New Mexico Breakfast Burrito

New Mexico Breakfast Burrito
Photo by Murray Hall; Food Styling by Jessie YuChen

New Mexico has an official state question: “red or green?” The query refers to chiles, and someone will probably pose it to you when you order a breakfast burrito in the state. The iconic dish can be smothered in red or green chile sauce—or both, aka “Christmas style.” (If you’re taking the burrito on-the-go, or enjoying it handheld, smear the sauce inside the tortilla before wrapping.) This New Mexico breakfast burrito recipe is adapted from chef Israel Rivera, who serves the dish at his Albuquerque restaurant The Shop Breakfast & Lunch. Cheddar cheese is a popular choice across the state, but Rivera notes that a cheddar-Jack blend also works well. For the roasted chiles and chile sauce, look for options from a brand that uses New Mexico chiles, such as Young Guns, Bueno Foods, and the Zia Hatch Chile Company. Rivera likes using bacon, but also offers sausage and ham at his restaurant. If you have roasted garlic oil on hand, he recommends drizzling a little over the potatoes as they’re pan-frying, for extra nuttiness.

Featured in “In New Mexico, You Can’t Have a Breakfast Burrito Without This Star Ingredient,” by Megan Zhang.

Yield: 2
Time: 45 minutes
  • 1 medium russet potato, peeled
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 bacon strips, cut into ½-in. lengths (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup roasted, peeled, and finely chopped New Mexico green chiles (see headnote)
  • Two 10-in. flour tortillas
  • ½ cup grated medium cheddar cheese (see headnote)
  • Red or green New Mexico chile sauce, for serving


  1. On the large holes of a box grater, shred the potato. Transfer to a fine-mesh sieve and rinse with cold water until the water runs clear. Drain well, then wrap in a clean kitchen towel or cheesecloth and squeeze out any remaining moisture. Transfer to a medium bowl and season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  2. In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, cook the bacon, if using, tossing occasionally, until golden brown, 8–10 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside to cool slightly. In the same skillet, melt 1½ teaspoons of the butter. Add the potato and, using a spatula, press into a flat, even layer (about ½ inch thick). Cook until the bottom is crispy and golden brown, 5–7 minutes, then flip in sections to cook the other side, 5–7 minutes more. Transfer to a separate paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
  3. In the same skillet, melt the remaining butter. Crack in the eggs, season with salt and black pepper to taste and, using a spatula, scramble until the eggs are just set, 3–4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, gently toss together the bacon (if using), potato, and chiles, and set aside.
  5. In a large, heavy-bottomed skillet or griddle set over medium heat, warm one of the tortillas, flipping once, until pliable, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and repeat with the remaining tortilla.
  6. Assemble the burritos: On a clean work surface, top each tortilla evenly with the cheese (leaving a 1-inch border around the edge), followed by the eggs, and then the potato mixture. Working with one tortilla at a time, fold two sides of the tortilla inward, then roll up the two opposite sides tightly. Repeat with the remaining tortilla. In the same skillet set over medium-low heat, place the burritos seam side down and cook until sealed and golden brown, 2–3 minutes. Turn to cook the other side, 2–3 minutes more. Serve with red or green chile sauce, or both, on the side or spooned on top.

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