Ready, set, roll!

By Tiffany Stevens
April 26, 2020
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Burritos: an eternal staple when it comes to quick bites and hearty meals alike. In the past, we’ve explored the virtues of frozen burritos, and it’s true that those delicious, and often cheap, stuffed tortillas are the perfect grab-and-go comfort food. However, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that you can make even better burritos at home—and freeze them, to boot. So if you’re missing your breakfast burrito as part of your morning routine, or you’re just looking for a way to store away a few easy dinners, now’s the perfect time to look through our burrito-making guide.

Photo: Jennifer Causey Styling: Lindsey Lower 

Step One: Choose Your Tortilla

Before you truly get started on your burrito, you’ll want to decide what to wrap it in. The most common choice is flour tortillas, but eggs can also be made into a faux-tortilla, as described in the Brainy Burritos recipe linked above. Feel free to use any other wraps you prefer, including whole wheat or spinach and tomato-flavored varieties. If you’d like our take on which flour tortillas are the best for your buck, feel free to check out our taste test here

Whichever tortillas you choose, you’ll want to go for the largest size you can find. If it’s easier, look for brands that label their offerings as burrito-sized, which will ensure that you’ll have enough room for a decent amount of fillings.

Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Kira Corbin

Step Two: Choose Your Fillings

If you’re feeling intimidated by the lengthy list of recipes cited above, don’t be. The filling stage is the one, however, where you’ll be making the bulk of your decisions. It’s also the stage that will require the bulk of the prep work. 

Before picking out ingredients to stuff your burrito with, you’ll first want to decide what kind of burrito you’d like to have. If you’re looking for a meat-filled burrito, you’ll want to cook up any ingredient like ground beef, chicken or chorizo so that it will be safe to eat. Rice and beans will also need to be cooked before they’re added to any burrito, as will any veggies you prefer to be sauteed or oven roasted. 

In some cases, leftovers can serve as burrito fillings. Rotisserie chicken and pulled pork, for example, are easy ways to add protein to your burritos without having to cook. Burrito fillings can also be prepared ahead of time and stored in separate containers in the fridge, allowing your household members to assemble custom burritos on their own. Microwaveable rice packets can speed the process, as well.

Once you’ve cooked all of your ingredients, decide if you want to add any fresher ingredients to your burrito, like uncooked vegetables or herbs. Salsa, cheese, and sour cream are common additions, and can be added when you wrap up your burritos in the next step. 

Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Claire Spollen

Step Three: Wrap Up Your Burrito

At last, you’re at the assembly stage. Bring out your tortillas and warm them up, by wrapping them in foil and putting them in the oven for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees. This will make them more pliable and easy to work with. Then, add your fillings in small rows horizontally, just below the centerline of the tortilla. Fold the sides in, then fold the bottom up and over your ingredients. Tuck and roll the rest, ending with the seam side down. If you’re confused, we promise that it’s easier than it sounds. Check out this video for a visual demo of the process. 

Once you’ve wrapped up your burrito, you’re welcome to go ahead and chow down. However, if you prefer your burrito toasted, heat up a skillet with a bit of butter and brown the burrito over medium-low heat. Flip the burrito to brown it on the other side. Serve warm.

You’ll also want to decide at this stage if you prefer wet or dry burritos. Wet burritos are often served with salsas, cheeses or other sauces spooned on top, where dry burritos are of course the portable-friendly version we know and love. 

Additional Burrito Styles

How to Make Burrito Bakes

As described above, burritos are often warmed up over the stove. But if you don’t want to bother with flipping your burritos, or you’re weary of cooking them one by one, then a burrito bake may be just the option for you. For this recipe, make up your burritos as you normally would, and then place them seam-side down in an oven-safe dish. If you prefer wet burritos, spoon any sauces or cheese over the top at this time. Heat the oven to around 350 degrees and cook for about 20 minutes. In no time, you’ll have plenty of burritos for the family to dig into. 

Photo: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Mary Clayton Carl; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

How to Make Burrito Bowls

If you’re not a fan of tortillas, or you’re simply trying to cut down on carbs, then there’s no reason you can’t serve up your burritos as more of a salad. When making a burrito bowl, be sure to spend time lending extra seasoning to your rice (if using), and pay special attention to the dressing you finish your bowl off with. Cilantro, lime, paprika, and plenty of salt and pepper can all lend your burrito bowl more flavor. Creamy sauces, especially those incorporating avocado and plenty of citrus, can also brighten up a custom burrito bowl. 

Photo: Thomas J. Story

How to Make Sushi Burritos

Get the Recipe: Sushi Burritos

Traditional burritos are always delicious, but what if you’re looking for something a little bit different? Try whipping up sushi burritos. These burritos will require access to fresh, raw fish (and therefore clean surfaces), sushi rice, nori sheets, and a bamboo rolling mat, but if you’re willing to go a bit outside the usual burrito comfort zone, you can make a delicious sushi burrito that will rival your favorite trendy food hot spot. 

As with other burritos, feel free to get creative with your sushi burritos. Anything that would normally go in sushi can go well here. Tempura, rolled egg, thinly sliced pickled vegetables, and cream cheese can all make a sushi burrito more delicious. As with any dish involving raw ingredients, however, just be sure to practice safe cooking standards so that you can fully enjoy your meal.

Photo by Peteers via Getty Images

How to Freeze Burritos

Burritos are best when you can simply throw them in the microwave, and homemade burritos are no exception to that rule. To turn your homemade burritos into a frozen stash, make up your burritos as normal and then lay them on a baking sheet in a single layer. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for at least an hour, and then place the frozen burritos into a freezer-safe storage bag for up to three months. This process works best for burritos that don’t contain a bunch of wet ingredients, and it will not work for specialty burritos, like the sushi burritos described above. For the vast majority of recipes listed, however, this process will leave you with many delicious meals for the days to come.