Taquitos are a Mexican treat and are also known by other names; taco dorados, rolled tacos and flautas, although flautas tends to be larger in size and sometimes made with flour tortillas.  The name taquito is Spanish for small taco while they may be small in size they are not small in flavor.

These are great for game day, parties and celebrations, like Cinco de Mayo.  You serve them warm with salsa, hot sauce, guacamole, ranch dressing, sour cream, etc.

Because everyone has different preferences for fillings, I have made four variations of this recipe which will yield 15 taquitos per flavor. If you want all of them the same then you will need to multiply the recipe by four, or if you want half and half then multiply the recipe by two, and so on.

The four different fillings that I chose are beef barbacoa, chicken al carbon, pork al pastor and refried beans with cheese.  This way there are options for people that avoid pork or red meat, people who are vegetarian, which can also be vegan if you leave off the cheese and all varieties are naturally gluten free.  The fillings are made ahead of time since they take the longest to make.

Beef barbacoa is basically shredded beef.  The name originated in the Caribbean and simply means barbecue, although this beef is not barbecued, it is slow cooked until tender.  Good quality stew meat is combined with onion, garlic, jalapenos, tomato, adobo sauce with herbs and spices in a beef broth. The mixture is cooked over a low steady heat until the meat is fork tender and the liquid is absorbed. This filling takes longer to prepare due to the long cooking time until tender, therefore, you should start the beef before the chicken or pork.  

Beef Barbacoa
Serves 15
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
3 hr 15 min
Total Time
3 hr 45 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
3 hr 15 min
Total Time
3 hr 45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1-1/2 cups beef stew meat, trimmed and cubed
  2. 1/4 cup sliced onion, red, brown or white
  3. 1 tomato, diced
  4. 1 jalapeno, sliced
  5. 1 clove garlic, minced
  6. 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  7. 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
  8. 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  9. 1 tsp. ground cumin
  10. 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  11. 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  12. 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  13. 2 dried bay leaves
  14. 2 cups beef broth
  15. 15 mini corn tortillas
  16. nonstick cooking spray, such as canola or olive oil
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Instructions
  1. In a large bowl combine all ingredients with exception of the beef broth. Cover and let stand 20 to 30 minutes to allow the contents to marinate.
  2. In a large skillet, add all ingredients from bowl and beef broth. Bring mixture to a boil, cover and reduce to simmer. Simmer until meat is tender and pulls apart easily, approximately 3 hours. During the cooking time the liquid evaporates, add another cup of beef broth or water.
  3. When meat is tender, if there is still considerable amount of liquid in the skillet, increase heat to high and boil until liquid is absorbed.
  4. Allow mixture to stand until cool enough to handle, pull apart into small pieces.
  5. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  6. Steam tortillas in sealed plastic bag with a wet paper towel inside, approximately 30 seconds in the microwave or until moist and soft. You can also prepare a steam basket over boiling water on the stove and steam until soft and moist, about 10 minutes. Keep tortillas covered until ready to use.
  7. Spray baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
  8. Working in batches place softened tortillas on work surface, spoon about a heaping tablespoon of beef in a straight line across the tortilla, about 1/3 way up from the edge. Fold bottom 1/3 of tortilla over filling and continue to roll. Place seam side down on baking sheet. Repeat for additional tortillas, resteam tortillas if necessary.
  9. Spray tops of taquitos with nonstick spray.
  10. Place in oven and cook until golden brown and crispy, about 15 minutes.
  11. Remove and serve with your choice of sides.
Calories
75 cal
Fat
2 g
Protein
6 g
Carbs
8 g
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Healthy Southern Cooking http://healthysoutherncooking.com/
Chicken al carbon means chicken cooked over coals, while this does give the chicken the best flavor, you can also roast them in the oven and it still makes for an incredible flavor.  Lime juice, garlic, cilantro, jalapeno, green onions and spices are added to white meat chicken and roasted in the oven until they slightly sear.  If you prefer, you can cook it outdoors on a charcoal grill for a more smokey and intense flavor. Whether you are cooking it indoor or out on the grill, this recipe takes the least amount of time and should be the last one of the 3 meat fillings to make.

