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Smothered Burritos

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These smothered burritos are full of delicious refried beans and ground beef, topped with a seriously flavorful red sauce. This will be your new favorite burrito!

Smothered Burritos topped with sour cream, cheese, and lettuce.

I can’t think of anything better to dig into when I’m hungry than a huge, smothered burrito.

Imagine a warm tortilla, wrapped around savory refried beans, gooey melted cheese, and ground beef, smothered with a tasty smoky red sauce, topped with cool and creamy sour cream and guacamole.

Sign me up!

These smothered burritos are easy to make and assemble for a simple at-home dinner, or a party!

Trust me, you’re going to love these smothered burritos. 

Ingredients to make Smothered Burritos on a table.

Ingredients for smothered burritos

Red sauce:

  • Spices – Chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and red pepper flake all help to create classic Mexican flavors in our red sauce.
  • Tomato sauce and paste – Tomato paste is thick and concentrated, and helps give us a big tomato flavor without adding any more liquid. Tomato sauce gives us just the right amount of liquid we need.
  • Water and milk – Both of these help provide the necessary liquid for creating our sauce. The milk will add some fat as well.
  • Flour and butter – These together create our roux. This will help thicken our red sauce.
  • Beef stock – Feel free to use your favorite store-bought or homemade.
  • Mole – Mole is a complex, full-flavored Mexican sauce that can be found in the international aisle of most major grocery stores.


  • Ground beef – Affordable, flavorful, and widely available at any grocery store. 
  • Onion – A classic ingredient that will bring sweetness and earthiness to the smothered burritos.
  • Refried beans – Creamy and smooth, a necessary bean spread for burritos.
  • Taco seasoning – Feel free to use your favorite store-bought variety.
  • Flour tortillas – Soft and warm, these flour tortillas will hold our ingredients in the burrito.
  • Mexican blend shredded cheese – Found in your cheese aisle at your grocery store, Mexican blend cheeses usually consisted of cheddar, Monterey Jack, and some other variations. 
  • Toppings – You can never have enough toppings! I’ve chosen guacamole, sour cream, lettuce, and tomatoes. Feel free to pick your favorites!
Smothered Burritos on a plate topped with cheese and lettuce.

Make ahead smothered burritos

You can make these smothered burritos ahead of time!

Prepare the red sauce and store it separately in an airtight container.

This will last in your refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or in your freezer for up to 2 months! 

To store the burritos, cook the filling, and assemble the burritos in a pan. Do not put any sauce on top.

Once burritos are cooled to room temp, individually wrap the burritos in plastic wrap, then a layer of aluminum foil, and keep them in the freezer for up to 2 months. 

Smothered Burritos on a plate with extra sauce.

Adjusting the spice

If you like your burritos super spicy, no problem!

When purchasing your mole sauce from the grocery store, be sure to read the labels. They’ll let you know how spicy it is.

Different proteins for wet burritos

Not a fan of ground beef? That’s ok!

Feel free to use chicken (in fact, using shredded chicken breast from a store-bought rotisserie chicken, which would be an excellent way to cut down on time,) chorizo, or even a soy-based meat substitute. 

Smothered Burrito cut in half to show beef filling.

More Tex Mex recipes

Smothered Burritos

Smothered Burritos

Yield: 12 burritos
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

These smothered burritos are full of delicious refried beans and ground beef, topped with a seriously flavorful red sauce. This will be your new favorite burrito!


For red sauce:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon hot mole
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste

For burritos:

  • 2-1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 (16 ounce) can refried beans with green chilies
  • 3 ladles of prepared red sauce
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 12 burrito size flour tortillas
  • 8 cups Mexican blend shredded cheese
  • 1 cup guacamole
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Lettuce, shredded
  • Tomatoes, chopped
  • Cilantro, chopped


For red sauce:

  1. In a large pot melt butter over medium-high heat.
  2. Sprinkle in flour and whisk to combine. Keep whisking until the mixture starts to bubble.
  3. Whisk in the mole until incorporated.
  4. Pour in beef stock, add spices and whisk till combined.
  5. Pour in water, milk, tomato sauce, and tomato paste.
  6. Whisk till smooth, cover, lower heat to medium-low, and simmer for an hour, making sure to whisk every 15 minutes.
  7. Once fully cooked lower heat to low to keep warm.
  8. Start preparing your burritos.

For burritos:

  1. Add ground beef and onions to a large high-sided skillet and set over medium-high heat.
  2. Cook until the meat has browned and drain off any excess fat if needed.
  3. Stir in refried beans, 3 ladles of red sauce, and taco seasoning.
  4. Mix together until hot.
  5. Keep the meat on low while you assemble the burritos.
  6. Cook tortillas according to package directions and add a handful of cheese and a scoop of meat to the middle. Roll the burrito up, add it to a plate and ladle red sauce over the burrito. Sprinkle with cheese, and melt the cheese under the oven broiler.
  7. Top with guacamole, sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, and cilantro if desired.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1186Total Fat: 70gSaturated Fat: 33gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 29gCholesterol: 203mgSodium: 2409mgCarbohydrates: 80gFiber: 13gSugar: 10gProtein: 61g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

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Smothered Burritos pin for Pinterest.

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