Frozen burritos aren’t just for stoners: They’re also made for busy days when you come home from yoga so hungry you could eat dry pasta (but won’t, because you’d rather eat a balanced, cooked meal). Stoners do, however, have a distinct advantage when it comes to frozen foods: Pretty much anything tastes good when you have the munchies. To help you avoid flavor failure and nutrition meltdown, we tested five top varieties of “natural” vegetarian frozen burritos, stuck them in a microwave, and handed out samples to five blind tasters.
Here’s how they stacked up*:
WINNER: Amy’s — Cheddar Cheese Burrito
Recommend: Nutritious and (almost) delicious
Amy’s does right with organic ingredients, lots of fiber, and a sufficient amount of protein, but more importantly, we never heard the word “bland” from our blind tasters. “The filling tasted the best on this one,” said one tester. “This one was the highlight for me,” another agreed. “I like the texture, and the fact that there are whole ingredients in this one.” We have a champion!
Nutrition: 1 burrito contains 310 calories (90 calories from fat), 9g total fat, 2.5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 10mg cholesterol, 580mg sodium, 46g total carbohydrate, 7g dietary fiber, 1g sugar, 11g protein.
Ingredients: organic pinto beans, organic whole wheat & wheat flour, filtered water, organic brown rice, organic tomato puree, expeller pressed high oleic safflower and/or sunflower oil, organic onions, cheddar and monterey jackcheeses (pasteurized milk, culture, salt, annatto [color], enzymes [without animal enzymes or animal rennet]), organic bell peppers, organic sweet rice flour, sea salt, spices, organic wheat gluten, organic garlic.
evol. burritos — 80% Organic Basic Bean & Cheese
Weak Recommend: Great nutrition; what flavor?
This burrito is low fat, high protein, and high fiber, but when it comes to taste and texture, our blind taster says it best: “What is this, cardboard?” With comments ranging from “it doesn’t really taste like anything” to “needs more spice,” nearly all of our testers agreed that the burrito didn’t pack much flavor.
Nutrition: 1 burrito contains 360 calories (70 fat calories), 7g total fat, 3g sat. fat, 0g trans fat, 10mg cholesterol, 620mg sodium, 60g total carbs, 8g fiber, 1g sugar, 16g protein.
Ingredients: Filling — organic pinto beans, monterey jack cheese (RBST-free pasteurized milk, cheese culture, salt, enzymes), hatch green chiles, spices, corn starch. Tortilla — organic flour tortilla (organic wheat flour, water, organic palm oil, baking powder, salt).
Amy’s — Especial Burrito
Don’t Recommend: Nutrition? Meh. Flavor? Meh.
We didn’t really care about this burrito, and it doesn’t really seem to care about us. With only 9 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber, it’s far from a nutritional superstar, and our blind tasters weren’t enthusiastic about the flavor, either. Tasters complained that it had too much tortilla, that it didn’t have enough beans, and that it had too much rice. “It tasted like corn,” and “on the bland side” express the full extent of our tasters’ reviews.
Nutrition: 1 burrito contains: 300 calories (60 calories from fat), 7g total fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 5mg cholesterol, 620mg sodium, 50g total carbohydrates, 4g dietary fiber, 2g sugar, 9g protein.
Ingredients: organic black beans, organic wheat flour, filtered water, organic onions, organic rice, organic tomato puree, organic bell peppers, expeller pressed high oleic safflower and/or sunflower oil, cheddar and monterey jack cheeses (pasteurized milk, culture, salt, annato [color], enzymes [without animal enzymes or animal rennet], sea salt, olives, organic green chiles, cilantro, organic garlic, spices, organic sweet rice flour.
Whole Foods 365 — Bean, Rice & Cheese Burrito
Don’t Recommend: Is this from Whole Foods or a gas station?
This one is full of carbs, and we could taste it: “Way too much tortilla,” said one blind taster. “It tastes like bread. Or, you know, tortilla,” another agreed. At the end of the day, it just isn’t healthy or tasty enough to pass as real dinner: “It tasted like something you’d get at a convenience store.” Whole Foods might carry some great products, but they aren’t winning our hearts with their vegetarian burritos.
Nutrition: 1 burrito contains 370 calories (70 fat calories), 8g total fat, 1.5g sat. fat, 0g trans fat, 5mg cholesterol, 750mg sodium, 210mg potassium, 62g total carbs, 5g dietary fiber, 2g sugar, 13g protein.
Ingredients: Tortilla — enriched unbleached flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), water, expeller pressed canola oil, sea salt, baking powder (calcium acid phosphate, sodium bicarbonate, modified cornstarch). Filling — pinto beans, water, rice, low fat cheddar cheese (pasteurized part-skim milk, cheese culture, salt, annatto [for color]), microbial enzymes, tomatoes, onions, halapenos (jalapenos, water, vinegar, salt), chili pepper, sea salt, garlic, cumin, turmeric.
Glutenfreeda — Gluten-Free Vegetarian Bean & Cheese Burrito
Weak Recommend: Tasty tortilla, and that’s it.
“The filling tasted like absolutely nothing, but the tortilla was absolutely the best of the bunch,” said one blind taster. Glutenfreeda’s tortilla won nearly every taster’s heart, but the burrito’s filling was bland and barely-there. “If it tasted like anything, it was glue,” said one taster, and another scratched her head over what was between the tasty tortilla: “I couldn’t really tell if there were any beans in this one.” It also had the lowest protein and fiber of all the burritos we tried.
Nutrition: 1 burrito contains 210 calories (70 fat calories), 7g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 15mg cholesterol, 290mg sodium, 30 total carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 7g protein.
Ingredients: gluten-free flour tortilla (white corn masa flour and a trace of lime, water, pregelatinized rice flour, potato flour, high oleic safflower oil, corn starch, xanthan gum and cultured dextrose), refried beans (beans,water, canola oil, salt), rice, cheddar cheese (pasteurized milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes, annatto color), salsa (fresh tomatoes, onions, green peppers, red peppers, cilantro, tomato sauce, cumin, jalapeno powder, pepper, vinegar, sugar, salt), organic corn, sour cream (grade A cultured cream (milk), enzyme), garlic salt (garlic, salt, garlic oil).
*Our Rating System:
- Strong Recommend
- Weak Recommend
- Don’t Recommend