How Long Can Breakfast Burrito Sit Out? (+ storage Tips)

A breakfast burrito is a mixture of scrambled eggs and cheese, with other ingredients added and all wrapped in a flour tortilla.

Common breakfast burrito toppings include potatoes, bacon, ham, chorizo, onions, peppers, beans, and of course salsa.

A breakfast burrito is a delicious and convenient way to have a healthy breakfast on the go. 

Generally speaking, like other cooked, perishable foods, breakfast burritos should not sit out longer than 2 hours at room temperature. Breakfast burritos can be wrapped in foil and refrigerated for 2-3 days. They can be easily reheated in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, but remember to take the foil wrapping off. 

Continue reading for suggestions on storing breakfast burritos, different restaurants that serve breakfast burritos, how to make them at home, and some insight into the great debate about breakfast tacos vs breakfast burritos and who invented them. 

Storing Leftover Breakfast Burritos

Perhaps you had a coupon and bought more breakfast burritos than you needed. Maybe your favorite burrito place has a minimum purchase if you pay with a debit card and you HAD to get 3 burritos to meet the minimum payment.

Or, your morning pitstop makes giant burritos and you are having half for breakfast and the other half for lunch.

On the other hand, maybe you spend one weekend each month prepping food so your life is easier. . . a-mazing . . . so you have breakfast burritos that need to be saved for later meals.

All of these true stories mean that you need a way to store your extra burritos for later.

The best way to keep your leftover burritos is to wrap them tightly in foil and place them in the refrigerator within 2 hours of purchasing them. Refrigerated burritos are good for about 4 days in the fridge.

Alternatively, you can place tightly wrapped burritos in a heavy-duty freezer bag or rigid container and freeze them for up to 3 months. 

Breakfast Burrito

Whether homemade or storebought, breakfast burritos without toppings like sour cream, guacamole, or salsa will keep and reheat the best.

Save those fresh toppings and add them right after you reheat the burrito.

Reheating Breakfast Burritos

It is easy to reheat a breakfast burrito, but you may want to consider ways to keep the tortillas from drying out. 

You can microwave refrigerated or frozen burritos, but be sure to remove any foil wrapping before you place them in the microwave.

After removing the foil, wrap the burrito in a damp paper towel before microwaving to help keep moisture in the tortilla. 

If you are heating several burritos at one time, you can put them in a baking dish in one layer.

Place refrigerated burritos in the oven for 7-8 minutes or frozen burritos for 15 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Serving Breakfast Burritos

If you are having an event like a buffet or an open house and you need to serve breakfast burritos you need to keep them at a temperature above 140 degrees in order to prevent bacteria from growing. 

You could also stack individually wrapped burritos in a slow cooker on warm.

They will keep warm at a safe temperature for 3-4 hours to prevent bacterial growth that may lead to food-borne illness.

The FDA recommends that you make food in small batches to heat and serve while keeping the rest of the servings cold.

Bacteria that cause foodborne illness grows best between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, therefore you should store food below 40 or above 140 for safety. 

Restaurant Breakfast Burritos

Since breakfast burritos started becoming popular in the 1970s and 80s, many restaurants have added them to their menus.

The good news is that whether you get your burritos from a big chain restaurant like Sonic or McDonalds, or from an abuelita with a food truck, they will keep equally well. 

If you have the option with restaurant-made burritos, store toppings like salsa, guacamole, and sour cream separately from the burrito to keep the tortilla chrome becoming soggy. 

breakfast Burrito

Allow the burritos to come to room temperature then wrap each one separately in foil before placing them in the refrigerator or freezer.

Homemade Breakfast Burritos

This simple dish is easy to make and grab on the way out the door in the morning. And, despite the name, breakfast burritos are delicious and filling any time of day.

If your local drive-through has disappointing burritos, you can make up a bunch of burritos just to your liking and freeze them for a quick meal on the go.

We’ve gathered some suggestions for making burritos easy and fulfilling.

Rolling Tortillas

If you have made them before and have struggled with wrapping them the way you see it done at a restaurant, you may be wondering how to make the tortillas work for you.

Often, tortillas will break when you try to roll them. If you are using flour tortillas, heat them in the oven or in a skillet before trying to roll them. That way they roll instead of breaking. 

