Recipes / Veganism

Meat-Free Monday Recipe: Vegan Taco Bell-Inspired Fresco Bean Burrito

Just because I’m a vegan, doesn’t mean I only eat uber healthy food 24/7. Every now and again, I crave the ease of fast food.

After I recently downloaded the app Vegan Eating Out (although beware, they consider honey as a vegan ingredient…still a handy place to start though), I discovered that Taco Bell carried a few vegan items. Really? Taco Bell?? Lo and behold, Taco Bell’s Fresco Bean Burrito is vegan and tasty…huzzah!

A warm flour tortilla cradles hearty pinto beans, zesty taco sauce, pungent onions and juicy tomatoes. Each bite is refreshing and hearty. So I decided to recreate the fast food chain’s burrito, adding the minty-peppery taste of oregano, bright and the ever so slightly citrus notes of cilantro.

No need to get on the subway. I can enjoy an easy, protein-packed meal right in the comfort of my own home. And you can too! But it’s always good to know where to grab food in a pinch.

Taco Bell-Inspired Fresco Bean Burrito

4 tortillas
1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon vegan butter (Earth Balance is the bomb…yes, you read that right 🙂 )
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/8-1/4 cup vegetable broth
*Taco Bell-Inspired Red Taco Sauce (see recipe below)
2 tomatoes, diced
1/4 white onion, diced
2 pinches (or to taste) fresh cilantro, chopped
2 pinches (or to taste) oregano, dried
1 pinch (or to taste) sea salt


1. Prepare Taco Bell-Inspired Red Taco Sauce. Set aside.

2. In a small saucepan, heat 1/2 of pinto beans, vegan butter and olive oil on medium heat.

3. After a few minutes, mash beans with a potato masher. Add veggie broth and another 1/2 of beans. Stir together. Remove from heat.

4. Heat a frying pan on medium-high heat. Place tortilla in pan. Heat for 30 seconds. Flip and heat on other side for 30 seconds. Continue with the rest of the tortillas.

5. Place each tortilla on a plate. Top with beans, red sauce, onions, tomatoes, cilantro and oregano.

*Taco Bell-Inspired Red Taco Sauce

I modified this recipe from JustaQT’s (nope, I’m not making this moniker up!) recipe on I reduced the cumin (the original is ridiculously cumin-heavy) and doubled the garlic powder.

1 can (8 ounces) of tomato sauce
1/3 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon sugar


1. Place all ingredients in a small saucepan.

2. Simmer on low heat for 15-20 minutes.

3. Let cool and then use.

Bon appétit! | Serves 2-4



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