Homemade Beef & Bean Burritos + Taco Sauce (from scratch)

Homemade Beef and Bean Burritos & DIY Taco Sauce

Every day here in the Sunshine State, it is roughly one billion degrees outside. (Please let’s not talk about our hair in the accompanying 100% humidity.)

And, every day, at roughly 3 pm, the sky grows dark and a deluge opens up and soaks the living bejeezus out of all things outdoors.

And, also? Once the deluge commences, for some mysterious reason, the air conditioner seems to work extremely well. Like I’m digging out my fleece pants and hoodie sweatshirt and cranking it up to 80 degrees so I can stop my teeth from chattering.

This comes from living in a sub-tropical climate for a double-digit number of years. We become like reptiles. We need the sun to stay warm.

So in the summer, around 3pm, the sky grows dark, it starts to rain, and I’m really cold.

Therefore, cozy comfort food cravings begin.

Like burritos.

So even though burritos don’t seem like summer food, for reptiles they are.

Reptiles ♥ burritos. (I’m pretty sure about that, but don’t mark that as your final answer if it ever shows up on a legit test about animals and the foods they love. More research is necessary, I’m sure).

So I know burritos are not rocket science.

I’m not here to pretend they are.

I’m just here saying that when you put them together like this and you share them with friends, they’ll devour them, then they’ll fight over who get’s the last one.

And they’ll be super happy when you bring more for round two a few weeks later.

Burritos = friendship makers.

For reals. Homemade Beef and Bean Burritos & DIY Taco Sauce

Aaaaaand, when you make the sauce and the spice mix initially, you’ll have plenty extra left over to make burritos a few more times in the future  without the extended (reallynotsoextended) prep.

And the “taco” sauce? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say it would be pretty spankin’ good as an enchilada sauce too. Or with some huevos rancheros, or in a nice little homemade salsa.

All I’m saying is, you’ll be happy to have leftovers.

Homemade Taco Sauce and Beef and Bean Burrito Filling

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: about 10 -12 large-ish burritos, with leftover sauce and spice mix

Homemade Taco Sauce and Beef and Bean Burrito Filling

This sauce as just as satisfying as store bought versions, but so much healthier. If you are following a Paleo regimen, or just prefer not to use refined sugar, light-colored maple syrup is a fine substitution for the sugar in the recipe. Just throw the ingredients in a pot before you start browning meat and it can simmer away while you finish up your burrito filling.


    For the Taco Sauce:
  • 1 (17.64 oz) carton Pomi strained tomatoes
  • 3 1/4 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • For the Burrito Spice Mix:
  • you could go here, which was my starting point. We've since altered it to the recipe that follows. I also like to make a larger batch - so that the next few times around all I have to do is pull it out of the cupboard already mixed and ready to go:
  • 4 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 4 tablespoons onion powder
  • 3 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon crushed, dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • For the Burrito filling:
  • 3 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 can (or 1 3/4 cup) blackbeans, drained
  • 4 tablespoons taco/burrito spice mix
  • 1 cup of water
  • tortillas
  • and toppings of choice:
  • shredded cheese
  • guacamole
  • diced tomatoes
  • shredded lettuce


For the Taco Sauce:

Add all ingredients to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook on a low simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and serve warm or at room temperature. Store leftovers in the fridge, tightly covered. You can also freeze portions for later use.

For the Burrito Spice Mix:

Add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk to mix well. Set aside. (Store in an airtight container at room temperature).

For the Burrito filling:

Over medium heat, in a large skillet, borwn the beef. Drain.Reduce heat. Add in spice mix and water. Stir and cook over med-low heat until water is mostly evaporated. Remove from heat, serve hot on tortillas with cheese, sauce, and desired toppings.


Sara| Home Is Where The Cookies Are


* I have marked this recipe as Paleo because both the filling (if you remove the beans) and the sauce (when you sub maple syrup for the sugar) are Paleo compliant. However, Paleo eaters – you’re on your own when it comes to tortillas and cheese!

Red Wine & Butter (Slow-Cooker) Roast

When my biggest guy was a toddler, he coined a new phrase in our house.

As we paged through a coffee-table book that featured photos of lighthouses new and old from around the country, he fell upon a page that caused him pause.