You can use corn tortillas for a more genuine dish or for a gluten-free option, but you’ll find corn tortillas are even harder to roll than flour.

First of all, you need to ensure that they are fresh. Older corn tortillas just won’t roll, they crumble.

To make your fresh corn tortillas soft and pliable, you can steam them in the oven.

Put a pan of water in the oven on the bottom rack. On the top rack, place a covered dish with your corn tortillas stacked in it. Heat at 350 for about 7-10 minutes. 

Rolling Tortillas

Another option is to brush one side of a tortilla with olive oil or your favorite oil and heat it in a skillet for just a few seconds until it is warm and soft. Roll the tortilla right away.

Pick Your Proteins

Start your breakfast burrito adventure by picking your proteins. 

Choose your favorite go-to’s like bacon and eggs, or branch out and try chorizo and beans. Scrambled eggs and cheeses add a nice creaminess and make a filling breakfast.

Start with your favorite meats if you want even more protein in the burrito. Crispy bacon, chopped ham, and sausage are good choices.

For a more authentic flavor, branch out and try some chorizo, barbacoa, or carne guisada.

Fluffy rich scrambled eggs add a protein kick to your breakfast burrito. Scramble your eggs with heavy cream or half-and-half for added creaminess. 

You can really add some flavor with your choice of cheese in this dish.

You can use cheddar, Monterrey Jack, or pepper jack, but you should also explore some other options. Cotija is a salty, aged cheese that is delicious and adds interest.

Queso fresco, queso Oaxaca, and queso asadero are unique choices that can add some authentic flavor to your morning taco.

Add Variety With Veggies

It’s hard to decide whether to put beans in the protein or veggie list, so they are here in the middle.

Refried beans or black beans are another protein-rich addition to your breakfast burrito.

If you prefer a vegetarian or vegan option you can have potatoes and beans to kick start your morning.

Potatoes make a nice starchy addition to a breakfast burrito filling. You can use any of your favorites, but papas are a common choice.

Diced fried potatoes are convenient and easy to eat in a burrito because they are bite-sized.

You can also try cooked hash browns, boiled potatoes. Be sure to add some seasoning to the potatoes as you cook them so they add depth of flavor to your dish.

Season the potatoes with salt and pepper, garlic, cumin, and maybe even a dash of chili powder. 

Veggies

Before you add veggies to your breakfast burrito, you should cook them. The burrito doesn’t get cooked, so everything needs to be done before wrapping it in that good, good tortilla.

Try adding sauteed onion, bell peppers of any color, tomato, green chiles, spinach, and mushrooms to your burritos.

Spice It Up with Salsa

You really must top off your burrito with spicy kick of salsa. You might like a green tomatillo salsa, a roasted chipotle salsa, or a traditional salsa roja.

Any of these salsas can be the perfect topping for your burrito. If you plan to refrigerate or freeze your burrito, keep the salsa separate so that the tortilla doesn’t become soggy.

The Great Taco / Burrito Debate

Earlier we noted that the popularity of breakfast burritos increased greatly in the 1970s and 80s.

However, eating tacos for breakfast has been just a normal part of life for folks living in places with a strong Mexican influence.

In Texas, the farther south you go, the more often you find this dish called a breakfast taco, while in northern Texas and New Mexico this meal is a breakfast burrito.

What’s the difference? Not a lot. Tacos are folded, not rolled. They also tend to have fewer ingredients and are smaller.

So a folded tortilla with potatoes and chorizo is a taco, while a rolled tortilla with eggs, potatoes, chorizo, cheese, and sauteed veggies is a burrito. 

If you visit San Antonio or Austin, you might even find yourself in the debate about which city “invented” the breakfast taco.

And, of course, you’ll find that each city swears their breakfast tacos are better. The solution? Try all of the tacos and you can’t go wrong.

Concluding Thoughts

You shouldn’t leave breakfast burritos out at room temperature for longer than 2 hours because the perishable ingredients are susceptible to growing bacteria that can cause foodborne illness. 

Breakfast burritos are not only delicious and filling when they are fresh, they keep in the fridge for about 4 days and in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Wrap extra burritos tightly in foil and place them in the fridge. For freezing, place the wrapped burritos in a freezer bag or a rigid container to prevent freezer burn. 

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