The Enchirito was created in the 1960s at Taco Bell and was
once again removed from the menu in 2013. It’s a combination of an enchilada and a burrito and filled with ground beef, refried beans, and onions, and topped with an enchilada red sauce, cheese, and black olives. Some say that you can order the Enchirito off of the secret menu, but with this recipe, you don’t have to worry about living a life in secret. Be loud. Be proud. Make your own Enchirito!
What is the difference between a burrito and an enchilada?
As I mentioned in the intro, the Enchirito is a combination of an enchilada and a burrito. But more speciacally, a wet burrito. An enchilada is usually a corn tortilla rolled around a meat filling and smothered in a chile-based sauce and eaten with a fork. A burrito is a flour tortilla that wraps around a bean-based filling and can be picked up to eat.
For a ‘wet burrito’, the burrito is smothered in an enchilada sauce and served on a plate to be eaten with a fork.
For this Taco Bell-inspired recipe, we have a flour tortilla wrapped around a beef and bean mixture and topped with a red enchilada sauce. Taco Bell then topped the smothered burrito with cheese and sliced black olives.
Discontinued Yet Again
Taco Bell really toys with my emotions.
I love the restaurant. It’s probably one of my all-time favorite spots to get food. I have so many fond memories of stopping there and eating with friends. My favorite burrito to get (which is also discontinued) was the Chilito – the chili cheese burrito.
A lot of you tell me that some Taco Bells still offer the CCB, but none of them do near me in Michigan. There might be one close to Monroe, MI but it’s still unconfirmed. There’s a TB south of Toledo, Ohio that has them on the menu but that’s the closest to me. Is it worth the 2-hour drive there to get it? You bet. But do I? I’m not that ambitious for a burrito.
On those days when my friends and I went to Taco Bell (like in the mid to late-90s), and I wanted to splurge and feel fancy, I’d order the Enchirito. Fast food dining with a spork for the win! And on some paydays, I might have even ordered that Fiesta Taco Salad that was in a giant shell you could eat.
In 1993, Taco Bell first discontinued the Enchirito but if you ordered it, they’d still be able to make it for you. Word spread all around that most restaurants were still making it because they still had all of the ingredients on hand, and eventually, Taco Bell brought it back in 1999 – but minus the black olives. The black olives had been removed from all of the recipes. Remember when the Nacho Bell Grande had black olives on them?
The Enchirito lasted until 2013 when it was replaced by the Smothered Burrito. This new updated version is now a combination of chicken/steak/beans, a 3 cheese blend, chipotle sauce, beans, a red sauce, seasoned rice, and sour cream.
Not the same.
Is the enchirito coming back to the full menu?
It’s set for yet another return!
But instead of all this here again gone again drama, just make it at home!
How do you make the Taco Bell Enchirito at home?
Just like my favorite Chili Cheese Burrito, I decided to recreate the Enchirito. It’s rather simple and can be made in no time. The grocery shop near me sells Taco Bell-labeled food items, so I bought them to make this as “Taco Bell authentic” as possible – I’m joking.
STEP 1: Brown the beef along with the diced onions. Drain any excess grease.
STEP 2: Add the taco seasoning packet and 1/4 cup of water. I found the Taco Bell brand seasoning packet and used that. Let simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
STEP 3: Heat the refried beans and red sauce. You can do this either on the stovetop in a small saucepan or in the microwave. I nuked them separately.
STEP 4: Heat the large-size burritos in the microwave for 45 seconds.
STEP 5: Spread 3 tablespoons of the seasoned meat down the center of the tortilla and add 3 tablespoons of the refried beans, as well, and wrap up using the image below.
- Place 3 tablespoons of seasoned meat and warmed refried beans in the center of the tortilla.
- Bring the bottom up and wrap around the meat/beans mixture.
- Fold over the sides.
- Roll the wrapped meat mixture to finish enclosing the burrito. Another variation is to only bring one side of the tortilla into the center, so when you roll up the burrito, one end is open – making it an enchilada.
STEP 6: Plate the burritos. I did two per serving. Spoon about 3-4 tablespoons of red sauce over the burritos. Top with shredded cheddar cheese. Again, my store offered a Taco Bell blend of cheese that consisted of mozzarella, sharp white cheddar, sharp cheddar, and mild cheddar. They call it the “Mexi-Melty” cheese.
- Place the two burritos on a plate.
- Top with warm red enchilada sauce.
- Cover with a three-cheese blend of shredded cheese. Microwave until the cheese is fully melted.
- Place sliced black olives across the top.
Remember the Mexi-Melt? It was another favorite menu item that was discontinued in 2019.
Place the plated smothered burritos in the microwave for 2-minutes to heat them back up and melt the cheese.
PRO TIP: If you don’t want to heat the burritos in a microwave, you can use the oven. Preheat the oven to 350. Place the burritos in a casserole dish. Top with the enchilada sauce and cheese. Bake uncovered for about 10 minutes for the cheese to melt. Remove from oven and once the Enchirito is plated, go to Step 7.
STEP 7: Top with sliced black olives and suddenly you have… The Enchirito.
Let me know what you think of my copycat version of the Taco Bell Enchirito in the comment section below. What are some of your favorite menu items that have been discontinued? Are you able to order this meal from the secret menu? Let me know below.
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Enchirito Inspired by Taco Bells
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/2 cup onion diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 taco seasoning packet
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 can 14oz refried beans
- 1 15 oz red enchilada sauce mild
- 8 soft tortillas burrito size
- 3 cups cheddar cheese
- black olives sliced (about 5 or more per enchirito), for garnishment
Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add the meat to the hot pan along with the diced onions. Break the larger pieces of meat up as it cooks and finishes browning. Drain the fat. Return the pot back to the heat source and season the beef with the taco seasoning packet. Add the water and let simmer for 5 minutes.
Heat the refried beans in either the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl or on the stovetop.
Warm the tortilla in the microwave by placing four tortillas on a microwave-safe plate and setting a damp paper towel on top. Microwave for 45 seconds. Repeat for the next set of soft tortillas. (If you don't want to use the microwave, see note section below for the directions to use the oven)
Spread out the tortilla by working in batches. Spoon 3 tablespoons of refried beans into the center of each tortilla. Add 3 tablespoons of taco-seasoned beef over the refried beans. Then, add about 1-2 teaspoons of red enchilada sauce.
Fold up the burrito and place it on a plate. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of red enchiladas sauce over each wrapped burrito. Sprinkle shredded cheese over the burrito. Warm in the microwave for about 2 minutes. Remove from the microwave and top each enchirito with sliced black olives.
PRO TIP: If you don't want to heat the burritos in a microwave, you can use the oven. Preheat the oven to 350. Place the burritos in a casserole dish. Top with the enchilada sauce and cheese. Bake uncovered for about 10 minutes for the Enchirito to warm up and the cheese to melt.
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Eric Olsson is the food blogger of RedBeansAndEric.com. He publishes new recipes and interviews weekly. He has developed recipes and written articles for the famous Camellia brand in New Orleans, Louisiana. He has been mentioned in Louisiana Cookin‘ magazine and has had recipes featured in Taste of Home magazine – with his Creole Turkey recipe being runner up in their annual Thanksgiving recipe contest. He lives outside of Detroit, Michigan, with his wife and four children.