Happy Friday! Today I’m sharing my recipe for one of the best freezer meals, period. Let me introduce you to my Cafe Rio-Style Pork Burritos.
If you’re lucky enough to live in the western US, you probably love Cafe Rio. This chain of casual Mexican deliciousness started in my home state of Utah and continues to spread because it’s just SO GOOD. It’s fresh, tasty, delicious salads and burritos are on my top 10 list of favorite foods EVER. And, as long as you split an entree with someone (since the portions are huge), most of their food is also pretty healthy.
My pork burrito freezer recipe takes that monster of a burrito to about 1/3 of the restaurant’s size. I’ll also be honest: because I shoot for a balance of tasty AND healthy, mine don’t taste quite as good as the original. But they are still killer and might possibly be my very favorite of all the freezer meals I make. This recipe is a little more time intensive than some of my other recipes, but because it yields so many meals (30 total burritos!) I find it’s well worth it.
1 pork shoulder or butt roast of about 5 lbs
16 oz. Coca Cola (not diet or caffeine free)
1 8-ounce can diced green chilies
1 cup brown sugar
2 cans black beans
2 containers Knorr Fiesta Sides Spanish Rice or your favorite recipe/other packaged variety of basic Mexican rice
30 flour tortillas
2 large cans of your favorite green enchilada sauce (I like Herdez)
7 1/2 cups shredded cheese
- A quick note about the cut of pork: pork shoulder/butt roasts will usually have a large layer of fat along the top. I take the time to trim as much of this as possible off with kitchen scissors beforehand. It’s kind of icky, but it’s worth it to me to make this meal reasonably healthy. Plus, even without this layer of fat, I find that the pork is still delicious and moist after it’s been slowly cooking for hours and hours. If you aren’t quite sure what you’re looking for in the meat department—I know I avoided roasts of all kinds for years because I didn’t know what in the heck I was doing—here’s a quick illustrated guide on pork.
- Also a note on the tortillas: I like to buy mine uncooked and then cook them up at home. But, of course, you can buy pre-made tortillas to save time. If you use the uncooked variety, undercook them slightly.
- Slow cook your pork before you plan to put these burritos together. Place your trimmed pork roast in a slow cooker. Dump both the Coke and the green chile peppers over it, and then sprinkle the roast with the brown sugar and a few generous dashes of garlic salt. Cook on low for 8 hours or so. (You’ll know it’s done when it shreds easily with a fork.)
2. Pull the pork roast from the liquid and put it into a large mixing bowl. Shred it up as finely as you can. If it’s at all dry, you can add back in a little of the liquid from the crock pot.
3. Prepare your Spanish rice according to the package’s directions (I do mine without the oil and think it tastes fine) and rinse and drain your black beans. Put both into the large mixing bowl with the pork. This bean/rice mixture plus your pork makes up your burrito filling.
4. Lay out your tortillas and begin portioning out the burrito filling into each tortilla. I like to do this on a big surface so I can make sure to divvy up the tortilla filling evenly between all 30 tortillas.
5. Roll up the tortillas and place as many as you’ll eat per night into a small foil pan. Top each pan with a little green enchilada sauce and then cover the pans with foil. Ta-da! You are ready to put them in the freezer.
6. When ready to cook up and serve your burritos, you’ll simply need to warm them through in the oven (350 degrees for one hour is what I do). Then, remove the foil and top the burritos with as much shredded cheese as desired (I do about 1/4 cup per burrito). Turn the oven on broil and leave the burritos in until the cheese is slightly brown, blistery, and bubbly.
7. Enjoy your amazing, delicious burritos!
On the Side
My go-to healthy Mexican side is some black beans topped with Trader Joe’s Salsa Autentica and cilantro plus some chopped raw bell peppers (as in the picture above). I think this combo is just plain tasty, and it allows a generous amount of the meal’s calories to go towards the burrito or taco. However, you could do rice and beans on the side or simply serve this dish with some chips and salsa. I love Tostito’s Baked Scoops if you’re looking for a lower-fat alternative to your standard tortilla chip, A quick green salad with some chopped veggies and Ranch would also be a good side-dish option here.
This data is per burrito, and the recipe above should yield 30 total burritos. I find that one burrito is just enough to fill me up and that my kids are happy with a half of one. Don’t forget to add in the nutritional numbers for any sides you serve with the burritos if you’re counting calories or macros.
Calories: 528 | Fat: 18g | Carbs: 43g | Protein: 29g
Also note that this one was harder to come up with precise nutrition numbers for, since your particular cut of pork and amount of fat you’re able to trim off could vary from time to time. The bottom line that I hope you see from these approximate numbers is that Ione of these burritos with a healthy side makes for a good, balanced, filling meal that doesn’t have an obscene amount of calories or fat. 🙂
So there you have it. These Cafe Rio-Style freezer burritos are one of the best freezer meals out there, period. Comment below if you’ve tried them and liked them! I know that these are a hit with my husband and kids.