Grilled Brisket Breakfast Burrito with Jalapeno Cheese Blanket

Hearty breakfast burrito with veggie, eggs and smoked brisket filling wrapped in a crunchy cheese blanket.
Brisket Breakfast Burrito

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When you’re faced with leftover brisket and need ideas on how to use it, consider breakfast as an option. I love seeing unique takes on breakfast burritos, and adding BBQ to the mix just makes them better.

Breakfast burritos are nothing new, but throw in some slow smoked brisket and wrap it in a melty cheese blanket to take it to the next level.

In this recipe, I’ll show you how to make a grilled breakfast burrito using leftover brisket. This makes enough for one large burrito, but slice it in two and it’s enough for two people. You can double the ingredient quantities if you want to make more than one.

Obviously, this recipe calls for leftover brisket, so if you don’t have any then check out our smoked brisket recipe or our hot and fast brisket recipe.

A brief history of the breakfast burrito

Traditional burritos are popularly believed to have first come about in Sonora, Mexico. Wheat production in the area allowed for a surplus of flour tortillas, and laborers would wrap leftover rice and beans in those tortillas and carry them as convenient meals through the workday. 

But breakfast burritos are most notably born from the regional New Mexican cuisine growing from the American Southwest and neighboring Tex-Mex region.

A New Mexican diner in Santa Fe, Tia Sophia’s, claims initial use of the term “breakfast burrito” on a menu, in 1975. Though a rolled tortilla containing some combination of eggs, bacon, potatoes, and cheese existed in New Mexican cuisine well before that based on some other restaurants’ claims.

Tia Sophia's restaurant sign
Tia Sophia’s claims to be the first one to use the term “breakfast burrito”
Source: Facebook / Tia Sophia’s Restaurant

Naturally, it’s only fitting that we pair the spicy and aromatic flavors of the Southwest with the smoky and indulgent BBQ of Tex-Mex and the South. 

What makes a burrito a breakfast burrito?

I suppose any burrito can be a breakfast burrito if you eat it for breakfast, but I personally don’t consider it in the breakfast category without some sort of egg/potato/meat/cheese combination.

Much like huevos rancheros, if it’s got eggs as a main protein, it’s in the breakfast category.

brisket breakfast burrito ingredients
We are adding a touch of smoky flavor by using leftover brisket in this recipe

After that, we’re here to have fun with the flavor profile. Traditional breakfast burritos use hash browns or home fries, grilled peppers and onions, scrambled eggs, bacon and cheese all rolled up in a tortilla.

Our BBQ brisket breakfast burrito enhances that base foundation for every ingredient along the way. 

What you’ll need:

  • A griddle or large skillet – 16” or above is recommended
  • A sturdy spatula
  • Ingredients as listed below

You need large tortillas that won’t rip

These burritos are big. You need a large, durable tortilla that doesn’t rip when you roll it up. You know those extra large tortillas you see in the burrito joints? You need those. A flour tortilla that’s a minimum 12” in diameter will do. You can go up to 14” in diameter. 

Grilled brisket breakfast burrito step by step

1. Prepare the vegetables

We’re using sweet onions and bell peppers for this burrito as a flavor based sort of mirepoix. The slow cooking of the veggies sweats out their moisture and concentrates their flavor.

This flavor permeates throughout the burrito filling, setting a solid flavor foundation and enhancing the rest of the dish.

chopped onion and bell pepper on a griddle
Feel free to substitute onions and bell peppers with any of your favorite vegetables

You can substitute other vegetables if you’re not a fan of onions or peppers. Celery, carrots, shallots and parsley all work well in this dish. 

Preheat a griddle or skillet over medium heat. Put two tablespoons of oil and one tablespoon of butter on the cook surface. Place chopped onions and bell peppers in the oil/butter mixture and toss to coat. Stir in one clove of finely minced garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Once the onions start to become translucent, turn the heat down to medium low and continue cooking until the onions are caramelized to a golden brown. Remove all vegetables and set aside in a bowl.

2. Prepare the leftover brisket

I love leftover brisket. It keeps well and the smoke flavor seems to concentrate as it stays in the fridge.

For this breakfast burrito, chop about 1 cup of leftover brisket. Slice the cold brisket as you regularly would when hot, then dice it into 1 inch chunks.

sliced brisket on a wooden board
We suggest using 1 to 1 ¼ cups of diced brisket, but you can always add more if you like

You can add more, but I suggest keeping it under 1 ¼ cups to keep the flavors balanced.

