Discovering What Is the Healthiest Burrito: A Nutritious Guide

When it comes to fast-food, burritos have become an increasingly popular option for people on-the-go who want something filling and satisfying. But let’s face it, they’re not always the healthiest choice. With so many options and ingredients to choose from, it can be tough to know which burrito is the healthiest. But fear not, because we’ve done the research and are here to give you the inside scoop on what is the healthiest burrito.

You may be surprised to hear that a burrito can actually be a nutritious and balanced meal if made with the right ingredients. From vegetarian options to protein-packed versions with meat and beans, there’s a burrito out there for everyone looking for a healthier alternative. But how do you navigate the endless choices and toppings to find the most nutritious option for your health goals?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll break down the components of a healthy burrito and give you our top picks for the most nutritious options out there. Whether you’re looking to boost your veggie intake or add more protein to your diet, we’ve got the insider information you need to make a smart and satisfying choice that won’t leave you feeling weighed down. Get ready to indulge in a burrito that’s as good for your body as it is for your taste buds!

Ingredients to Avoid in Burritos

When it comes to building a healthy burrito, the ingredients you choose are crucial. To make sure your burrito is as nutritious as possible, it’s important to avoid certain ingredients that can be damaging to your health.

  • Refined grains: White rice and flour tortillas are common burrito ingredients, but both are made from refined grains. These grains have had the fiber-rich bran and nutritious germ removed, leaving a starchy, low-nutrient end product. Instead, opt for whole grain options like brown rice or whole wheat tortillas.
  • Processed meats: Many popular burrito fillings, such as chorizo and bacon, are highly processed and often loaded with added salt, preservatives, and saturated fat. If you can’t imagine your burrito without meat, try choosing a leaner option like grilled chicken or steak.
  • Sugary sauces: Sweet sauces like barbecue and sweet and sour are delicious, but they typically contain a large amount of added sugars. This can lead to blood sugar spikes and crashes, and also contribute to chronic health issues like obesity and diabetes. Stick to savory sauces like salsa, guacamole, or a light drizzle of hot sauce.

Nutrition of Common Burrito Components

When it comes to choosing a healthy burrito, it’s important to take a closer look at the individual ingredients that make up this popular Mexican dish. Here is a breakdown of the nutrition of some of the most common burrito components:


  • Grilled chicken: 4 ounces of grilled chicken provides approximately 25 grams of protein, which promotes muscle growth and repair.
  • Black beans: A half-cup of black beans contains about 8 grams of protein, making them a great vegetarian option for burrito fillings.
  • Steak: 4 ounces of steak can give you about 25 grams of protein, but it is also high in saturated fat, so limit your intake.


The tortilla wrap is typically the main source of carbohydrates in a burrito. A standard flour tortilla contains around 300 calories and 50 grams of carbs. Whole wheat or corn tortillas are healthier alternatives, providing more fiber and less refined flour.


Fiber is the key to keeping you full and helping with digestion. Most burrito components are relatively low in fiber, except for:

  • Black beans: A half-cup serving of black beans contains around 7.5 grams of fiber which will help you feel satisfied.
  • Vegetables: Adding peppers, onions, or lettuce can increase your fiber intake as well as adding essential vitamins and minerals.


A typical burrito can contain up to 900 milligrams of sodium, which is almost half of the recommended daily intake. Be aware of condiments and toppings such as cheese, sour cream, and guacamole which can also add extra sodium. Choose low or no sodium options for dressings and toppings.

Component Serving Size (grams) Sodium Content (mg)
Flour tortilla 1 medium (45g) 290
Black beans 1/2 cup (86g) 140
Grilled chicken 4 oz (113g) 160
Sour cream 2 tbsp (28g) 40
Salsa 2 tbsp (30g) 100
Cheese 1/4 cup (28g) 180

By paying attention to the nutrition of common burrito components, you can make healthier choices to satisfy cravings without sacrificing flavor. You can choose lower calorie, high-fiber, and low-sodium options by opting for whole grain or gluten-free wraps, lean protein such as chicken or shrimp and add a variety of colorful veggies like tomato, bell pepper, corn, and cucumber.

Comparing Nutritional Value of Different Tortillas

When it comes to burritos, the tortilla itself can make a big difference in the nutritional value of your meal. Let’s compare the nutritional value of different tortillas:

  • Flour tortillas: A typical 10-inch flour tortilla has about 138 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 23 grams of carbohydrates, and 2.5 grams of protein. While it’s the most commonly used tortilla in burritos, it’s also the highest in calories and carbs.
  • Whole wheat tortillas: A 10-inch whole wheat tortilla has about 129 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 22 grams of carbohydrates, and 4 grams of protein. It’s a healthier option than flour tortillas but still high in carbohydrates.
  • Corn tortillas: A 6-inch corn tortilla has about 45 calories, 1 gram of fat, 10 grams of carbohydrates, and 1 gram of protein. It’s the lowest in calories and carbohydrates, making it a great option for those looking for a healthier burrito.

