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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When canning burrito in a jar, it’s important to layer ingredients in the order listed below. Be sure not to overdo the amount of beans and rice (if using), since they will expand.

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 
jars filled with all burrito in a jar ingredients, except for the broth.
Rotel tomatoes and spices are the last ingredients before adding the broth.

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 

wiping the rims of the cans of burrito in a jar before putting the lids on.

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. 

an image of canned burrito in a jar.
The finished product doesn’t look that great, but it is tasty. :)

If any jars didn’t seal, refrigerate and use within the next couple of days.  

Put canned burrito in a jar on a tortilla, top with cheese, and lunch is ready!

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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    1. Great question! I just did the math and here’s what I came up with:

      3.5 cups dry pinto beans
      1 3/4 cup rice
      2 1/3 cups diced onions
      1 1/3 cups diced bell peppers
      7 cups cooked ground beef (about 3 pounds)
      28 tablespoons Rotel tomatoes (buy 2 cans)
      7 tablespoons taco seasoning (about 3 packages)
      3 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

      Hope that helps!

  1. I made this recipe but I had 3 jars that didn’t seal. I PC @ 10# for 90 minutes. Any ideas on why? I have canned for over 30 yrs. I realize once in a while you can have a jar that doesn’t seal but not 3 in one canner. Actually one jar gave me a false seal, I thought I only had 2 jars not seal, but when I washed them off before putting them away one seal popped the seal.

    1. Gina, so sorry to hear about the jars that didn’t seal. I didn’t have that problem myself, so I’m not sure what happened in your case. I could give the standard reasons for jars not sealing, but since you’ve been canning for 30 years, you obviously know what you’re doing. For instance, I’m sure you did the standard things like wiping the rims, used the right amount of headspace, etc. The only thing I can figure is that it could be because it includes dry beans and rice. Neither of those are approved for canning – and one thing to consider with them is getting the right amount of liquid could impact things. I am actually thinking of redoing this recipe where I eliminate the rice and prepare the beans based on proper methods per the National Center for Home Food Preservation – mainly soaking the beans overnight, draining, then boiling them for 30 minutes before using in the recipe. If I do this, I will increase the amount of beans to compensate for removing the rice. I think removing the rice and partially cooking the beans will eliminate the issue of how much water to use. The only downside to this is that it may come out a bit soupy, and you may need to simmer it a bit to reduce the liquid before serving. But even before your comment, I was thinking of trying this variation to make it more compliant with safe canning practices. Again, so sorry to hear you had the problem with the jars not sealing.

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