Want a healthier and tastier alternative to the Beefy 5 Layer Burrito from Taco Bell? If so, you need to try this beefy five layer burrito copycat recipe! Learn how to make the classic Taco Bell version, as well as soft taco style. In addition, I’ll show you how to make healthy twists to the recipe that don’t compromise on flavor!


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Hi y’all! We’re making a fakeaway recipe today for the Taco Bell 5 layer burrito. This one offers up an explosion of delicious flavors; I really think you’re going to love it!

Seasoned beefRefried beansReduced-fat sour creamCheeseNacho cheese sauceFlour tortillas

You get two flour tortillas with each Taco Bell beefy 5 layer burrito. The nacho cheese is layered between the tortillas, and then the rest of the ingredients are piled on top.


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If you want a sturdy burrito that’s not likely to break apart on you, this one’s a good choice. It’s kind of like a quesadilla has been wrapped around a burrito. I’m not surprised at all that this is such a popular Taco Bell menu item.

That said, I’ve got some recipe tweaks up my sleeve that I think makes this burrito even better. And if you want a copycat Taco Bell burrito that’s a little more authentic? Well, I can help you out there too!

Around these parts, it’s all about making food that tastes good AND that supports good health. I love offering up the options that may help you reach your goals. So, let’s get to it, shall we?

Nutrition

First up, WHY make this beefy burrito Taco Bell copycat? I mean, wouldn’t it just be so much easier to just pick up a five-layer burrito from Taco Bell? Hmmm..

It’s true that it might be less work to hit the drive-thru. However, then you’d miss out on all of these nutritional benefits:

No added sugar: No refined grains: Unwanted additives not here: Protein: SCRUMPTIOUS: Is the beefy 5-layer burrito good?

Ingredients

Here’s a roundup of the simple ingredients I used for this recipe:


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TortillasLean ground beefTaco seasoning Refried beans Plain, whole milk Greek yogurt Shredded cheddar cheese ButterWhole wheat flourMilkChili powderGhost pepper SaltFresh chopped cilantro

A lot of copycat beefy burrito recipes use Velveeta. I’m having us make homemade nacho cheese sauce instead. It’s easier than you might think!

Also, you may have noticed that my “burritos” really resemble more of a soft taco. That is because I found pretty much the perfect store-bought tortillas. Like, if I could create a premade tortilla for the stores, these would be it.

These Mi Tierra corn tortillas are made of only corn, water, and lime. It can actually be pretty tough to find tortillas without food additives, so I grabbed these when I came across them!


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These small tortillas contain corn that underwent the ancient technique of nixtamalization. That means the corn was cooked with crushed limestone, which helps increase the availability of certain nutrients (such as niacin).

That said, if you want a copycat that is truer to the Taco Bell original recipe, you’ll need to use flour tortillas, not corn tortillas. Also, you’ll want to use large tortillas, so you can wrap the fillings like a burrito. With the small (6-inch diameter) tortillas I used, my “burritos” are really more like soft tacos. (I have no regrets!)

Equipment

The main pieces of kitchen equipment you’ll need are a cast-iron skillet, a small saucepan, and a whisk. You’re going to use the skillet to cook the beef. Meanwhile, the saucepan and whisk are used for the cheese sauce.

If you’ll be making soft tacos, taco holders are a great thing to have! I love the taco holder set that I picked up on Amazon. They help make the presentation of the food a little nicer.


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How to Make Beefy 5 Layer Burrito

There are three main steps to this Taco Bell copycat recipe:

Cook the ground beef with the seasoningMake the nacho cheese sauceAssemble your beefy 5 layer burritos and eat!

So first up, brown the beef in the skillet with your taco seasoning and a little water. If you’re using a packet of seasoning, the packet will tell you how much water to use. I used ½ cup of water with my homemade taco seasoning.

You’re going to cook the beef in the skillet over medium heat until it is dry. Break the beef into crumbles with a metal spatula while it cooks. This step takes 10-15 minutes.

You’re only going to use about 75% of this cooked ground beef in your burritos. Save the rest of the seasoned beef for another meal. (It’s a great way to add some quick protein to a taco salad!)

Next, it’s time to get to work on the nacho cheese sauce. Make a roux by melting the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Quickly stir in the flour to make a paste.

Now, slowly add the milk into the roux, whisking it in bit by bit. It’s important to add it slowly to avoid lumpy cheese sauce. I like to whisk in the chili powder, ghost pepper, and salt when I’m about halfway finished with adding the milk.

Let the mixture thicken over the heat, whisking frequently. It will take 3-5 minutes.

Take the saucepan off of the heat. Quickly stir in the shredded cheddar cheese until you have a smooth nacho cheese sauce. You should aim to use it as soon as possible, so it spreads more easily.

Beefy 5 Layer Burrito Layers

I find tortillas (particularly corn and other gluten free tortillas) are easiest to work with when they are heated. To heat corn tortillas, I wrap them in foil and put them in an oven heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. Keep the tortillas in the heated oven until you’re ready to use them.

