Homemade taquitos (or rolled tacos as we call them) are so much easier to make than you might think. In just a few easy steps you will have delicious, crispy taquitos that are way better than frozen and perfect for an easy dinner or party appetizer.
Family recipe – My cousin taught me a lot of the Mexican dishes I’ve shared here. Like how to make Sopes and Pozole and these fantastic Rolled Tacos (or taquitos or flautas depending on where you live). Her great recipe quickly became my go-to for potlucks, and I was constantly being asked to make them for parties.
Easier than you think – Making rolled tacos can be time consuming, but the steps are really easy. Cook the meat in a slow cooker, shred it, and roll it up in tortillas. Fry or bake them until crispy – that’s it!
The freeze beautifully – Just pop them in the freezer and they’ll keep for 6 months. And you can bake them from frozen!
Versatile – Use beef, chicken or pork for your taquitos as long as it shred easily you can fill the tortillas with it. You can even stuff them with veggies!
Beef roast – I use a chuck roast, sirloin roast or top round roast because any of those will shred easily. I always buy a few when they’re on sale so I can keep them on hand in my freezer. You’ll need 4 cups for the recipe, and any leftovers can be frozen or use for another recipe. Or use it for burritos or more tacos.
Salsa – I cook the beef roast with some of my favorite salsa. I usually go with Pace Picante Sauce, or Paul Newman salsa.
Corn tortillas – You want regular sized tortillas, in my experience white corn holds together better then yellow.
Oil – You will need at least 48 ounces of oil with a high smoke point, like Vegetable, Corn or Canola oil.
Toothpicks – Not really an ingredient, but they are super important to the recipe because the tacos won’t hold together without them.
How to Make Taquitos
Wrap a stack of up to 2 dozen corn tortillas in a kitchen towel or a slightly damp paper towel and microwave to make them pliable.
Heat oil in a deep skillet or dutch oven. You need at least 2-3 inches of oil. The oil should be about 350℉ and should sizzle when you dip a tortilla in.
Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture just off of the center of the tortilla (not in the middle). Fold the closest edge of the tortilla over the filling and continue rolling. Secure with a toothpick.
Fry the tacos for about 5-7 minutes or until they are starting to look browned and feel crispy. Place them on a paper towel lined surface to drain, and sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
Taquitos or rolled tacos can be made with beef, shredded chicken, pork or even veggies!
Beef: Place chuck roast, salsa and seasonings in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 8-9 hours or HIGH for 6-7 hours. Shred in the slow cooker.
Pork: Place a boneless pork shoulder or pork butt in the slow cooker, add salsa and seasonings, and cook on LOW for 8-9 hours (recommended) or on HIGH for 6-7 hours. Shred in the slow cooker.
Chicken: Add 4 chicken breasts to the slow cooker, add salsa and seasonings. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 hours (recommended) or LOW for 4-5 hours. Shred in the slow cooker. Or, to save time, make homemade chicken taquitos with the meat from a rotisserie chicken.
Veggie: Season and saute strips of fresh veggies like colorful bell pepper, onions, and zucchini. Add black beans. Roll the veggies with some cheddar cheese or jack cheese in the tortillas and fry as directed.
Air Fryer Taquitos: Prepare as directed, and air fry at 350℉ for 5-6 minutes.
Can you bake them instead of frying them?
Absolutely! If you aren’t sure about the frying or just want to save the calories for the guacamole and sour cream, you can bake your rolled tacos! Preheat the oven to 425℉. Arrange them on a baking sheet, spray the tops with cooking spray (I recommend avocado oil) and bake taquitos for about 15-20 minutes or until they’re golden and the shells are crispy perfection.
What are the best tortillas to use?
In my experience, Mission tortillas have more of a tendency to crack than Guerrero. However, there can be a variety of reasons for cracking. Make sure your tortillas have been warmed to make them nice and soft. If they cool down, reheat them again.
Why are my tortillas cracking?
There are two possible answers – either your tortillas aren’t warm enough, or you’re using too much filling. If using less filling doesn’t help, you need to reheat the tortillas again, wrapped in damp paper towels.
Storage and Reheating
Storage: Place leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate. They will stay fresh for 3-4 days.
Freezing: They will freeze quite nicely for up to 3 months. Cool completely, and freeze them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Transfer to a resealable freezer bag.
Reheating: To reheat, bake in the oven at 350℉ for 8-10 minutes on each side. From frozen, bake at 350℉ for 10-12 minutes on each side.
Warm the tortillas before rolling. Trust me on this one, you’ll end up with a stack of ripped tortillas otherwise.
To shred your meat, use two forks, or put the meat in a large mixing bowl and use beaters for a quicker method.
If your tortillas are ripping and you already warmed them up, you’re probably using too much filling.
You can use flour tortillas if you prefer, but those are typically called Flautas and aren’t as crunchy as the corn tortillas.
To add a little heat to the meat mixture, add some chili powder, dump in a small can of green chiles or diced jalapenos.
If one toothpick isn’t working the secure the rolled tortilla, use two.
Oil for frying Canola, Corn or Vegetable oil, or other oil with a high smoke point
Slow Cooker Beef or Pork
Trim any excess fat from the meat and cut into large chunks. Sprinkle with salt and pour salsa to coat the meat. Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours or on HIGH for 6-7 hours, or until meat is cooked through and shreds easily.
Canned or Pre-Cooked Meat Method
Shred ingredients in a bowl using two forks, or in your stand mixer. Gently mix in other ingredients.
Pour about 2-3 inches of oil into a large, deep pan and heat over medium-high heat.
Wrap tortillas in a kitchen towel and heat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, until they are soft enough to roll easily. Keep them wrapped as you work.
Place about 1-2 tablespoons of the meat mixture on one side of a tortilla and roll it tightly into a tube-like shape. Secure with 1 or 2 toothpicks.
Continue this method until you’ve either made your desired amount of tacos or your meat is gone. (If you have leftover meat it keeps quite well in the freezer).
Once the oil is hot, fry the tacos for about 5-7 minutes or until they are starting to look browned and feel crispy. Remember that they will continue to crisp as they sit. Place them on a paper towel lined surface to drain, and sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
Serve hot, on a bed of shredded lettuce and cabbage with salsa, sour cream or guacamole for dipping.
These can also be baked in a 425 degree oven for about 15 minutes.
To reheat leftover tacos, place them in a hot skillet with a little bit of corn oil and turn often or reheat in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
Nutritional information is approximate and based on using the slow cooker beef.
As a shortcut, you can use 3-4 12-ounce cans of roast beef, well drained. Combine with about 1/2-1 cup of salsa and the seasonings.
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Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.