How to Make Burritos

Skip the drive-through and make burritos at home with these tips for filling and properly folding a burrito—plus some of our favorite burrito recipes.

You can turn a taco into a burrito just by folding the tortilla differently. Burritos start with flour tortillas that are folded and rolled to completely enclose a filling. Fry them and you get a chimichanga—a specialty of Sonora, Mexico. Supersize the tortilla and fill it with rice, meat, beans, and more, and you have a Mission-style burrito popularized in the Mission District of San Francisco. We'll leave choosing what to put inside a burrito up to you and show you how to fold burritos right and tight so you don't lose a single grain of rice. And if you want to know the specifics—like how to make chicken burritos, or how to make bean burritos—we've got a few burrito recipes for you to try so you don't have to figure out the fillings on your own.

burrito ingredients
Blaine Moats

Step 1: Make Burrito Filling

There are no set rules for filling a burrito. Test your tortilla strength and pack them with a variety of fillings or just pick one or two. Mission-style burritos usually contain Mexican rice, beans, and meat options like shredded chicken, shredded pork, or steak al carbon. But even when it comes to rice and beans, you have many choices—you can learn how to make burrito rice options such as Mexican red rice, Mexican green rice, or plain white rice, and fill your burrito with classic black beans or pinto beans. For other filling ideas, try chopped onions or sautéed onions and peppers, sliced avocado or guacamole, shredded cheese, or homemade salsa.

folding bottom of burrito
Scott Little

Step 2: Prep and Fill Burrito

Choose 8- to 10-inch flour tortillas for burritos since they need to be large enough to fold. Place them in a stack and splash with a few drops of water before wrapping tightly in foil. Bake in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes or until heated through. This makes the tortillas pliable and easier to roll and fold.

Spoon fillings onto each tortilla just below the center, loading on only as much filling as the tortilla can hold and still be folded and rolled (no more than 1½ cups for a 10-inch tortilla).

folding sides of burrito
Scott Little

Step 3: Fold the Burrito

Start by folding the bottom edge up. Fold the opposite sides in and over the filling. Roll up the burrito from the bottom. Secure with toothpicks if needed.

Adobo Beef Burritos wrapped and open face
Adam Albright Photography Inc

Step 4: Heat the Burrito (If That's Your Style)

Cooking the burritos makes the outside of the tortillas crispier and heats the fillings through, but it's an optional step. If your fillings are already hot and you don't want to crisp your burrito any more, you can skip this step and go straight to your first bite.

  • To bake: Place burritos on a baking sheet, seam sides down. Bake in a 350°F oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until heated through.
  • To cook on the stove: Lightly oil a large skillet or griddle and heat over medium heat. Place burritos, seam side down, in the skillet or on the griddle, and cook for 2 to 4 minutes or until burritos are browned on both sides, turning once.

If desired, top burritos with guacamole, lettuce, Red Chile Sauce, salsa, Mexican crema, or sour cream. You can also get creative with your burrito recipes by making a sushi burrito, breakfast burritos, or by making your own naturally colored tortillas.

Bacon Egg Burritos
Andy Lyons

How to Make a Breakfast Burrito

Making a breakfast burrito is just like making a beef, bean, or chicken burrito—you're following the same steps for rolling and cooking—but choose breakfast ingredients for your fillings instead. Some burrito fillings, like rice, beans, and salsa are just as tasty in the morning as they are for lunch or dinner. To put your burrito more firmly in breakfast territory, add fillings like scrambled eggs, bacon, and fresh veggies. Once you've chosen your fillings, just like above, you can bake or cook your breakfast burrito to make the tortilla crispier, or just dive right in.

Grande Burrito Bowls
Jason Donnelly

How to Make a Burrito Bowl

Making a burrito bowl is even easier than making a traditional burrito because you don't have to worry about fitting all your favorite fillings in a tortilla. Instead, pile them high in a bowl and mix everything together to enjoy a burrito without the shell. Just like a classic burrito recipe, you can choose any fillings and toppings you want to make a burrito bowl—chicken, beef, veggies, salsa, guacamole, you name it. If you want a picture-worthy bowl, keep them in separate sections, but when you're ready to start eating, mix everything together with your fork so you can get a little bit of everything in each bite.

Keep your burrito night entirely homemade by making a few from-scratch salsas and finishing the meal with a Mexican dessert.

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