillas much less pliable than desired (they were just plain hard). A good tip provided in the original post linked above was to use an 8-inch salad plate as  a guide to trim the rolled-out circles.

IMG 3410 Edited Three Recipes for a Homemade Taco Bell Bean Burrito


IMG 3397 Edited Three Recipes for a Homemade Taco Bell Bean Burrito

Homemade refried beans are on the left. Store-bought refried beans are on the right.

I cobbled together the homemade refried beans via posts seen on How Sweet It Is and Money Saving Mom. I took a shortcut and used canned beans instead of dried beans, but please do as I say and not as I do and use dried beans. You will save money if you buy a bag of dried beans instead of canned beans. If you are uncertain about cooking with dried beans, Annie’s Eats has you covered.

A good tip from the former post was to reserve some of the water in which you cook your beans to use as broth later in the recipe. (The post also contains great step-by-step photos.) A good tip from the latter post was 1 cup of dry beans equals approximately 3 cups of cooked beans.

IMG 3426 Edited e1336498943468 Three Recipes for a Homemade Taco Bell Bean Burrito

On to what started it all – the attempt to recreate Taco Bell’s red sauce. I found a recipe at CopyKat Recipes, and I’ve been told it did not disappoint. I have not eaten a Taco Bell bean burrito in years, and I did not do my due diligence and buy one of their bean burritos to taste test the red sauce compared to my homemade red sauce. All I can say with certainty is putting these three homemade dishes together made for a pretty good bean burrito.

The process of making tortillas and refried beans at home was fairly simple and well worth the gains in flavor.  Though cooking from scratch is rarely the path of least resistance, I really like the sense of accomplishment I get when I serve a fully homemade meal. Preparing the three components of this meal do no take a lot of time. You can start the sauce simmering while you make and roll out the tortillas, then brown the tortillas while the beans simmer. Finish the beans, spread them on a fresh homemade tortilla, top with red sauce (and a little cheese if desired) and you have a nice little lunch on your hands. Enjoy!

3.0 from 2 reviews
Homemade (Taco Bell) Bean Burrito
Recipe type: Entree
  • For the tortillas:
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup shortening
  • For the refried beans:
  • 2 cups cooked pinto beans
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons broth, or more as needed
  • For the red sauce:
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons minced onions
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1½ teaspoons cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  1. To make the tortillas, pour the salt into the lukewarm water, stir to dissolve, and set aside.
  2. Blend the flour and the shortening in a food processor until the mixture resembles a fine meal. (If a food processor is not available, simply use a fork to cut the shortening into the flour.)
  3. Place both the flour and the water mixtures in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment and mix until the liquid is incorporated and the dough is smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes. (If a stand mixer is not available, stir the liquid into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon, then knead by hand.)
  4. Divide the dough into 12 equally-sized pieces (just slightly larger than a golf ball).
  5. Roll each ball of dough into a thin 8-inch round.
  6. Cook each round in a heavy pan over medium-high heat, flipping once, until each side is slightly puffed and golden, about 3 to 5 minutes per tortilla.
  7. To make the refried beans, sauté the beans and onion with the butter or olive oil, garlic, brown sugar, cumin, paprika, salt, chili powder, and red pepper flakes for about 10 minutes.
  8. Use an immersion blender, regular blender, or fork to blend/mash the bean mixture to the desired consistency. Add broth to adjust the texture.
  9. To make the red sauce, place all of the ingredients in a sauce pan and stir well.
  10. Simmer over low heat for 15 – 20 minutes.
  11. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
For cooking both the tortillas and the refried beans, I used a cast iron skillet. The refried beans had plenty of heat, so if that does not suit your taste, reduce or eliminate the red pepper flakes.

Five Days of Cinco de Mayo: The Dessert

IMG 3508 Edited Five Days of Cinco de Mayo: The Dessert

Happy Cinco de Mayo! For the grand finale, what do you say we enjoy some Mexican Chocolate Cakes with caramel sauce? The original recipe, from Booze Cakes: Confections Spiked with Spirits, Wine, and Beer Five Days of Cinco de Mayo: The Dessert, called for a tequila cajeta caramel sauce. The book describes cajeta as “a devilishly good Mexican caramel.” Upon further research (a.k.a. a Google search), I learned cajeta is caramel made from goat’s milk.

Since I: a) don’t yet own a goat (I want a goat so bad!), b) didn’t make it to a grocery store with a good international section so I could look for cajeta, and c) hate tequila unless it’s mixed in a good margarita, I made regular caramel sauce.

