Photo by Cindy Kennedy

Breakfast Tacos and Burritos

Cuisine: Tex Mex
Servings: 6 Tacos
What's for breakfast, tacos or burritos? I'll let you decide!

Breakfast burritos might be a familiar sight at many fast-food chains, but in Texas breakfast tacos are the mainstay. Most “respectable” restaurants will have a full menu just for breakfast tacos and no sign anywhere of the kitchen-sink-included egg-stuffed burrito. Outside of Texas, California, and New Mexico, the differences may seem slight. However, long-time residents of these states manage to keep the debate going.

Amazingly, I hear from many individuals who just can’t seem to get these breakfast-filled tortillas made just right at home. No secret to it, regardless of which you prefer. The ingredients are up to you – go with the totally enclosed breakfast burrito or create a lighter load with a breakfast taco. First, though, a little more detail about each, in case you run across a Texan, Californian, or New Mexico resident who really wants to get into a ruckus over it.

The Breakfast Burrito
California tries to lay claim to the breakfast burrito. True, this state is where you’ll find it as the go-to item of choice in the mornings. But according to many food historians, the first breakfast burrito appeared in 1975 at Tia Sophia’s. This still-popular Santa Fe, New Mexico, joint did it up right. Potatoes and bacon topped “wet” with chili then shredded cheese. From there, it wasn’t too many years before fast-food chains (McDonald’s was the first) discovered this hand-held morning goldmine.

A classic burrito might have eggs, chorizo, potatoes and salsa. Replace with any breakfast meat and throw in a few refried beans if you wish. The best part of a burrito is that once the ingredients are cooked and rolled up in their flour tortilla bundle, it is also freezable in most cases. Make up a batch and they’ll always be handy when you don’t feel like cooking up a piping hot breakfast.

Breakfast Tacos
The breakfast taco is truly a Texas standalone breed. Like burritos, the only thing Mexican about them is the use of flour tortillas. You won’t find either in an authentic Mexico restaurant unless it’s a tourist destination. Outside of Texas, you’ll still be stuck with a burrito. Austin is the hotspot but throughout the state, restaurants and Tex-Mex stands of all sizes list a long menu of ingredient options.

By nature, fillings are more lightly applied, but eggs are the base. That’s what makes it breakfast. Because they’re smaller, you may want to choose two or three off the menu and these should include different add-in ingredients for the full experience of enjoying Texas breakfast tacos. They’ll typically be rolled in foil, bagged, and ready for the ride.

The Bottom Line
Breakfast burritos are brimming with numerous ingredients and one can be a complete meal. They may be a bit messy and naturally cost more. Tortillas used here are larger in size.

Breakfast tacos are smaller, fresher, cheaper, have fewer ingredients, and should arrive wrapped in foil. That makes them portable and less of a mess for eating on-the-go.

Now, for a laundry list of ingredients, we’ll start with eggs and you can adjust from there. If you are creating a Texas breakfast taco menu, you might try these combos:

  • Eggs, chorizo and nopalitos (small cactus chunks)
  • Migas (find the recipe here)
  • Ground breakfast sausage and onions
  • Bacon and jalapeno
  • Hash browns and ham
  • Cheese and refried beans
  • Carne guisada
  • Sauces (green, black, red)
  • Cheeses (Monterrey Jack, Pepper Jack, Oaxaca, Processed)
  • Potatoes (home fries, hash browns)


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  1. Whisk the eggs for at least two minutes; the more the better for a light, fluffy filling.
  2. In separate skillets, fry the hash brown patties and sausage of choice.
  3. Sauté onions and jalapeños together.
  4. In a large skillet, add the eggs and let sit until the bottom has begun to set.
  5. Add the sausage, hash browns, onions and jalapeño. Continue stirring, adding in cheese at the last to melt.
  6. Wrap tortillas in a damp towel and microwave for about 30-40 seconds.
  7. Add filling to tortillas and tuck in one end to hold ingredients.
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