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A wet burrito features soft, tender flour tortillas filled with seasoned beef chicken or pork, satiny refried beans, rich melted cheese, and loads of spices. The whole dish is then bathed in an irresistible chili gravy and baked to perfection.
My wet burrito recipe is incredibly easy to make and bursting with all the tantalizing tastes of Tex-Mex cuisine. Also called a smothered burrito, a wet burrito has everything you love about regular burritos with an extra, saucy bonus. Have a plate and fork ready!
This recipe is made casserole style and is smothered in a flavorful chili gravy, making it a uniquely Tex-Mex treat. This fusion of American and Mexican flavors is a surefire crowd-pleaser any day of the week.
Table of Contents
- Tex-Mex Chili Gravy – This silky, savory, and spicy Tex-Mex treasure puts the “wet” into this wet burrito recipe. Feel free to sub in a Green Sauce or Red Sauce if you prefer.
- Spices – An all-star cast of spices including smoky cumin, aromatic oregano, pungent garlic and onion powder, and spicy Chili Powder infuse the recipe with flavor.
- Onion & Garlic – Perks up the filling with a pungent sweetness and touch of sharpness.
- Ground Beef – Go with a 90/10 ground beef or make your filling with some of the mouthwatering alternatives listed above.
- Refried Beans – Make my easy DIY version or substitute in a 14 oz can.
- Cheese – Adds richness and a sweet, cheesy sharpness. I recommend Colby Jack, but you can also use cheddar, Pepper Jack, or a Mexican blend.
- Tortillas – Large, flour tortillas are the best choice for a wet burrito.
- Toppings – Top off] your burrito with cool, creamy sour cream, rich Guacamole, or fresh and zesty Pico de Gallo.
- Mexican Pickled Carrots – Cuts through the heavy flavors with a sharp, zingy dash of vinegar.
Wet Burritos vs Enchiladas
Enchiladas are typically made using corn tortillas, and wet burritos are made with large flour tortillas. Secondly, wet burritos are wrapped in a way where the filling is completely enclosed, and enchiladas are rolled with the ends open.
- Preheat and Prep. First, make the chili gravy. While that simmers, combine all the spices in a small bowl. Whisk together and set aside. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Saute Onions & Garlic. Place a large skillet over high heat. Heat the oil, toss in the onions, and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the chopped garlic to the pan and cook for an additional minute.
- Brown the Beef. Add the ground beef to the pan along with the spices. Cook the meat for 2 minutes, breaking it into smaller pieces with the spatula as it browns. Now add in the refried beans and 1 cup of cheese. Stir well to combine and cook for another 2 minutes. Season to taste. Remove from heat and set the mixture aside to cool slightly.
- Prepare the Baking Pan. Pour just enough gravy into the baking pan to cover the bottom of a 13×9-inch casserole dish.
- Fill the Tortillas. Spread 2/3 cup of the beef and bean filling horizontally across the center of each tortilla. You want the filling to be close to each edge. Fold the bottom half of the tortilla up and over the filling. Then, gently fold in each side and roll the burrito into a nice little unit. Take care to not be too forceful or wrap too tightly, or you will end up with torn tortillas. Size and number of burritos may vary depending on how much filling you choose to use.
- Bake the Burritos. Place each rolled burrito into the baking dish, seam side down to keep everything together. Repeat until you have a total of 6 burritos in the dish (or more depending on the amount of filling you choose to use). Use aluminum foil to cover the dish and transfer it to the oven to bake for 15 minutes.
- Top with Cheese & Gravy. Take the casserole dish out of the oven. Top the burritos with the rest of the chili gravy and the remainder of the shredded cheese. Keep the dish uncovered and return it to the oven to bake for another 5 minutes.
- Serve. Dress up your burritos with any or all of the suggested toppings and serve with a side of tangy pickled veggies.
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Enchiladas and wet burritos are often confused, which is why I want to explain their differences in more detail here!
The two biggest differences between an enchilada recipe and a wet burrito recipe are the type of tortilla used and the way the tortilla is wrapped.
Enchiladas are typically made with corn tortillas. They are filled and rolled in a way that keeps the ends of the tortillas open.
Wet burritos, on the other hand, are made with soft flour tortillas. They are wrapped burrito-style with closed ends that help keep all the meaty cheesy goodness inside.
While a wet burrito is filling enough to be served a la carte, it pairs perfectly with plenty of Tex-Mex and Mexican side dishes. Here are a few of my favorite suggestions:
– Authentic Elote (Street Corn)
– Spicy Cilantro Lime Slaw
– Arroz Verde (Mexican Green Rice)
– Thunderbird Salad
– Cactus Salad with Grilled Nopales
For the best wet burrito recipe, it is important to start with fresh, warm flour tortillas. If your tortillas are old or have been in the fridge, they will become dry and brittle.
Wrap your tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave them for 10-15 seconds. They will be soft, pliable, and so easy to work with!
Tex-Mex Wet Burrito (Burrito Mojado)
- 2 cups Tex-Mex Chili Gravy
- 1 tbsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano (See Note 1)
- 1 tsp chili powder (See note 2)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 lbs ground beef 90/10 (See Note 3)
- 2 cups refried beans (See Note 4)
- 2 cups Colby-Jack cheese shredded (divided)
- 6 large flour tortillas
- Make the Tex Mex Chili Gravy.
- In a small bowl whisk together the spices and set aside. Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add onion, cook for 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute.
- Add ground beef, spices and cook for 2 minutes, breaking up meat as it browns. Add refried beans, 1 cup cheese and stir to combine. Cook for 2 minutes. Season to taste. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Pour some of the Tex-Mex Chili Gravy to cover bottom of 13×9″ baking dish.
- Spread 2/3 cup of ground beef filling horizontally across the center of a tortilla, keeping the filling close to each edge. Next, bring the bottom half of the tortilla up and over the top of the filling. Then fold in each side and roll the burrito up into a nice package. TIP: Don't roll the burrito up too tightly or the tortilla could tear.
- Place the rolled burrito seam side down on top of the sauce in the casserole dish. Repeat until 6 burritos are in the pan. Cover with aluminum foil to bake 15 minutes (or make 2 at a time in a skillet as pictured, optional).
- Remove from oven and top with the remaining Tex Mex Chili Gravy and shredded Colby-Jack cheese and bake another 5 minutes, uncovered.
- Serve with any or all optional toppings sprinkled on top and Pickled Mexican Carrots.
- NOTE: size and number of burritos vary depending on how much filling you choose to use.
- I prefer to use Mexican oregano, feel free to substitute.
- I make my own chili powder, feel free to substitute with your favorite.
- This recipe uses a ground beef and bean filling, but these are other alternative fillings: Carne Asada, Pollo Asado, Carnitas (3 ways to make): Authentic Mexican Carnitas, Slow Cooker Carnitas, Pressure Cooker Carnitas (IP), Ground Beef Taco filling, Ground Pork Taco filling, also any of my Enchilada fillings.
- Substitute homemade refried beans with one 14oz can refried beans.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.