bowl of beans and rolled up tortillas on the side

Cheap Bean Burritos for Kids

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Most kids prefer simple food with fewer ingredients. One of the all-time favorite foods with my daycare kids is cheap bean burritos. They are simple, easy, and super cheap to make. And once you have the beans cooked or if you use canned beans, they can be a 5 minute daycare lunch (or home). My husband and grown daughter love these burritos and I do too.

bean burrito in a corn tortilla on a plat garnished with cilantro
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Even when you’re on a budget you can cook up a healthy meal that everyone will love. You can make it in a few minutes with canned beans, but you can cook dried beans and these burritos will be pennies to make. Knowing what to eat to save money is not as complicated as you might think. And for more easy frugal family dinner ideas, check this out.

Pinto beans for burritos

Start with a pound of dried beans. You can use any beans you like. I have found that kids really do prefer pinto beans. I love these with pinto, black, or kidney beans. It’s up to your taste.

  • Soak the beans in water for 24 hours.
  • Then rinse them really well and put them in the crock pot.
  • Cover them with water about 2 inches above the beans
  • Add a packet of taco seasoning or make your own.
  • Turn the crock pot on high and cook the beans all night long or set it when you leave for work and they’ll be done after work. Plan to cook them at least 8 hours, but to me the longer the better.
  • Once they are fall apart tender, add 1-2 teaspoons of salt to taste.
  • Now they are ready for the 5 minute burrito recipe.

With these bean burritos, you’re not going to have to make one meal for the kids and one for the adults because everyone loves these. I’m an expert at picky eaters, so believe me when I say it works. I have taken care of over 100 kids and I have a very picky husband, so I know of what I speak.

Another thing I know about is being cheap. After over 27 years of doing home daycare, I know what it’s like to pinch a penny. I can’t go broke feeding my kids because I don’t make that much profit at the end of the year. I have to find ways to be frugal. And making a dish all the kids love that is inexpensive is a winner.

I have found that most kids will eat anything in a tortilla or with pasta. So they are my go to tricks for picky eaters. Many kids like beans on their own as well, but in a tortilla, most kids will eat them.

For more picky eater pleasing meal ideas, check these out:

For us, the most well-loved burritos, like I said above are pinto bean burritos. But they are really really good with black beans as well and almost as many kids like them that way.

pot of beans and plate of tortillas with a spoon full of beans going on

Recipes for burritos with refried beans

Some people make burritos with refried beans. For my kids, I just eliminate that step. If you have a child with an aversion to the texture of beans, you can smash them up with a little bacon fat or coconut oil until they are smoother and that may help. And the flavor never hurt anything, did it?

Then you can spread on a spoon full and top it with shredded cheese. For kids, I just leave it at that. But for my husband and me, I like to add diced onions and tomatoes. He likes to add hot peppers and salsa or pico as well. Mexican ranch dressing drizzle is great too!

Another pro tip is to grate some cheddar cheese fresh. It tastes so much better than pre-grated cheese. All you can taste is the cellulose or sawdust they put on that to keep it from sticking together. You can grate blocks of cheese in the food processor and freeze them in one cup portions for later. It just takes about 30 minutes to thaw back out, but the flavor payoff is far worth it.

We much prefer to leave the beans whole for burritos. And of course, you can use canned beans for these burritos as well. They don’t have that luscious taco seasoning flavor, but you can dump them in a pan and sprinkle some in to flavor them as you heat them up.

And I love using whole wheat tortillas for my bean burritos because it meets my whole grain requirement for the day for the food program. And it gives us more fiber in our diet.

whole wheat tortillas in a pile on a board next to sliced vegetables to top bean burritos

One more tip is to heat up the tortillas wrapped in a dish towel in the microwave for 30 seconds to one minute to soften them up before rolling.

Burritos for kids

pot of beans and plate of tortillas with a spoon full of beans going on
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Cheap Bean Burritos for Kids

Super flavorful, kid pleasing bean burritos that are soft, warm, and comforting.
Prep Time1 d
Cook Time8 hrs
Burrito Making Time5 mins
Total Time1 d 8 hrs 5 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: bean burritos, burritos for kids, cheap bean burritos, cheap daycare lunch
Servings: 10
Calories: 254kcal
Author: Christina


  • 1 Crockpot


  • 1 lb pinto beans or three cans
  • 1 pkt taco mix or make homemade
  • salt to taste
  • 10 flour or corn tortillas
  • 8 oz shredded cheddar cheese


  • Soak the beans for 24 hours
  • Rinse and drain beans
  • Put in the crockpot and cover with 2 inches of water
  • Cook on high for 8 hours
  • Salt to taste
  • Place a scoop of beans on a tortilla
  • Sprinkle with cheese
  • Roll up and give it a slight smash to keep it from unrolling


You can also add toppings like diced onions, tomatoes, lettuce, sour cream, salsa, pico, guacamole, hot peppers or whatever you like. 


Serving: 1Burrito | Calories: 254kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 8.5g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2.4g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 692mg | Fiber: 9.3g | Sugar: 0.5g

Black bean and cheese burrito

Black bean and cheese burritos would be made the exact same way. You can use canned or dry beans that you cook. Black beans cook a little bit faster.

It won’t hurt to cook them for 8 hours but they will probably be done in 6. Once you make the pinto bean variety, I encourage you to try them all different ways. You’re going to love them.

And obviously, you can make taco meat to add to these too. My kids like that as well, but that’s more expense and time for me. When I make that for them, I call it tacos.

Cheesy bean and rice burrito

If you just cannot get your kids to eat beans whole or blended up into refried, you can try it with rice. Many kids with texture issues find grains easier to tolerate than other foods.

So you can cook up some rice with a packet of taco mix in the liquid. I suggest using chicken stock instead of water to cook it as the package recommends. Then put a scoop of that on a tortilla and top it with cheese the same way.

If you are worried about nutrients for your super picky eater, you could try adding some tomato sauce or salsa to the rice before cooking and it will cook those tomatoes into the rice for some extra vitamins, especially A. The trick to finding what works with your picky eater is trial and error and remembering that new food isn’t new after the child sees it 11 times. So keep cooking it and they will probably try it eventually.

These cheap and easy bean burritos are going to be a new favorite at your daycare or home. So enjoy how inexpensive they are and how you can roll them up in 5 minutes. Happy dinner!

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  1. Have you ever tried to prep these and then freeze them? I think this is a great recipe for my picky eater but I am wondering how it would hold up in the freezer. Thank you!!

    1. Yes! They freeze great! I have an article coming up about freezing all kinds of burritos, but the key to freezing tortillas is make sure they are air tight going in so they don’t get freezer burn, use them within 2 months or so, and when thawing, don’t microwave them from frozen solid, it makes the tortilla gummy. You can reheat in the oven, or in a skillet on the stove top, or let them thaw in the fridge and them microwave them a bit if you think of it ahead of time. Thank you for checking it out!