Updated on 09.10.14

Dinner With My Family #15: Egg (or Tofu) Scramble and Burritos

Trent Hamm

One of the most popular posts I’ve ever done on The Simple Dollar was my post about bulk breakfast burritos, which is fitting because they’re one of my favorite meals. They were loaded with eggs and other goodness to make a delicious little breakfast.

Of course, over the years, I’ve refined the burritos a bit. I had finally hit upon a combination that I loved, a mix of ingredients that made my mouth start to water just thinking about it, when I gave up eggs.

After a few months, I was convinced by a vegan friend to try replicating the recipe with extra firm tofu replacing the scrambled eggs. I was a bit dubious, but I decided to give it a shot. It turned out to be quite tasty – so good, in fact, that I’ll eat the filling as a meal without the tortilla shell. My family enjoys it for pretty much any meal, not just breakfast.

Egg (or Tofu) Scramble and Burritos

Obviously, you can make this recipe with either eggs or firm tofu. If you’re using eggs, scramble six or eight eggs first and cook until they’re just a bit shy of being done (take them off when you think they’d be done in a couple of minutes, in other words). With tofu, just buy a pound of extra firm tofu and crumble it with your hands.

What You Need

When I make this meal, I use the following ingredients:

1 lb. extra firm tofu, broken into small pieces by hand -or- eight eggs, cooked and scrambled
8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
1 red or green bell pepper, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 cup cooked black beans
1 medium tomato, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
up to 8 tortillas

I usually double the recipe for my own purposes, so I’ll make sixteen (or so) burritos with enough scramble to make a meal for the family out of what’s left. This time, I made 16 burritos, everyone in the family had scramble for a meal, and I had enough scramble left over for another meal besides. This adds up to thirteen meals for a total cost of around $16, plus the latter eight meals (two burritos each) were really convenient.

The Night Before (or Early That Day)

The biggest thing you can do in advance is to cut up the mushrooms, tomato, onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Store them all in separate containers in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook.

Preparing the Meal

Get a soup pot – 5 quarts or greater – and add the oil. Turn up the heat to high until the oil begins to smoke, then add the garlic. Stir vigorously for fifteen seconds, then add the onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms. Stir this regularly for about five minutes.


Lower the heat to medium, then add the beans, tomatoes, and turmeric. Allow this to cook for about two minutes, stirring regularly.


Add the egg or tofu and continue to stir, letting everything cook for about five more minutes. You’re ready to eat!


Unless you’re feeding a lot of people, you’ll have a lot of leftovers. I usually turn this into breakfast burritos by adding three heaping tablespoons of the mix to the center of a tortilla using a slotted spoon (allowing any liquid to drip off first), then rolling it up into a burrito shape.


I can make eight of these per batch, so here are the sixteen I made with my double batch. I bagged them, two to a quart Ziploc freezer bag.

Burritos bagged to freeze

Whenever I’m hungry, I pull out a Ziploc bag, remove the burritos, wrap them individually in a paper towel, then microwave them for two and a half minutes. I remove the paper towels, turn each one around so that the sides that were facing the outside of the plate are now facing the inside, and microwave them for two minutes more. Delicious! You can make them easily transportable by wrapping the bottom in a paper towel or wax paper.

Optional Ingredients

Besides the egg/tofu choice, you can add all kinds of things to this recipe. Cooked sausage, diced ham, asparagus, bacon, salsa, cheese – the list goes on and on. Add whatever ingredients sound good to you and you’ll be happy with what turns out. For me, this is a delicious mix that luckily happens to be pretty healthy, too.

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  1. valleycat1 says:

    If you cook the garlic & onion at a lower heat, they’ll taste better. then you can crank up the heat (although I wouldn’t ever heat oil to its smoking point – on purpose, anyway). And if you’re going to add the other cut up veggies together, then you can store them together if you cut them up the night before.

  2. Michelle says:

    I’d never heard of heating oil until it begins to smoke until I read this post. I googled it and it seems pretty common but smoking oil ruins the flavour and slow cooking onions and garlic on a lower heat, as valleycat1 states above, makes everything taste much much better.

  3. valleycat1 says:

    My DH used to make one dish that he thought needed smoking hot oil, until he ruined my favorite pot AND melted a nonmetal cooking spoon in it! If you’re going to cook at that heat level, be sure to use a metal, cast iron, or enamelled pan, and nothing with a nonstick surface.

  4. Sonja says:

    This looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it. Thank you.

  5. SwingCheese says:

    I agree. Garlic turns bitter very easily if you’re using high heat. That being said, when my husband learned how to pan sear scallops, he was taught to heat the oil to the smoking point. And the scallops are delicious! So it is appropriate to heat oil to the smoking point for some things.

  6. Priswell says:

    If you must bring an oil to rather high heat, use peanut oil. Peanut oil has a higher flash point than most other cooking oils, and it will not be necessary to “get the oil to smoke”. . .just bring it to proper temperature and it will be hot without the smoke.

  7. Amanda says:

    Eggs are not vegan.

    I love carmelized onions and I believe they are cooked at the smoking point.

  8. Johanna says:

    The point of cooking scrambled tofu with turmeric (I always thought, anyway) was to color the tofu yellow and make it look more like eggs. Pasty-looking tofu swimming in a sea of yellow liquid is not the intended result. Plus, cooking tofu in lots of liquid makes it turn to mush.

    I’d cook the tofu with the turmeric in one pan, the vegetables in another pan, then mix them together. And I’d add the tomatoes (and any other watery vegetables) right at the end, cooking them only briefly or not at all.

  9. lurker carl says:

    This is a southwestern omelet wrapped in a tortilla (or not) without the cheddar cheese. You can make it fresh in less time than it takes to cook it ahead of time, freeze it and thaw/reheat it. And it tastes best cooked the first time.

  10. Nicole says:

    That second picture…I’m sorry, but…good lord.

    @ Amanda: No, but tofu is.

  11. Riki says:

    I’m sure it tastes good, but it doesn’t look very appetizing. What’s with all that water in the pan?

  12. Malva says:

    If you haven’t tried it yet, freeze and thaw the tofu before pressing and using it. It changes the texture and i find it’s way better that way for scrambled tofu.

    Also, try using black salt in place of salt when seasoning things where you’d expect an eggy taste. Black salt can be find in Indian grocery stores and it’s actually pink, not black. It smells strongly of sulfur, so perfect reminder of eggs.

  13. Yankeegal says:

    The water is from the tofu-if you drain it and press it(I do mine in a colander with a heavy bowl on top) before cooking it will alleviate the watery issue. Also another ingredient you could use in a tofu scramble is nutrional yeast-I use the type fortified with B12. Gives it a “cheesy” taste.

  14. nancy says:

    Can you give us an update on what it has been like eating vegan? I am 54 years old and gradually shifting my eating habit. Do you have more energy?

    Enjoy your site- I have been living frugally for 30 years & have been able to travel extensively, no mortgage on home, cars paid in cash, helped kids with college -so no student loans, etc. It can be done but like YOU STATE…every choice you make can daily will get you there!

  15. Rebecca says:

    All that water is probably from dumping all the veggies in at once, esp the mushrooms. They have lots of water in them. The tofu really isn’t all that watery, esp if you give it a good press first. I would saute each veggie separately, to get them carmelized without all that water, then lightly add the tofu and spices at the end.

  16. I’ve gotta agree, that second picture doesn’t look so good to me…

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