Zantigo Chilito Recipe

Make the savory and spicy Zantigo Chilito at home! Follow our recipe for this delicious Mexican-American dish featuring seasoned ground beef and fresh veggies.

Zantigo Chilito

Zantigo was a fast-food chain that was popular in the Midwest and some parts of the United States in the 1980s and 1990s. One of their signature items was the “Chilito,” which was a burrito filled with seasoned ground beef and chili sauce.

Picture this: a warm, crunchy, yet soft tortilla wrapped around a savory filling of seasoned ground beef, tangy cheddar cheese, fresh lettuce, juicy tomatoes, and a hint of spicy jalapeño peppers. This is the Zantigo Chilito, a mouthwatering and satisfying Mexican-American fast food classic that has won the hearts (and taste buds) of many.

What sets the Zantigo Chilito apart from other fast food items is its unique blend of flavors and textures. The seasoned ground beef is cooked to perfection, with just the right amount of spices to give it a bold and delicious taste. The cheddar cheese adds a creamy and tangy element, while the fresh lettuce and tomatoes provide a refreshing crunch that balances out the richness of the beef and cheese. The jalapeño peppers, meanwhile, give the Chilito a subtle kick that lingers on the palate.

But what truly makes the Zantigo Chilito a must-try dish is the way it all comes together in a warm and soft tortilla. The tortilla serves as the perfect vessel for the filling, allowing you to savor every bite without any mess or fuss. It’s easy to hold and eat on-the-go, making it the perfect meal for a quick lunch or a satisfying snack.

Unfortunately, Zantigo is no longer in business, so their real recipe is not available but I will give you very similar one that will blow your mind.


If you’ve never tried a Zantigo Chilito before, then you’re missing out on a true culinary delight. But don’t worry, because I’m here to share the recipe with you, so you can enjoy this mouthwatering dish in the comfort of your own home.


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (15 oz) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 small flour tortillas

Method Instructions

  1. Brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drain off any excess fat.
  2. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic to the skillet with the beef and cook until the onion is tender.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, kidney beans, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper to the skillet. Stir to combine.
  4. Bring the mixture to a simmer and let it cook for about 10-15 minutes, until the flavors have blended together.
  5. Warm the flour tortillas in the microwave or oven until they are pliable.
  6. Spoon the beef and chili mixture onto each tortilla, and roll it up like a burrito.
  7. Serve immediately, topped with additional cheese, lettuce, and tomato if desired.

Recipe Video

Zantigo Chilito

This is a video about Zantigo Chilito.

Video Credits: Kent Teslow

Rated: 5.0 of 5.0 from 28 reviews.

Recipe Tags: Zantigo Chilito, Zantigo Chilito Recipe, Recipe


  • On its own: You can simply serve the Chilito on its own, garnished with additional toppings such as shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, lettuce, or cilantro.
  • With a side of rice: The Chilito pairs well with rice, which can help balance out the spiciness of the chili sauce.
  • With a side of beans: You can also serve the Chilito with a side of refried beans or black beans, which are a classic Mexican side dish.
  • With chips and salsa: For a more casual meal, you can serve the Chilito with a side of tortilla chips and salsa.
  • In a combo meal: If you’re looking for a more filling meal, you can serve the Chilito as part of a combo meal with other Mexican dishes such as tacos, enchiladas, or quesadillas.


  • Use quality ground beef: For the best flavor and texture, choose ground beef that is 80% lean and 20% fat. This will give you a nice balance of flavor and juiciness.
  • Add more vegetables: You can add more vegetables to the chili sauce, such as diced bell peppers or jalapeños, to add more flavor and nutrition to the dish.
  • Adjust the seasonings to your liking: The chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper can be adjusted to suit your taste preferences. If you like things spicier, add more chili powder or a pinch of cayenne pepper.
  • Simmer the chili sauce for at least 10-15 minutes: Letting the sauce simmer for a while will allow the flavors to meld together and create a richer, more complex flavor.
  • Warm the tortillas before filling: Warming the tortillas in the microwave or oven before filling them will make them more pliable and easier to roll up.
  • Add toppings to taste: You can customize the Chilitos to your liking by adding toppings such as shredded cheese, sour cream, guacamole, or salsa.
  • Experiment with different fillings: While the classic Zantigo Chilito is made with ground beef and chili sauce, you can also try filling the tortillas with other ingredients such as shredded chicken, black beans, or rice to create your own unique version of the dish.

Ingredient Substitutes

  • Ground turkey or chicken can be used in place of ground beef for a healthier option.
  • If you don’t have taco seasoning, you can make your own by combining chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper.
  • Monterey Jack or Colby Jack cheese can be used instead of cheddar cheese.
  • Shredded cabbage or spinach can be used instead of lettuce.
  • Salsa or pico de gallo can be used instead of diced tomato and jalapeño pepper.
  • Corn tortillas can be used instead of flour tortillas for a gluten-free option.


In conclusion, the Zantigo Chilito recipe is a must-try for anyone who loves Mexican-American cuisine. With its unique blend of flavors and textures, this savory and spicy dish is sure to satisfy your taste buds and leave you feeling full and satisfied. Follow our recipe and enjoy the deliciousness of the Zantigo Chilito in the comfort of your own home.

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