Baked Black Bean and Cheese Burritos Smothered with Green Chili
Cooking green chili in a slow cooker is the only way to go. All day long, the different flavors simmer gently, getting happy and making your house smell so good that the neighbors will be knocking on the door, begging for an invitation to dinner.
I’m calling this green chili because there are, indeed, green chilies in there, and quite frankly, I don’t know what else to call it.
As you can see, it also includes enough “red” ingredients – red chili powder, red enchilada sauce, tomatoes, chipotle peppers – to make it more red than green. But, red chili sauce is generally used to describe the kind of smooth sauce poured over enchiladas or tamales. That’s not what this is.
So, here’s a recipe for green chili that’s not green. 🙂 What it is, however, is GOOD. Sooooooo good. I know traditional green chili recipes don’t call for things like red enchilada sauce and chili powder, but they add so much flavor. And, flavor is more important to me than color.
This recipe makes a lot – on purpose.
Just like Slow Cooker Carnitas, this Green Chili recipe purposely makes enough that you’ll have plenty leftover Green Chili to put away in the freezer. If you don’t want to freeze leftovers, simply cut this recipe in half. Personally, I LOVE having bags of Green Chili in my freezer that I can pull out and use for all sorts of quick meals.
This is one of those times, when as long as you’re making a little, you might as well make a lot.
Use leftover Green Chili in breakfast burritos, poured over sautéed or roasted chicken breasts or thighs, in tacos, over burritos, spooned over baked potatoes, in quesadillas, or simply warmed in a bowl with a stack of flour tortillas for dipping.
Using a slow cooker makes green chili possible for a weeknight supper.
It’s really important that green chili has plenty of time to cook. You want all those different ingredients simmering away getting happy in there for quite some time. That’s why cooking it in the slow cooker is perfect. Get it going in the morning and get on with your day.
Be sure to allow enough time in the evening to cook the green chili on the stovetop to finish. Cooking it at a rapid boil, uncovered, will reduce the amount of water in the chili and cause it to thicken.
A couple of notes about the smothered baked burritos:
If you have time to make homemade tortillas, I encourage you to do so. If you’re making this as a part of Weekly Winter Meal Plan #5, you might have taken my suggestion to make them earlier in the week. Making tortillas is easier than you might think, and infinitely better than anything you can purchase.
Depending on time, and personal taste, you can choose to bake the burritos as instructed in the recipe below, or simply allow people to assemble their own burrito, heat in the microwave, and then smother with green chili.
This recipe calls for the burritos to be filled with black beans and cheese, but if that combination doesn’t float your boat, fill them with whatever you like. They are delicious with shredded roast chicken, refried beans, or packed with sautéed veggies.
Weekly Meal Plans that include Slow Cooker Green Chili Baked Burritos:
Used in this recipe:
Any heavy bottomed sauce pan will work fine for cooking this green chili, but if you don’t have a dutch oven, I encourage you to invest in one. They are extremely useful and will last for years. Mine generally gets used at least once a week, often much more than that.Print
You’ll notice in the instructions for this recipe, there’s the option of making the green chili base up to 3 days in advance. The base only takes about 20 minutes to make, but making it ahead of time means that it will only take about 5 minutes to get the green chili going in the crock pot the morning you want to make it. This is the kind of thing I really appreciate on busy weekday mornings.
For the Slow Cooker Green Chili:
- 1 stick of butter
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 jalapeño, seeds and stem removed, and diced (If the pepper is super spicy and you prefer your chili on the mild side, only use half.)
- 3 tbsp chili powder
- 3 tbsp ground cumin
- 2 tbsp dried oregano
- 3 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 2–3 cups reserved cooking liquid from pork carnitas, OR – chicken broth (If using carnitas cooking liquid, remove it from the refrigerator and skim and discard the fat from the top before using.)
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 19 oz red enchilada sauce (see note)
- 27 oz diced green chilies, canned or frozen and thawed
- 28 oz diced canned tomatoes, preferably fire roasted
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, diced (If you prefer your chili on the mild side, only use one.)
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2–3 cups pork carnitas (see note)
- 1 or 2 fresh limes
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro, about 1 cup, chopped
For the Baked Burritos:
- 6–8 large flour tortillas
- 3–4 cups black beans
- 4–6 cups shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
- Sour cream and additional chopped cilantro for serving (optional)
- Melt the butter in a large heavy bottomed sauce pan set over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, 5-10 minutes.
- While the onion cooks, add the garlic, diced jalapeño, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper to a small bowl and stir to mix. Add mixture to the cooked onions and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute longer.
- Sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring constantly for 30- 60 seconds. Slowly pour in the reserved carnitas cooking liquid (or chicken broth), stirring constantly, then the 4 cups chicken broth. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. (*At this point, the chili base can be reserved in the refrigerator for up to 3 days before proceeding with the recipe.)
- Pour the chili base into your slow cooker. Add the enchilada sauce, diced green chilies, diced tomatoes, diced chipotle peppers, Worcestershire sauce, and sugar. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
- Pour the green chili into a large, heavy bottomed sauce pan and set over medium high heat on your stove top. Bring to a rapid boil, then lower the heat to medium, and let cook uncovered, stirring frequently, for 30 minutes.
- Add the pork carnitas and cook for approximately 30 minutes longer, until the chili is thickened to the consistency you like it.
- Squeeze in the juice from one lime. Taste, and add the juice from the second lime if you like. Taste again and add more salt if necessary.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped cilantro.
*See note below about freezing leftover green chili.
To make baked burritos:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Ladle about 1/2 cup of green chili into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, and spread in an even layer across the bottom.
- Fill 6-8 flour tortillas with black beans and shredded cheese, adding about 1/2 cup of each to every burrito, more if you like. Roll up and place seam side down in the pan.
- Ladle about 3 cups of green chili over the burritos, enough to cover them completely. Sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese and bake, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the green chili is bubbling all around the edges of the pan.
- Serve with sour cream and an additional sprinkle of cilantro if desired.
- If you prepared a batch of black beans as a part of Winter Meal Plan #5, you should have plenty of beans for this dish. If you made homemade red enchilada sauce and slow simmered black beans that was apart of Winter Meal Plan #1, you might have some leftover enchilada sauce and black beans in your freezer. Hoo-ray! Use them! Otherwise, just use prepared canned or frozen enchilada sauce, and canned black beans.
- If you’re not making this green chili as a part of Winter Meal Plan #5, it’s unlikely that you have pork carnitas hanging out in your refrigerator. No problem. Simply cut 2-3 lbs of boneless pork chops into 1/2 inch cubes, sauté for a few minutes in olive oil to brown, then add to the green chili instead of the carnitas.
- Green chili freezes well and is a wonderful thing to have in your freezer. Simply ladle it into zip top bags, seal, and place in your freezer. I like to freeze it in approximately 2 cup portions.