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Loaded Beef Burrito Bowls with Crispy Tortilla Shells

Nov 24, 2022 | 0 comments

The only thing better than loaded burrito bowls is when they’re served in edible, crispy tortilla shells! I’ll show you three easy ways to make the shells, then load them up with smoky beef and lots of fresh veggies. Plus, they’re ready in less than 30 minutes.

Two loaded burrito bowls on a grey background, with sour cream on the side and a lime wedge.

Loaded burrito bowls are a forever favourite of mine. They’re quick, healthy, fresh and seriously tasty. Plus, there’s the added thrill of being able to eat the bowl! I love to break chunks off the shell and use them to scoop up the salad, a bit like nachos. It’s surprisingly easy to make the tortilla shells and they’re such a great twist to elevate these bowls and turn them into something special.

I’m loading them up with lots of shredded lettuce, tomatoes, black beans, delicious smoky beef, a good sprinkling of cheese and a dollop of creamy yogurt. Some burrito bowl recipes include rice which you can do (I’ve included instructions for this in the recipe below) but I honestly don’t think you need it here – the tortilla shell provides the carb and I personally don’t miss it.

This is a really fun dish for kids and adults alike and makes a wonderful quick and easy fakeaway that’s also perfect for busy weeknights.

It’s also super customisable based on what you have to hand and what you like. Add more veggies (avocado, cucumber, cilantro (coriander) and scallions (spring onions) are lovely), swap black beans for Kidney beans, chickpeas or butter beans or swap out your protein. These work well with grilled chicken, salmon, steak, tofu or even wedges of halloumi.

Ingredients

There aren’t any hard-to-find ingredients in this recipe – you’ll be able to easily pick everything up from your store.

Ingredients for crispy taco burrito bowls laid out on a grey marble background and labelled.
  • Tortillas. Go for flour tortillas here – you want large ones to make the shells.
  • Ground beef mince. Lean beef is fine, if you like it extra juicy, go for one with a higher fat percentage.
  • Lettuce. Any crispy lettuce will do – Romaine, baby gem or iceberg work well.
  • Tomatoes. Try to go for a good quality, ripe tomato for the best flavour. You could also use cherry tomatoes.
  • Black beans. Swap these for kidney beans if you like, or even chickpeas or butterbeans.
  • Cheese. I love using a strong cheddar but just go for your favourite.
  • Yogurt. Sour cream is the typical topping, which you can use if you like, but yogurt is generally cheaper and provides a very similar flavour and creaminess to the bowls.
  • Spices. We’ll use chilli flakes, paprika, ground cumin and a little tomato paste just to up the flavour of the mince. Skip the chilli flakes if you’re cooking for kids or worried about spice.

Three ways to make crispy tortilla shells

The good news: you don’t need any fancy equipment to make the tortilla shells. I’ve tested three different ways, using equipment you should already have in your kitchen (no need to buy tortilla shell moulds!) You can use a small, oven-proof pot, or small oven-proof bowl or if all else fails, you can use a large upside-down glass jar. All three work well.

Whichever option you choose:

  • Brush the side of the tortilla that’s going to touch the pot, bowl or jar with a little oil.
  • For a pot or bowl: press the tortilla inside it to create a bowl shape. The edges should crimp up naturally to create folds like in the photos below.
  • For a large jar: press the tortilla down around the bottom of the jar (like in the photo below). You’ll want to quite firmly press and hold it in place for about 30 seconds, so the edges stay down and don’t just bounce back up again.
  • Transfer the pot, bowl or jar to your oven set at 350F/180C fan and bake for 12 minutes, or until they’re crispy and starting to turn golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven, then set aside to cool.

How to make the loaded burrito bowls

While the tortilla shells are in the oven, make the toppings. Cook your onion until it starts to soften, then add the garlic, spices and beef. When it’s brown, add the tomato paste and stir it through, then add your black beans.

Pile your shredded lettuce into your taco bowls, then top with the smoky beef and beans, diced tomatoes, a dollop of yogurt and finish with the grated cheese.

Got a question?

How long will the tortilla shells last?

They’ll keep well for at least a week in an airtight container at room temperature.

What else could I add to the bowls?

You can really add whatever you like! A couple of ideas:
– Make quick smashed avocado: mix 1 ripe avocado with a handful of chopped cilantro leaves,1 tablespoon of lime or lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
– Add a handful of pickled jalapenos to up the spice factor.
– Dollop over a couple of tablespoons of spicy tomato salsa.
– Throw on some diced cucumber.
– Sauté a couple of red peppers and sliced onion to bulk out the veggies.

