California Burrito

California Burritos are a SoCal classic. Not your typical Mexican food, a California Burrito is stuffed with carne asada, french fries, cheese, sour cream, pico de gallo, and avocado.

california burrito, wrapped in foil and sliced in half

A burrito with french fries is a bit unexpected, and something you’ll only find on the west coast, specifically in and around San Diego, California. But with my easy California Burrito recipe, you can replicate this Southern California favorite at home any time you want.

Think of the California Burrito like Carne Asada Fries wrapped in a giant tortilla hug! They are seriously the best burritos this side of the Colorado River!

Table of Contents
  1. What is a California Burrito?
  2. California Burrito Ingredients
  3. How To Make California Burrito
  4. Variations
  5. Serving Suggestions
  6. Storing and Reheating Leftovers
  7. Freezing California Burritos
  8. Expert Tips
  9. More Mexican-Inspired Recipes
  10. California Burrito Recipe

What is a California Burrito?

The California Burrito is believed to have been invented in the 1980s in San Diego, California. A few different local Mexican restaurants claim to be the original inventors, but regardless, California Burritos are a local favorite.

While you can sometimes find them in Mexican Taquerias and restaurants outside of San Diego, you won’t usually see them north of Los Angeles.

You may have heard of a California Burrito made with beans and rice, that originated out of San Francisco. That is not the classic style, and quite honestly, beans and rice have no place in a classic Cali burrito.

California Burrito Ingredients

  • Carne Asada – You can use my tasty Carne Asada recipe, or buy it pre-cooked or at least pre-seasoned.
  • French Fries – A bag of frozen fries. If you have a favorite brand or style, use that. I’m partial to Ore-Ida Crinkle Cut Fries.
  • Taco Seasoning – Use my recipe, linked here, or use a packaged mix. I much prefer homemade.
  • Pico de Gallo or Salsa – Different styles of salsa are readily available at the grocery store, but it’s so easy to make Pico de Gallo or Homemade Salsa.
  • Avocado – Make sure to grab one that’s nice and ripe, or plan ahead so it has time to ripen. You could also use Guacamole instead.
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • Sour Cream
  • Flour Tortillas – Grab the largest ones they sell at your grocery store, usually about 12-inches. This is a behemoth of a burrito!

How To Make California Burrito

This recipe makes 4 large carne asada burritos. You can easily scale the recipe using the slider in the recipe card below.

Be sure to check the recipe card below for full ingredients & instructions.

  • Season frozen french fries with taco seasoning and bake according to the package.
  • Grill the carne asada, chop into small pieces, and keep warm. If using a pre-cooked version, just chop it up and heat it.
  • Warm the flour tortillas so they are pliable, in a large skillet or in the microwave.
  • Assemble burritos – Meat, fries, sour cream, cheese, pico, and avocado. Fold in the sides and roll up the burrito.
frozen fries on a baking sheet with taco seasoning
baked fries on a baking sheet
collage of images showing how to make a california burrito

Variations

  • If you want to make these quick, season some diced sirloin and fry it up in a skillet like I do with my Garlic Butter Steak Bites. Just make the pieces a little smaller and don’t cook them as long.
  • Make it spicy by adding some pickled jalapenos or fresh diced red onions. Though not common, this is a great way to add a little heat. Or sweeten it up with some Grilled Pineapple or Pineapple Salsa.
  • Warm your California-style burrito in the microwave, or fry in a skillet like a chimichanga.
  • Serve some lime wedges on the sides, and squeeze on a little lime juice before every bite.

Serving Suggestions

With this recipe, you’ve got a huge, filling burrito, loaded with protein and carbs. I like to wrap them in foil to keep them warm, then cut them in half before serving. That way you can feed 8 people a meal with some sides, like:

california burrito cut in half and stacked

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

  • This burrito is best when enjoyed fresh. Leftovers can be wrapped up and refrigerated, but will get soggy upon reheating. If you’ve got leftovers, you can always make these yummy burritos again!
  • The carne asada can be stored in an airtight container for 2-3 days in the fridge. Reheat in a skillet on the stovetop with a little butter or olive oil.
  • Baked fries can be stored in a separate container in the fridge, also for 2-3 days. Reheat in the oven or in an air fryer.

