Whether or not you've tried the Taco Bell Grilled Cheese Burrito, you're going to fall in love with this make-at-home version. You'll never want a burrito without toasted cheese on top again!
If forced, would you choose grilled cheese sandwich or a burrito? Both have their benefits and for me, it's a tough choice.
Burritos typically have meat and rice and delicious sauces and grilled cheese stypically have lots of incredible melted cheese.
So, why not combine the two? Taco Bell originally came up with the idea for grilled cheese burritos and fans went wild. Many were disappointed when they learned the burrito was available for a limited time only.
The funny this is, as I was developing this recipe and writing this post, the company brought the menu item back and actually gave it a place on the permanent menu! Hooray!
But that doesn't mean you can't still make it at home. This easy Taco Bell copycat recipe for a grilled cheese burrito is simple to make and contains all the same ingredients as the restaurant version.
🌯 What is a grilled cheese burrito?
Taco Bell describes their grilled cheese burrito as "Seasoned beef, nacho cheese sauce, seasoned rice, fiesta strips, creamy chipotle sauce, reduced-fat sour cream, and three-cheese blend wrapped inside a warm flour tortilla, with even more three-cheese blend grilled on the top.
So, it's basically a fully loaded beef burrito with cheese grilled to the top of it.
Once you try this fan favorite burrito, you'll wonder why we're not toasting cheese on top of all our burritos!
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
If you've tried and loved the grilled cheese burrito from Taco Bell, this is the recipe for you! It has all the same ingredients as their version and tastes very similar. Plus, you can customize it to your own tastes!
And if you haven't had the opportunity to try the special menu item, now is your chance to try it with a make-at-home version.
The burritos are really easy to prep and make for the perfect weeknight dinner your whole family will love!
The ingredients for this burrito are fairly simple and should all be easy for you to find. Here's what you'll need (be sure to check out the recipe card at the bottom of this post for ingredient amounts and full recipe directions):
- Ground beef: I purchase all my ground beef from Butcher Box
- Taco seasoning: Store-bought or homemade mix.
- Cooked seasoned rice: Brand of your choice- I use Near East Spanish Rice.
- Shredded cheese: Taco Bell uses a 3 cheese blend that consists of cheddar cheese, Monterey jack cheese, and mozzarella cheese, so that's what I use, too. However, you can use your own favorite cheese or blend of cheeses.
- Nacho cheese sauce: Brand of your choice- I like Mrs. Renfro's Nacho Cheese Sauce. I recommend warming it a bit before adding it to the burrito.
- Chipotle sauce: Brand of your choice- Taco Bell does make their own, but I couldn't find it, so I used Terrapin Ridge Farms.
- Sour cream: Taco Bell uses reduced-fat sour cream, but you can use any.
- Tortilla strips (AKA Fiesta Strips): Taco Bell uses crunchy red strips, but I used tri-color tortilla strips.
- Unsalted butter
- Flour tortillas: I recommend burrito-size tortillas (10-12 inches)
👩🍳 How to make grilled cheese burritos
Aside from cooking and seasoning the beef and cooking the rice, this recipe is really all about assembly and then grilling the cheese onto the rolled burritos.
For the beef, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add ground beef, breaking it up with a spatula or wooden spoon as it cooks.
Cook until beef is browned and no longer pink, 5-7 minutes.
Drain any excess grease from the skillet if necessary. Then return skillet to the stove and reduce heat to low.
Add water and taco seasoning to beef and stir to combine. Continue cooking until mixture thickens slightly, about 2 minutes.
Warm the flour tortillas in the microwave or on a griddle until soft and pliable. A warm tortilla will be easier to roll.
Place warmed tortillas on a flat surface.
It's time to fill the burritos!
You can use as much or as little of each ingredient as you want to fill them. But here's what I use:
½ cup ground beef mixture, ⅓ cup rice, 2 Tbsp shredded cheese, 2 Tbsp warm nacho cheese sauce, 2 tsp chipotle sauce, 1 tsp sour cream, and 1 Tbsp tortilla strips.
For me, this is the perfect amount of filling and the best ratio of ingredients!
Now roll those burritos.
I find it easiest to fold the sides of the tortilla towards the center, like an envelope, and then roll it up tightly.
Now, this is a delicious beef burrito... But we want to turn it into a grilled cheese burrito!
To do this, you'll need to preheat a griddle or large skillet to medium heat.
And brush the top and bottom of each burrito with butter. It's not a grilled cheese without a little butter!
Sprinkle about 1 Tbsp shredded cheese onto the top of each burrito and press down to adhere.
Place each burrito on heated griddle cheese-side down. Grill for about 1 minute until cheese is nice and golden. Add another 1 Tbsp shredded cheese to top of each burrito and press down to adhere. Flip burritos and cook for another minute until cheese is golden.
And now we have successfully combined two of the best ever comfort foods: grilled cheese and burritos.
