An authentic California burrito recipe with carne asada, guacamole, and fries that you can easily make at home.Jump to Recipe
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Who doesn’t love a good burrito? We’re big fans of this Mexican-American creation because there are so many different ways to make them – and eat them. And while it’s fun to customize your own burrito at chains like Chipotle and Qdoba, there’s something special about scarfing down a traditional recipe from a local restaurant here in California. It’s the best way to discover unique, crazy, and surprisingly delicious combinations, like the California Burrito.
But if you’re not in the Golden State, it might be hard to find an authentic California style burrito – so we created our own recipe! We’ll show you how to make the best California burrito with our original carne asada so you can bring the west coast into your own kitchen.
What Is A California Burrito?
The California burrito, created in San Diego, is traditionally loaded with carne asada, French fries, guacamole, cheese, and sour cream. It’s the ultimate California comfort food that definitely hits the spot on a hot summer day. In our opinion, the trifecta of juicy steak, creamy avocado, and crispy fries really make this burrito – so you definitely don’t want to skip out on these ingredients!
Here’s what goes into our version of the California burrito:
- Carne asada – our original recipe
- Shoestring French fries
- “Fake guac,” aka mashed avocado with lime juice and sea salt
- Shredded Mexican-blend cheese
- Pico de gallo
I don’t love sour cream, so we opted to not include it in our California burrito recipe (but if you love sour cream, it can’t hurt to add some in!). Instead, we added fresh pico de gallo to brighten up the flavors in our California style burrito. And since guacamole is basically avocado with pico de gallo mixed in, we combined mashed avocado with a splash of lime juice and sea salt to make “fake guac.” This lets the creamy avocado really shine without being overpowered by too much tomato and onion.
How To Make A California Burrito
It’s easy to make this recipe at home, as long as you have some patience! We promise it’s totally worth it.
Here’s how to make a delicious California burrito:
- Marinate flank or skirt steak for 4 to 6 hours in the refrigerator
- Allow the steak to rest at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes, then season with dry rub and grill until medium
- Cut the cooked steak into small pieces, then set aside
- Cook French fries until crispy, then set aside
- Prepare pico de gallo and mashed avocado with lime juice and sea salt, then set aside
- Warm a burrito-sized flour tortilla in the microwave or on a large griddle until pliable
- Fill the burrito with mashed avocado, carne asada, fries, shredded cheese, and pico de gallo
- Fold the burrito (carefully!) and toast on a cast iron skillet until lightly browned on both sides
- Slice in half and scarf it down 🙂
This recipe tastes best with freshly grilled carne asada. But if you want to use leftovers or prepare the steak ahead of time, that works too! Just reheat the steak in a frying pan before adding it to the burrito. The key to a great California burrito is to have warm steak and crispy, just-cooked French fries – these ingredients will help the cheese melt more easily inside the burrito.
Tips For Making The Best California Burrito
There are a few tools and techniques we recommend to make the best California style burrito at home:
- Air fryer – Our air fryer cooks fries way better than the oven ever did, making them perfectly crispy for this burrito recipe.
- Cast iron grill pan – If you don’t have a grill, a cast iron grill pan like this one works like a charm for indoor grilling on the stove. It’s how we cook our carne asada!
- Cast iron griddle – This pan is awesome for crisping or toasting sandwiches, wraps, quesadillas, you name it. We toasted our burrito on it with this cast iron grill press to get a deliciously crispy golden-brown exterior (can you tell we love cast iron?).
- Folding burritos – Folding a burrito can be challenging, especially when it’s super stuffed like this one. A fresh, slightly warm tortilla will be more pliable and won’t rip as easily as a cold (or even room temperature) tortilla, so definitely give it a quick blast in the microwave first. Then it just takes some practice to get the perfect burrito fold. Use your pinkies to hold the tortilla in while you’re rolling!
You’ll definitely want to slice this giant burrito in half and maybe serve it with a side of chips and salsa, if you’re hungry enough! One of our California burritos easily feeds two people. Alternatively, you can use two tortillas and make two smaller burritos with the original amount of filling our recipe calls for. This will make the burritos easier to fold, but be warned that your tortilla-to-filling ratio will be slightly off!
Try the recipe below and don’t forget to rate, comment, share, and tag us on Instagram with your take on our California style burrito!
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- 1 burrito size flour tortilla approximately 12-inch
- ½ lb skirt or flank steak
Carne Asada Marinade
- ⅔ cup orange juice
- ½ cup lime juice
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup soy sauce low-sodium
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ¼ medium onion chopped
- ½ tbsp minced garlic
Carne Asada Dry Rub
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp ground red cayenne pepper
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 5 oz shoestring french fries
- ¼ batch pico de gallo
- 1 medium avocado
- ½ tsp lime juice
- Pinch sea salt
- ⅓ cup shredded Mexican-blend cheese
- Slice steak into 2 pieces, if necessary, and place in a large resealable bag. Add marinade ingredients, seal the bag, and shake gently to mix. Marinate the steak for 4-6 hours in the fridge.*
- Remove steak from marinade and allow to rest at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes.
- Combine dry rub seasonings in a small bowl and set aside.
- Preheat a cast iron grill pan over medium-high heat and season both sides of the steak with the dry rub. Transfer steak to pan and grill until medium, flipping halfway through.
- Transfer grilled steak to a cutting board and let rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing into small pieces.
- Cook the shoestring fries according to package directions.*
- Prepare the pico de gallo and set aside.*
- Combine avocado flesh, lime juice, and sea salt in a small bowl and mash with a fork. Stir until mixed thoroughly and set aside.
- Warm a burrito-sized tortilla in the microwave between two paper towels for about 20 seconds. Transfer to a plate or large work surface to assemble the burrito, then preheat a cast iron griddle over medium heat for toasting the burrito later.
- Assemble the burrito. First, spread the mashed avocado over the tortilla, leaving some room around the edges. Then add the chopped steak and fries in a line down the center of the tortilla. Top with shredded cheese and pico de gallo.
- Fold the burrito. Fold in opposite sides at each end of the filling until the edges are almost touching in the center, then hold the ends closed with both hands while using your thumbs to fold one of the remaining sides over the filling. Keep holding the ends closed and roll the burrito over itself to close.
- Transfer the burrito to the preheated griddle and toast until lightly golden-brown, using a grill press if you have one, about 1 to 2 minutes on each side.
- Transfer burrito to a cutting board and slice in half. Serve immediately with a side of chips and salsa.