Jump To Section
What Is a Burrito?
A burrito is a Mexican dish consisting of a flour tortilla tightly wrapped around a filling of various ingredients, typically high-protein meats, beans, cheese, rice, and salsa. The origins of the burrito (“little donkey” in Spanish) are unknown. This portable dish’s easy customization has spawned several regional variations, including the Mission burrito, the breakfast burrito, the chimichanga, and the smothered (or wet) burrito. While smothered burritos are drenched in enchilada sauce, they are classified as a burrito because they are made with a flour tortilla instead of a corn tortilla.
What Type of Ingredients Are in a Burrito?
You can fill a burrito with a range of ingredients, but classic options include:
- Beans: Black beans or refried beans are a standard ingredient in traditional burritos.
- Cheese: Melting cheeses like Oaxacan cheese or cheddar cheese make a perfect complement for a warm burrito.
- Rice: Rice is a standard ingredient in traditional burritos. To bulk up your burrito, add brown rice, white rice, or Spanish rice.
- Eggs: Scrambled eggs are the defining ingredient of a well-rounded breakfast burrito.
- Potatoes: Potatoes are typically in breakfast burritos, but you can also incorporate them into other types of burritos. Use sweet potatoes and black beans as filling for a simple vegan burrito.
- Sauces. Sauces can add flavor and moisture to burritos. Mexican crema, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, and hot sauce are typical sauces for burritos.
What Is the Difference Between a Burrito and a Wrap?
There are a couple of distinct differences between a burrito and a wrap:
- Different temperatures. Burritos are served hot, while wraps are typically served cold or at room temperature.
- Different ingredients. Wraps and burritos are both versatile vessels for a range of ingredients. However, wraps typically feature sandwich ingredients (turkey, lettuce, tomato, hummus, fresh or pickled vegetables), while burritos feature proteins like beef, chicken, and beans.
Best Beef Burrito Recipe
Prep Time5 min
Total Time20 min
Cook Time15 min
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (or vegetable oil)
- ½ teaspoon coriander
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon chipotle chile powder
- ¼ pound ground beef
- ½ small yellow onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup canned black beans, drained
- ½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 2 10-inch flour tortillas
- ½ cup guacamole
- ½ cup shredded pepper jack cheese
- ½ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add spices and toast until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add ground beef and sauté until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
- Add onion and sauté until softened, about 6 minutes.
- Add onion and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add beans and cook until warmed through, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt.
- Warm two flour tortillas on a griddle or directly on a gas burner, with the flame on low.
- Spread guacamole in a wide line in the center of the tortillas and top with the ground beef mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and cilantro.
- To fold, fold in the two ends where the filling reaches the edge of the burrito. Then, fold one of the free ends over the filling and continue to roll until the burrito is fully wrapped.
Become a better chef with the MasterClass Annual Membership. Gain access to exclusive video lessons taught by culinary masters, including Gabriela Cámara, Chef Thomas Keller, Massimo Bottura, Dominique Ansel, Gordon Ramsay, Alice Waters, and more.