Preheat a griddle or skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped brisket to the pan. Once the fat has started to render, give the pan a shake to loosen any stuck bits. Season the brisket with a teaspoon of your favorite BBQ rub – I used Spiceology’s Southwest Chile BBQ Rub – and stir until evenly coated.

diced brisket on a griddle
To save time, you can cook vegetables and the brisket simultaneously using a griddle

Break up any big chunks of brisket with the spatula, and stir in ⅓ cup of BBQ sauce. I used our homemade bbq sauce recipe. Continue cooking until the sauce has reduced down to a sticky glaze. If you see some of the sauce begin to burn, turn your heat down and continue stirring.

Remove the brisket from the pan and set aside in a bowl. 

Note – If you’re using a griddle, you can do the vegetables and brisket at the same time on different sides of the griddle top.

3. You say potato, I say pot-tah-to

You’ll more often than not see hash browns in your run-of-the-mill breakfast burrito, and they generally turn soggy and mushy as they steam in a burrito.

That’s not so with our version. We’re going to use crunchy seasoned french fries. These tend to stay resilient and crisp inside a burrito more than hash browns, and who doesn’t love french fries?

seasoned french fries on a parchment paper
If you’d like to add potato, we suggest french fries or tater tots as these will stay nice and crunchy

If you plan ahead, you can make our classic seasoned fries, or feel free to get frozen fries from your grocery store. Just prepare them as directed on the bag, but know that deep frying is going to net you the crunchiest result.

Note – You can also use tater tots with this recipe as an alternative. Tots soak up some of the sauce and juices inside, and stay crunchier than hash browns. The choice is yours.

4. Scrambling your eggs

Now it’s time for our breakfast star: Grade A large white eggs. Scramble three eggs together in a bowl. Be careful not to over whisk the eggs. You just want the whites and yolks to be fully incorporated.

eggs cooking on a griddle
Eggs is what puts this dish into a breakfast category

With your griddle or skillet at medium low heat, add one tablespoon of butter and melt it in a large circle. Pour the scrambled egg mixture on the melted butter and season with salt and pepper. 

Scramble the eggs by folding the cooked portions over the runny portions until there’s no runny egg left. Chop the cooked egg into smaller chunks rather than larger pieces for texture and so they’ll fit in the burrito easier.

Remove the eggs into a bowl and set aside.

5. Construct the burrito

With all the ingredients prepped, it’s time to put it all together.

Give your griddle or skillet a wipe with a paper towel to remove any excess grease or food and preheat to medium. 

Warm one tortilla up on the surface, spinning it until warm and pliable, but before it starts to crisp. About five seconds per side. Remove the tortilla to a work surface nearby on a sheet of foil. 

Place the veggies, brisket, french fries, and eggs on the cooking surface in that order. Sprinkle with a pinch of the rub you used for the brisket and add in ¼ cup of pickled jalapenos. Give it a good toss so everything is evenly distributed.

veggies, meat and eggs burrito filling on a griddle
Once all the ingredients are ready, combine everything together and reheat on a griddle

With your spatula, form the mixture into a long and narrow pile that will fit within the length of the tortilla shell. Cover with ¾ cup of fine shredded cheddar cheese and let it melt.

You can sprinkle water around the edges of the food and cover with a metal bowl to help melt the cheese.If you don’t have a bowl big enough, you can tent with foil or just wave the steam back onto the cheese with the spatula.

6. Fill the tortilla

After the cheese melts, remove the food from the cook surface and place in the middle of the tortilla shell, but just a little low of center.

tortilla with veggies, eggs and meat filling
Place the filling a little lower of the tortilla center to make it easier to fold

It helps to have two longer spatulas here that you can slide underneath the food to move it to the tortilla without spilling. We recommend the Broil King 18” Stainless Steel Spatula. If you don’t have long, griddle spatulas, just use what you have. Worse comes to worse, you can spoon it on.

7. Rolling the burrito

Once the food is on the tortilla, top with a drizzle of our creamy hot sauce and roll it up. It’s going to look like you have too much food for the shell, but that’s why we warm the tortilla, to give us the pliability to wrap it around the food without breaking. 

The technique can be tricky to get it all tucked in without spillage.

  • First fold in the sides tight around the filling.
  • Then fold up the bottom edge.
  • Start rolling from the bottom up and over the food, keeping things taught with your hands so the filling doesn’t just spill out.

If the edges start to flare out as you roll, just give them another fold toward the middle and continue to roll tightly until you now have a burrito the size of your head.

Here is a quick video on burrito rolling technique:

8. Grill the burrito

Once you’re finished rolling, it’s time to grill the burrito. We grill it for two reasons: 

  1. So it doesn’t burst open when you’re holding it
  2. To crisp up and brown the tortilla shell for added taste and texture.

Carefully place your filled burrito seam side down on your griddle or skillet that should still be on medium heat. You want the seam to cook into the tortilla and seal it. Don’t touch it. Leave it alone so it browns evely. Usually 3 – 5 minutes undisturbed, depending on how hot your cooking surface runs.

brisket breakfast burrito on a frying pan
Make sure to place the burrito on a cooking surface seam side down

After the seam side has browned nicely, flip it over to the other side and repeat the process.

