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Tortilla-Bean Scramble: A quick, easy egg-stretching recipe

Updated on September 21, 2014
My photography skills really don't do justice to this yummy dish.
My photography skills really don't do justice to this yummy dish. | Source

An easy and quick breakfast recipe with eggs, tortillas, and beans

I wanted to share a simple recipe that I started making at home as a way to make eggs last longer. It turned out to be hearty and delicious, and in fact it's similar to some "real" recipes I've found since then.

We call it Tortilla-Bean Scramble. My boys love it. They would never know that it was meant to be a money saver.

As with anything I make on a regular basis, it's very easy and doesn't require any measuring.

Food-stretching recipes that save money are a time-honored tradition

Adding less expensive foods to make more expensive ones last longer has been done for ages. Dishes like meat loaf, where grains and sometimes leftovers are added to ground meat, are favorites for stretching a meal.

During the current recession, people have become more curious about Depression-era recipes that were known for their frugality.


How to make Tortilla-Bean Scramble

A great quick breakfast that doesn't cost much


  • Corn tortillas
  • Canned beans, (my favorites for this are pintos or blackeyes)
  • Eggs
  • A little oil or butter for the frying pan

I don't really measure anything. My favorite recipes are the ones where you don't have to measure because they're so much easier and you have fewer dishes to wash afterward. I generally use two tortillas and about one-third of the can of beans for every 3-4 eggs I'm cooking, but you can adjust the amounts of everything to fit your tastes or your budget.


  1. Tear the tortillas into bite-sized pieces. If you're more industrious than me, you might use a knife instead of tearing.
  2. Crack the eggs into a bowl and stir them just like you would for scrambled eggs.
  3. Open the can of beans and have it ready on the counter.
  4. Put some oil or butter in the frying pan and heat it up over medium heat.
  5. When the pan is hot, put the tortilla pieces in. Cook them, stirring constantly, until they are a little bit browned and crisp.
  6. Add the egg mixture and cook, stirring, until the eggs are almost done.
  7. Pour in the desired amount of beans and continue stirring until the eggs are done to your taste.

My kid eat this with cheese on top. I eat it with cheese and salsa.

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Other recipes used for stretching eggs

I discovered two well-known dishes that are egg-stretchers.

One is Frittata, an Italian egg dish in which fillers are added to an egg mixture, and then the mixture is cooked on one side, then flipped and cooked on the other side, like a pancake.

The other is Chilaquilles, a Mexican dish that has some elements in common with the Tortilla-Bean Scramble. Both recipes call for browning pieces of tortillas before adding the eggs. But chilaquilles don't have beans in them. Also, the chilaquilles recipe involves real cooking (dicing onions, bell peppers, and tomatoes and adding them to the mix).

Glad you came by for breakfast!

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    • CampingmanNW profile image


      4 years ago

      I am ashamed to admit, but Taco Bell offered something every similar years ago ) more) so anything that can resurrect that time is ok in my book. Thanks for a great look back and an equally great sounding recipe.

    • joanhall profile imageAUTHOR

      Joan Hall 

      7 years ago from Los Angeles

      @blessedmomto7: Terrific! So glad you liked it!

    • blessedmomto7 profile image


      7 years ago

      I had to come back to say this is my new favorite breakfast! I think I made it 5 days in a row! Thumbs up to you!

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image


      8 years ago

      Sounds great!

    • VarietyWriter2 profile image


      8 years ago

      Breakfast? Can make a quick dinner meal too :)

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 

      9 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      When we used to live on a farm and have fresh eggs and grow our own pinto beans (and black beans, etc.), we often had eggs and beans together, along with sauteed veggie mixed in. It was yummy. And we still have that combo, especially with our huevos rancheros. I'm lensrolling you right back. Thanks!

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 

      9 years ago from Canada

      Nicely done, Joan.

      Sounds good although my family isn't

      crazy about beans. They do love eggs


      Blessed by a SquidAngel.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      9 years ago

      We love to make huevos rancheros, and this recipe looks even easier. Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Great recipe, Joan!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      9 years ago from United States

      This sounds like a recipe my daughter and husband would love. Thank you for sharing it with us.


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