Why a Burrito Really Isn’t that Hard to Make

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The burrito is one of the tastiest, easiest, quickest meals you can make. It’s a great, economical quick dinner idea.

Why a Burrito Really Isn't that Hard to Make | Good Cheap Eats

Green Chile Burrito

The humble burrito is seeing a renaissance in recent years. Chipotle’s stocks have skyrocketed and for good reason. They’ve taken one of America’s favorite foods and made it delicious as well as healthy.

But, at $6 to $8 a burrito, well, it’s better to make yours at home instead of making Chipotle do the work.

I read in Bake the Bread, Buy the Butter, that burritos were too hard to make and not worth the effort. While that book is full of wise advice and good price analysis, this is one point that I have to disagree on.

Born and raised in Southern California, I grew up eating burritos on a regular, almost daily, basis. They aren’t hard to make — and they are so quick to fix, that they should definitely be on your weekly meal rotation. I’ve even got a chapter devoted to burritos (and other wraps) in my new cookbook!

Consider these tips to make your burrito making easy as well as delicious.

Why a Burrito Really Isn’t that Hard to Make

You need fresh, large tortillas warmed or at room temperature.

If you pay attention at Chipotle or your favorite burrito joint, a good burrito tortilla is large and folds easily. You’ll notice that Chipotle heats theirs slightly before assembling the burrito. That’s because cold tortillas crack when you roll them, leaving you holes for filling to escape. No bueno.

Be sure to let your tortillas come to room temperature or warm them slightly for good rolling.

Why a Burrito Really Isn't that Hard to Make | Good Cheap Eats

Shredded Pork Filling

Choose great fillings.

The fillings are going to be the highlight of your burrito. By definition, beans will be included, but there’s debate on this point. My philosophy is to add the things you like!

Here are some of my favorite burrito fillings:

Meats

Cooking meat obviously slows down your burrito process. Make these in advance and freeze them for Burrito Night, cook up ground meat quickly, or grab a rotisserie chicken at the store to speed things up.

Beans

Homecooked beans are certainly a nice touch, but there’s nothing wrong with opening a can.

Why a Burrito Really Isn't that Hard to Make | Good Cheap Eats

Mexican Rice

Rice

Rice is optional, but a nice touch! Mexican Rice is one of our favorites.

Cheese

Use your favorite shredded varieties: cheddar, jack, pepper jack, or a blend.

Shredded lettuce or cabbage

You can buy this in a bag ready to go (super quick!) or slice your own from head lettuce or cabbage.

Condiments

If you’ve got a favorite jarred salsa or bottled hot sauce, go for it. If not, mix up a batch of one of these.

Roll the burrito right.

This video is five years old, but the method is still fresh. If you’re not sure how to roll up a burrito, never fear! I’ve got you covered.

Make some extra burritos for the freezer.

While you’ve got everything out, make a few extra burritos for the freezer. These are some of my family’s favorite snacks and freezer meals. Just zap them in the microwave or crisp on the griddle until they’re hot through.

Follow this method for making burritos for the freezer.

Why a Burrito Really Isn't that Hard to Make | Good Cheap Eats

Don’t forget breakfast!

With some slight tweaks in your burrito fillings, breakfast can be just as awesome as lunch and dinner! Jace’s Breakfast Burritos are so good. Yum!

See? That wasn’t hard, was it? The burrito is really simple to make, but it’s like an economical, easily-portable FEAST. Plan for burritos this week!

What’s YOUR favorite burrito combination?

For kicks, tell us what you order at Chipotle or wrap in a burrito at home.

Be sure to read the whole series: Quick Dinner Ideas

Why a Burrito Really Isn't that Hard to Make | Good Cheap Eats

Why a Burrito Really Isn't that Hard to Make | Good Cheap Eats - The burrito is one of the tastiest, easiest, quickest meals you can make. It’s a great, economical quick dinner idea.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe great meals don't have to be complicated or expensive. There's a better way, and it won't take all afternoon.

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Comments

  1. Micha says:

    We make copycat Del Combo burritos with green sauce which is simply seasoned ground beef, refried beans, shredded cheese, Cheddar is the original but we like to switch it up sometimes, and Trader Joe’s Green Dragon hot sauce. You can use any green taco/hot sauce you like, that one happens to be our favorite. Super yummy and really easy.

  2. Amy P says:

    I’ve made more freezer burritos than I can count this year. Either seasoned shredded chicken or ground beef with homemade refried beans, seasoned rice, and the preshredded ‘nacho’ cheese blend (the only time I justify preshredded cheese!). Filling, quick to warm up, and satisfying, which is great with a 4yo, 2yo, and 2 week old in the house. They don’t like them but it keeps me going so I can last through the day! I especially appreciated them earlier this year when my husband was away more than home, and fewer ‘real’ meals were being made. If I’m not getting fed, no one else is either! 😉

  3. Jen says:

    Burritos made with leftover roasted or grilled vegetables (sweet potato, asparagus, peppers, onions, broccoli) along with scrambled eggs, black beans, spinach, and goat cheese are my current favorite. They are not traditional, but are so good!

  4. Stephanie M. says:

    What a coincidence that you are talking about burritos today. That’s what I making for dinner tonight. I make beef and bean burritos with ground beef, refried beans, some tomato sauce, onions, chili powder, cumin and cheddar cheese. We love these. And I am also making your Mexican rice which I’ve made before and we love, and also black bean salad. Yum. What a satisfying dinner. Can’t wait.

    I also make breakfast burritos with scrambled eggs, breakfast sausage, green peppers, onions, and cheddar cheese. I’ve never made burritos ahead of time for the freezer. Do I just assemble them and get them completely ready to bake but just not bake them? I would like to know because that would definitely be a great freezer meal.

    I know you said you grew up eating Mexican food and it’s an important part of your meal plans. I did not grow up with Mexican food at all. And as such, I never cooked anything other than tacos. But reading your blog for the last several years has taught me to embrace Mexican food and now I make quite a few different Mexican dishes and we love them all. But the best one of all is your Lawnmower Taco. That is absolutely delicious!!!!

  5. Diana says:

    I agree, it’s totally worth it to make burritos! If you’re seriously making a $6 burrito at home you’ve gotta be putting gold leaf in it or something 😉

    The more different flavors you have in a burrito, the better in my opinion. All yours are great options–I’ll definitely have to try those out! I like to add lime juice and fresh cilantro to freshly cooked rice to imitate Chipotle’s cilantro-lime rice. Can’t wait till I can have cheese and sour cream in mine again, too!

  6. Jennifer says:

    Have you had any luck making breakfast burritos and freezing them? I’ve done meaty or bean-y dinner type burritos, but haven’t had success with the breakfast type. They get mushy, or they get hard, or egg gets weird and rubbery. We love mexican food breakfasts, but my people asked me not to make the breakfast burritos any more. Yuck!

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