Enjoy a small taster of destinations from around the globe without leaving your kitchen. Right now, we’re taking you to New Mexico, USA, the reputed homeland of the delicious, hearty breakfast burrito.

A breakfast burrito that has been sliced in half, sits on a plate on a tabletop. The burrito, contains egg and bacon, wrapped inside a tortilla.
A diner in New Mexico is said to have served up the very first breakfast burrito in the 1970s © whitewish / Getty Images

What is it?

This is a rancher’s breakfast rendered portable by its flour-tortilla wrapper. Rolled up inside is scrambled eggs, home fries or hash-browns, bacon or sausage, and lashings of chilli.

Ingredients (serves 4)

8 strips bacon 
2 potatoes, grated 
1–2 tbs vegetable oil 
1 tsp butter 
8 eggs, lightly beaten 
½ cup (or more) New Mexico green chillies, roasted, peeled and chopped 
4 flour tortillas 
salt and pepper, to taste

A close-up shot of a breakfast burrito: egg and cheese wrapped in a tortilla.
Breakfast burritos can contain many ingredients, but eggs and lashings of chilli are essential © LauriPatterson / Getty Images

How to cook

Step 1: Cook the bacon to your preference; set aside to cool, then tear into 2.5cm (1in) pieces. Wipe any burned pieces out of the skillet (frying pan) and pour off surplus grease.
Step 2: Make the hash browns. Set a heavybottomed skillet on a medium heat. Squeeze out any liquid from the potatoes, then toss with salt and pepper. Add 1 tbs oil to the skillet, then arrange the potatoes in an even layer. Fry on a medium heat until browned on the bottom, then flip and cook till crispy (you may need to flip repeatedly to avoid burning; you may also need additional oil). Set aside on a paper towel. Cut into 5cm (2in) pieces.
Step 3: Prepare the eggs. Wipe the skillet clean, then heat the butter on medium-low heat until bubbling. Add a pinch of salt to the beaten egg and pour into the skillet. Stir slowly until cooked to your liking. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
Step 4: Set up your assembly line: bacon, hash browns, scrambled eggs and green chilli. Have one large plate for working on, and four more for serving (or foil to wrap up the burritos).
Step 5: Wipe the skillet clean and place over high heat. Heat a tortilla in the skillet until slightly puffed and dotted with brown spots, flipping it several times. 
Step 6: Place the tortilla on a plate and lay out a quarter of the scrambled eggs horizontally in the centre. Add a quarter of the hash browns, then chilli and bacon, spreading the ingredients evenly. 
Step 7: Roll up the burrito, starting with the bottom third folded up over the eggs, then each end folded over, then rolling the remainder tightly away from you.

An exterior shot of the Blue Swallow Motel in New Mexico. The motel is small but has a large neon sign that attracts the attention of motorists, driving along the highway next to the motel.
Cook up some breakfast burritos and your kitchen will transform into a New Mexico diner (or at least smell like one) © Nick Fox / Shutterstock

Tasting notes

Wrapped in foil and warm to the touch, the breakfast burrito is an enigma. There’s no way to gauge the quality until you bite in. But not too fast – you can’t get greedy and unwrap more than an inch or so at a time, or you’ll wind up with your breakfast in your lap. A quality specimen, ideally served in a dim, family-run corner store, on a back road to a great hiking trail, has crispy potatoes and a generous amount of green chilli and bacon, structured so that each bite contains a bit of everything.

Other recipes in this series:
Sarawak laksa
Bosnian burek
Goan vindaloo

Have you recreated any of the dishes featured in this series so far? Share your pictures with us on Instagram by tagging @lonelyplanet. For more great recipes, check out Lonely Planet’s book The World’s Best Street Food.

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