Freezing California Burritos

You can freeze fully assembled burritos, but follow these tips so you don’t end up with a soggy mess. When done right, this can be a great way to have Cali-style burritos on hand when a craving hits.

For Make Ahead Freezer Burritos:

  • Let the carne asada and fries cool completely before assembling. Do not heat the tortilla either.
  • Omit the avocado. Freezing, especially since you’re going to reheat it later, changes the texture of the avocado. Add it fresh or serve on the side after you heat them.
  • Assemble burritos, roll them tightly, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap, then foil.
  • Arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer and freeze for at least an hour. Once solid, you can store them in a freezer bag for up to 3 months.
  • To heat, unwrap frozen burritos and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 400℉ for 30-40 minutes. Ovens can vary, so check them at the 25-30 minute mark.
california burritos, cut in half to expose the insides, in a basket of fries

Expert Tips

  • Since this burrito is prepared fresh and not baked or warmed in any way, it’s important for the fries and the steak to be hot. Be ready with the other ingredients so you can make the burritos as soon as the fries and steak are ready.
  • If heating tortillas in a skillet, be sure not to char them. They are best when warm and soft.
  • I recommend slicing the avocado just before adding.
  • Seasoning the fries adds lots of flavor, but you can skip it if you want to.
  • Use smaller tortillas for smaller portions, and less filling.

More Mexican-Inspired Recipes

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California Burrito

Not your typical Mexican food, a California Burrito is stuffed with carne asada, french fries, cheese, sour cream, pico de gallo and avocado.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 4 large burritos
Calories 900kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound fully cooked Carne Asada
  • 13 ounces ½ a package frozen skinny or crinkle cut French fries
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 1 cup Pico de Gallo or salsa
  • 1 ripe avocado thinly sliced, or 1 cup of guacamole
  • 2-3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 4 flour tortillas 12-in burrito size

Instructions
 

  • Lay the frozen fries out of a baking sheet and toss with taco seasoning. Bake the french fries according to package directions.
  • Heat carne asada, cut into bite sized pieces and keep warm.
  • When you’re ready to assemble the burritos, warm the tortillas in the microwave or in a large skillet on the stovetop.
  • Slice the avocado.
  • Assemble the burritos: Lay one tortilla on a flat surface. Add one fourth of the carne asada and a handful of french fries, then layer with sour cream, cheese, pico and avocado slices. Roll up burrito and repeat with the remaining tortillas.

Notes

  • This burrito is best when enjoyed fresh. Leftovers can be wrapped up and refrigerated, but will get soggy upon reheating. If you’ve got leftovers, you can always make these yummy burritos again!
  • Carne asada can be stored in separate airtight containers for 2-3 days in the fridge. Reheat steak in a skillet and fries in the oven or air fryer.
For Make Ahead Freezer Burritos:
  • Let the carne asada and fries cool completely before assembling. Do not heat the tortilla either.
  • Omit the avocado. Freezing, changes the texture of the avocado. Add it fresh or serve on the side after you heat them.
  • Assemble burritos, roll them tightly, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap, then foil.
  • Arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer and freeze for at least an hour. Once solid, you can store them in a freezer bag for up to 3 months.
  • To heat, unwrap frozen burritos and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 400℉ for 30-40 minutes. Ovens can vary, so check them at the 25-30 minute mark.

Nutrition

Calories: 900kcalCarbohydrates: 58gProtein: 44gFat: 57gSaturated Fat: 23gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 23gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 145mgSodium: 1578mgPotassium: 1088mgFiber: 9gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 1152IUVitamin C: 15mgCalcium: 493mgIron: 5mg
Keyword california burrito

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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Comments

  1. I want to make these, but I cannot stand the texture if flour tortillas. I would far prefer to use corn tortillas. Could that substitute work?

    1. Unfortunately it will not. Burritos are made with flour tortillas, and won’t work with corn.