California-Style Carne Asada Burrito

Back when burritos were first introduced to the U.S., they were pretty plain, consisting of nothing more than meat and beans wrapped in flour tortillas. Today, there are numerous burrito types, of which this mashup combines 2 kinds: the California-style burrito, which The Manual explains is made with french fries and carne asada but no rice, and the Chipotle-style burrito, which is stuffed with lots of rice and meat, but no fries. According to recipe developer Michelle McGlinn, her take on a California-style burrito is "a unique fusion" food that "infus[es] a super-stuffed burrito with both carne asada and french fries," as well as rice. It's all good, though, since as she points out, "San Francisco [home of the Mission District] is in California, after all."

If you would like to stay closer to a traditional California-style burrito, McGlinn does say "You don't have to add rice, especially because it lengthens the prep time to prepare a batch." While she says that she herself is a big fan of rice-filled burritos, she admits that "The french fries ... are usually considered a rice substitute, so as not to overdo the carbs."

Gather the ingredients for California-style carne asada burritos

As you can tell from the lengthy list of ingredients, this isn't going to be one of those quick and easy meals generally recommended for busy weeknights. What it could be, however, is a fun project for a rainy weekend when you feel like puttering around in the kitchen, instead of driving to Chipotle. For the carne asada in these burritos, you'll be using steak that is first marinated in orange and lime juice, along with soy sauce, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper before being cooked in oil. 

You'll also be using cooked rice and french fries as burrito fillers, and you'll need cilantro, tomatoes, red onion, sour cream, and an avocado to make your own condiments. Finally, you'll need some flour tortillas, as these are essential to any burrito. In all, there's a total of 19 ingredients required to make these burritos, but not one of them is particularly hard to come by.

Cook the french fries, and marinate the meat

Cook the fries however the package tells you to do so, remembering to preheat the oven first, of course. While the fries are cooking, or even as the oven heats up, mix the juice from the orange and 1 lime with the soy sauce, grated garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Use this mixture to marinate the cubed steak.

Prepare the burrito condiments, and lime-flavored rice

As you wait for the meat to marinate, and the fries to cook, you need not stand idle. Instead, mix the chopped tomatoes with ½ of the cilantro, chopped onion, and the juice from ½ of a lime. Taste the pico de gallo, then add as much salt as you feel it needs. Now turn to the rice, mixing it with the juice from 1 whole lime, as well as the remaining cilantro and salt to taste. Finally, mash up the avocado, 2 tablespoons of the sour cream, the juice from the remaining ½ lime, and a bit more salt.

Cook the carne asada

When the fries are done cooking, turn the oven off, take them out, and let them cool. Wrap the burritos in foil, and stick them into the still-warm oven.

As the tortillas warm up in the oven, turn a stove burner to medium, and heat up a heavy frying pan. Pour in the oil, then wait a bit for it to get hot. Finally, add the steak, along with the marinade, and cook it for about 5 minutes, until it gets brown.

Build the burritos

Take the tortillas out of the oven, and unwrap them. The first step in burrito building involves divvying up the remaining sour cream, and the avocado mixture between each burrito. After this, add ¼ of the rice to each tortilla, followed by ¼ of the fries (there may be between 5 to 10 of these per burrito if you use standard-sized fries). Spoon the carne asada over the fries, again dividing it equally between each burrito — McGlinn expects there to be about ¼ cup of meat in each burrito. The last thing to go on top will be the pico de gallo, with the expectation that you'll again have about ¼ cup per burrito, although you can always go lighter. There's no exact science to these burritos, with McGlinn saying you can "make them your own however you wish."

Serve the California-style burritos

Once the burritos are filled, wrap them up tightly in the tortillas. If you don't have the ability to unhinge your jaw like a snake, you may also want to cut these whoppers in half before you eat them. If you want that whole Chipotle look, and you're not planning to eat the burritos right away, you can even wrap them in foil. Foil wrappers will help to protect the ones you plan to refrigerate. While leftover burritos should stay fresh in the refrigerator for a week, McGlinn tells us "I don't recommend freezing [them] because of the avocado and the sour cream."

California-Style Carne Asada Burrito
5 from 29 ratings
Make a bigger, better, more flavorful burrito at home with this weekend California-style carne asada burrito.
Prep Time
Cook Time
burrito wrapped in foil
Total time: 55 minutes
  • 8 ounces frozen french fries
  • 1 pound thin strip, flank, or skirt steak, cut into cubes
  • Juice from 1 orange
  • Juice from 3 limes, divided
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoons oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 vine or roma tomatoes, chopped
  • ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro, divided
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 1 cup cooked white rice
  • 1 avocado
  • ½ cup sour cream, divided
  • 4 10-inch flour tortillas
  • ¼ cup oil
  1. Cook the frozen french fries, according to the package directions. This should take about 25 minutes.
  2. Marinate the steak in the juice from the orange and 1 lime along with the garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, and soy sauce.
  3. Combine the tomatoes with ½ the cilantro, red onion, and the juice from ½ of a lime, then add salt to taste.
  4. Combine the rice with the juice from 1 lime, and the remaining cilantro, adding salt to taste.
  5. Mash the avocado until smooth, then stir in 2 tablespoons of sour cream, the juice from ½ lime, and a pinch of salt.
  6. When the fries are done, turn off the oven, and take them out to cool. Wrap the tortillas in foil, and put them in the still-warm oven.
  7. Heat a skillet over medium heat, then add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the steak and marinade to the pan, and cook for about 5 minutes, until the meat is browned.
  8. Divide the avocado sauce, and the remaining sour cream between the 4 tortillas.
  9. Fill each tortilla with ¼ of the rice, then top it with ¼ of the fries (there should be about 5 to 10 fries per burrito if you use the standard size).
  10. Place ¼ cup of carne asada on each of the burritos, arranging it on top of the fries.
  11. Divide the pico de gallo between each burrito, wrap each burrito tightly, and cut the burritos in half before you eat them. Leftover burritos can last for up to a week in the refrigerator, but should not be frozen.
Calories per Serving 827
Total Fat 48.7 g
Saturated Fat 12.5 g
Trans Fat 0.9 g
Cholesterol 88.7 mg
Total Carbohydrates 70.6 g
Dietary Fiber 9.8 g
Total Sugars 8.2 g
Sodium 1,157.7 mg
Protein 32.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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