Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Grand Rapids Wet Burritos

Wet Burritos

My husband grew up in Grand Rapids Michigan, and for as long as we have been married (15 years next week!) he has talked about a gal named Maria, and the Wet Burritos she made at the Mexican Restaurant he and his family frequently visited.  I assumed that a wet burrito was a burrito with salsa on top, but he assured me I was wrong.

Wet Burritos

And then it happened.  While going through his parents house, and packing his mother's belongings up to move in with us, I came across an old cookbook and found this inside!

It was Maria's Wet Burrito Recipe!  I couldn't believe what I was seeing and I was so excited to surprise Studhubs with his favorite childhood delight!  The only problem was that the handwriting was a little difficult to decipher, so this led to an extensive research endeavor, but I feel confident in saying that this West Virginia girl has done Grand Rapids proud with my interpretation of the Wet Burrito. And I have to admit, this bad boy was delicious. I can't wait to share this recipe with you!

Let's Get started...

Grand Rapids Wet Burrito:
*Prep Time: 20 min.  *Cook Time: 25 min.  *Difficulty:  Easy  *Servings: 8 LARGE burritos


For the Gravy:
  • 1/2 c. Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 c. All Purpose Flour
  • 2 c. Beef Broth 
  • 1 6 oz. Can of Tomato Paste
  • 1 8 oz. Can of Tomato Sauce
  • 1 tbsp. Taco Seasoning (Homemade Recipe HERE)
  • 1 c. Half & Half
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Pepper
For the Filling:
  • 2 lb. Ground Beef
  • 1 Green Pepper, diced
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp. Taco Seasoning (Homemade Recipe found HERE)
  • 1 10 oz. Can of Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies
  • 1 16 oz. Can of Refried Beans
  • 1/2 Head of Lettuce, thinly sliced
  • 2 c. Sour Cream
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 8 LARGE Tortillas
  • 2 c. Shredded Cheese 
This recipe is going to take place in three steps, The Gravy, The Filling, and Assembling.  To get started we are going to begin with the gravy.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

The thing that sets a Wet Burrito apart from a regular burrito is the gravy.  Yes, I said gravy.  This is how you make it.

Place a sauce pot over medium/high heat and pour in the oil.

Once the oil is hot add the flour.

Whisk the flour and oil, letting it cook for 1-2 minutes.

Next add the beef broth and let the gravy cook until it thickens.

Turn the heat down to low and add the tomato sauce,

Tomato paste,

Taco seasoning,

And half & half.
Whisk together until everything in incorporated and smooth.  Turn off the heat and your gravy is ready!

Now let's get to work on the filling!

Place a skillet over medium/high heat and add a little oil.  Let the skillet get nice and hot, then add the ground beef. Break it up with your spatula and let it begin to brown.

While the ground beef is starting brown, take the time to slice your lettuce and dice your veggies.

Now you can add the taco seasoning and

The green peppers and onions.
Let the ground beef continue to cook and let the vegetables soften.

Once the ground beef and vegetable are finished, add the tomatoes with green chilies and

Refried beans.
Mix everything together and let everything heat through.

I noticed that I was completely out of room in my skillet so I had to transfer everything to a bowl.

Now you can add the lettuce and

Sour cream.

Mix everything together and there is the filling.

Now we get to assemble everything!
Place a large dollop of gravy in the bottom of the baking dish and spread it around.

You can use any size dish you like.  As I said the recipe makes 8 large burritos, but since it is only my husband, mother-in-law, and I, I made three and prepped the rest in portions to freeze.

Now lay your tortilla on a flat surface and place a scoop of filling inside.
Fold over each side and roll the burrito closed.

Place into the baking dish seam side down.

Continue until the dish is filled.

Pour the gravy over the burritos.

Top with the cheese and place in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.

Wet Burritos

And there you have it!

A delicious Grand Rapids Wet Burrito!  It was so awesome when my husband came home that night from work to his surprise!  When he took the first bite he says "Wow Babe!  They taste just like I remember!"  I have to say, that was possibly the best compliment I have ever received.  So this Cinco de Mayo season shake your burrito making up with this AMAZING Grand Rapids Wet Burrito recipe!  You will be so glad you did!

And as always...

Happy Reading, Happy Eating, and Happy Living,
~The Kitchen Wife~


  1. This recipe sounds familiar. I grew up in West Michigan just 30 minutes south of Grand Rapids. This is what I think of when I hear "Wet Burrito". I plan to try it this weekend.

