These hearty Machaca Burritos filled with shredded beef, pinto beans, and rice are an easy Mexican meal that’s great for lunch, dinner, and meal prep.
If you are looking to switch things up from classic burritos and burrito bowls, try these filling homemade Machaca Burritos. Tender shredded beef, pinto beans, rice, cilantro, lettuce, cheese, and all your favorite fillings.
With layers of savory ingredients and a satisfying texture, this recipe is ideal for a quick lunch or a comforting dinner.
What are Machaca Burritos?
Machaca burritos are a crowd-pleasing recipe inspired by the flavors of Mexico, featuring savory machaca (dried and shredded beef), soft flour tortillas, steamed rice, creamy pinto beans, and all the most delicious burrito toppings.
In our house, we love to add shredded Mexican cheese inside for a melty, gooey element. Then we pile in shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, avocado, and a dollop of sour cream.
You can add your favorite type of cheese, or customize it more by adding different salsa, toppings, and vegetables.
Why You'll Love Machaca Burritos
There are so many reasons to love these savory burritos.
- Satisfying: The combination of machaca, rice, and beans results in a high-protein and incredibly filling meal.
- Customizable: Mix in your favorite vegetables and sauces, or serve machaca burritos with unique toppings and sides to make the recipe your own! You can even deconstruct them to make burrito bowls.
- Convenient: Machaca burritos are perfect for a quick lunch or dinner. You can also prepare them in advance and freeze them for grab-and-go meals.
- Adaptable: Make these burritos using traditional dried machaca or homemade machaca, depending on what you have available. You can even try both to see which version you like more!
Ingredients and Substitutions
Here is everything you need to make these delicious burritos.
- Flour tortillas: Provide a soft, slightly chewy wrapper for the burrito. You can use low-carb tortillas or even whole-wheat tortillas as alternatives.
- Machaca: Brings a savory flavor and slightly chewy texture. Use either store-bought machaca or make your own beef machaca or chicken machaca. You may be able to find some at Mexican food markets or online.
- White rice: Adds a fluffy texture and mild flavor. Plus, it bulks up the burritos, making them more filling. You can also use brown rice or quinoa. For a low-carb option, swap in cauliflower rice.
- Pinto beans: For a creamy element that balances the chewiness of the machaca, all while adding extra protein and fiber. We prefer pinto beans, but black beans are also a good option.
- Cilantro: Adds fresh, lemony, and aromatic notes. If you're not a cilantro fan, you can omit it or replace it with parsley.
- Lettuce: Provides a refreshing crunch to these machaca burritos. Use crispy varieties like romaine, green, or iceberg lettuce. Omit if you’ll be freezing them.
- Mexican cheese: For a creamy, melty, and cheesy layer. Use a store-bought Mexican cheese blend, or make your own using cheddar, Monterey Jack, Asadero, queso quesadilla, and taco seasoning.
How to Make Machaca Burritos
Once you have the machaca, these are so easy to make.
1. Prepare the machaca
If you can’t find machaca online or in-store, you can easily make it from scratch. To prepare homemade machaca, simply season a round beef roast and slow-cook it on low for about 8 hours with a combination of onions, peppers, tomatoes, and serrano peppers.
After cooking, use a couple of forks to shred the beef, making sure to drain any excess liquid to avoid soggy burritos.
2. Assemble the burritos
We always find it helpful to warm tortillas slightly before wrapping them. This makes them much more pliable and easy to work with. You can warm them for about 20 seconds in the microwave wrapped in a towel, or heat them for 30 seconds on each side in a dry skillet.
Add your fillings one by one — steamed rice, machaca, pinto beans, lettuce, cilantro, and cheese. If you’re using extra toppings, you can add them at this point as well.
Just be careful not to overfill your burrito or it will be very difficult to roll and could break.
How to Fold a Burrito
For some people, folding a burrito is as easy as tying their shoes. For others, it’s not so straightforward. This is the quickest and best way to wrap a burrito so you never lose precious fillings again!
