The first time I made breakfast burritos the way I like them — that is, the eggs softly scrambled and never dry, busy with vegetables, and nothing terrifying like hot, wet lettuce inside, second only to eating them in front seat of your car in an Austin parking lot on a chilly morning, a Topo Chico in the cup holder (i.e. maybe not exactly the way I like them, but real life requires compromises, or so you adults keep telling me) — I felt woundingly betrayed. It seemed like every cooking website on the internet made them seem so simple, but there I was with separate skillet-fuls of bacon and greens and mixed vegetables and eggs, and then more bowls than I could count for assembly. We were going to have them for an “easy” breakfast-for-dinner that night; dinner was spectacularly late and everyone was hangry and ate my 90 minutes of prep in less than 5, further insult to injury. Never again, I vowed, never.
Fortunately I vowed this on Instagram Stories, which means that my DMs were quickly filled up halfway with “Me too!Why does everyone lie about how easy they are?” and the other half with suggestions of ways to make them more efficiently and intelligently.
1. Always make double or triple so you can freeze all that you don’t need right away. It’s a bit of work but future you thanks you so much, no seriously, future you that is so tired one day, even picking up a slice of pizza feels too much a burden remembers that you stashed these in the freezer and is so verklempt with gratitude, it’s writing your name across the sky right now.
2. We are going to one-pan sheet pan just about everything, thank you The Kitchn for this brilliant idea. In the oven, you can roast everything you need; I even used it to wilt/crisp the greens, and warm the beans, and then mix all the toppings together to scoop into the tortillas. I suspect if you were enterprising enough, you could also make pockets to bake the eggs in but soft-scrambled them on the stove and didn’t even mind because everything else had gone so swimmingly.
3. There is no recipe on earth that will work for everyone. I am not listing the potential things one could stuff inside a burrito, breakfast or other, because if we had time to read such drivel, we wouldn’t be eating food one-handed. Below is the way I like mine. Maybe you need avocado in yours — that’s fine, but I do not love the texture once frozen and defrosted — or roasted or rehydrated chilis or hate potatoes; the beauty of making your own, be it breakfast burritos or whatever else you don’t have enough of in your life, is that you get exactly what you want, exactly the way you want it.
One year ago: Marbled Banana Bread and Pizza Beans
Two years ago: Chocolate Pavlova and Homemade Merguez with Herby Yogurt
Three years ago: Zucchini Rice and Cheese Gratin
Four years ago: Herbed Tomato and Roasted Garlic Tart and Cauliflower Slaw
Five years ago: Baked Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage
Six years ago: Fig, Olive Oil, and Sea Salt Challah and Roasted Apple Spice Sheet Cake
Seven years ago: Red Wine Chocolate Cake and Roasted Tomato Soup with Broiled Cheddar
Eight years ago: Linguine with Tomato-Almond Pesto and Skirt Steak Salad with Arugula and Blue Cheese
Nine years ago: Look What We Baked! and Date Spice Loaf
Ten years ago: Marinated Eggplant with Capers and Mint, Bourbon Peach Hand Pies and Raspberry Breakfast Bars
Eleven years ago: Tortilla de Patatas and Chocolate Babka
And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Sweet Potato Tacos
1.5 Years Ago: Punjabi-Style Black Lentils [Black Lentil Dal]
2.5 Years Ago: Churros and Nolita-Style Avocado Toast and Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart
3.5 Years Ago: Cornmeal-Fried Pork Chops and Goat Cheese Smashed Potatoes and Red Bean and Green Grain Taco Bowl
4.5 Years Ago: Double Chocolate Banana Bread and Sizzling Chicken Fajitas
- Vegetable or another neutral oil
- 2 large yukon gold potatoes, diced small (about 1/2-inch cubes)
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- 1 large red bell pepper, diced
- 1 to 2 jalapenos, or to taste, chopped small
- 1/2 pound sausage (breakfast or another variety you like) removed from casings, crumbled into chunks, or bacon
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 5 ounces baby spinach (I use a package from salad greens section)
- 1 3/4 cups black beans, drained and rinsed (from 1 15-ounce can)
- 12 large eggs
- 8 burrito-sized flour tortillas
- Salsa, homemade or prepared, to taste
- 1 1/2 cups coarsely grated sharp cheddar or Monterey Jack (or more, to taste)
- Pickled jalapenos, fresh chopped cilantro, hot sauce, avocado or guacamole, sour cream, or other fixings you like (as needed)
Roast for 30 minutes. The bacon and sausage should be cooked through and crisp at this point; you can remove them and set them aside. Use a thin, large spatula to lift and turn the potatoes and peppers; return them to the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. When potatoes are tender, scatter spinach on top, return to oven for 5 minutes; it will wilt quickly. Use your spatula to mix all of your roasted ingredients together. Scatter black beans over (this will warm them), crumble or chop bacon, if using, and return it or the sausage to the tray so everything’s in one place.
Prepare eggs: Whisk your eggs together in a large bowl until lightly beaten. Season well with salt (I use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher) and many grinds of black pepper. Heat your largest frying pan over medium-high heat. Once it’s hot, add a bit of oil to the pan and heat it too. Once the oil is hot, add your eggs. Let them cook for 20 to 30 seconds before beginning to move and turn them in spatula-wide sections. When eggs are mostly cooked but still a tiny bit runny, scrape them into a bowl. The residual heat of the eggs should cook them to about the 95% mark; they’ll finish cooking as you warm your burritos.
Assemble burritos: Place a large square of foil on your counter. Place first tortillla over it. [I find mine are soft enough to wrap without tearing from the bag, but if yours are not, lay it on a pan in the probably still residually warm oven for a minute or two to soften (but not dry out).] Eyeball about 1/8 of the vegetable mixture and scoop it into the center, followed by a little salsa (I use 1 to 2 tablespoons per burrito), 1/8 the eggs, cheese to taste, plus whatever fixings you cannot live without.
Roll the burrito tightly by folding the sides over the filling then rolling from the bottom up. Wrap in foil the same way; folding the foil first over the ends of the burrito (ideally forming a “cup” at each end to catch drips, although my kids just see this as a challenge).
If eating right away: I rewarm the foil-wrapped burritos on a tray for 5 minutes in a 350-degree oven. (This is just to get everything hot again and melt the cheese.)
To freeze: Place foil-wrapped burritos in a freezer bag and press all of the air out. They will keep in the freezer for 2 months.
To warm from the freezer in the oven: I place the foil-wrapped burritos on a tray in a 350-degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes (turn over halfway) to heat them through. Depending on how cold your freezer is and how packed the burritos are, it could take more or less time. To check, press a toothpick through the foil into the center of a burrito and pull it out; if the toothpick feels warm or hot, the burrito is heated. If it’s cold (it will be clear if it’s cold), it needs more time.
To warm from the freezer in a microwave: Remove foil and microwave for 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 minutes, turning burrito over halfway. I find microwaves range a bit in defrosting times so you might find you need more or less.
To defrost in the fridge and warm in the oven: If you’re a plan-ahead type, you can let it begin defrosting in the fridge overnight. I heat these the same way I do frozen ones, but check 10 minutes sooner. I highly recommend not leaving burritos in flour tortillas in the fridge for more than a day; the wetness of the fillings can make the wrappers mushy or soggy.