Shopped for a burrito lately? If so, you've seen there are lots of burritos to choose from. In fact, we counted forty-one different frozen burritos just at one store; we love having options, but this can turn overwhelming. To help narrow down this category, we only tested ones that met our nutrition guidelines, as well as contained some whole grains. This still gave us plenty of burritos to compare and helped us find several healthy favorites.

By Carolyn Williams, PhD, RD
December 08, 2016
Illustration: Christina Harrison Text: Daniel Boone

Taste Test Winners:

Amy's Gluten-Free Cheddar Cheese Burrito

This burrito has a near-perfect balance of pinto beans, brown rice, and cheese, and as one taster said "It's what I want a burrito to be." Pick this one if you're wanting a classic bean and rice burrito with a dash of cheesy filling. $2.99, gluten-free, vegetarian

Calories 260; Fat 8g (sat 2g); Protein 9g; Carb 37g; Fiber 5g; Sugars 3g; Chol 5mg; Iron 2mg; Sodium 430mg; Calc 100mg

Amy's Black Bean Burrito

The tortilla is made with a blend of whole and refined wheat, and the filling has both kidney and pinto beans with a mix of veggies that includes corn, bell peppers, and broccoli. The burrito is hearty - so much so that most testers didn't even notice there wasn't cheese in the mix. $2.99, vegan

Calories 290; Fat 8g (sat 0.5g); Protein 8g; Carb 45g; Fiber 6g; Sugars 3g; Chol 0mg; Iron 2mg; Sodium 680mg; Calc 40mg

Glutenfreeda Shredded Beef Burrito

The masa-based tortilla is packed full of seasoned, shredded beef. Several testers wanted a second, and the good news is that the nutrition allows for this if you're wanting a more filling meal. This is the one to pick If looking for a meaty burrito. $2.99, gluten-free

Calories 180; Fat 4g (sat 0.5g); Protein 12g; Carb 26g; Fiber 4g; Sugars 0g; Chol 5mg; Iron 0mg; Sodium 340mg; Calc 40mg

Others We Liked:

Amy's Non-Dairy Burrito

The bean and brown rice filling has a creamy texture and touch of spice that's hearty and fills you up. We promise you won't miss the cheese. $2.99, vegan

Calories 320; Fat 8g (sat 1g); Protein 10g; Carb 52g; Fiber 8g; Sugars 2g; Chol 0mg; Iron 3mg; Sodium 580mg; Calc 40mg

Amy's Gluten-Free Black Beans & Quinoa

Quinoa instead of brown rice is a tasty change that offers a slightly nutty flavor. We also like the assortment of vegetables including Swiss chard, tomatoes, roasted potatoes, and broccoli. $2.99, gluten-free, vegan

Calories 220; Fat 5g (sat 0g); Protein 7g; Carb 36g; Fiber 5g; Sugars 5g; Chol 0mg; Iron 3mg; Sodium 440mg; Calc 40mg

Amy's Light & Lean Bean and Cheese Burrito

Another great option if you're looking for a classic bean and cheese burrito, try serving this burrito over a bed of shredded lettuce with a spoonful of salsa and a dollop of sour cream. $2.99, vegetarian

Calories 280; Fat 5g (sat 1g); Protein 11g; Carb 49g; Fiber 8g; Sugars 2g; Chol 5mg; Iron 3mg; Sodium 590mg; Calc 60mg

Sweet Earth The Kyoto Burrito

A burrito with an Asian flair? We weren't sure what to expect but were pleasantly surprised by the sesame-soy flavor and unique blend of adzuki beans, edamame, brown rice, and bok choy. If you're wanting to branch out, give it a try. $2.99, vegan

Calories 280; Fat 6g (sat 0.5g); Protein 13g; Carb 45g; Fiber 5g; Sugars 3g; Chol 0mg; Iron 4mg; Sodium 620mg; Calc 80mg

Things to Look For:

  • Whole Grain Tortillas: It's hard to find a tortilla that's 100% whole grain, but there are quite a few that use a mix of whole and refined. Check the tortilla's ingredient list when you shop; you want to make sure you see a whole grain at the front of the list.
  • Sodium: Beans, seasoned meats, and cheese fillings can quickly push sodium levels up, so look for options that have less than 750mg sodium.
  • Calories and Protein: We found a ride range among burritos in calorie and protein content. If a burrito is in the lower end of the range (Under 250 calories and/or 10g protein), consider adding a healthy fruit, veggie, or dairy side so you stay full.

How We Tested

Only frozen foods that met Cooking Light’s nutrition guidelines were tested. Products were eliminated based on the following: lack of calorie and/or protein adequacy, lack of whole grains, presence of trans fat or hydrogenation, presence of significant added sugars, and presence of artificial coloring or sweeteners. All frozen foods were cooked according to package directions and taste tested by a panel of Cooking Light editors and staff. To ensure consistency, Breville microwaves were used to cook all foods.

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