    1. I can't wait to hear that you think.

    2. This is the best wet burrito I have ever made! The gravy is so amazing I could drink it!!! Will be making this a lot.

  2. You stole this recipe from my friend's great grandma! How dare you Mandee, give credit where it is due

    1. I honestly have no idea what you are talking about. 1: it is clearly stated in the post that this is not MY recipe. In fact, I shared the ENTIRE story of this recipe INCLUDING a picture of the handwritten copy we found. 2: I have recently spoke to someone who this is her grandmother's recipe and I have since mailed the recipe to her. I'm not trying to take credit for anything here.

  3. Mandee!!! OMG! I am so excited that you found this and shared it with us!! I have been looking for the "wet burrito" recipe for years. .....and you didn't steal anything. You were perfectly clear where this came from and how excited you were to share. Tammy Duggan

  4. This was fantastic! I loved the sauce. I have been trying to recreate the "brown" enchilada sauce from our favorite texmex restaurant and this is almost perfect. I was working with leftover ground beef taco filling, so I skipped a step and simply heated it up in the microwave before assembly. I had Old El Paso taco seasoning on hand, so that is what I used. I didn't put the lettuce inside mine as I was working with 8-inch tortillas and there wasn't room, but I did put it on top after serving. I have never been to Michigan, but this wet burrito was a winner for this Texan. The next time I make these, I will drizzle a lime-crema dressing on top. This was fantastic.

  5. Your link to homemade Taco Seasoning takes to you a blog page to set up a blog.

  6. I've been making these for over 30 years and my friends mother originated these in GR. This is a terrible recipe. You won't find one at ANY restaurant with sauce that looks or can possible taste like that would anywhere around west michigan. That meant blend looks terrible as well. Where ever you got this from was not from Grand Rapids, or anywhere near West Michigan. This is the whitest recipe I've ever read.

    1. If you are going to post such a negative "review" without ever trying the recipe, you might have the guts to use your name instead of being "Anonymous". How do YOU know where this recipe came from? just as you don't think this one is good, others might think the same as YOUR favorite recipe. I grew up eating my Grama's pierogies' as a kid, and NEVER had potatoes in them. Doesn't mean I disparage those who do like them that way!!!! Keep your negative comments to yourself!!!

  7. I will give this recipe a try. I have a recipe I use, but yours looks better. Yes I now live in West Michigan

  8. I was not able to get your homemade taco seasoning recipe. Could you tell me the recipe?

  9. I grew up near GR and my immediate thought when I saw the headline was that you must be talking about the burritos from the Beltline Bar. (People rave about them and consistently vote them the best in town, but I had a chance to try one several years ago and thought they were only meh. I much preferred the Bandito Burrito from Jimmy's Roadhouse in Newaygo.) That said, I still live in Western Michigan and have eaten wet burritos from a lot of different places, but I don't recall ever having the lettuce on the inside. However, I am intrigued by your gravy and am absolutely going to give this a try!

  10. Thank you for sharing Mandee and don’t give “Karen” a second thought

  11. Want to try this…Do you have the nutrition value by chance? They look delish and I agree - ignore the haters!

  12. Made it this evening and it was delicious! Thank you for sharing!

  13. Michiganders here! We loved it. It made enough for about 12 burritos. I made 8, and froze the extra filling and gravy. Thank you! The gravy is 🤌🏻!


  14. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!! I live in Michigan but on the west side of the state and I have been looking forever for a good wet burrito recipe - many times they just have an enchilada sauce based gravy which I do t like. This one looks amazing and I’m so excited to make them today for dinner!! I usually don’t read comments because of the negativity of many posters; however for this recipe I wanted to read them. We each have the choice to read or not read a recipe. If you feel negative about it, want to pick apart the recipe, or negatively comment on the blogger’s appearance, don’t read it. At the very least, have the guts to own your comments by using your name!! The Kitchen Wife and Tipsy Housewife are 2 food bloggers that I mainly follow because they cook “real food” and they always give recipe credit always to the person or place that the recipe comes from!!

    1. FYI - totally amazing and tasted great!! However I will own that I tried to sub the 1/2 cup veg oil with avocado oil and ended up dumping it all and remaking with canola oil!! Love
      The recipe but have more than 8 burrito shells ready - I used up every extra tortilla I had!!

  15. I lived in Grand Rapids for years and loved the burritos at the Belt Line.
    We were gone for many years and went back to enjoy them again and they were not the same!

    This is what was missing. I’m making them right now and it smells wonderful.

    Can you make them ahead?