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Lincoln Town Car Bean Burritos

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These bean burritos are so delicious, and so elegant, that they can make you feel you’re being pampered. In fact, they might even make you feel like you’re eating so high off the hog, that if you WERE riding around in a car, you’d be cruising around town in a Lincoln Town Car.

Lincoln Town Car Bean Burrito

When is a burrito not *just* a burrito? When it’s made with the secret tips I share in this post!


These bean burritos take the food of the common hombre, and kick it up a notch or twelve.

When is a Bean Burrito Not Just a Bean Burrito?

When it’s a Lincoln Town Car Bean Burrito!

These aren’t just your average bean burritos, muchachos.

They are, dare I say it? The Lincoln Town Car of the Burrito Automotive family.


(When I named these, I never thought that I might have chosen a car metaphor due to beans tending to give people gas. But…Sigmund Freud’s slip MIGHT be showing…that’s all I’m sayin’…)

And my friends, I offer unto you the keys to the culinary kingdom. These keys take a ho-hum sort of dish, the lowly bean burrito, and turn it into a dish that your family begs you to make. My secrets will help you achieve excellence in every component of the dish. They are my clever little secrets for making a GREAT bean burrito.

Secret #1: A Great Big Tip on Cooking Beans 

This recipe originally came from the Gourmet Today cookbook (the lime green one) and it said to use canned beans, but I keep dried pinto beans in my pantry, because they are economical and delicious. So right off the bat, I change the written recipe a bit by cooking my own dried beans. I utilized a tip I learned from Cooks Illustrated in regard to cooking beans, which is counter-intuitive to everything I have ever heard about cooking beans. The general wisdom one USUALLY hears is: don’t salt beans till the end of their cooking time, or they will get tough.

But after tons of experiments and research, Cooks Illustrated found that if you basically brine the beans in your overnight pre-soak, then rinse them the next morning, and then cook them in fresh water, they come out creamier.

So, that brings us to…

Secret #2: How to Brine Beans

The night before, put 3 T. of salt in about 4 quarts of water, and soak your rinsed and sorted dried pinto beans. I soaked about 2 lbs. of beans. The next morning or afternoon, rinse them off, drop in a smoked ham hock (that part is optional, but if you want to know MY secrets, that’s how I made mine, and they were yummy. This can be omitted if you find the added fat – and flavor – undesirable.) and cook them till creamy tender. I think mine cooked for 2 and 1/2 hours, but your mileage/cook time may vary.

I also use this method for brining beans in my recipe for Brazilian Black Beans and Rice: Feijoida.

Cooks Illustrated says you can soak them in that salt solution for anywhere from 8 to 24 hours, so do what you need to do. You can do this with the quick soak method, too, if you need to.

Secret #3: Homemade Pickled Onions

For years I saw these being recommended in Gourmet magazine, and for years I avoided them. I’m not THAT big of an onion fan. The very name, “pickled onions” sounded nasty to me. But there they were again, lurking in their bean burrito recipe…and they sounded easy enough to make, and I thought, “Well…I’ve got some red onions in the closet…I could do this easily enough…it’s worth a try….”

Well….wrong. I made the solution…went to get the red onion out, and all my red onions had gone bad. Big fat bummer. But I didn’t want to NOT try the recipe because it would mean wasting the solution I had made…so…I used white onion instead.

The good news from my own little personal tragedy is that I now know that white onions can also be pickled, and will also be delicious! They’re just not as sweet as red onions, but they are a fine substitute. So when you see the recipe, and you see it calls for red onions, and you have none, despair not. White onions work just fine.

Do not omit the pickled onions. They are Da Bomb.

Without further ado, I give you:

The Recipe for Lincoln Town Car Bean Burritos

Yield: 8 servings

Lincoln Town Car Bean Burritos

Cheap, easy and delicious, Lincoln Town Car Burritos are a frugal meal of beans, but the pickled onions take them over the top.

Cheap, easy and delicious, Lincoln Town Car Burritos are a frugal meal of beans, but the pickled onions take them over the top.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes


  • For Pickled Onions:
  • 2 c. water
  • 3 T. red wine vinegar
  • 2 T. sugar
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 medium red onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • For Bean Filling:
  • 3 T. vegetable oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 t. ground cumin
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lbs of cooked pinto beans (see directions at the top of this post for cooking your own dried beans. Canned beans are fine, too.)
  • 1/3 c. water
  • 3 scallions, finely chopped
  • For Assembling and Cooking Burritos:
  • 6 (8- to 10-inch) flour tortillas
  • 2 c. coarsely grated pepper Jack cheese (about 8 oz.)
  • 1/3 c. finely choped fresh cilantro
  • 1 1/2 T. vegetable oil
  • Accompaniments: salsa and sour cream


  1. Prepare the Onions: Bring water, vinegar, sugar, and salt to a boil in a 1 qt. heavy saucepan.
  2. Add onion and simmer, uncovered, until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and cool to room temperature.
  3. Make the Bean Filling: Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking.
  4. Add garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring until garlic is golden, about 1 minute.
  5. Stir in beans, coarsely mashing them with a potato masher or a large fork until combined. Add water and scallions and cook, stirring, until most of water is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  6. Assemble the Burritos: Spread one eighth of bean filling across middle of 1 tortilla, leaving a 1" border at either end.
  7. Sprinkle with cheese, 1 heaping T. pickled onions, and scant 1 T. cilantro. Fold ends of tortilla over filling, then roll up tightly, enclosing filling. Transfer seam side down to a plate and assemble rest of burritos in same manner.

  8. Cook the Burritos: Heat 1 1/2 t. oil in a 10- to 11-inch cast-iron or other heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking.
  9. Add 2 burritos, seam side down and fry until lightly browned on underside, 1 to 2 minutes. Using tongs or a spatula, turn over and fry until golden, 1 to 2 minutes more.
  10. Transfer to paper towels to drain briefly, then transfer to a platter and cover loosely with foil to keep warm. Fry remaining burritos in batches, in remaining oil in same manner.


If you use canned beans, this meal can be prepared in about a half an hour. If you're cooking dried beans, it takes an additional hour to cook the beans in a pressure cooker. Give yourself an additional 2 hours if you're cooking them on the stovetop.

Nutrition Information:


8 servings

Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 421Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 688mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 12gSugar: 5gProtein: 21g

The fixin’s.

We add the Pepper Jack Cheese.
We add the pickled onions.
Salsa, sour cream, and cilantro: olé!

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Lincoln Town Car Bean Burritos

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Budget Friendly Recipes

Here's a list of several other budget friendly recipes that exist here on my website, in case you're on the market for more. Each one is delicious, in its own right.

Diane Barlow

Saturday 4th of August 2018

Gotta try this. They look and sound fabulous Susan.

Candace Karu

Friday 4th of November 2016

This is one of those stupid questions, you think you could skip the frying part? I have severe FoF (Fear of Frying) and wouldn't mind avoiding that step. Maybe I could pop 'em in the oven for a bit? In any event, I adore this recipe, as much for the bean preparation and pickled onions as anything else. Youz awesome!

Susan Williams

Friday 4th of November 2016

You absolutely could, Candace. I like the addition of the green peppers, garlic and onions. (called a sofrito) But it's not necessary!

Martha Franco

Monday 22nd of June 2015

Yummy! I'd add avocado or guacamole to these! Oh my! :-D

Christi P.

Monday 30th of June 2014

How did I miss these earlier? Yum!


Tuesday 4th of February 2014

Can't wait to try this...of course with my gluten free tortillas. I love onions, and can't wait to pickle them.

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