Could I add rice to the bowls?

You definitely can – add 1 cup of long-grain white rice to a small pot, then add 1 1/2 cups of water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and set it over medium heat. Once the top of the water starts to look foamy, turn the heat right down, pop the lid on (or use a wooden board or a plate if your pot doesn’t have a lid) and leave undisturbed for 12 minutes. After this time, keep the lid on the pot but remove it from the heat to sit for another 10 minutes. Then just fluff up the rice with a fork and add the bottom of your bowls.

Can I make these in advance?

Yes! The tortilla shells will keep well for at least 1 week stored in an airtight container at room temperature. The beef can be made 5 days in advance, then just stored in an airtight container in the fridge. You can chop the lettuce 5 days in advance too and just store it in an airtight container in the fridge. The only thing I wouldn’t prep in advance is the tomatoes – tomatoes are always best freshly chopped.

What’s the best beef to use?

I’m using lean ground beef mince here – you could use one with a higher percentage of fat, or you could use beef strips or steak. If you do use beef strips or steak, rub the spices into the meat before cooking so you get the same flavour (you can leave out the tomato paste).

How can I make the bowls keto-friendly?

Swap the tortilla for a low-carb tortilla! They’re becoming more readily available in stores and will work just as well as regular tortillas. You could also, of course, skip the crispy tortilla shell and just add more lettuce to bulk it out.

Watch how to make them

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Two loaded burrito bowls on a grey background, with sour cream on the side and a lime wedge.

Loaded Beef Burrito Bowls with Crispy Tortilla Shells


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  • Author: Kate Alexandra
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Low Calorie

Description

The only thing better than loaded burrito bowls is when they’re served in edible, crispy tortilla shells! I’ll show you three easy ways to make the shells, then load them up with smoky beef and lots of fresh veggies. Plus, they’re ready in less than 30 minutes.


Ingredients

Units Scale

For the crispy tortilla shells – 

  • 4 flour tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons oil (vegetable or olive)

For the beef burrito bowl toppings –

  • 1 tablespoon oil (vegetable or olive)
  • 1/2 an onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1lb/500g ground beef mince
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, finely diced
  • 1 head of lettuce, chopped finely or shredded
  • 1 can of black beans (14oz/400g)
  • 4 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese
  • 1 lime, sliced into wedges

Instructions

  1. Now you’re ready to assemble. Divide the shredded lettuce between your crispy tortilla bowls, then top with the beef and black beans. Spoon over tomatoes, then finish with the yoghurt and the grated cheese. Serve with lime wedges on the side.

Notes

PREP AHEAD: You can prepare the tortilla shells, the beef and the lettuce in advance, then just heat the beef and assemble the bowls when you’re ready. The beef and the shredded lettuce will keep well for 5 days stored in separate airtight containers in the fridge. The crispy tortilla shells will keep well for about a week stored in an airtight container at room temperature. Chop the tomatoes and heat the black beans when you’re ready to serve.

WANT RICE? You could bulk the bowls out with steamed rice if you like. For 4 servings: add 1 cup of long-grain white rice into a small pot, then add 1 1/2 cups of water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Set over medium heat until the top gets a little foamy. At this point, pop on the lid (or use a plate or wooden board), turn the heat right down and leave undisturbed for 12 minutes. With the lid still on, remove the pot from the heat and let it stand for another 10 minutes before fluffing it up with a fork and serving.

OPTIONAL ADD-INS: Mix 1 ripe avocado with a handful of chopped cilantro leaves,1 tablespoon of lime or lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to make a quick smashed avocado topping, swap yogurt for sour cream, add a scattering of pickled jalapenos to up the spice factor or add spicy tomato salsa. You can really make them your own! Or switch out the tortillas for low-carb tortillas to make the bowls keto-friendly.

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Category: fakeaways
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: mexican

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 350g
  • Calories: 538
  • Sugar: 5.2g
  • Sodium: 2239.5mg
  • Fat: 15.2g
  • Saturated Fat: 5.2g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 6.7g
  • Trans Fat: 0.1g
  • Carbohydrates: 54.6g
  • Fiber: 11.9g
  • Protein: 46.9g
  • Cholesterol: 86.4mg

Welcome!

I’m Kate, the creator behind Dished. I love creating flavour packed, simple (ish) recipes for you, designed for every day and special occasions.

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