These Corn Burritos in Red Sauce were made famous right here in my hometown of Ventura, California. A Corn Burrito is basically a bean-filled "taquito" topped with cheddar cheese and red sauce.
Now you will probably have the same reaction I had when I was first introduced to corn burritos. Why is it called a burrito when it's a taquito?
My mother-in-law overheard me and was quick to correct me and tell me they are not taquitos but corn burritos.
Ok, so what's the difference? Well, the difference is Taquitos are filled with meat. Corn Burritos are filled with refried beans. Got it?
The Red Sauce plays a very important role in this recipe. I am told the original and the best is from Hi Ho Restaurant (opened in 1952).
Since I've only tried the corn burritos from Foster's Freeze, that is the one I included on the recipe card below.
There are a few other authentic recipes for the red sauce floating around out there so I may end up posting them at some point. But I am sure you have all experienced the "Pinterest Fail" so I may have to experiment to get it just right. Rough.
💭 Deep Frying Oils
When it comes to Deep Frying food you want to choose an oil that has a high smoke point and neutral in flavor so it won't affect the flavor of whatever you are frying. Vegetable Oil, Corn Oil, Canola Oil and Peanut Oil are some of the more popular and affordable options.
For those of you that would prefer to bake these burritos instead of deep-frying them, my good friend Richelle shared this little tip with me for making these corn burritos in the oven:
Soften a stack of corn tortillas by rubbing a little avocado oil on each one and then heating the stack in the microwave. This makes them soft enough to roll and when I bake them it’s like a mock fry.- Richelle
I decided to adopt my mother-in-law's technique for making corn burritos. I heat up the tortillas in a skillet with a little olive oil. This helps make the tortillas more pliable.
Once rolled, place them seam side down on a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for at least 45 minutes. This will help them keep their shape when it comes time to cook them. Now they are ready to deep-fry, bake or air fry.
💭 Can I Freeze Them
YES! Once they are frozen, you can put them in a ziplock bag and freeze them until you are ready to use them. When we make corn burritos, we usually make several dozen at a time. When we are in the mood for corn burritos, we simply take what we need out of the freezer and cook them using our favorite method.
🥫 It's all about the Red Sauce
Veterans of Corn Burritos tell me it's all about the red sauce. Since I have only tried the Foster Freeze version, I will have to trust them on this. If you are not a fan of the red sauce from Foster Freeze, here are 3 other popular red sauces served in the Ventura County area:
Santa Paula Mr. Fish ‘N Chips Corn Burrito Sauce
1 Cup Ketchup
½ Cup Water
1 teaspoon Cornstarch
1 tablespoon Red Chili Flakes
Directions: In a small saucepan, add all ingredients and bring to a boil then simmer for a few minutes.
Tony’s Burrito Hut
1 Cup Tomato Sauce
⅓ Cup Water
4 tablespoon Tapatio
½ tablespoon Red Chili Flakes
¼ teaspoon Salt
Directions: In a small saucepan, add all ingredients and bring to a boil then simmer for a few minutes.
Original Hi Ho Red Sauce
1 Cup Ketchup
2 tablespoon Yellow Chili Juice
1 teaspoon Dried Mustard
½ teaspoon Red Chili Flakes
Salt & Pepper, To Taste
Directions: Cook until bubbly then on low until desired thickness. NOTE: Apparently the red sauce from Hi Ho is now available on Amazon.
For more great recipes with Corn Tortillas, I suggest you check these recipes out:
📋 Gather your Ingredients
You will need the following ingredients to make this corn burritos recipe with red sauce (see recipe card for quantities): Corn Tortillas, Refried Beans, Taco Seasoning, Canola Oil, Cheddar Cheese, Tomato Sauce, Ground Oregano, Cayenne Pepper and Garlic Powder.
🥣 How to Make Corn Burritos with Red Sauce
Make the Burritos
In a medium bowl, mix together refried beans and taco seasoning.