From the comparison above, it’s clear that corn tortillas are the healthiest option for burritos. Not only are they the lowest in calories and carbs, but they’re also gluten-free.

Best Types of Protein for a Healthy Burrito

Protein is an essential component of a healthy burrito. It helps build and repair muscle tissues, and it also provides a satisfying feeling of fullness, which prevents overeating. Here are the best types of protein to add to your burrito:

  • Chicken: Chicken is a lean source of protein that is low in calories and fat. It is also rich in niacin, which helps lower cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of heart disease.
  • Grilled Fish: Grilled fish such as salmon, tuna, or tilapia is another healthy protein option. It is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation and improve heart health.
  • Beans and Legumes: Vegetarians and vegans can rely on beans and legumes such as black beans, kidney beans, and lentils for their protein source. They are also high in fiber, which aids in digestion and promotes long-lasting satiety.

Another essential thing to consider when adding protein to a burrito is its preparation. Grilling, baking, or broiling the protein sources are the healthiest ways to cook them as it preserves their nutritional value without adding additional calories and fat.

Protein Content in Common Burrito Ingredients

Here is a table of protein content per 100 grams of common burrito ingredients:

Ingredient Protein Content (g)
Grilled Chicken 31
Grilled Fish 26
Black Beans 22
Lentils 9
Brown Rice 2.5
Corn Tortilla 4

As seen in the table, chicken and fish have the most protein content, with black beans coming in close. It is essential to consider these values when building a healthy burrito and ensure that the proteins included meet the recommended daily intake.

Healthy Vegetable Options for Burritos

When it comes to healthy burrito options, vegetables are a must-have. Not only do they add color and variety to your burrito, but they are also packed with essential vitamins and minerals. Here are some healthy vegetable options to add to your burrito:

  • Black beans – These legumes are high in protein, fiber, iron, and other essential nutrients. They also add a delicious creaminess to your burrito.
  • Peppers – Bell peppers come in a variety of colors and contain high levels of vitamin C and antioxidants. Adding some roasted or sautéed peppers to your burrito can give it a sweet, slightly smoky flavor.
  • Onions – Sautéed onions can add a savory sweetness to your burrito, and they are also rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.
  • Sweet Potatoes – Sweet potatoes are a great alternative to regular potatoes since they are higher in fiber, vitamin A, and other essential nutrients that help keep your body healthy. They also add a sweet, creamy flavor to your burrito.
  • Leafy Greens – Adding some spinach, kale, or other leafy greens to your burrito can give it a fresh, slightly bitter flavor while also boosting your vitamin K and iron intake.

How to Prepare Vegetables for Your Burrito

When preparing your vegetables for your burrito, it is important to make sure they are cooked just right. Here are some tips:

Roasting or grilling your vegetables can give them a slightly smoky, complex flavor that pairs well with most burritos. You can toss your veggies with a little bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper before roasting or grilling for added flavor.

Sautéed or stir-fried vegetables are also great for burritos since they cook quickly and add a tender, slightly crispy texture to your burrito. Use a high heat and a little bit of oil to sauté your veggies until they are tender-crisp and slightly browned.

Raw vegetables, such as shredded lettuce or diced tomatoes, are also healthy options for burritos. Make sure to wash your vegetables thoroughly and pat them dry before using them in your burrito to help remove any dirt and bacteria.

Table: Nutritional Information for Common Vegetables Used in Burritos

Vegetable Calories (1 cup) Fiber (grams) Protein (grams) Vitamin A (IU) Vitamin C (mg) Iron (mg)
Black beans 227 16 15 1% 4% 17%
Bell peppers 24 2 1 6% 190% 2%
Onions 64 3 1 0% 11% 2%
Sweet Potatoes 114 4 2 377% 4% 4%
Spinach 7 1 1 56% 14% 4%

These vegetables are not only delicious, but also rich in essential nutrients that help your body stay healthy and energized. Adding some vegetables to your burrito will help create a balanced meal that satisfies your taste buds and your nutritional needs.

Salsa Variations to Add Flavor without the Calories

One of the best parts about enjoying a burrito is the variety of flavors mixed together in each bite. Salsa is a fantastic way to add some extra zing to your burrito without adding unnecessary calories. Here are some salsa variations to try:

  • Pico de Gallo: Made with fresh tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, cilantro, and lime juice, pico de gallo is a classic salsa that adds a bright and fresh flavor to your burrito.
  • Mango Salsa: If you’re looking for something sweet, try adding mango salsa to your burrito. Made with diced mango, red onion, jalapeño, cilantro, and lime juice, it’s a delicious and refreshing option.
  • Corn Salsa: For a bit of crunch, corn salsa is a great choice. Made with grilled corn, red onion, jalapeños, cilantro, and lime juice, it adds a slightly smoky flavor to your burrito.

