Food 101: How to Make a Burrito

I have a confession to make. I once was a Taco Bell addict. I spent a large bulk of my college years running in and out of the venerable fast food institution dropping down $5 bucks and walking away with enough food to feed a family. I was that guy who not only craved crunchwraps at 2:00am, but also who went out and drove there to get one. Even though I didn’t eat any other fast food, I tried to justify it through some sort of backhanded logic about not having access to Latino cuisine. It was not my proudest status. And even though I kicked the habit a couple years ago when I dropped red meat and processed meats, I still long for delicious burritos and tacos and fajitas and whatever Tex-Mex food portmanteau you can think of. So that’s why I offer this very special Food 101, to all the other poor SOBs out there who struggle with cravings for cheap tacos that are objectively terrible for you.

We'll work through it together.

We’ll work through it together.

Burritos are a type of wrap in Mexican-American cuisine, differing from other tortilla dishes in that everything is contained inside of it. Unlike tacos or fajitas, all the different parts of the burrito remain tucked away inside the tortilla making for a handy little foodstuff that is also very neat. Typically, you fill them with meats, vegetables, rice, cheese, or sauces, but it’s all a matter of what taste you prefer or are going for. Because of that, this post will serve as a sort of how-to skeleton for different burrito recipes, both ones we post or if you simply decide to come up with your own.


Note: Alternate folding method, shown in above video

Basic Burrito Recipe

  • 1 Flour tortilla
  • Salsa of your choice
  • 1/2 Cup yellow rice/spanish rice/white rice/other rice
  • 1 Cup chopped, cooked chicken/ground beef/vegetables/etc
  • 1/3 Cup shredded cheese (cheddar/jack/mexican blend/etc)

*Recipe makes 1 burrito

  1. Heat your tortilla by either placing it on a grill/stovetop for 15 seconds on each side, or by microwaving it according to its package directions.
  2. Spread the salsa onto the center of the tortilla in a thin layer, without going more than two inches of the edge. More salsa tastes good, but too much will result in it spilling out during the wrapping phase.
  3. Add rice onto the tortilla and spread out until it is flat and even.
  4. Add your meat onto the rice, making its own layer. Try to pile it more onto the center, since like the salsa, it can spill out if it’s too close to the edges.
  5. Sprinkle the cheese all over the tortilla pile, evenly.
  6. Now begins the trickiest part, wrapping the burrito up into an actual burrito. Begin by folding about two inches of the left and right sides of the tortilla over onto itself:
  7. Next, begin rolling the bottom edge of the tortilla over the now flat sides, being careful to not tumble the food out:
  8. And finally complete the burrito by tucking this once-bottom into the other side of the burrito, and flattening the entire thing closed:

It seems intimidating, but the hardest part is really just getting the burrito to wrap up and close without losing your delicious meat/rice. Interestingly enough, you now see why companies use buzzword phrases like “five-layer burrito”. The burrito is constructed with different layers of food inside. This is a really barebones burrito, and it already has four layers. If you really wanted to obtain a fifth layer, you could add any number of things like beans, veggies, different cheese, a second salsa, etc… It sounds impressive, but really it just means “more stuff”.

And again, this is a basic outline for how to make a burrito. You can use whatever meat you desire, whatever cheese, whatever rice, hell, use whatever! There’s tons of things you can add in that I didn’t list here, if you have them. Some examples include:

  • Beans
  • Peppers
  • Tomatos
  • Hot sauce
  • Quinoa
  • Tofu
  • Lettuce (Ughhh…)
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Feta

We’ll post some examples of different burrito recipes as time goes on, as its own series under We Can Do It Better.


  • These burritos can be made as-is and then frozen in your freezer to be reheated at anytime!
  • Generally, one or two burritos is enough to satisfy one person. If you’re planning on cooking for X amount of people, simply multiply the measurements above times the number of eaters.
  • Refrain from overstuffing your burrito. We all love food, but the goal here is to fit it all inside the tortilla. If it’s spilling out, you’re better off just eating enchiladas or taco salad.

Just to reiterate, it’s totally a thing you can do, to make five burritos one day, then freeze them, and reheat them whenever you’re craving some. People trying to quit Taco Bell addiction should rejoice in the fact that making burritos at home is surprisingly easy. And on top of that, heating a burrito up in the microwave means you get that burrito even faster than if you went out and drove to the nearest Taco Bell (presupposing that your nearest Taco Bell isn’t one minute away; yet even that would be up for debate). So who needs Taco Bell anymore when you can make burritos at home? They taste better, don’t contain sawdust, and won’t put you at risk for contracting E.Coli!



Posted on March 4, 2014, in Food 101 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

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