How to Skip the Chipotle Lunch Lines for Good

Learn the art of the make-ahead-and-freeze burrito. Trust me.

burritos

I’m as much of a Chipotle fan as the next gal — those burrito bowls are my jam — but a regular Chipotle-for-lunch habit is about as healthy for my bank account as it is for my waistline.

So this past weekend, I decided to take matters into my own hands: I whipped up a monster batch of make-ahead-and-freeze burritos that should keep me lunchtime-happy for at least two solid weeks. (See the photo I snapped above for evidence.) Bonus: The entire process, from chop to cleanup, only took about an hour.

All you need to do to pull off this bit of lunch-hour magic is make a batch of burrito filling, put it in some tortillas, wrap said tortillas in aluminum foil, pop them in the freezer and — voila! — frozen, ready-to-eat burritos whenever you need a quick lunch.

burritos 2Any burrito recipe should work, but if you’re looking for some direction, I followed this recipe for veggie-loaded black bean and quinoa burritos. Actually, if I’m being perfectly honest, I should say I vaguely followed that recipe, because I ended up doing what I always do, which is to find an easy recipe online then make it even easier by employing a number of shortcuts. (Yup, I’m about the laziest cook you could ever imagine.) If you care to follow my lead — and I suggest you do, because the results are out-of-this-world delicious — here are three tricks that will make this particular recipe for come together even faster:

1. Invest in a Vidalia Chop Wizard. I know, I know. This is like, the lamest and most embarrassing kitchen tool a person can own. My mom got me one ages ago, and once I finished rolling my eyes and making fun of the infomercials, I realized the thing was actually pretty ingenious. For a person who doesn’t have Top Chef-level knife skills, this little contraption turns 20 minutes of chopping into a 20-second endeavor. And with a recipe like this one, which involves quite a bit of chopping, it’s a total timesaver. So swallow your pride and order one already.

2. Go canned. The recipe I followed calls for a tomato and jalapeno, which you need to dice and mince respectively. Please. Who wants to do all that work? I found that a can of diced tomatoes with green chiles works just fine and takes only the effort required to turn can opener.

3. Skip the spices. Not all together, mind you, but you certainly needn’t waste time measuring out a teaspoon of this and a quarter teaspoon of that. I just dumped half a packet of taco seasoning into the pot and let it simmer for a few minutes. The results? Perfection.

The only other thing you should know about this particular recipe is that it makes a LOT more than five days worth of burrito goodness. I used the smaller Trader Joe’s flour tortillas — they’re bigger than the taco-sized ones, but only by a little — so if you use the giant burrito-sized wraps it might be different story. Still, even if I eat two a day, I’ve got plenty for squirreled away in my freezer for two weeks worth of lunches.

Once lunch time rolls around, you can either heat them in a toaster oven or microwave, or eat them at room temp. Either way, they’re 100 percent delicious.

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