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.
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 really special.
I’m loading the shells up with lots of shredded lettuce, tomatoes, black beans, a very delicious smoky beef, a good sprinkling of cheese and a dollop of creamy yoghurt. 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, coriander (cilantro) and spring onions are lovely), swap black beans for Kidney beans, chickpeas or butter beans or swap out your protein. These work really well with grilled chicken, salmon, steak, tofu or even wedges of halloumi.
There aren’t any hard to find ingredients in this recipe – you’ll be able to easily pick everything up from your store.
- Tortillas. Go for flour tortillas here – you want large ones to make the shells.
- Ground beef mince. Lean beef is fine here, 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.
- Yoghurt. Sour cream is the typical topping, which you can use if you like, but yoghurt 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
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 really 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 it 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 180C/350F 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. Get your diced onion into a large pan with a little oil and cook until starting to soften. Add the garlic and spices and cook for another few minutes. At this point, go in with the beef and cook for about 4 minutes, until brown. Add the tomato paste and stir it through the beef for another couple of minutes. Warm your black beans on the stovetop or in the microwave, then get ready to assemble.
Pile your shredded lettuce into your taco bowls, then top with the smoky beef, diced tomatoes, black beans, a dollop of yoghurt and finish with the grated cheese.
Got a question?
They’ll keep well for at least a week in an airtight container at room temperature.
You can really add whatever you like! A couple of ideas:
– Make quick smashed avocado: mix 1 ripe avocado with a handful of chopped coriander 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.
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.
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 and when they haven’t been stored in the fridge.
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).
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.
Do you have my FREE Fakeaway Favourites e-book?
It’s filled with my absolute favourite takeaway dishes you can make at home!
From a quick pad thai and saag paneer, to Korean fried chicken, beef rendang and chicken satay, you’ll love exploring the book.
If you like this recipe, here are some others you might enjoy
I’d love to hear how you get on if you make this recipe – you can leave me a comment below!Print