Spread about 1 to 2 tablespoons of the refried bean mixture down the side of each tortilla.
Roll tortillas up tightly, keeping ends open.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Carefully lay 2-3 burritos in the skillet, seam side down, and cook for 30-60 seconds, or until golden brown. Carefully turn the burritos and cook the other side until golden. Remove from oil and lay on a paper towel-lined plate or baking pan.
Repeat the frying process until all the burritos are cooked.
Make the Foster Freeze Red Sauce
In a mixing bowl, combine all of the red sauce ingredients and mix well
Corn Burritos with Red Sauce
- Bowl for Mixing
- 12 Corn Tortillas, 6 inch
- 16 oz Refried Beans
- 1 teaspoon Taco Seasoning
- 1 Cup Canola Oil, for frying
- 1 Cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded
Foster Freeze Red Sauce
- 15 oz Tomato Sauce
- ⅛ teaspoon Dried Oregano
- ¼ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- ¼ teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1 teaspoon Canola Oil
Make the Burritos
- In a medium bowl, mix together refried beans and taco seasoning.
- Spread about 1 to 2 tablespoons of the refried bean mixture down the side of each tortilla.
- Roll tortillas up tightly, keeping ends open.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Carefully lay 2-3 burritos in the skillet, seam side down, and cook for 30-60 seconds, or until golden brown. Carefully turn the burritos and cook the other side until golden. Remove from oil and lay on a paper towel lined plate or baking pan.
- Repeat the frying process until all the burritos are cooked.
Make the Red Sauce
- In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well
Nutritional information provided for this recipe is based on 1 serving. This information is an estimate and may vary based on several factors. If nutritional information is important to you and your diet, please verify this recipe with a Registered Dietitian.
Hi, do you have any information on what the yellow pepper juice is on the hi-ho recipe. Is it the vinegar from a jar of banana or pepperocini peppers?
I have not made the Hi Ho sauce yet. But when I do I will try the juice from pepperoncini peppers.
I believe it's
Mezzetta Hot chili peppers juice.
Lol! I googled little corn burritos and first hit!!! You actually have the recipe that my grandma got from Mr. Fish and chips in Santa Paula. Exact same recipe we have been using ever since. By the way Hi ho’s burritos were not as good, but we loved their burgers, but Foster Freeze owns my heart for their thousand island dressing burgers! Thanks for the childhood flashback (born in Oxnard 70’s), moved away when I was young, but the memories remain.
Although I should mention that the ingredients are correct but the method of preparation is not the same. We put the red pepper flakes in the water, bring to a boil (everyone in the house will start to cough, that’s when they are done boiling), turn the water down, add the sugar and ketchup. Make a corn starch slurry, add slowly with a whisk. Will thicken as it sits.
Thanks for sharing! I will give your method a try!
So these are JUST taquitos. I don't care what folks from Ventura county say, these are taquitos or flautas. Burritos are not made with corn tortillas.
Tammy, thanks for the additional information.
I don't boil the pepper flakes. They are sauce I loved to eat after mom finished her grocery shopping.
Can you give me the recipe and how much ingredients you need to make the sauce. I noticed you have sugar in your recipe and he doesn’t.
Being a Ventura gal transplanted in Texas now, I gotta say yup, there were only a handful of places known for Corn Burritos, the hamburger stand on the avenue (my first job), Top Hat Burgers, Fosters Freeze & Hi Ho Burgers.
Can any of you recall the oil used to fry these? Because let's face it vegetable oil just doesn't cut it. Was it Peanut or Corn oil? Another thing I've noticed of late, companies like Mission have cut back on the ingredients of corn tortillas, THAT'S critical to that "oh so good" corn burrito taste. Sigh..,...how I miss the whole Ventura beach scene...sigh...
OMG lived in Santa Paula 50 years and loved those corn burritos!! When they closed I fell in luv with Tia Babes corn burritos! I came here looking for obviously a corn burrito sauce and the very first review I see was yours and I was like no way!! I cannot wait to try it!