The photograph was of a lighthouse silhouette back-lit by a stunning sunset of oranges, deep pinks, and hot reds. It was just the top half of the house, and around the unlit light was the glass housing, and around the housing was a smooth iron railing that ran a complete ring around the lighthouse.

It was the birds that stopped him though. Continue reading

Italian Style Beef Meatballs

So what do you do when your Darling is not a fan of candy or flowers? What do you do when your Numero Uno is a guy? What do you do when your Sweetie Pie is a guy and you don’t want to buy him yet another bag of Doritos and dress it in a pretty ribbon?

You make him swoon with meatballs and serve it with crusty bread, wine and little message-bearing toothpicks posted like billboards in central Florida – one every hundred feet – or in this case, one per meatball:
Continue reading

Barry White Short Ribs

If this post is supposedly about short ribs, then you are probably thinking, . .

“Where. . . are. . . the ribs?”

I know. I apologize.

They’re in my belly.

Barry White showed up with the first bite and sang my husband and I  mindlessly through



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Shredded Beef Sandwiches

Last night three of my family members asked if we could PLEASE not have two nights of experimental cooking in a row.

“It’s mean,” they said.


I reminded them of our dinner menu over the last several days:

Barbequed hamburgers and potato salad, Shredded Beef Sandwiches on grilled French bread buns (experiment), our family “staple” of grilled chicken, rice, and salad. . . now enter unpopular experiment number one:

white bean soup (blended to oblivion), with buttered whole wheat rolls and green salad,

unpopular experiment number two:

Asian chicken salad with edamame, red pepper, and orange-ginger dressing over rice.


“Just not back to back, that’s all we ask. Maybe spread them out, like Monday/Thursday or something – and please, don’t mess with Friday – that’s pizza night”.

I think my mouth must be malfunctioning or something. Maybe my taste buds are dulled. Dunno. I liked both experimental meals. I was excited about the left overs even. What is wrong with me??

OK. I heard them. I can spread it out. That’s fine – they’re humoring me at least.

But notice not a one complained about the shredded beef sandwiches? That’s because we devoured them like a pack of wolves – and had to forcefully hold each other back from diving into seconds.

Once in a while Momatouille hits the jackpot. That was a jackpot night.

I knew it going in, because the smell of it roasting gave me the total heads-up. We were out in the street playing with the kids and I kept catching whiffs of something delicious cooking. I was pretty sure it was someone else’s dinner, and part of me wanted to hunt down the house and invite myself in to eat.

Then I realized – that was our dinner.

Oh. . . yum. . . .

I especially loved that this was a throw-it-in-the-pot and leave it recipe – no browning necessary, and the meat shredded beautifully. So easy! This would be a great make-ahead too – just reheat the meat when you’re ready.

The Superbowl is on the horizon. Bookmark this recipe. It’s worth it.

Fo shizzle.


Shredded Beef Sandwiches (we had enough for around 10 sandwiches)


3 pounds beef chuck shoulder roast, cut into 1 pound pieces ( I ended up using Shoulder London Broil and it was perfect – practically melted to shreds with a fork)

4 cups low sodium beef broth

1 head garlic, cloves smashed and peeled

small handful of flat leaf Italian parsley and stems

1 red onion, thick sliced

3 Sage leaves

3 sprigs fresh thyme

Coarse sea salt and fresh ground black pepper

The fixin’s 

Prepared Horseradish

fresh chives – chopped

fresh flat leaf parsley – chopped

fresh ground black pepper

French bread hamburger buns, buttered and grilled or toasted


Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. In a large Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid, combine beef, broth, garlic, parsley, onion, sage, and thyme. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the meat pieces. Cover everything with a layer of parchment paper and tuck the edges down as well as you can. Repeat with a layer of aluminum foil. Place in oven. Bake until beef is tender and can be easily pulled apart with two forks. The original recipe says 5 to 6 hours, but I checked mine after 4, and it was completely done and perfectly shred-able.

Before you begin to shred the meat, butter your buns and start them grilling or toasting.

Serve each sandwich slathered in horseradish and sprinkled with the chopped parsley and chives. Add salt and pepper to taste. (My guys also liked the addition of A1 sauce).

Chow your little heart out.

Source: Very slightly adapted from the Everyday Food recipe featured by Joy the Baker