IMG 3511 Edited Five Days of Cinco de Mayo: The Dessert

 Caramels I can make, but caramel sauce is the bane of my existence! I takes me at least three attempts each time to get it right. It burns or it’s too chewy or something else happens altogether. By attempt three this go-round I was out of heavy cream, so I used ice cream instead. Perhaps ice cream is the magical ingredient because that caramel sauce pulled together just fine.

If you are like me and struggle with caramel sauce, there are really nice posts about how to make homemade caramel sauce at Baker’s Royale and My Baking Addiction. If you are not like me and enjoy the taste of tequila in things other than margaritas, you can stir 1/2 cup tequila into 1/2 cup caramel sauce and microwave until the mixture is able to be stirred smooth (about 2 minutes).

IMG 3515 Edited e1336085252724 Five Days of Cinco de Mayo: The Dessert

As much fun as five days of consecutive blogging have been (take that with a grain of margarita salt), I’m going to go chill. You may notice in my Cinco de Mayo pictures some tortillas and refried beans that I have not yet wrote about. Not to worry, as I’ll soon be back with a post about how to make your own delcious Taco Bell Bean Burrito at home, what to do with leftover tortillas, and of course a dessert.

For now, I’m off to drink a margarita. Happy Cinco de Mayo!

IMG 3506 Edited Five Days of Cinco de Mayo: The Dessert

Day 1: The Appetizers
Day 2: The Main Dish
Day 3: The Side Dish
Day 4: The Drink
Day 5: The Dessert
Mexican Chocolate Cakes
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 10
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • ½ cup sugar, divided
  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon coffee liqueur (like Kahlua)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Melt the butter and ¼ cup of the sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat.
  2. When melted, stir in the chocolate and cook until melted.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
  4. While the mixture cools, beat the egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form.
  5. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks and the remaining cup of sugar until pale yellow.
  6. Add the coffee liqueur to the bowl with the egg yolks.
  7. Stir in the warm (not hot!) chocolate mixture into the bowl with the egg yolks.
  8. Gently fold the egg whites into the mixture.
  9. Pour the batter into paper-lined cupcake wells (the batter will not rise, so the level of the batter will be the height of the cake).
  10. Bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes.
  11. Serve with caramel sauce.
The original recipe called for 9 ounces of chocolate. Since Baker's chocolate is sold in 8 ounce packages, I used 8 ounces. For my tastes, the chocolate flavor was more than rich enough with just 8 ounces.

Five Days of Cinco de Mayo: The Drink (that wants to be dessert)

IMG 3508 Edited Five Days of Cinco de Mayo: The Drink (that wants to be dessert)

Now we’re getting to the good stuff. A drink – the classic margarita – that doubles as a dessert courtesy of a little ice cream and lemon-lime soda.

I really struggled with what drink to make for Cinco de Mayo. The margarita was an obvious choice, but there are so many good-looking margaritas out there that I didn’t know where to begin. My 5 o’clock board on Pinterest provides proof of said margaritas, and I assure you they put my classic to shame.

IMG 3487 Edited e1336011261994 Five Days of Cinco de Mayo: The Drink (that wants to be dessert)

So I turned the classic margarita into a dessert margarita. Like guacamole, this recipe should be viewed more as a process than as a  hard-and-fast set of rules. Just gather your ingredients and get to mixing.

If time permits, prepare the glasses with a salt/sugar rim and place them in the freezer to chill for about an hour before preparing and serving the margarita floats. I used vanilla ice cream this time, though the original recipe suggested vanilla or lemon. How about trying both together? Next time I think I’m going to try a margarita float made with lime sorbet.

IMG 3488 Edited Five Days of Cinco de Mayo: The Drink (that wants to be dessert)

Until Cinco de Mayo, cheers!

Day 1: The Appetizers
Day 2: The Main Dish
Day 3: The Side Dish
Day 4: The Drink
Day 5: The Dessert
Margarita Floats
Recipe type: Drink/Dessert
Serves: 1
  • 1 lime wedge
  • salt and/or sugar for the rims of the glasses
  • 1 scoop ice cream
  • 2 tablespoons tequila
  • 1 tablespoon triple sec
  • lemon lime soda
  1. Run the lime around the rim of a glass.
  2. Dip the rim of the glass in salt, sugar, or a mixture of equal parts salt and sugar.
  3. Place scoops of vanilla ice cream in the glass, then top with 2 tablespoons of tequila and 1 tablespoon of triple sec.
  4. Fill with soda and serve immediately.
A traditional margarita is made with tequila, triple sec, and lime juice.