I also prefer to heat the refried beans (in the microwave or on the stovetop) before using. I think the heating makes the beans easier to spread.

Start the assembly process by laying six of the heated tortillas out on a clean work surface. Don’t worry if they are curling a bit at the edges- they"re about to be weighed down with ingredients. (And if you’re more of a visual person, don’t miss the recipe video beneath the recipe below!)

Divide the nacho cheese sauce evenly between the tortillas. Spread the cheese so it is coating the entire top of each of the six tortillas. (Tip: Substitute guacamole for the nacho cheese to make an Incredible Hulk burrito!)

Top the nacho cheese with another tortilla. Now you essentially have the makings of a quesadilla. But we’re not stopping here.

Spread the refried beans in an even layer over the tops of the tortillas. Add the seasoned beef, shredded cheese, and a few dollops of plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream).


Garnish with cilantro if you wish, though that isn’t part of an authentic beefy 5 layer.

If you’re using small tortillas as I did, simply fold them in half for a double-layered soft taco. If you used large flour tortillas, you can roll them up into burritos. They’re ready to eat as soon as they’ve been rolled up!


Customize the Beefy 5 Layer Burrito

If you order a beefy 5 layer burrito at Taco Bell, you can customize it. However, you will need to pay more for the extra ingredients. In addition, you are limited to whatever ingredients they offer.

Compare that to making burritos at home. There are no rules! You can add whatever the heck you feel like adding.

Here are some ideas that I think would work well in this burrito. The sky is truly the limit though, don’t feel limited by what I’ve included below.

Salsa con quesoPico de gallo or your favorite salsaOnionsTomatoesAvocado or guacamoleSeasoned ground turkeySliced steakShredded chickenShredded lettuceRoasted red peppersPickled jalapeno peppersCooked vegetables, such as corn or broccoli (chop them very small)Brown riceQuinoaShredded pepper jack cheese or other cheesesUse low-carb wraps, homemade tortillas, or WW-friendly wraps

What are some of your favorite soft taco and burrito toppings? Feel free let me know anything I missed in the comments below!

Expert Tips from a Dietitian

This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). These burritos get an automatic bump to level 3 because they contain flour (from the tortillas). That said, these burritos are far more filling than they might look! Part of the reason for that is that they are packed with protein from the beef, beans, and dairy foods.

The main thing that this entrée is missing is food from the vegetable group. Though beans can count as a veggie, they don’t provide the vitamin C you’d get from other veggies. I would add a non-starchy veggie side dish or two to round out this meal.

If you wanted a lighter and lower calorie entrée, you have quite a few options. Here are some changes you could make:

One thing I would definitely do if you want a lighter burrito is use small tortillas instead of large ones. Each of my small corn tortillas is 50 calories each. Some large tortillas are 200 calories each or more.

Remember that you need two tortillas to make each beefy 5-layer burrito. That means you could save over 300 calories per serving just by swapping out large tortillas for small ones. That’s a HUGE difference!

It’s true that the results are more like a soft taco vs a burrito if you use small tortillas. However, the small tortillas give you more tasty filling in each bite. It’s a great trade-off in my book!

FAQs


How many calories in the beefy 5 layer burrito?

Taco Bell’s Beefy five-Layer Burrito has 490 calories per burrito. My copycat Taco Bell burrito has 585 calories, but offers over twice the protein.


How many carbs in the beefy 5 layer burrito?

Taco Bell’s Beefy Five-Layer Burrito has 63 grams of total carbs and 54 grams of net carbs per serving. My burrito has 41.4 grams of carbs and 34.8 grams of net carbs per serving. Though neither is a keto friendly option, my copycat burrito will fit more easily into moderately low carb diets.


Is the beefy 5 layer burrito healthy?

The Taco Bell Beefy 5 Layer Burrito counts as an ultra-processed food, and I would not call it the best option. On the other hand, my beefy 5 layer copycat is packed with nutritious whole foods, and is rich in protein, calcium, and iron. I would say that this beefy 5 layer burrito recipe is healthy because it offers a lot nutrient-wise.


What’s the difference between the beefy 5-layer burrito vs quesarito?

Taco Bell’s quesarito contains seasoned rice and chipotle sauce, two ingredients not included in the beefy 5-layer burrito. On the flip side, the beefy 5-layer burrito contains refried beans, an ingredient not included in the quesarito. If you want refried beans in your quesarito, you will have to pay a little extra for an add-on.


What’s the difference between the beefy 5 layer burrito and 7 layer burrito?

The Taco Bell 7-Layer Burrito was a vegetarian burrito option that is no longer part of their menu. It contained refried beans, sour cream, tomatoes, cheese, seasoned rice, lettuce, and guacamole on a single flour tortilla. There was no beef or nacho cheese sauce like you get with the 5 layer burrito.


More Beefy Recipes

Are you looking to “beef” up your culinary repertoire? (Haha!) If so, you definitely need to check these other recipes using ground beef:

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The Disclaimer…

All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.

The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don"t sweat the numbers too much.

For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to my overnight oats with yogurt post. Let"s get cooking!