In Praise of the Breakfast Burrito

Today on Serious Eats: West African Veggie Stew. Delicious, easy, and way out of the box. Definitely worth checking out.

It’s Monday morning. You know it’s gonna be a pretty rough week at work. There are at least three … no, four … no, 22 meetings scheduled, all during your lunch breaks. You want a breakfast that will brighten your mood and give you hope for future.

What will you do?

It’s Friday morning. You are scrambling to get the family out the door. The Frosted Flakes have run out, and your triplets are clawing at your blouse for something portable and filling to keep them alive through ninth grade math.

What will you DO?

It’s Saturday morning. You stayed out until 3am last night, for no apparent reason other than trying to bowl above a 60. (What? It seemed like a good idea at the time.) You want a hangover breakfast requiring minimal effort and maximum cheese.


You’ll make breakfast burritos.

Yay! Breakfast burritos! Beloved by food bloggers and personal finance folks the world over, these compact pockets of healthy (no, really) scrumptiousness have two basic ingredients: tortillas and eggs. The rest (beans, salsa, lettuce, rice, bell peppers, onions, scallions, dill, tomatoes, mushrooms, blue cheese, cheddar, goat cheese, Monterey Jack, Colby, turkey sausage, ham, bacon, etc.) are up to you.

The last few weeks, Husband-Elect and I have been on a breakfast burrito kick of epic proportions. (Meaning: Odysseus would go wild for these.) While the add-ons vary a little, our version is basically: medium salsa, 2% sharp cheddar, pinto beans, eggs, egg whites, a tortilla, and a few field greens. It is more delightful than a walk in the park, but not quite as delightful as Betty White doing CSI: Sarasota. Still, it gets the job done. Deliciously so.

A few things to know, should you decide to try it yourself:

1) We use crazypants, humanely raised eggs now, which are a tad pricier than the ones at the grocery store. If you use supermarket eggs, your burritos will cost less (though the odds of double double yolks are probably much lower).

2) Burrito-sized tortillas can be astoundingly high in fat and calories, so you have to look around for leaner ones. We use Tropical brand burritos, which clock in at 100 calories, 3 grams of fat, and about $0.18 each. I think Pepito comes close. Do you guys know of any others?

3) These drip. It’s the salsa. It’s not bad, but make sure you have napkins handy.

If you’d like to learn more about the wonderful world of Disney breakfast burritos, The Simple Dollar has a few tricks for assembling them in bulk, then freezing them. Recipe Zaar has a well-reviewed … wait for it … recipe. And The Kitchn has a basic set of directions. With pretty pictures, of course.

Sweet readers, what are your favorite breakfast burrito combos? Is it possible to keep them non-messy? Have you ever made them en masse? How’d that go? Do tell.

If you find this recipe quite dreamy, you might also lose yourself in:

Breakfast Burritos with Beans, Cheddar and Salsa
Serves 2.

2 burrito-sized tortillas
A few leaves o’ greens (optional)
1 ounce 2% cheddar cheese, grated
2 eggs (any size)
2 egg whites (any size)
1-1/2 tablespoons skim milk
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon butter
1/4 cup beans, drained and rinsed (pinto seen here)
2 tablespoons medium salsa

1) Place burritos on plates. Add greens if desired. Grate cheddar on top of greens.

2) In a medium bowl, combine eggs, egg whites, skim milk, and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk thoroughly to combine.

3) Heat butter in a small nonstick pan over medium. When melted and a little bubbly, pour in egg mixture. Wait for it to set a few minutes, then begin to slowly scramble, using long, uninterrupted strokes. When eggs are thoroughly cooked (not wet), divide them between plated tortillas.

4) Using the egg pan, heat the beans through. (Or just pop ‘em in the microwave for a few seconds.) Divide between tortillas.

5) Top beans and eggs with salsa. Salt and pepper to taste. Wrap as you would any burrito and go to friggin’ town.

Approximate Calories, Fat, Fiber, Protein, and Price Per Serving
288 calories, 14.8 g fat, 3.2 g fiber, 20 g protein, $0.92

Note: calculations here are for large eggs and pinto beans
2 burrito-sized tortillas: 200 calories, 6 g fat, 2 g fiber, 6 g protein, $0.36
A few leaves o’ greens (optional): 2 calories, 0 g fat, 0.1 g fiber, 0 g protein, $0.05
1 ounce 2% cheddar cheese, grated: 90 calories, 9 g fat, 0 g fiber, 7 g protein, $0.25
2 eggs: 147 calories, 9.9 g fat, 0 g fiber, 12.6 g protein, $0.42
2 egg whites: 34 calories, 0.1 g fat, 0 g fiber, 7.2 g protein, $0.42
1-1/2 tablespoons skim milk: 8 calories, 0.1 g fat, 0 g fiber, 0.8 g protein, $0.02
Kosher salt: negligible calories, fat, fiber, and protein, $0.01
Freshly ground black pepper: negligible calories, fat, fiber, and protein, $0.01
1 teaspoon butter: 34 calories, 3.8 g fat, 0 g fiber, 0 g protein, $0.03
1/4 cup beans, drained and rinsed: 52 calories, 0.5 g fat, 2.8 g fiber, 2.9 g protein, $0.09
2 tablespoons medium salsa: 9 calories, 0.1 g fat, 0.5 g fiber, 0.5 g protein, $0.17
TOTALS: 576 calories, 29.5 g fat, 6.4 g fiber, 40 g protein, $1.83
PER SERVING (TOTALS/2): 288 calories, 14.8 g fat, 3.2 g fiber, 20 g protein, $0.92