Freezer Breakfast Burritos

October 13, 2021
1 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland. Prop Stylist: Sophia Pappas. Food Stylist: Lauren Lapenna.
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 55 minutes
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

It took 18 eggs, 12 tortillas, and 3 mountains of grated cheese to yield this—the freezer breakfast burrito of my hopes and dreams. Allow me to explain...

Which cheese works best? Mozzarella is melty but too mild. Cheddar is flavorful but doesn’t have the correct amount of goo. Pre-shredded is temptingly convenient but faintly starchy. Monterey Jack, with its velvety melt, quickly decimated with a grater, is the winner.

Do I need to prep potatoes from scratch? No. One session of rinsing and squeezing and flipping grated potatoes rendered that idea obsolete. Then I remembered—tots! But more of them made their way into my mouth than the burrito, and something wasn’t quite right. So I returned to the freezer aisle to discover shredded hash browns. What even are shredded hash browns? Ignoring this and other existential questions, I forged on, and they were perfect, substantial but creamy.

What’s the easiest way to cook 8 eggs? I started with scrambled eggs. This was good, this was working out, my life was great. But then I didn’t have a pan big enough to scramble the 8 eggs, and I didn’t want to cook them in batches. Solution? Bake the eggs in a thin sheet like a frittata. Easier to cook and easier to build the burrito. The trick to getting a luxurious layer of eggs, similar to a quiche, is to cook it low with a bit of cornstarch to hold it together and some dairy for added lubrication.

Wait, where’s the meat? I ended up nixing the breakfast meat to cut back on bulk (beans and eggs provide enough heft). If you’d like to add some in, though, feel free to use about ½ pound of cooked protein (tempeh, seasoned tofu, bacon, sausage, or ham) scattered on top of the eggs just before rolling.

Any tips on assembly? Wait for the potatoes and eggs to cool before ensconcing them snugly inside (steamy ingredients equal soggy tortillas). When it’s time to roll, don’t be overzealous and tug too tight. Roll loosely, then tighten up the shape when wrapping with parchment (I was inspired by sushi, where you use the bamboo mat to compact the roll). And remember less is more—cram in too much and the tortilla will tear. Make a batch on a lazy Sunday, then microwave on a whim whenever the mood strikes.
Shilpa Uskokovic

What You'll Need
  • Soft butter or nonstick vegetable oil spray, for greasing the pan
  • 1 (28-ounce) bag frozen shredded hash browns
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 poblano, cubanelle, or other mild green pepper, finely diced
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo, minced
  • 1/2 cup sliced scallions or chives
  • 8 ounces Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
  • 8 (10-inch) flour tortillas
  • Sour cream and hot sauce, for serving
  1. Heat the oven to 425°F with a rack positioned in the center. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper. Butter (or spray with vegetable oil spray) the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking pan; line the bottom with parchment and butter (or spray) the paper.
  2. Spread the hash browns in a single layer on the rimmed sheet pan. Bake until the potatoes are cooked through and barely golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the hash browns from the oven, then lower the temperature to 325°F.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and poblano and cook until the onions are lightly golden and the chile is soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat to cool slightly.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the sour cream, cornstarch, salt, spices, pinto beans, chipotle, and scallions or chives and whisk again. Add the cooked onion-chile mixture and mix well. Pour the mixture into the prepared 9x13-inch pan.
  5. Bake until the eggs are just set, 10 to 12 minutes; the top should be dry to the touch and the eggs should barely jiggle in the center when the pan is shaken. Let the eggs cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes, then place a cutting board on top of the pan and flip carefully to invert them; peel away and discard the parchment paper.
  6. To assemble: Cut 8 (about 12x12-inch) squares of parchment paper. Cut the fully cooled hash browns and the eggs into 8 portions each (eyeballing is fine). Microwave the tortillas for 30 to 50 seconds until soft and pliable (this reduces cracking while rolling), then lay out on a clean work surface. Layer one portion of potatoes, followed by a small fistful of cheese (about ¼ cup), and a square of eggs in the center of each tortilla. Fold in the left and right sides of the tortilla, then fold up the bottom and roll into a bundle (the burritos will look pretty squat and rectangular at this stage). Wrap each burrito tightly in a parchment square, molding it into an evener, rounder shape as you roll, and tucking the ends under at the finish. Freeze the burritos in a single layer in an airtight container or zip-top bag for up to 1 month.
  7. To heat: Microwave the frozen burrito in its parchment wrapper for 3 to 5 minutes, until the filling is warm. (The timing depends on your microwave, so for your first burrito, check after 3 minutes: Just poke the middle with a paring knife, then see if the blade feels warm. If it needs more time, just rewrap and keep microwaving.) For the very best texture, after microwaving, remove the parchment and cook the burrito in a small skillet (no need for oil) until crisp and golden all over, about 1 minute per side. Serve with sour cream and hot sauce.

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Shilpa Uskokovic is recipe developer, food writer and budding food stylist and photographer. She was previously a line and pastry cook in some of NYC's top rated restaurants like Marea, The NoMad Hotel, Maialino and Perry Street. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Shilpa loves books, Bundt cakes, cute Basset Hounds and peak millennial memes. She was born and raised in Chennai, India.

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