I mean, seriously, does it get any better than that?? I have no idea why on Earth Taco Bell would ever discontinue such a delectable menu item. And I can definitely see why they brought it back.
But I guess it doesn't really matter now that we know how easy they are to make at home! Check out all that delicious filling!
I love that this is a fully loaded beef burrito packed with chipotle flavor and a little crunch from the tortilla strips... Plus, you get a little delicious toasted cheese with every bite!
I can't decide what my favorite part is, but I think it might have to be the toasty cheese on top of the burrito. Game changer!
Of course, you can serve the grilled cheese burritos with more chipotle sauce or cheese sauce or sour cream. But it honestly doesn't even need anything more.
🎉 Variations on recipe
I tried to make this grilled cheese burrito as close to the Taco Bell version as possible (you can add additional ingredients at the fast-food chain for an extra cost). But now that you know the recipe, there's a lot you can do to suit it to your own tastes! Here are some ideas:
- Instead of ground beef, try making the burritos with ground chicken or steak.
- Add guacamole or sliced avocado to burritos.
- Try replacing the rice with refried beans. Or use both!
- Add tomatoes, shredded lettuce jalapeños, or olives.
- If you can't find fiesta strips, you can use tortilla chips instead.
- Add as much hot sauce (or fire sauce!) as you want.
- Use your favorite burrito recipe and then follow my instructions for turning it into a grilled cheese burrito. Yes, you can make any kind of burrito a grilled cheese burrito!
I also just learned that they are currently testing two new grilled cheese burritos at select Taco Bell locations, including a California Steak Grilled Cheese Burrito and a Bacon Grilled Cheese Burrito (source).
Does anyone want the copycat recipes for those??
🧊 Can these be frozen?
Burritos are easy to freeze! However, if you're freezing these ones, I'd leave out the sour cream and tortilla strips. Sour cream will not reheat well and the tortilla strips will get soggy.
If you're going to freeze the burritos, here's what to do:
- First, make sure the burritos are completely cooled before freezing. Once cool, wrap them individually in aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Wrapping them tightly will help prevent freezer burn.
- Place the wrapped burritos in a freezer-safe plastic bag or container.
- Store the burritos in the freezer for up to 3 months.
🌮 More Mexican-style recipes
If you're like me and you love any meal that includes a tortilla or taco shell, I've got lots of fun recipes for you! Here are some of my favorite easy Mexican-style recipes:
- Corn Tortilla Quesadillas
- Chicken and Avocado Burritos
- Baked Chicken Chimichangas
- Creamy Fajita Skillet
- Chili Lime Shrimp Tacos
- Chilled Mexican Corn Bisque with Shrimp
- Chicken and Summer Vegetable Toastadas
I hope I just changed your burrito life forever and that you'll never make another again with toasting some cheese on top!
Have you ever tried Taco Bell's grilled cheese burrito? What's your favorite item on their menu? I know lots of people are also thrilled the Mexican pizza is back!
Grilled Cheese Burrito
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 6 Tbsp water
- 2 Tbs taco seasoning (store-bought or homemade)
- 4 large flour tortillas (burrito size)
- 1 ⅓ cups cooked seasoned rice
- 1 cup shredded cheese (I use a combination of cheddar, Monterey jack, and mozzarella)
- ½ cup nacho cheese sauce, warmed
- ½ cup chipotle sauce
- ¼ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup tortilla strips
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add ground beef, breaking it up with a spatula or wooden spoon as it cooks. Cook until beef is browned and no longer pink, 5-7 minutes.
- Drain any excess grease from the skillet if necessary. Then return skillet to the stove and reduce heat to low.
- Add water and taco seasoning to beef and stir to combine. Continue cooking until mixture thickens slightly, about 2 minutes.
- Warm the flour tortillas in the microwave or on a griddle until soft and pliable. Place warmed tortillas on a flat surface.
- Spoon about ½ cup ground beef mixture onto the center of each tortilla. Add ⅓ cup rice, 2 Tbsp shredded cheese, 2 Tbsp cheese sauce, 2 tsp chipotle sauce, 1 tsp sour cream, and 1 Tbsp tortilla chips over the ground beef. Feel free to adjust ingredient amounts to your own tastes.
- Fold the sides of the tortilla towards the center, like an envelope, and then roll it up tightly.
- Preheat griddle or large skillet to medium heat.
- Brush top and bottom of each burrito with butter. Sprinkle about 1 Tbsp shredded cheese onto the top of each burrito and press down to adhere. Place each burrito on heated griddle cheese-side down. Grill for about 1 minute until cheese is nice and golden. Add another 1 Tbsp shredded cheese to top of each burrito and press down to adhere. Flip burritos and cook for another minute until cheese is golden.
- Feel free to add additional toppings to burritos (sour cream, guacamole, salsa, etc.) and enjoy!