Smothered Breakfast Burritos

Here’s the classic plated New Mexico morning eye opener. If you’d like for the burritos to be in the also-popular on-the-run handheld style, make a few modifications. Use about half of the amount of filling called for here, but add a spoonful or two of either chopped green chile or prepared green chile sauce, warmed, to each burrito’s filling mixture. Top the filling with a similar amount of cheese too. Then fold one end of a tortilla up and over about one inch of filling, and roll up the burrito into a snug cylinder. Wrap the folded-up end in wax paper or with a thick napkin to secure. Repeat. Eat.

Serves 4 generously

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large russet potatoes, peeled or unpeeled, shredded on the large holes of a box grater or in a food processor
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Fresh-ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten, optional
  • 4 large flour tortillas, warmed
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked until crisp
  • 3 to 4 cups green chile sauce, warmed (below)
  • 6 to 8 ounces mild cheddar cheese, grated


1. Preheat the oven to 400° F.

2. Warm the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Stir in the potatoes, salt, and as much pepper as you wish. Pat the mixture down evenly, cook several minutes. Scrape it up from the bottom of the skillet, add the onion and garlic, and pat back down again. Repeat the process until the potatoes are cooked through and golden brown, with many crisp edges, about 12 to 15 minutes. If you are including eggs, pour them over the potatoes and scrape the mixture up and down another couple of times to distribute and cook the eggs.

3. Spoon one-fourth of the potatoes onto a tortilla. Top it with 2 slices of bacon. Roll up into a loose cylinder and place the burrito seam-side down on a heat-proof plate. Spoon one-fourth of the chile sauce over the burrito and sprinkle it generously with cheese. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

4. Bake the burritos until the cheese is melted and gooey, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

Variations: Chicharrones, carnitas, chorizo, other sausage, beans, salsa, and bits of crunchy corn tortillas are just a few of the other ingredients that can be stuffed into a morning burrito. Use your imagination and follow your taste buds. Of course, a breakfast burrito can be covered in red chile too, if you wish.

Green Chile Sauce

Makes approximately 4 cups

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ to 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chopped roasted mild to medium-hot New Mexican green chile, fresh or thawed frozen
  • 2 cups chicken or beef stock
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or more to taste


1. Warm the oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until the onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour and continue cooking for another 1 or 2 minutes. Mix in the chile. Immediately begin pouring in the stock, stirring as you go, then add the salt. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, until thickened but still very pourable. Use warm or refrigerate for later use.

From Tasting New Mexico © Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison, 2012 (Museum of New Mexico Press).