Chicken & Black Bean Burritos – $5 Dinner Challenge

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on January 3, 2011

If the tortillas were larger, this would remind me of Freebirds. With a backwards F.

If there were fresh cilantro mixed into the rice, or fresh guacamole to put on top, this would remind me of Chipotle.

Either way, you can’t go wrong with these…super simple. Super cheap. Super yummy!

But before we get to the recipe…

Tacos v. Burritos.

What’s the main difference anyways?!

Based on my research on a recent trip to HEB in San Antonio, the main difference is size. First of all, the tortilla section at HEB in San Antonio is a good 8 times the size of the tortilla section at my Kroger in Ohio. And 8 times as big might be an understatement.

There are burrito size. Soft taco size. And fajita size tortillas.

Also known as large, medium and small.

Because of the sheer size of the burrito tortilla, it is typically folded on the end…another defining aspect of the burrito.  Soft tacos and fajitas are generally rolled, but not folded.

So…your thoughts?!  How do you define the difference between tacos and burritos?!

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Chicken Burritos

Adapted from Chicken Taco Bake


  • 2  cups cooked and shredded chicken ($1.50)
  • 2 cups cooked black and/or red beans ($.40)
  • 1/2 yellow or white onion, chopped ($.15)
  • 1 15 oz. can corn, drained ($.50) Recently on sale for 2/$1
  • 1 cup salsa ($.50) Large jar recently on sale for $.99
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder ($.05)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin ($.10)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup brown rice, uncooked ($.40)
  • Tortillas, 8 burrito sized ($1.39)
  • Optional – 1-2 cups shredded cheese ($.67)


  1. In a large saucepan, combine the shredded chicken, beans, chopped onions, corn, salsa, garlic powder, ground cumin with some salt and pepper, to taste.  Warm through over medium heat for 8-10 minutes.
  2. Cook the brown rice as directed on the package.
  3. Place the tortillas on a clean surface and spoon the warm chicken mixture over the top.  Sprinkle with a handful of cheese if you desire (it should melt from the warmth of the chicken…if not, microwave).  Roll and fold up the burrito.
  4. For gluten-free version, serve the mixture with corn tortilla chips.
  5. Serve Chicken Burritos as is, or with a small side salad. Or avocado slices.

Cost $4.99 – 5.66

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Elle January 3, 2011 at 6:42 pm

Tacos don’t have rice and bean in them- those are usually on the side. Burritos have the rice and beans as part of the filling.


Sarah January 3, 2011 at 7:34 pm

Burritos are usually large, have rice, and sometimes even have sauce on top (but aren’t baked, like an enchilada).

I live in Austin and went to Montana for a family reunion last summer. When we went to find tortillas for tacos, there was a tiny endcap selection that had about three kinds of tortillas, all very expensive (we’re talking $3 for 8 tortillas here). Meanwhile, I regularly get 20 taco-sized tortillas for 92 cents here at home. They’re cheap enough that they are a regular staple on our grocery list!


Debbi Does Dinner Healthy January 3, 2011 at 7:47 pm

I love burritos like this! I always add beans too! My addition might be more than $5 but I usually find chicken for super cheap and most of the other stuff is always around here. I get my broccoli at Costco too which makes it super cheap too! Thanks!


Megan January 3, 2011 at 7:52 pm

Tacos are made with corn tortillas and burritos with flour tortillas. Kinda like the difference between taquitos and flautas. I love them all though. : )


Kristia@Family Balance Sheet January 3, 2011 at 8:40 pm

I make something very similar and we love it. A very easy and inexpensive meal.

Thanks for the link-up.


Sarah January 4, 2011 at 9:48 am

Hi Erin, I noticed you were in San Antonio. You said you shopped at HEB. I live in San Antonio and shop HEB all the time. Just curious…how do you feel their prices compare to your local Kroger? HEB doesn’t double coupons, but does have the Combo Locos and Meal Deals. Just wondering what your thoughts were about HEB.


Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom January 4, 2011 at 4:29 pm

Hey Sarah…

My thoughts on HEB. Tough one!

It is indeed more expensive. No ifs ands or buts about that!

If I lived in San Antonio, I would probably shop at Super Target, where you can stack Target coupons and manufacturers coupons, and at the smaller more local grocery stores.

Other than tortillas, I’d say most things are more expensive at HEB…at least compared to my Kroger here. There is very little competition (mainstream grocery-wise) for HEB and as far as I’m concerned, they have a monopoly on the grocery market in SA. (I don’t consider SuperTarget or Walmart Supercenter to be mainstream grocery stores.)

If I had to guess, my grocery bill in SA would be between $15-$25/week higher than here in Ohio…that’s my best ballpark guess!



Sarah January 6, 2011 at 11:16 am

Thanks Erin! I appreciate that feedback. I was always comparing and trying to go with your budget out here, but it just doesn’t work sometimes. I do shop at Greenfields Market for produce (WAY cheaper than HEB) and that does help.

Love your site! Thanks!


Queen of the House January 4, 2011 at 9:58 am

Like Elle mentioned above, I think of it as a burrito, if it has rice in it….but who knows? I am not an expert! LOL! :)


JAMI January 4, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Can you fix the post so that the directions print with the ingredients?


Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom January 4, 2011 at 4:24 pm


There is a new little printer icon that will allow you to print just the recipe!



Andrea February 16, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Hi. I just tried using the printer icon and it prints out the title, ingredients, then it says directions but they are not included, then cost, and finally a list of all the link ups. No directions :(


Cat Berner January 6, 2011 at 8:32 am

I love Mexican-style food and that sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing another great frugal dinner idea!


Glenda January 9, 2011 at 7:46 pm

My friend whose wife is 1/2 Mexican said the difference between tacos and burritos is that tacos are just meat with toppings added to it. Burritos have yummy stuff like beans, salsa, rice added to the meat mixture while cooking.


Heather January 18, 2011 at 11:27 am

These were delicious! I used less chicken & added more veggies to make it go a little further. This recipe is definitely a keeper! :)


Megan January 26, 2011 at 6:05 pm

I love Mexican food and am just beginning a gluten free diet. I was sad when I realized that I wouldn’t be able to eat chips or burritos anymore, but I noticed this recipe called for tortillas. I didn’t know they were gluten free. What kind of tortillas did you use?


Andrea February 16, 2011 at 3:26 pm

Do you think these would freeze well?


Tammy May 10, 2011 at 9:15 am

Made these last night, didn’t have time to dice onions, so I used onion powder and added a little chili powder…to the rice, I added fresh cilantro (from my garden = free), a touch of salt and about a tsp of lime juice ~ pretended we were having Chipotle!! =) This is definitely another keeper recipe ~ thanks for sharing!


Barbara June 16, 2011 at 9:50 am

Wonder if you could just mix the cut up chicken with a can of Bush’s black bean fiesta, which I picked up recently for $1 a can? It already has black beans, corn and onions…..


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