The Perfect Chicken Burrito


Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe

What do you need to do for a chicken burrito?

  • Cooked Chicken: use leftover cooked chicken, fresh chicken, or your choice of grilled chicken. Cut the meat into bite-sized pieces or cut into bite-sized chunks.
  • Taco seasoning: add 2 teaspoons of homemade taco seasoning or use your favorite store-bought seasoning.
  • Bell Peppers and Onions: Sauté bell peppers and onions. Red bell peppers will add color to the burrito, but you can use any color bell peppers.
  • Pinto beans: pinto beans are my go-to for chicken burritos, but black beans are just as delicious.
  • Cooked Rice: Cook white rice on the stove or in a rice cooker, or microwave frozen rice. Add fresh lime and cilantro for a flavorful alternative to spicy rice.
  • MEXICAN MIXED CHEESE: Use Mexican mixed cheese: pre-shredded, or shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese.

What’s the best way to shred chicken for burritos?

The easiest way is to shred the chicken while it’s still hot. Use two forks to cut the meat into bite-sized pieces. To shred a large amount of chicken, attach a paddle attachment to your stand mixer and let the blender do the work.

What is the best way to season chicken for burritos?

Add store-bought tomatillo salsa, taco seasoning, garlic and fresh lime juice to the chicken and beans as they cook for a juicy chicken.

How do I keep my burrito from falling apart?

  • Warm the tortillas. Steaming tortillas in the microwave on a damp paper towel will make them softer and less likely to break.
  • Don’t overfill the filling. Overfilling the tortilla will cause it to burst. Measure each filling to make sure the chicken taco doesn’t fall apart and that there is enough filling for one tortilla.
  • Pinch the sides together. Fold the bottom half of the tortilla over the filling and pinch the sides together. This holds the sides of the tortilla in place.

Chicken Burrito Recipe

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe

Prep time 25 minutes

Cook time 12 minutes



  • 1 pound cooked boneless chicken
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 medium red bell pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium lime
  • 4 sprigs fresh cilantro
  • 1 (about 15-ounce) can pinto beans
  • 1 cup warm cooked white rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup jarred tomato salsa, plus more for serving
  • 2 teaspoons homemade or store-bought taco seasoning
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican-blend cheese (about 4 ounces)
  • 4 large (about 12-inch) burrito-size flour tortillas
  • 4 tablespoons sour cream
  • Guacamole, for serving (optional)

Cooking Method

  1. Shred or dice 1 pound of cooked chicken (about 3 cups).
  2. 1 medium yellow onion and 1 medium red bell bell pepper, sliced 1/4 inch thick (about 1 cup each). Mince 2 cloves garlic. 1 medium lime, finely chopped and squeezed of its juice (2 tablespoons) 4 fresh cilantro leaves and stems, coarsely chopped (1 tablespoon) Drain and rinse 1 can (about 15 ounces) pinto beans.
  3. Combine cilantro, lime zest, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1 cup warm white rice, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt in a small bowl; mix well.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat until boiling. Add onion and bell pepper; saute until softened and golden brown (4-5 minutes). Transfer to a plate.
  5. Return pan to stove and reduce heat to low. Add chicken, beans, garlic, remaining 1 tablespoon lime juice, 3/4 cup canned tomatillo salsa, and 2 teaspoons taco seasoning. Cook 1 to 2 minutes or until cooked through and liquid is absorbed. Remove pan from heat.Place 4 large flour tortillas on a microwave-safe plate, cover with a damp paper towel, and microwave for about 30 seconds.
  6. For each tortilla, layer 1/4 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese, 1/4 cup rice, 3/4 cup chicken mixture, 1/4 cup green pepper and onion, and 1 tablespoon sour cream in the center of each tortilla. Fold the bottom tightly over the filling, then fold the sides over and roll tightly. Roll up the remaining tortilla and filling in the same manner. Cut in half horizontally and serve with guacamole and salsa, if desired.