Monday Morning Mmmm: Smothered Burrito

As we head into the holiday season {or, later, six more weeks of winter}, most of us start craving and making our favorite comfort foods. Heavy, savory, delicious comfort foods. Mmmm…

However, while I’m quite a fan of the holiday carbapalooza (Can you say three kinds of potatoes AND corn AND three types of bread? I can.), my favorite comfort food is a chili and cheese-smothered burrito.

Smothered Burrito | recipe via Giving Up on Perfect

Remember my favorite little hole in the wall Mexican restaurant? The one with the chip bin and the complimentary sopaipillas and the greasy chili? Well, this burrito I love is the same one I eat there. Except, you know, made at home. And totally healthy because I use Mission’s 96% fat-free flour tortillas!

[Side note: Do not even attempt to educate me on the nutritional horrors of canned chili. I’m well aware, but I stick to my guns on this. Chili will make or break this burrito, and I’m telling you to use canned chili.]

When I was growing up, my mom would sometimes let my brother or me choose what we’d eat for dinner. Now that I think about it, this may have only happened on our birthdays. To this day, my mom will often let us pick our family birthday dinner, and more often than not, I’ll pick “tacos and burritos.” It’s funny that we call it that, because my dad is the only one who doesn’t eat a burrito. Really, I guess it should be “burritos and one taco salad.”

To make burritos like my family – and our favorite Mexican restaurant – does, follow these simple instructions:

Smothered Chili & Cheese Burritos

4 medium flour tortillas (I always use Mission, and yes, using the 96% fat-free does make me feel better!)
1 can refried beans (fat-free)
1 can chili with beans (because without beans is weird)
2 cups chopped lettuce
2 cups shredded cheddar
1 lb. ground beef, browned and seasoned

Take one tortilla (warmed if it’s been in the fridge) and spread a layer of refried beans in the middle. Spoon taco meat over it and a little bit of shredded cheese. Then put as much lettuce as you’d like on it. Roll up the burrito and place it seam-side down on your plate. Spoon chili over the burrito and then sprinkle shredded cheese on top.

Nuke it in the microwave for about a minute. It helps to put waxed paper or a paper towel over it, so you don’t have to scrape chili off the top of your microwave later. Not that I’d know that from experience or anything.

Makes four burritos. Enjoy!

What’s your favorite comfort food? Does your family have any special dishes you like to eat together?

This post will be linked to Mouthwatering Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Tuesdays at the Table, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Foodie Friday, Grocery Cart Challenge and Food on Fridays. It will also be linked to Ingredient Spotlight at Eat at Home Cooks.

This post is sponsored by Mission Foods, one of the largest producers of tortilla products and a dedicated supporter of Share Our Strength and its goal of ending childhood hunger in America through employee volunteerism and nationwide fundraising efforts. However, the experience and opinions are my own. For more information, you can read my Disclosure Policy.

Award-Winning Cold-Weather Chili

Update: From now on, I’m calling this chili “award-winning,” because I gave the recipe to my friend, Christine from I Dream of Clean – and it won first place in her church’s chili cook-off! Woo-hoo!

The first day of spring brought sleet and snow, and I took advantage of the weird weather by making chili one last time.

Award-Winning Seven-Can Chili

I’m not opposed to chili in the summer, but Mark has this thing about hot things in hot weather. He doesn’t drink coffee in the summer either. [He’s weird.]

As I was pulling all the ingredients out of the pantry, I remembered that I’ve never posted my chili recipe. [Don’t be confused – like I was. I have written about canned chili and its use as a necessary ingredient to homemade burritos. But that’s a whole other story.]

Chili is really one of my favorite things to fix, especially now that I’ve mastered it. In addition to Mark’s seasonal chili preferences, he’s also pretty picky about the level of heat, the meat to bean ratio, and the thickness of the soup (and how it’s not a soup, because he doesn’t like soup).

So figuring out the exact chili that we both like was a bit of a challenge.

I can’t promise that our chili compromise will work for you, but it definitely works for us. And it’s super easy and healthy, too! (Yes, that’s right, folks! Chili is a miracle food!)

Easy, Healthy, Budget-Friendly Chili

Award-Winning, Cold-Weather Chili

1 ½ lbs ground beef, browned
1 large can tomato sauce
1 medium can tomato paste
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 can chili beans
1 can dark red kidney beans
½ packet hot chili seasoning
½ packet mild chili seasoning

Dump it all in the Crock Pot and cook on high for two hours (or low for four hours).

A few secrets:

Don’t substitute another can of kidney beans for the chili beans. If the store is out of chili beans, just don’t make chili. Seriously. I tried it and could not figure out why the chili was so bland. It was the lack of chili beans.

Also, if you find this chili too thick for your tastes, you can thin it out with another, smaller can of tomato sauce. When I’m planning to freeze and re-heat this chili, I always add the extra sauce.

Remember my tip for chopping onions in bulk and freezing them? What about my bulk beef browning? (I know. That doesn’t sound right. But I couldn’t resist the alliteration. I’m weird.) If you do these things ahead of time, making this chili literally takes 5 minutes.

Easy Slow Cooker (and Award-Winning) Chili Recipe

Unless you have a Pampered Chef can opener that is smarter than, well, you. And in that case, it might take 10 minutes.

Easy Slow Cooker (and Award-Winning) Chili Recipe

And last, but not least, I don’t stop at draining the fat off my hamburger. I actually rinse it. Some people (ahem, husband and sister-in-law, ahem!) think this is weird. I think it’s smart and healthy. You decide.

So, there you have it. The medium heat, appropriately meaty and beany, not too thick or thin, this chili is just right for the last big snow of the winter.

How do you make chili? And do you eat it in all seasons – or just the cold ones?? Or, if you don’t like chili at all [weird], how did you celebrate the first weekend of spring?

This post will be linked to Mouthwatering Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Tuesdays at the Table and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday. It will also be linked to Ultimate Recipe Swap at Life as Mom, because chili is one of my favorite things to make for a crowd! It will also be linked to Ingredient Spotlight at Eat at Home.

Come join Soup-a-Palooza with TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored by Bush’s Beans, Hip Hostess, Pillsbury and Westminster Crackers!