Tender meat, crispy lettuce, melty cheese and fresh salsa held together in a warm and delicious edible shell—a burrito is one of life’s simplest pleasures. But folding it? Not so simple.
Whether you’re biting into a mouthful of iceberg or tomatoes are tumbling out the bottom, the tasks of both stuffing a burrito correctly and folding it adequately can be quite difficult. Read these five straightforward steps on how to successfully fill and fold a burrito.
How to Fold a Burrito
Step 1: Place a large warmed tortilla on a flat surface.
Just 10 seconds on each side on a hot skillet should do the trick, or you can nuke it for the same amount of time (in a microwave, flipping the tortilla isn’t necessary). For the most successful burrito, opt for a flour tortilla that is 10 inches in diameter. The large size will allow for more filling, and a warm flour tortilla is much more pliable than its corn counterpart. (These homemade tortillas, if rolled into 10-in. circles rather than 7 in., are a delicious alternative to store-bought.)
Test Kitchen tip: Tortillas get hot fast, so be sure to heat it up with caution.
Step 2: Spread out your fillings and sauces.
Layer the ingredients horizontally across the center of the tortilla. In order to get every yummy flavor in each bite, make sure to layer the ingredients on top of each other, rather than next to each other in rows. For example, arrange a layer of meat, then a layer of lettuce on top of that, then a layer of cheese on top of the previous two, etc. Or—if you’re into breakfast burritos—eggs, cheese, meat, then veggies.
Sauces that could leave your tortilla soggy, such as hot sauce, salsa or guacamole, should be layered last. (Need inspo? Try these salsa recipes!) Leave about two inches of space to the left and right of the ingredients to make for easy folding. (Note: It’s very important that you don’t overstuff your burrito; only about a fourth of the tortilla’s surface area should be taken up with ingredients.)
Step 3: Fold over sides.
Between your thumb and the rest of your fingers, take hold of both sides of the tortilla. Gently fold the tortilla over the ingredients so the two tortilla edges are close to overlapping without actually touching.
Step 4: Roll it on up.
Pivot your thumbs to the under side of the tortilla, and begin rolling. Once the tortilla has been rolled over the ingredients, take the time to ensure the entirety of the filling is snugly and securely encased. Push any stray ingredients under the fold. Squeeze the burrito toward you as you roll. Continue until the burrito is seam side down on the flat surface. If desired, wrap in foil and cut it in half.