Crunchy Burrito

No matter how deeply embedded I become in the gourmet food world, how many uni paninis or quail egg and truffle pizzas I eat, or how many times I read Pollan, Schlosser, or Kingsolver, there are some things that I will never give up. One example is boxed mac and cheese. Something about that powdered orange cheese calls me back every time. Is it food? ehh, not really. Is it delicious? YES. Another one is Taco Bell. I really love taco bell. It is a true guilty pleasure of mine. I mean, yea we all get a taco from the drive thru at 3:30 in the morning here and there, but I actually like Taco Bell so much that I eat it sober. They recently came out with a cheesy crunchy burrito. I love the cheesy crunchy gordita, so I knew I was in for a treat with this new buritto. I tried it, but I actually didn’t like it that much. For the crunch they use fritos, which I have always thought taste kinda funny. My friend John is a fellow Taco Bell addict (he is less in the closet about it than I am) so I decided to remake this burrito at his house and improve a few things.

So of course, more research was in order, so I got another one of these guys. Here is what it looked like, compared to what the ad for it looks like.

Instead of fritos, I baked some soft corn tortillas until they were nice and crispy/crunchy.

First I coated them in some oil and lots of spice. This was the same spice blend I used on the taco meat: Lots of cumin and chipotle, bit of ancho and oregano, and a tiny amount of coriander, clove and cinnamon.

All the strips are coated and ready for the oven.

I placed these right on the rack with foil down below so they would fold a bit before they got crunchy.

Yum! A nice snack as is, but save some for the burritos!

Same ingredients as the Taco bell one;sour cream, beef, cheese, rice, and crunchies. I also added a little lettuce.

So good! I think mine looks more like the picture than theirs does! I may or may not have slid in that last tortilla after cutting it, but don’t tell anyone!

The main point of the post is the tortillas, I just dipped them in the spiced oil and baked at around 350 until they were very crunchy. Hanging them on the racks is key. The spice blend was a lot of cumin and chipotle, some ancho and oregano, and a very small amount of clove, cinnamon, and coriander. Don’t worry about measuring! have fun with it. I made a bunch of the spice and only put a little into the oil for the chips. The rest I sprinkled on the meat after cooking it with some onions and garlic. Tasty! It’s been awhile since I talked taco meat with you guys, and my method and recipe has changed a bit, so I might revisit that soon.

So now that I have bared my soul to you guys and told you my deepest secret guilty pleasure, what’s yours?


  1. I’m an “only when drunk” Taco Bell eater. And even then, I am usually more in the mood for some bad Chinese food. I personally love Oreos in a way that’s very unhealthy. I’ve even made homemade Oreos twice and still prefer storebought ones…

  2. Taco Bell is also my guilty pleasure…especially the cheesy gordita crunch which I’ve been wanting to try and make at home.
    I haven’t tried the crunch burrito yet but I will probably skip it and just make yours instead.

  3. That looks tasty! I like potato chips on sandwiches, so this must be a good crunch, too.
    I think my “secret” is similar to yours: no matter how many gourmet or healthy foods I genuinely enjoy, I can get down with some grease/sugar/calorie bombs whenever the mood hits. haha I believe in the 80/20 “rule.”

  4. Fritos taste like drano. I used to eat more taco bell when I lived closer to one. I think I’m like 15 miles from the nearest one now.

  5. if only just to sit in your kitchen and get fed the table scraps. LOL! clever clever. i love your ideas

  6. I love the Fries Supreme at Taco Bell, but I think my biggest guilty pleasure is McDonalds Chicken McNuggets. Yes, they’re poison, and the actual chicken content is disgustingly low, but damn it, they’re tasty!

  7. I’m with you on the Kraft mac and cheese. Chef Boyardee ravioli also makes it to this list (regular, not mini) since I had zero Italian influence growing up. I still find myself giving into my Cheetos addiction 3-4 times a year…although they aren’t nearly as good as Planters discontinued cheez balls. Now, those were heaven.

  8. I might also love the Taco Bell… This of course is a possibility not an admission. 😀 Excited to try your tortilla strip method. I am not a fan of the fritos… They smell like my dogs feet – no one should eat that!

  9. I so love Taco Bell. I said it. And when I do let myself eat it, I totally splurge. That’s right, crunchy tacos, mexican pizza, and tostadas. And don’t forget the Dr Pepper, TB has the best Dr Pepper.
    I absolutely love your remake and am actually thinking of making making some kind of “frito pie” concauction with your homemade “fritos”. I hate the real ones too FYI…

  10. Not an uber fan of Taco Bell outside of chilitos and the occasional gordito, but I always pine for and make the ghetto makings of spam musubi with eel sauce and Mae Ploy sweet chili sauce /schrichi & mayo (redneck sushi) ,or vienna sausages on Keebler crackers and then there’s Kraft mac and cheese.
    You turned me on to Sleigh Bells and I will always thank you for that favor.
    Bon Appetit’

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