If the edges aren’t quite tight enough and start to open, you can set the burrito upright and grill them shut. It will be hot to the touch, so be careful and use your spatula to hold it upright or use heat resistant gloves.

Optional: The jalapeno cheese blanket

This breakfast burrito is already top-notch at this point. The flavors meld well together and the crunchy exterior gives way to the indulgent BBQ filling inside. If you want, go ahead and eat or serve this now. It’s delicious as is.

That being said, we’re making a monstrosity, so why not push the envelope and wrap it in a jalapeno cheese blanket.

The technique here takes some practice, but is easy to get the hang of and worth the taste.

Place one cup of finely shredded cheddar cheese directly on the cooking surface and spread it out to double the length of the burrito. Spread it thin and even and just let it start to melt.

melted cheese and pieces of jalapeno peppers on a griddle
You can use pickled or fresh jalapenos, both options work well

Place sliced, pickled jalapenos (or fresh sliced jalapenos if you’d rather) into the melty cheese an inch or so apart along the length of the cheese. 

Once you start to see the fat separating from the cheese, place the burrito seam side down on one far side of the melted cheese and jalapeno. 

breakfast burrito and jalapeno cheese blanket on a griddle
As the first time, place the burrito on a melted cheese seam side down

Use a spatula to lift the cheese up at the edges and lightly press against the outside of the burrito. It should be browned on the bottom and not pulling apart. If it’s too melty, it’s not cooked enough and won’t stick to the burrito. Let it cook longer until the cheese is browned and able to be lifted. 

breakfast burrito wrapped in jalapeno cheese blanket on a griddle
You might need time to get the technique, but using a spatula will make the process easier

Once the cheese is ready, place your spatula on the end of the cheese-covered burrito and flip it over onto the other side of cheese and jalapenos. Repeat the process until the burrito is covered and hugged in a cheesy blanket.

Eat and enjoy

After this labor of love, it’s time to indulge! This burrito is big. It’s definitely enough to feed two people, if you’re the sharing type so just slice in half. 

a man holding a half of brisket breakfast burrito
Slice this brisket breakfast burrito in half and enjoy with some salsa and sour cream

Perfect for a breakfast or brunch that will keep you full until dinner.

Serve warm with salsa and sour cream.

Brisket Breakfast Burrito

Grilled Brisket Breakfast Burrito with Jalapeno Cheese Blanket

A hearty breakfast burrito with veggies, eggs and a smoked brisket filling all wrapped in a crunchy cheese blanket.
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Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Southwest American, Tex-Mex
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 1171kcal
Author: Phen Pavelka

Ingredients

Filling and wrap:

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp butter I used kerrygold
  • ½ yellow onion diced
  • ½ red bell pepper diced
  • ½ green bell pepper diced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 cup leftover brisket roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp BBQ rub I used Spiceology’s Southwest Chile BBQ Rub
  • cup BBQ sauce I used our homemade BBQ sauce recipe
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 large flour tortilla 12" – 14"
  • ¼ cup sliced pickled jalapenos plus extra for cheese blanket
  • 3 oz prepared french fries
  • 1 ¾ cups cheddar cheese shredded

Seasonings and sauces:

  • Kosher salt and coarse ground pepper to taste
  • Salsa and sour cream for serving
  • Creamy hot sauce for drizzle

Instructions

Vegetables:

  • Preheat griddle or skillet over medium heat.
  • Add two tablespoons of oil and one tablespoon of butter on the cook surface.
  • Place chopped onions and bell peppers in the oil/butter mixture and toss to coat.
  • Stir in one clove of finely minced garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Once the onions start to become translucent, turn the heat down to medium low and continue cooking until the onions are caramelized to a golden brown.
  • Remove all vegetables and set aside in a bowl.

Brisket:

  • Add the chopped brisket to the cooking surface.
  • Once the fat has started to render, give the brisket a stir to loosen any stuck bits.
  • Season the brisket with a teaspoon of your favorite BBQ rub – I used Spiceology’s Southwest Chile BBQ Rub – and stir until evenly coated.
  • Break up any big chunks of brisket with the spatula, and stir in ⅓ cup of BBQ sauce. I used our homemade BBQ sauce recipe.
  • Continue cooking until the sauce has reduced down to a sticky glaze.
  • If you see some of the sauce begin to burn, turn your heat down and continue stirring.
  • Remove the brisket from the pan and set aside in a bowl.