- Fold in the left and right sides with your index fingers towards the center so they partially cover the filling. This creates little pockets to hold the fillings in place when you start rolling.
- Starting from the edge that’s closest to you, tightly roll the tortilla with your thumbs over the filling. Remember to keep the sides folded in as you go, and maintain some tension.
- Seal the burrito by gently pressing it with both hands (like you would a sushi roll). If you’re going to be freezing or eating it on the go, you can wrap the burrito in foil. For a crunchy texture, throw the burritos in a hot skillet to crisp up the tortillas.
What to Serve with Burritos
The options are virtually endless when it comes to toppings and sides for machaca burritos, but here are some of our favorites:
- Creamy chipotle sauce
- Habanero salsa
- Pickled red onions
- Sour cream
- Pico de gallo
- Pickled jalapenos
- Tortilla chips
Meal Prep: Leftovers and Freezer Burritos
Although it’s best to eat machaca burritos right away, they do store well. Just follow these tips:
- Fridge: Store leftover burritos wrapped in foil or in an airtight container for up to 4-5 days in the refrigerator.
- Freezer: Wrap burritos individually in foil and keep them in a freezer-safe bag or container for up to 3 months. Just remember to omit the lettuce.
- Reheating: Reheat machaca burritos in the oven at 350F for 10-15 minutes, or until they’re warmed through.
Recipe Ideas and Variations
There are so many ways to make these burritos your own.
- Eggs: Add scrambled eggs for a breakfast-style burrito. Or stuff them with classic Machaca with Eggs.
- Protein: Use chicken machaca or chorizo instead of beef machaca.
- Vegetables: Add in fajita vegetables (sautéed peppers and onions) for extra savory flavors.
- Dairy-free: Swap out the cheese for a dairy-free cheese alternative.
- Grains: Use quinoa instead of rice for a complete protein.
Tips for Making Machaca Burritos
- Warm the tortillas: Warm the tortillas before assembling the burritos to prevent tearing.
- Drain well: If you’re making machaca, make sure to drain it well to avoid a soggy burrito.
- Fold the edges: Fold the edges of the burrito tightly to keep the filling secure.
- Wrap in foil: If you’re heating the burritos in the oven, wrap them in foil so they don’t dry out.
- Label if storing: If you’re freezing them for quick meal prep, don’t forget to label the burritos with the date and fillings so it’s easier to tell when you’re heating them up later.
- Salsa: Serve these machaca burritos with a variety of salsas and hot sauces for more flavor and spice.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most common questions about making these machaca burritos.
Absolutely! You can use low-carb, whole wheat, or any of your favorite kinds of tortillas for this recipe.
The most popular cheeses for burritos are cheddar, Monterey Jack, Manchego, Chihuahua, or a blend of your favorite cheeses. You can also use queso fresco, feta cheese, or queso cotija for a more savory option.
You can use white rice, brown rice, quinoa, or even cauliflower rice for burritos. For a Chipotle style burrito add lime juice and cilantro to your rice.
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- 4 large flour tortillas (warmed to prevent tearing, or low carb tortillas)
- 1.33 cups shredded machaca
- 1 cup cooked white rice (or cauliflower rice)
- 1 cup canned pinto beans, rinsed and drained (or black beans, refried beans)
- 1/4 cup cilantro
- 2 cups lettuce, chopped
- 3/4 cup shredded Mexican cheese
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- Nutritional Information
Start by warming the tortillas gently in the microwave or a skillet so they are pliable and won't break when they are folded. Place the flour tortilla on a flat surface. Add 1/4 cup of rice to the tortilla, just below the center. Add 1/3 cup of the shredded beef machaca on top of the rice. Add 1/4 cup of pinto beans on top. Then add about 1/4-1/2 cup of shredded lettuce, 1 tbsp cilantro, and 3 tbsp of cheese. Add any additional toppings you like.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
Most often we make these burritos with homemade slow cooker beef or chicken machaca since traditional dried beef machaca is hard to find. If you use dried machaca, consider sauteing the dried beef in a pan with oil, tomatoes, onions, and peppers before using to soften it.
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