Turn Your Sad Frozen Burritos Into A Fully-Loaded Casserole

Casseroles are perfect for getting dinner on the table with minimal effort or for meal prepping for the week. There are countless ways to layer ingredients, and all you have to do is set it and forget it in the oven. The usual casserole suspects are great, but using frozen burritos is an express ticket to a delicious, comforting, and low-effort dinner. Your struggle meal is quickly transformed into a flavorful Tex-Mex bake.

This method is great because it relies on ingredients you probably already have in your pantry and fridge. All you need is a can of enchilada sauce, shredded cheese, and, of course, some frozen burritos. Pour some sauce into the bottom of a baking dish, arrange the frozen burritos in a single layer, cover with more sauce, and then sprinkle with cheese to your heart's content. Pop your burrito casserole into the oven, and you're only about 30 minutes or so away from an epic cheese pull.

While the casserole bakes, you have plenty of time to prepare some toppings. If you don't have the time, skip it! A burrito smothered in sauce and cheese is still going to be awesome. If you do opt for toppings, consider a mix of creamy, crunchy, and spicy ingredients. Try sour cream, Mexican crema, nacho cheese sauce, or crumbled queso fresco. Add some brightness with diced onion, pickled jalapeños, sliced serrano chilies, chopped tomatoes, thinly shredded cabbage, cilantro, cubed avocado, black olives, or scallions.

Get creative with your frozen burrito casserole

When it comes to the frozen burritos themselves, use whichever variety you prefer. Chicken burritos would be great topped with enchilada verde sauce, frozen corn, a drained can of black beans, and Monterey Jack cheese. Meanwhile, bean and cheese burritos would pair well smothered in beefy chili and cheddar cheese, garnished with diced red onion, pickled jalapeños, and a handful of corn chips for good measure. With vegan burritos, choose a sauce with some oomph, like a smoky chipotle variety, skip the cheese, and load up on the toppings. You can even use egg-filled breakfast burritos — smother them in a spicy red sauce or creamy black pepper gravy!

A frozen burrito casserole is also a great way to use up languishing vegetables or proteins that need to be cooked. Saute vegetables like onions, peppers, carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms, summer squash, or any kind of hearty, leafy green before layering them into your casserole. As for protein, some cooked ground meat, the last bits of a shredded rotisserie chicken, or yesterday's pork chops can go a long way when paired with frozen burritos.

Regarding the sauce, any kind of enchilada sauce will work, but jarred salsas can also be mixed in or used instead. Opt for canned soup like cream of chicken or mushroom to steer things in a creamier direction.

What other frozen foods can you layer into a casserole?

Burritos are not the only food you might have in your freezer that can be transformed into the easiest weeknight meals. Use the exact same concept but with frozen taquitos, miniature tacos, or chimichangas instead.

Frozen fries, tater tots, or home fries are great toppers for leftovers you may also have stashed away, like pot roast, chili, sloppy joe filling, or slow cooker shredded chicken. Just defrost whichever stew you're using so you can spread it across the bottom of a baking dish, and arrange the frozen potatoes on top so they can crisp up in the oven. Hash browns layered with scrambled eggs, shredded cheese, and crumbled bacon or diced ham also make for an easy breakfast bake.

Frozen ravioli or tortellini can be layered with any kind of jarred pasta sauce. Pair a cheese-filled pasta with tomato sauce and frozen meatballs, or spinach and mushroom pasta with Alfredo sauce and sliced pre-cooked Italian sausage. Don't forget to add a bag of frozen cauliflower, broccoli, green beans, or peas to the mix too!