Eggs:

  • Scramble three eggs together in a bowl until the whites and yolks are fully incorporated.
  • With your griddle or skillet at medium low heat, add one tablespoon of butter and melt it in a large circle.
  • Pour the scrambled egg mixture on the melted butter and season with salt and pepper.
  • Scramble the eggs by folding the cooked portions over the runny portions until there’s no runny egg left.
  • Chop the cooked egg into smaller chunks rather than larger pieces for texture and so they’ll fit in the burrito easier.
  • Remove the eggs into a bowl and set aside.

Build the burrito:

  • Give your griddle or skillet a wipe with a paper towel to remove any excess grease or food and preheat to medium.
  • Warm one tortilla up on the surface, spinning it until warm and pliable, but before it starts to crisp. About five seconds per side. Remove the tortilla to a work surface nearby on a sheet of foil.
  • In order, put the veggies, brisket, french fries, and eggs on the cooking surface.
  • Sprinkle with a pinch of the rub you used for the brisket and add in ¼ cup of pickled jalapenos. Mix until everything is evenly distributed.
  • With your spatula, form the mixture into a long and narrow pile that will fit within the length of the tortilla shell.
  • Cover with ¾ cup of finely shredded cheddar cheese and let it melt. You can sprinkle water around the edges of the food and cover with a metal bowl to help melt the cheese.
  • Remove the food from the cook surface and place in the middle of the tortilla shell.
  • Once the food is on the tortilla, top with a drizzle of our creamy hot sauce and roll it up. It’s going to look like you have too much food for the shell, but that’s why we warm the tortilla, to give us the pliability to wrap it around the food without breaking.
  • Roll the burrito: First fold in the sides tight around the filling. Then fold up the bottom edge.
  • Start rolling from the bottom up and over the filling, keeping things taught with your hands so the filling doesn’t just spill out.
  • If the edges start to flare out as you roll, just give them another fold toward the middle and continue to roll tightly until you now have a burrito.

Grill the Burrito:

  • Carefully place your filled burrito seam side down on your griddle or skillet that should still be on medium heat. You want the seam to cook into the tortilla and seal it.
  • Don’t touch it. Leave it alone so it browns evely. 3 – 5 minutes undisturbed, depending on how hot your cooking surface runs.
  • After the seam side has browned nicely, flip it over to the other side and repeat the process.
  • If the edges aren’t quite tight enough and start to open, you can set the burrito upright and grill them shut. Use your spatula to hold it upright or use heat resistant gloves. 1 – 2 minutes per edge.

Optional jalapeno cheese blanket:

  • Place one cup of finely shredded cheddar cheese directly on the cooking surface and spread it out to double the length of the burrito.
  • Spread it thin and even until it start to melt.
  • Place sliced, pickled jalapenos (or fresh sliced jalapenos if you’d rather) into the melty cheese an inch or so apart along the length of the cheese.
  • Once you start to see the fat separating from the cheese, place the burrito seam side down on one side of the melted cheese and jalapeno.
  • Use a spatula to lift the cheese up at the edges and lightly press against the outside of the burrito. It should be browned on the bottom and not pulling apart. If it’s too melty, it’s not cooked enough and won’t stick to the burrito. Let it cook longer until the cheese is browned and able to be lifted.
  • Once the cheese is ready, place your spatula on the end of the cheese-covered burrito and flip it over onto the other side of cheese and jalapenos. Repeat the process until the burrito is covered and hugged in a cheesy blanket.
  • Remove from cooking surface and serve hot with salsa and sour cream.

Nutrition

Calories: 1171kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 62g | Fat: 81g | Saturated Fat: 47g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 453mg | Sodium: 1990mg | Potassium: 1099mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 3161IU | Vitamin C: 69mg | Calcium: 823mg | Iron: 6mg

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2 Comments

  1. Y’all killing me with this recipe. Don’t use canned vegetables or bland peppers. Use fresh jalapeño or local hot peppers.
    Start with the brisket and some fat like butter. Let that brisket render a bit. Pull it off and then cook your fresh veggies in that fat. Emulsify all that goodness. Then fold in your eggs into the veg mix, add a stringy white cheese to help bind all the ingredients. When close to done, then add back the brisket. I like to place the room temp tortilla on top of the mix as it finishes. It warms the tortilla and steams it a bit so it’s pliable. Otherwise your tortilla will crack when you fold it. If you add potato’s of any kind, I recommend getting them browned and crisp because they’ll soften up once rolled into the burrito. Some people like a more velvety mixture of ingredients and you don’t have to griddle the tortilla. If you like texture, then keep your veggies al dente and your potato’s crisp and add towards the end so they don’t continue to cook too long.

    1. Great tips Allan, fresh is always best but sometimes you can’t beat the convenience of using canned vegetables. Especially since this is a leftovers recipe we went with what more people will have in their cupbaords. Cheers!

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