Here’s a tip: if you’re watching your sodium intake, try making your salsa at home instead of using store-bought options. You’ll have more control over the ingredients and can use less salt.

Don’t forget that you can also add extra veggies to your burrito to boost its nutritional value. Try adding diced bell peppers, shredded lettuce, or sliced avocado to your next burrito for some extra fiber, vitamins, and healthy fats.

Salsa Variation Calories (per 2 tbsp) Sodium (mg)
Pico de Gallo 10 70
Mango Salsa 20 80
Corn Salsa 25 80

As you can see from the table above, these salsa options are all relatively low in calories and sodium. By choosing a flavorful salsa and loading up on veggies, you can enjoy a delicious and healthy burrito.

Tips for Making a Healthier Burrito at Home

When it comes to making a healthier burrito at home, there are a few important factors to consider. By making smart ingredient choices and following some simple tips, you can create a burrito that is both delicious and nutritious.

  • Use Whole Grain Tortillas: When selecting tortillas for your burrito, it’s important to choose those that contain whole grains. This adds a healthy dose of fiber to your burrito and helps to keep you feeling full for longer periods of time.
  • Load Up on Vegetables: Vegetables are an essential part of any healthy burrito. Include plenty of fresh vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes, onions, peppers, and cucumbers to add flavor, texture, and nutritional value to your burrito.
  • Choose Lean Protein: When choosing the protein for your burrito, opt for lean options such as grilled chicken, shrimp, or black beans. These options are lower in fat and calories, making them a better choice for those trying to maintain a healthy diet.

Another important factor to consider when making a healthy burrito at home is portion control. It can be easy to overstuff your burrito, which can lead to a much higher calorie count. Instead, aim to keep your portions moderate and fill your burrito with nutrient-rich ingredients that will keep you feeling satisfied.

If you’re unsure of how to balance your ingredients, consider using a nutritional calculator or app to help you keep track of your calories and macros. This can help you make more informed decisions when building your burrito, and ensure that you’re getting the nutrients you need while sticking to your dietary goals.

Healthy Burrito Ingredient Options Less Healthy Burrito Ingredient Options
Grilled chicken Fried chicken
Black beans Refried beans
Roasted vegetables Sour cream
Avocado Extra cheese

By following these tips and making smart ingredient choices, you can create a delicious and nutritious burrito at home. With a little bit of creativity and some experimentation, you can come up with your own unique burrito recipes that are both healthy and satisfying.

FAQs: What is the healthiest burrito?

Q: Are burritos healthy?
A: Burritos can be healthy if made with wholesome ingredients such as lean proteins, whole grains, vegetables, and healthy fats. However, burritos from fast food chains or restaurants may be high in calories, sodium, and unhealthy fats.

Q: How many calories are in a healthy burrito?
A: The calorie count of a healthy burrito can vary depending on the ingredients used. A typical healthy burrito with grilled chicken, brown rice, black beans, and vegetables can have around 400-500 calories. However, it’s important to keep in mind the portion size and toppings like sour cream, cheese, and guacamole can add extra calories.

Q: What ingredients should I include in a healthy burrito?
A: To make a healthy burrito, include lean protein sources like grilled chicken, steak, tofu, or black beans. Add fiber-rich and nutrient-dense vegetables like bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, and lettuce. Use whole grain tortillas or whole wheat wraps for added fiber, and healthy fats from avocado or a small amount of cheese.

Q: Should I avoid tortillas in a healthy burrito?
A: Tortillas or wraps can be a part of a healthy burrito. Instead of using traditional white flour tortillas, opt for whole grain tortillas or gluten-free wraps. Be mindful of portion sizes and choose smaller tortillas or wraps to control calorie intake.

Q: Can I make a healthy burrito at home?
A: Absolutely! Making burritos at home allows you to control the ingredients and customize them to your liking. Choose wholesome ingredients and control the amount of toppings like cheese and sour cream you add.

Q: Are vegetarian burritos healthy?
A: Vegetarian burritos can be healthy if made with a variety of vegetables, plant-based protein sources like beans or tofu, and healthy fats from avocado or nuts. Make sure to include sources of fiber, protein, and healthy fats to make it a balanced meal.

Q: How can I make a healthy burrito taste delicious?
A: Healthy burritos can still taste delicious! Experiment with different spices and herbs to add flavor without adding calories. Use salsa or hot sauce for added flavor, and choose fresh, seasonal ingredients for optimal taste.

Closing Thoughts

Thanks for reading about what is the healthiest burrito! Remember, a healthy burrito can be a wholesome and delicious meal if it’s made with ingredients like lean proteins, whole grains, vegetables, and healthy fats. Making burritos at home allows you to control the ingredients and customize them to your liking. Try different recipes and spice combinations to find the perfect healthy burrito for you. Don’t forget to check back for more healthy eating inspiration!