In this article, I’ll show you how to make and can burrito in a jar. The idea for this recipe is that inside of the jar you have everything that you need to fill a burrito. You just heat up the filling, put it on a tortilla, and call it done. Of course, when you serve it, you can also add cheese, lettuce, fresh tomatoes, etc. But technically if you have canned burrito in a jar on your shelf and tortillas, dinner is pretty much ready.
Burrito in a Jar is Not an Approved Recipe
Before I get into the actual recipe and instructions, I want to make it clear that burrito in a jar is not an approved recipe. What that means is that the powers that be haven’t tested this recipe, and even beyond that, there are a few ingredients in the recipe that many consider unsafe to can.
Let’s talk about what those are and why they are unapproved.
Canning Beans and Rice
Canning beans is 100% approved by the powers that be, such as the National Center for Home Food Preservation. However, the recommended process is to first soak the beans, and slightly cook them before canning them. You can read more about the process here. This recipe calls for using dry beans that haven’t even been soaked, so it definitely goes against the recommended method.
Now many, many seasoned canners use the no soak, dry bean method when canning beans. So, while not approved, it’s also considered safe by most. Just be aware that if you want to go by safe canning guidelines, you need to first soak and then partially cook the beans before adding them to the jars.
Canning rice is a completely different story. There is absolutely no approved method for canning rice. Having said that, I personally felt okay adding rice in this recipe since it is such a small amount. But use your own discretion with that, and if you’re at all uncomfortable with it, leave out the rice.
Burrito in a Jar Ingredients
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The ingredients listed below are what you need per quart jar. I find it easiest to line up my jars, and just add the ingredients in the amounts below to each jar, one ingredient at a time.
Pro Tip: I find that using a canning funnel, such as these that you can pick up on Amazon, makes the process of filling the jars easier and less messy.
Note that it’s very important to put the ingredients in the jar in the order listed.
- ½ cup dry, rinsed pinto beans
- ¼ cup uncooked rice (I used brown rice)
- 1/3 cup diced onions
- 1/3 cup diced bell peppers
- 1 cup cooked ground beef
- 4 tablespoons Rotel tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon of taco seasoning
- ½ teaspoon of kosher salt
- Broth or water to fill the jars
Layer all of the ingredients in the order listed above. Especially since this recipe calls for dry beans and uncooked rice, it’s very important not to put extra of anything, but especially those two ingredients. The reason for this is that you want to make sure to have plenty of liquid in the jar to cook the beans and rice.
Fill the Jars with Water or Broth
Speaking of liquid, you can use beef broth or water. If you’re using beef broth that is salty, or if you simply want to reduce your sodium intake, you can omit the salt in this recipe.
Fill the jars with broth or water, leaving 1” of headspace. At this point I just eyeball the headspace because I’ll recheck it after the next step.
Debubble the Jars
Using a debubbler, plastic knife, spatula, chopstick or. . . poke around the jar to remove any trapped air bubbles. I personally like using this debubbler (Amazon), but you can use just about anything you have. The main thing I try to avoid is using anything metal that could scratch or chip the jars.
After you’ve debubbled the jars, recheck the headspace. If needed, add or remove some of the liquid until you have 1” of headspace in each jar.
Wipe the Rims
With any canning project, it’s very important to wipe the rims before adding the lids. Wiping the rims removes anything on the rims that could keep the jars from sealing.
When wiping the rims, you can often just use a paper towel that has been dipped in water. But when canning something like burrito in a jar that includes meat or anything else that may be a bit greasy, I recommend dipping the paper towel in vinegar. The vinegar helps cut any grease.
Add the Lids
Now it’s time to add the lids according to the manufacturer instructions.
The instructions vary based on whether you’re using standard metal canning lids such as Ball or Ker lids (Amazon), or Superb lids (that I like buying here, from Lehman’s.), or if you’re using reusable lids such as Tattler (Amazon) or Harvest Guard.
Pro tip: If you’re new to using reusable canning lids, be sure to check out my article, How to Use Reusable Canning Lids. If you’re using standard metal canning lids, check out my article How Tight Should a Ring be When Canning?.
Canning Burrito in a Jar – The Process
Now it’s time to do the actual canning. Pressure can quart-sized jars for 90 minutes. 90 minutes is necessary because of the meat and beans included in this recipe.
The amount of pressure you need to use is based on your altitude. I use 15 pounds of pressure where I live. If you’re unsure of that amount of pressure you need to use, check out my article, How Altitude Impacts Canning.
Once you’ve processed the burrito in a jar for 90 minutes, turn off the heat, and allow the pressure to come down naturally. Don’t do anything to speed up the process!
Remove the jars and allow them to cool for 24 hours before checking the seals and putting them into your pantry.
If any jars didn’t seal, refrigerate and use within the next couple of days.
Once you’ve canned burrito in a jar, the next time you’re in need of a quick meal, pull out a jar, heat it up, put it on a tortilla with your favorite burrito toppings, and enjoy!
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