California Burrito Recipe | The Recipe Critic

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This delicious California Burrito is filled with well-seasoned grilled steak, pepper jack cheese, French fries, pico de Gallo, sour cream and avocado, all wrapped up in a warm flour tortilla. A flavorful lunch or dinner option that will be an absolute hit!

The flavors of these burritos are better than takeout! They’re the perfect handheld meal for both kids and adults! Serve them alone or with Cuban black beans or charro beans, Mexican corn salad, and cilantro lime rice for a full spread that everyone will devour!

A california burrito wrapped in tinfoil and sliced in half. A california burrito wrapped in tinfoil and sliced in half.

Reasons You Will LOVE This Recipe

  • Mouthwatering Flavor and Texture: Get ready to be mind-blown by the amazing symphony of flavors and textures for the best burritos ever! The tender steak, textural fries, refreshing pico, and avocado with cool, creamy sour cream and gooey cheese all blended to make your taste buds sing.
  • Versatile: Burritos are so easy to customize! Use any meat or cheese you like best. You can even forget the tortilla and serve everything as a burrito bowl.
  • Meal Prep Friendly: If you love to prepare your food ahead of time, then this recipe is a perfect fit. See the ‘storing leftovers’ section for tips on freezing and reheating burritos.

What is a California Burrito?

I love burritos but a California Burrito really takes it to the next level! This particular style of burrito typically includes steak, French fries, cheese, pico de gallo, sour cream, and avocado or guacamole. Supposedly, these originated at a restaurant (name unknown) in San Diego in the 1980s. However, the Fresh MXN chain (formerly Santana’s) also claim to be the originator.

No matter where these were first created, this is a recipe you’ll want to recreate again and again! Grilled to perfection and then rolled up in a tortilla and packed with ingredients like french fries, with that first bite, you’ll totally get why California burritos have become so popular!  

Ingredients in a California Burrito

You will love how the simple blend of seasonings and other ingredients to create a perfectly tender and juicy skirt steak. The complete list of ingredients and measurements are listed below in the recipe card.

Steak

  • Soy Sauce: Adds umami flavor that is a must in any good marinade.
  • Lime Juice: The necessary acidity to tenderize the meat.
  • Olive Oil: To properly coat the steak with all of the wonderful flavorings.
  • Worcestershire Sauce: One of the best umami flavors for beef marinades.
  • Garlic Powder: 2 teaspoons of garlic powder disperses throughout the marinade for delicious garlic flavor. Substitute with 1/2 tablespoon fresh minced garlic, if preferred.
  • Cumin: Gives off a nutty, warm taste that adds to the depth of flavor.
  • Salt & Pepper: To enhance all of the flavors.
  • Cayenne Pepper: To bring the heat! Use less or omit, if you’re sensitive to spicy food.
  • Skirt Steak: 1 pound skirt steak is perfect to fill 4 large burritos.
Top view shot of the ingredients in individual bowls with labels. Top view shot of the ingredients in individual bowls with labels.

Burrito

  • Tortillas: You’ll need 4 large flour tortillas. Try making homemade tortillas if you’re feeling fancy!
  • Avocado: Chunks of creamy avocado add creamy richness. Feel free to slightly mash up the avocado, if preferred.
  • French Fries: A fun twist on your typical potato filling.
  • Pico de Gallo: Adds freshness and texture.
  • Cheese: Shredded pepper jack cheese is so good here. However, a Mexican blend, Monterey jack cheese or cheddar cheese would be delicious too!
  • Sour Cream: For cool creaminess that complements the slightly spicy steak.
  • Salt and Pepper: To taste!
Ingredients for the filling of a California burrito in a top down shot with labels for each ingredient. Ingredients for the filling of a California burrito in a top down shot with labels for each ingredient.

How to Make California Burritos

This California Burrito recipe comes together with very little effort! Just be sure to plan ahead, because you need at least a couple of hours for the steak to marinate and get irresistibly flavorful!

Make the steak

  1. Make the marinade: In a sealable bag mix the soy sauce, lime juice, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, cumin, pepper, salt, and cayenne pepper.
  2. Marinate the meat: Add the skirt steak to the bag, seal it and let it marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours. While the meat is marinating, heat a grill to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Grill: Once the steak is ready, grill it for about 3-5 minutes on each side. The internal temperature should be 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Slice: Remove the steak from the grill and let it rest for at least 10 minutes. Slice it into bite size pieces.

Assemble the burrito

  1. Assemble: Lay a tortilla on a work surface. Fill it with steak, avocado, french fries, pico de gallo, pepper jack cheese, and sour cream. Salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Serve: Roll the burrito tight, tucking the ends in as you go. Continue with the remaining ingredients and enjoy fresh!

Tips and Variations

This California burrito is going to quickly become one of your favorite recipes. The combination of amazing flavors is hard to resist!

  • How to Cook French Fries: For the fries, I use my Air Fryer Frozen French Fries recipe. They turn out crispy and golden on the outside and nice and tender on the inside.
  • Try Guacamole: Change things up by replacing the chopped avocado with fresh Guacamole. 
  • Add a Sauce: I like to top my burrito with Cilantro Lime Sauce.
  • Cooking Steak: With the size of steak I had, I cooked it for 5 minutes on each side. The steak ended up being medium rare. If you like your steak more cooked just add more time.
  • Tips for Grilled Skirt Steak: For my full list of tips for marinating and grilling skirt steak, refer to my original grilled skirt steak recipe.
  • Different Meat: You can substitute carne asada for the steak if preferred.

A close up of the inside of a California burrito. A close up of the inside of a California burrito.

Storing Leftovers

  • In the Refrigerator: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 days. If you can store the individual ingredients separately, then assemble leftovers later, that is best.
  • In the Freezer: Allow all ingredients to completely cool before assembling. Assemble and wrap individual burritos up tightly in foil. Flash freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place in a large freezer-safe ziplock bag, remove excess air and seal. Freeze for up to 3 months.
  • To Reheat from Frozen: Remove from foil and place on a baking rack. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until completely warmed through and toasted. Or remove from foil and microwave for approximately 4 minutes or until warmed through. 

A half holding a California burrito that is sliced open so that you can see the inside. A half holding a California burrito that is sliced open so that you can see the inside.

More Delicious Mexican Recipes

Mexican recipes are some of my family’s favorites! We all love our Taco Tuesdays and Cinco De Mayo. You simply cannot deny the deliciousness of tacos, burritos, or nachos. Enjoy these tried and true recipes the next time you’re craving Mexican food.

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Make the steak

  • In a sealable bag mix the soy sauce, lime juice, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, cumin, pepper, salt, and cayenne pepper.

  • Add the skirt steak to the bag, seal it and let it marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours. While the meat is marinating, heat a grill to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Once the steak is ready, grill it for about 3-5 minutes on each side. The internal temperature should be 130 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Remove the steak from the grill and let it rest for at least 10 minutes. Slice it into bite size pieces.

Assemble the burrito

  • Lay a tortilla on a work surface. Fill it with steak, avocado, french fries, pico de gallo, pepper jack cheese, and sour cream. Salt and pepper to taste.

  • Roll the burrito tight, tucking the ends in as you go. Continue with the remaining ingredients and enjoy fresh!

Calories: 557kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 32gFat: 32gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 2114mgPotassium: 656mgFiber: 3gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 152IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 133mgIron: 6mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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