Mini Baked Burritos with Avocado Ranch Sauce

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Can I just say that it has been a beautiful spring? If your Facebook feed hasn’t been flooded with pictures of bluebonnets and dewberries I feel sad for you. Next to summer this has to be my favorite time of year. The beautiful sunsets, gorgeous wildflowers, drizzly rain – what’s not to love?

This is also quite possibly our busiest time of year, though, which is why summer trumps spring in my book. {We slow down a lot more in summer-mode.}

Busy seasons = quick meals. With baseball and softball averaging four nights a week, we need some simple home-cooked meals to keep me sane.

One of my favorite simple meals is my Carnitas recipe. It can be made with either feral hog or venison, AND it’s a crockpot meal. But the reason I LOVE this Carnitas recipe so much is because it lends itself to lots of leftovers and lots of easy meal ideas using those leftovers.

I made the original roast for quesadillas one night which we took with us to Center Point, TX for a softball game. Throughout the game, Badger and Coach kept sending Moose back to me requesting another quesadilla. That’s probably not the nicest thing to do to the other teammates during the game, but who could resist?

 

The rest of the leftover carnitas were used to make these fantastically simple Mini Baked Burritos with Avocado Ranch Sauce. The longest step in this recipe is sautéing the bell peppers and onions, which to me is a form of therapy so I don’t mind that one bit!

We’ll start with the Avocado Ranch Sauce.

 

You’ll need:

Ranch dressing  |  Cilantro  |  Avocado

Umm, side note. This is so NOT enough cilantro. You’d want about ½ c, but I repeated my green onion mistake from last week’s post and underestimated how much cilantro I had in my herb pot. Why does it take so long to grow?!

 

Step 1 ~ 3 minutes

Coarsely chop ½ c cilantro and dump it in a bowl.

 

Step 2 ~ 5 minutes

If you follow me on Instagram you already saw this trick for removing avocado seeds. Slice the avocado in half lengthwise and CAREFULLY whack the knife into the center of the avocado seed.

A quick twist of the wrist and the avocado seed pops right out!

If the avocado isn’t ripe enough this can take a few attempts. Just PLEASE be careful with that sharp knife! To remove the seed from the knife tap the handle against the edge of the sink or trashcan.

Scoop the avocado into the bowl and use a spoon or a fork to mash it.

This is my avocado mashing fork.

 

Step 3 ~ 2 minutes

Drizzle ¼ to ½ c ranch dressing over the avocado

and mix it all up.

Thin the sauce as desired by adding more or less ranch dressing. Refrigerate the Avocado Ranch Sauce until serving time.

 

Now the Mini Baked Burritos!

I’m calling them mini because I used regular fajita tortillas, not the bigger burrito tortillas. You can use either one, but if you make them mini you get to eat more of them, right?

 

You’ll need:

Precooked Carnitas  |  Tortillas  |  Cooked Rice  |  Butter  |  Bell pepper
Lime  |  Onion  |  Pinto beans  |  Spinach  |  Cheese

If you want this to be even more dynamite use some leftovers of these Drunken Charro Beans instead of canned. I didn’t think that far ahead unfortunately.

 

Step 1 ~ 15 – 20 minutes

Slice up a big red or yellow {or green if you have to} bell pepper and about half an onion.

Drizzle a bit of oil in a large cast iron skillet and add the peppers and onions.

Stir them up every five minutes or so.

 

Step 2 ~ 10 minutes

Prepare the remaining burrito ingredients while the onions sauté.

Chop up 1 c fresh spinach.

I promise you won’t taste it. It’s just an easy way for me to sneak some extra greens into the kids’ diet.

You’ll also want to drain a can of pinto beans, or 1 c Drunken Charro Beans, and heat up some leftover rice.

If you don’t have leftover rice make some after you mix up the Avocado Ranch Sauce, like I did.

Normally I would have made cilantro rice, but you saw my cilantro predicament already. Instead I had some leftover pickled jalapenos with carrots. I steamed 1 c rice with 2 c water, 1 chicken bouillon cube, and 2 pickled jalapenos with carrots. I have to say it was pretty tasty, too.

 

Step 3 ~ 5 minutes

Once the peppers and onions are good and tender

add the leftover carnitas, about 2 c, to the skillet

and squeeze in the juice of a lime.

Heat the meat through completely. Stir often to keep the meat from sticking to the skillet. Remove the skillet from the heat and get ready to roll the burritos.

 

Step 4 ~ 20 seconds

Place a stack of tortillas between two paper towels and warm them up in the microwave for about 20 seconds.

Warm tortillas are less likely to tear when you roll them.

 

Step 5 ~ 5 minutes

Preheat the oven to 350° and set up the burrito prep station:  drained beans, rice, spinach, cheese, warm tortillas, and 3 Tbsp melted butter.

You’ll also need a 9×13 glass baking dish.

 

Step 6 ~ 10 minutes

Lay out a warm tortilla, and top with a spoon or two of rice, a sprinkle of spinach, and a spoonful of beans.

Top with a spoonful or two of carnitas with peppers and onions,

and top it off with cheese.

The temptation will be great to overstuff the burritos. Try to resist because we do want them to close part of the way.

If you’re using a fajita tortilla roll it up and secure it closed with a toothpick.

Assemble the remaining burritos and place them in the glass dish.

We got eight mini burritos. We had leftover rice and beans, but the meat was all used up.

 

Step 7 ~ 2 minutes

Use a basting brush to spread melted butter over the tops and sides of all the burritos.

Drizzle any remaining butter into the bottom of the pan.

 

Step 8 ~ 20 minutes

Bake the Mini Baked Burritos for about 20 minutes at 350°.

The cheese inside the burritos should be melted and the tortillas should just be beginning to toast.

 

Step 9 ~ 2 minutes

Remove the dish from the oven and serve individually topped with a spoonful of Avocado Ranch Sauce.

Can you eat just two? Coach had at least three, maybe more…

What are your favorite ways to use leftover carnitas? Drop us a comment below and inspire us!

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