I find the Fosters Freeze sauce recipe to be the best.
Especially if you use the El Pata Salsa De Fresco tomato sauce. It comes in a yellow label can and is usually about 89 cents per can in the Hispanic food section of your grocery store.
Also, these come out great in the air fryer. 7 minutes at 400 degrees.
Thanks! Great idea to use the air fryer!
Leilani, love El Pato so I’ll try Fosters recipe with this. Thanks for the tip.
My absolute favorite sauce is straight out of an El Pato yellow can of tomato sauce. It has just enough bite to give you some heat. It is the one we used at the Palm on the Avenue in the 60s. Back then I don't remember anyone using a chunky sauce. Your grandma was right. We rolled hundreds every week and froze them. The beans stay in them better for sure.
Hey Chef Hot Rod,
Thanks for paying homage to our beloved CORN BURRITO... One never truly appreciates our “Ventura County Cuisine” unless they have eaten a hot fresh order of CBs on a summer night in the humid and salty air of Ventura County.
We have a Facebook page dedicated to our salacious snack...
I LOVE CORN BURRITOS
We only require you answer a couple easy CB questions to join the distinguished group (we only want serious CB lovers). Please stop by our FB page and indulge your visual senses with beautiful pictures, descriptions and recipes. For our loyal CB friends who have moved far away from Ventura County, it is their only connection to their CB roots... ¡SALUD! 😋
Thanks for the kind words. I will definitely check the FB page out!
OMG, I grew up up in Ventura County and went to school in SP.
I have been looking for Mr Chips sauce for years.
Thank you Chef!
Thanks! Amazing how popular these are in the Ventura County area.
Hey Chef Hot Rod Ron again...
Would you kindly look at your shared ORIGINAL HI HO RED SAUCE RECIPE in this blog. You called for a ratio of:
1 Cup Ketchup to 1 Cup Dried Mustard...
I’m thinking maybe a typo on the amount of Dried Mustard. Maybe a tsp or tbsp with the dry mustard instead of a cup.?.?
We recently had an ILCB Facebook viewer freak out over that ratio and evidently lost sleep over it (hahaha)... Thanks again for your CB love, tutorial and recipes... 👍🏽
Thanks for catching that. That sauce would be terrible with a cup of dried mustard!
I tried to call and get corrales recipe for the sauce and they said they toasted flour and blended chilies then made a thin gravy .. I am sure thats not 100% but I have tried several times especially since I moved to nor cal and no one has ever heard of "corn burritos" here nor have the recipe 🙁
Thank you, my husbands favorite corn burrito is from Corrales' so I've been wondering how their recipe is different because I've never had them from anywhere else.
I am originally from Ventura, and one thing I habe always loved were the Corn Burritos from Bullet's drive up across from EP Foster School on the Avenue. BEST Corn Burritos EVER! I'm sure they are closed now, but thanks for sharing the Foster's Freeze Recipe! Can't wait to make them!!
You will love them!
Oh MY GOSH!!! THAT'S the name if where my VERY FIRST job was!!! Couldn't for the life if me remember...but when I saw your post...then it all came back!!! I was the age of just 16yrs old (1970). I attended & graduated from Ventura High. I can remember rolling Corn Burritos by the umpteen dozens and freezing BIG bags of them for orders throughout the week. Used to sell for 10/$1.00, served in a rectangle paper boat. Ahh...so many memories!
Ah,yes....do you remember Bullet's on the Avenue?
There were a few good places on the Avenue to get good corn burritos, oh how I miss them! Do you remember Johnny Burritos also on the Avenue?, had the best Combination Burritos!
I too grew up in Ventura and we would stop by to get on of those paper boats of corn burritos for $1.00 to snack while on our walk home from school.
I think I will have to try these. Do you freeze before you bake or fry them?
Yes....we used to stop by on our way home from school to get an order of corn burritos to share. I have missed them for years! Transplanted to Delaware many years ago. Would love to know how to make the sauce that Bullet's used. I will have to try these.
