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beefy 5 layer burrito

Taco Bell Beefy 5 Layer Burrito Copycat Recipe

Summer Yule
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!
5 from 3 votes
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6
Calories 585 kcal


  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 taco seasoning packet (or use a DIY taco seasoning blend; see notes below)
  • ½ cup water
  • 12 small corn tortillas, 6" diameter (or use large flour tortillas for a more authentic copycat burrito)
  • 15 ounces refried beans (canned)
  • 4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese (Taco Bell uses orange cheddar cheese)
  • 1 cup plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt (whole milk variety; can substitute sour cream for a more authentic copycat burrito)
  • cilantro, finely chopped (optional, for garnish)

Homemade Nacho Cheese Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup milk, 2%
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • pinch ghost pepper
  • 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese


  • Put a skillet on the stovetop over medium heat. Add the ground beef, taco seasoning, and water. Cook, using a spatula to break up the beef while it browns and the moisture evaporates. It will take about 10-15 minutes.
  • You will use about ¾ of the seasoned beef in the recipe. Refrigerate the rest and use it to add a protein boost to other meals.
  • Wrap the tortillas in foil and warm them in an oven heated to 350°F for 10 minutes.
  • Warm the refried beans on the stovetop or in the microwave, they'll be easier to spread later.

Make homemade 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.
  • Slowly add the milk to the roux, whisking it in bit by bit. It’s important to add it slowly to avoid lumpy cheese sauce. Whisk in the chili powder, ghost pepper, and salt when you're about halfway finished with adding the milk. Let the mixture thicken, it will take about 3-5 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the heat. Quickly stir in the 8 ounces of cheddar cheese. Your nacho cheese sauce should be smooth, with no lumps. Use it in your burrito assembly right away, before the sauce begins to solidify.

Assemble Beefy 5 Layer Burritos:

  • Lay 6 heated tortillas out on a clean work surface. Divide the nacho cheese sauce evenly between the tortillas. Spread it to entirely cover the tops of all of the tortillas.
  • Top each cheese sauce-covered tortilla with a second heated tortilla. You've kind of made a tortilla sandwich with cheese sauce filling in the middle!
  • Spread the heated refried beans in a thin layer over the tops of the tortilla "sandwich." Divide the seasoned ground beef amongst the tortillas, sprinkling the beef on top of the refried beans. (Be sure to watch the recipe video below if you need more visuals of this process!)
  • Divide the remaining 4 ounces of cheddar cheese between the burritos. Dollop the yogurt (or sour cream) on top of the cheese. Garnish with cilantro (if using).
  • If you're using small tortillas as I did, simply fold them in half for a soft taco-style entree. Don't forget the taco holders!
  • Alternatively, if you used large tortillas (10-inch diameter or larger), you can roll the tortillas around the fillings to make burritos. Serve and enjoy immediately.



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: 
  • Use low-fat cheese to top the burritos and in the nacho cheese sauce 
  • Use non-fat Greek yogurt instead of whole milk yogurt 
  • Consider using less cheese, cheese sauce, and yogurt in your portion (my husband preferred less yogurt on his burrito) 
  • Make a taco salad by serving the burrito fillings over salad greens, and skip the tortillas all together 
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! 

DIY Taco Seasoning

I usually use this blend instead of store-bought taco seasoning. It makes enough to season 1 lb. of ground beef. (Adapted from AllRecipes.) 
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder 
  • 1½ teaspoons cumin 
  • 1 teaspoon salt (cut in half if your chili powder has salt) 
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper 
  • ½ teaspoon paprika 
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder 
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder 
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes 
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano 
Nutrition information is for one serving of the recipe. 


Calories: 585kcalCarbohydrates: 41.1gProtein: 37gFat: 30.5gSaturated Fat: 15.3gSodium: 1161.6mgPotassium: 399.8mgFiber: 6.6gVitamin A: 24.1% DVVitamin C: 0.4% DVCalcium: 65.7% DVIron: 20.1% DV
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