Looking for Shredded Beef Burritos that are flavorful and filling but won’t weigh you down? This recipe is it. No beans, no rice. Just shredded beef, cheese, lettuce and an herby sauce all wrapped up and pan-seared to crispy, melty perfection! This is the best way to use up leftover shredded beef. 

Flour tortillas, shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, pickled jalapenos, shredded beef, and chimichurri mayo set out on a counter.

Ingredients Needed

  • Shredded beef: burritos are one of my favorite ways to use up leftover shredded beef. I love to use leftover Vaca Frita or Mexican Shredded Beef. Check out both recipes and choose whichever is most intriguing or convenient. 
  • Shredded Cheese: I like to use shredded whole milk mozzarella. It’s mild and melty. Feel free to use Pepper Jack, Colby Jack, provolone or Cheddar. 
  • Lettuce: Thinly slice romaine hearts or use iceberg lettuce for added texture and freshness.
  • Mayonnaise: this is the base for the burrito sauce—a little creaminess is needed to bind everything together. 
  • Chimichurri: combined with the mayo, this makes for a bright and flavorful burrito sauce. 
  • Pickled jalapenos: any optional addition but I like the tangy heat they add! Pickled onions would also be a great option. 
  • Tortillas: you’ll need large burrito-sized tortillas. 
  • Oil: just a splash of oil for pan frying the burritos. 
Flour tortilla set on a work surface with burrito filling on it—chimichurri mayo spread on the tortilla, shredded cheese sprinkled over top, shredded beef arranged in a line, shredded lettuce arranged next to beef and pickled jalapeno slices on top of the filling.

How to Roll a Beef Burrito 

It’s not rocket science, but there is an art to rolling a burrito. Here’s a general overview of how to properly roll a burrito so it stay put! 

  1. Roll the edge of the tortilla nearest you up and over the filling, tucking in the filling as needed, to enclose it. 
  2. Tightly fold in edges as you continue to roll the burrito away from you.  
  3. Set seam side down on the counter as you continue rolling the other burritos. 

It’s important to roll and fold tightly to secure but not so tightly that you tear the tortilla. 

Two pan-fried burritos on a metal sheet pan.

Pan-Fry for a Crisp Exterior 

There are a lot of things that go into making a great beef burrito. But the one thing that makes it exceptional? Pan-frying it in a cast-iron skillet to create a crisp exterior. It’s a simple step that is well worth the effort. 

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Add a splash of neutral high-heat cooking oil (avocado or canola) and swirl to coat the skillet. Add burritos, seam side down, and lightly smash down using a burger iron or second cast-iron skillet. Flip and continue frying until second side is golden brown and crisp. 

Et voila! Now you have a crispy burrito with a warm and melty filling. 

Three burrito halves arranged, cut-side up, on a white speckled metal platter with a small white bowl of chimichurri mayo set in it.

Can I freeze shredded beef burritos?

Yes, though I would skip adding lettuce to the burritos if you plan to freeze them. Freezing the lettuce will damage the cell walls of the lettuce and create a wet, soggy filling. 

To freeze these burritos, skip the frying step and instead wrap them tightly foil right after rolling. Place in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. 

Thaw the burritos overnight in the refrigerator before unwrapping and pan-frying as directed (you may need to pat them dry before frying to ensure they crisp up). 

Can I use shredded chicken in these burritos?

Absolutely, that sounds delicious! I have two great shredded chicken recipes for you. Try my Salsa Verde Chicken or Chicken Barbacoa

Shredded Beef Burritos

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Yield 4 burritos
Category Lunch/Dinner
Cuisine American/Mexican


A satisfying beef burrito that won't weigh you down. This no-rice beef burrito is loaded with flavor from chimichurri, shredded beef, melty cheese and pickled jalapeños,



  • For the chimichurri mayo, combine mayonnaise and chimichurri in a small bowl.
  • Place a tortilla on a clean work surface. Spread 2 tablespoons chimichurri mayo over tortilla, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges.
  • Sprinkle ¼ cup cheese evenly over chimichurri mayo. Arrange ½ cup beef in a line, from top to bottom, slightly off-centered. Arrange ⅓ lettuce alongside line of beef; top with a few slices of pickled jalapeños.
  • Roll edge of tortilla nearest you up and over filling, tucking in filling as needed, to enclose it. Tightly fold in edges as you continue to roll burrito away from you. Set seam side down on counter; repeat with remaining ingredients.
  • Heat a cast-iron skillet or griddle over medium-high for 3 minutes. Brush a thin layer of oil into skillet then place burritos*, seam-side down, in skillet. Press burritos down using a burger iron, bottom of a second cast-iron skillet or bottom of a saucepan, to sear and slightly flatten.
  • Cook burritos until golden brown on bottom side, 2–3 minutes, flip, press and continue to cook until golden on second side, 1–2 minutes.
  • Transfer burritos to a cutting board, cool slightly then cut in half and serve.


*depending on how large your cast-iron skillet or griddle is, you may need to cook these in batches.


Like this? Leave a comment below!I love hearing from you and I want to hear how it went with this recipe! Leave a comment and rating below, then share on social media @zestfulkitchen and #zestfulkitchen!
Three burrito halves arranged, cut-side up, on a white speckled metal platter with a small white bowl of chimichurri mayo set in it.

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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