I haven’t tried your recipe yet, but I think it’s interesting that Foster Freeze appears to be in the same location as the original Hi Ho’s. I love corn burritos, but usually get them at Corrales with only guacamole and pico. I’ll try red sauce next time. I have very fond memories of getting taquitos with my two sons when they were located on Thompson. I’ve been trying to duplicate them ever since.
I haven't tried the recipe yet but I'm very excited to find it. I grew up in Ventura, St. Catherine's back in the sixties, and just took a diversion to Ventura while driving from SoCal to Sacramento in order to get corn burritos at Foster Freeze. I decided I had to find a way to make them myself. I'm now on that trail. Thank you. PS, I remember when they were 10 cents per burrito.
I grew up in Ventura and still dream about Hi Ho's corn burritos!
After school at Nordhoff in Ojai we went to the Hitching posts for these. I loved them. Been looking for them everywhere.
1 Gallon of Ketchup, 3 gallons of tomato sauce, 1 cup or a bit more of yellow El Patio or other brand chili juice (not pepperoncini juice), 1/3 cup dried mustard. Simmer until it thickens to the desired viscosity. The yellow chili juice gave it a little kick. My parents owned Hi HO in the 60s and the early 70s and I made a lot of it. Also a proper CB has the cheese slightly melted on the burrito and the hot sauce added on top of the melted cheese. The cheese tastes a lot better when melted. There was no taco seasoning mixed in the beans just refried beans straight out of the can, a tortilla and a toothpick.
A few years back I started adding a bit of taco seasoning to the refried beans to add a bit of flavor. This is totally optional though. Agreed that they do taste a bit better with melted cheese!
Born and raised in Oxnard. My ex-mother-in-law owned Annie's Drive-In in El Rio. Used to eat them there. So delicious, can't wait to try this recipe. Thanks so much for all your recipes!
I grew up in Ventura and would like to say thank you to everyone who has shared these recipes.
Love all the recipe variants! Loved reading all the comments! But….I am very surprised that the Jolly Cone in Meiners Oaks was not mentioned! They have recently (last 5 years maybe more) changed ownership. After growing up in Ojai, my sister worked at Jolly Cone and I worked at the Hitching Post burger stand, I have to say the Jolly Cone is still at the top of my list for CBs! Even today the sauce is really close to “the old days” AND it is still served with WHITE, finely grated cheese! The best!
hi ho Burger was the best Johnny's on the avenue is pretty damn good and I really missed the Palm restaurant on the avenue where I grew up
Oo I go way back ,down the street from Ventura High ,was a small place that had a big chicken on the top of the building, I think it's a photography store now , anyway it was called Broosted Chicken. They were the freakin bomb. Early 70's best 2 for a quarter. Oh Ventura back in the daze. Ok now working on all of these recipes, having problems with the sauce. But we are not quitters . I will let you know when I get this right, thank you for this wonderful platform. The p
Broosted chicken was always my favorite! Wish I could find their sauce recipe!
My husband is turning 60 soon and talks about growing up in Ventura and the CBs. I can't wait to surprise him with this recipe. Do you have preference on what beans or tortillas to use?
No preferred brand. I usually buy Rosarita or Old El Pason refried beans. For the corn tortillas I buy whatever is available but I do like Mission brand.
I'm so damn excited to try this recipe!!
My favorite CB's came from the place that was on the northern end of the Avenue, before DeAnza middle school, on the left hand side (headed towards Ojai). I think there was a little local grocery store right near there. What was the name of that place? That's the sauce recipe I want to use. Which one would be the closest sauce recipe to try?
I grew up in Oxnard and lived on the Avenue during the 90's (what a wild ride THAT was LOL!!). I loved Johnny's burritos too, but my go-to for burritos was always Tacos Jalisco across from Ventura High.
Thank you for the recipe and I can't wait to try!