California Burritos are a must eat before you die burrito!
California Burritos are arguably the best burritos in the world. They are stuffed with thinly sliced, tender marinated Carne Asada, cheese, salsa, avocado crema and the best part – Mexican French Fries!!! These California Burritos are also freezer friendly, for an easy bake and serve dinner!
What are California Burritos?
Patrick adores carne asada burritos, but he doesn’t just devour carne asada burritos every week, he devours carne asada burritos WITH French Fries, also known as California Burritos, and a staple for hungry surfers. They are the best burritos as far as these San Diegans are concerned and have a special place in San Diego culture, just like the fish taco.
The California Burrito begins with a huge flour tortilla topped with juicy, marinated and spice rubbed, grilled steak, then piled high with baked Mexican Street Fries, loads of cheese, guacamole, and sour cream – think fiesta cheesy steak and potatoes with all the fixins!
After I conjured up my favorite carne asada recipe, I knew California Burritos were next on the make ASAP list. And they should be at the top of your make ASAP list!
Who invented California burrito?
If you’ve never heard of a California Burrito even if you live in California – you are not alone. California Burritos originated in San Diego at one of the -berto’s restaurants in the 1980s and are uniquely San Diegan. The Fresh MXN chain (formerly Santana’s) also claims to be the originator of the California Burrito but my money is on -berto’s.
No matter who invented the original California Burrito, the important thing is YOU can make your own California Burrito recipe at home! Your family and friends will LOVE you for it.
What is in a California burrito?
- tortillas: use large flour burrito size tortillas for the ultimate California Burrito experience. You can always cut these burritos in half for smaller portions. I prefer raw/uncooked tortillas found in the refrigerated section like Tortilla Land (I buy mine at Costco). They are thinner so they crisp up beautifully!
- carne asada: California Burritos are always made with carne asada and my recipe is simply the best! You can use skirt or flank steak which gets marinated in orange juice, lime juice, soy sauce and a splash of liquid smoke then rubbed with cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic and onion to emerge highly flavorful, rich buttery and melt-in-your-mouth texture.
- cheese: you can use 2-3 cups cheese or even more if you feel like living on the culinary edge. I like a combination of sharp cheddar and pepper Jack but you can use just all cheddar if that’s what you have on hand.
- French fries: the French fries are spiced with salt, pepper, garlic powder, ground cumin and chipotle pepper and are SO so addicting all on their own.
- salsa: I love my Salsa recipe for these California Burritos but you are welcome to use your favorite store bought salsa.
- avocado crema: Instead of using sour cream and guacamole, I make a spectacular Avocado crema with avocados, sour cream, mayonnaise, lime juice, cumin, salt and garlic powder. It is on of my favorite condiments on the planet as seen in my Chile Lime Chicken Tacos. That being said, you can use sour cream and guacamole instead of the crema if you prefer.
Can I Customize California Burritos?
California Burritos are delish just as described above, but part of their beauty is they are totally customizable. You can add rice or black beans not traditionally found in California Burritos or anything your heart desires because there is no right or wrong when making your own burritos – you might just not be able to call them a California Burrito ;).
Our favorite add-in to the California Burrito is pineapple. We got this idea from a local restaurant burrito who named it the “Carlsbad Burrito.” The sweet, caramelized pineapple is just made for the smokey meat and spiced Mexican Fries – drool…..
So the Carne Asada Burrito becomes a California Burrito and finally the ultimate Carlsbad Burrito: AKA the burrito my sister-in-law has been asking me to recreate since she tasted its perfection forever ago – the burrito we take everyone visiting to devour – the burrito now we can all devour at home at a fraction of the cost with an explosion of flavor.
What Do I serve with California Burritos?
Serve your California Burritos with Mexican Rice or Cilantro Lime Rice, black beans, a big pile of chips and either homemade salsa, or salsa verde and you have a restaurant quality meal in the comfort of your own home!
For extra sides for hosting, your guest will love:
- Corn Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing
- Grilled Corn on the Cob with Chipotle Lime Butter
- Southwest Salad with Creamy Avocado Salsa Dressing
- Southwest Orzo Salad with Chipotle Honey Lime Vinaigrette
- Fruit Salad with Honey Citrus Dressing
- Pina Colada Fruit Salad
- Grilled Pineapple with Brown Sugar Orange Glaze
- and top it all off with Churros!
How Do I FREEZE California BURRITOS?
California Burritos freeze extremely well:
- Cool Filling: Let carne asada and French Fries cool otherwise you will end up with soggy tortillas.
- Assemble: Assemble California Burritos per instructions.
- Foil: Wrap individual burritos up tightly in foil.
- Freeze: Freeze burritos in a single layer on a baking sheet. This will help them freeze faster and not get squished.
- Store: Add frozen burritos to a large freezer size bag, remove excess air and seal. Freeze for up to 3 months.
How do I thaw California Burritos?
- Bake: Remove frozen California Burritos from foil and place on a baking rack. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until completely warmed through and toasted.
- Microwave: Remove chicken burritos from foil. Microwave for approximately 4 minutes or until warmed through. If you want to crisp up your microwaved burritos, then you can broil in the oven or pan sear per instructions.
Looking for more burrito recipes?
- Smothered Baked Chicken Burritos
- Smothered Buffalo Chicken Burritos
- Beef Bean Cheese Burritos
- Breakfast Burritos
- Wet Burritos
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