Chicken al Carbon
Serves 15
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
55 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
55 min
Ingredients
  1. 1-1/2 cups boneless, skinless chicken breast cubed
  2. 1/2 cup green onions, sliced
  3. 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  4. 2 tablespoons lime juice
  5. 1 jalapeno pepper, sliced
  6. 1 clove garlic, minced
  7. 1 tsp. ground cumin
  8. 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  9. 15 mini corn tortillas
  10. nonstick cooking spray, such as canola or olive oil
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Instructions
  1. In a large bowl combine all ingredients. Cover and let stand 20 to 30 minutes to allow the contents to marinate.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees or prepare outdoor charcoal grill.
  3. If doing by oven, place ingredients in oven proof pan and bake in oven 20 to 25 minutes until chicken chars slightly.
  4. If doing on grill, skewer all the ingredients or use an outdoor grill basket treated with nonstick spray. Place on grill, stirring occasionally until chicken is cooked through and slightly charred, about 25 minutes.
  5. Allow chicken to stand until cool enough to handle then dice into small pieces that will roll nicely in tortillas.
  6. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  7. Steam tortillas in sealed plastic bag with a wet paper towel inside, approximately 30 seconds in the microwave or until moist and soft. You can also prepare a steam basket over boiling water on the stove and steam until soft and moist, about 10 minutes. Keep tortillas covered until ready to use.
  8. Spray baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
  9. Working in batches place softened tortillas on work surface, spoon about a heaping tablespoon of chicken in a straight line across the tortilla, about 1/3 way up from the edge. Fold bottom 1/3 of tortilla over filling and continue to roll. Place seam side down on baking sheet. Repeat for additional tortillas, resteam tortillas if necessary.
  10. Spray tops of taquitos with nonstick spray.
  11. Place in oven and cook until golden brown and crispy, about 15 minutes.
  12. Remove and serve with your choice of sides.
Calories
49 cal
Fat
1 g
Protein
4 g
Carbs
7 g
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Healthy Southern Cooking http://healthysoutherncooking.com/
Pork al pastor comes from Central Mexico and is actually what we call now a fusion dish.  The technique was brought to Mexico by Lebanese immigrants who prepared their dish, shawarma, with local ingredients.  Al pastor simply means in the style of the shepherd.  Lean pork has spices, orange juice, aromatics and pineapple added to it. Traditionally it is cooked on a vertical spit but I don’t think too many of us have those. I slow cook the pork, much like I do pulled pork, until it is pull apart tender.  The pork takes half the time as the beef but longer than the chicken.

Pork al Pastor
Serves 15
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
2 hr 15 min
Total Time
2 hr 45 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
2 hr 15 min
Total Time
2 hr 45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1-1/2 cups lean pork loin, cubed
  2. 1/4 cup orange juice
  3. 1/4 cup red onion, sliced
  4. 1/2 cup fresh pineapple, diced
  5. 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  6. 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  7. 1 clove garlic, minced
  8. 1 tsp. chili powder
  9. 1 tsp. ground cumin
  10. 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  11. 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
  12. 2 cups chicken broth
  13. 15 mini corn tortillas
  14. nonstick cooking spray, such as canola or olive oil
Add ingredients to shopping list
If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl combine all ingredients with exception of the chicken broth. Cover and let stand 20 to 30 minutes to allow the contents to marinate.
  2. In a large skillet, add all ingredients from bowl and chicken broth. Bring mixture to a boil, cover and reduce to simmer. Simmer until pork is tender and pulls apart easily, approximately 1-1/2 to 2 hours. During the cooking time the liquid evaporates, add another cup of chicken broth or water.
  3. When pork is tender, if there is still considerable amount of liquid in the skillet, increase heat to high and boil until liquid is absorbed.
  4. Allow mixture to stand until cool enough to handle, pull apart or dice into small pieces.
  5. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  6. Steam tortillas in sealed plastic bag with a wet paper towel inside, approximately 30 seconds in the microwave or until moist and soft. You can also prepare a steam basket over boiling water on the stove and steam until soft and moist, about 10 minutes. Keep tortillas covered until ready to use.
  7. Spray baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
  8. Working in batches place softened tortillas on work surface, spoon about a heaping tablespoon of pork in a straight line across the tortilla, about 1/3 way up from the edge. Fold bottom 1/3 of tortilla over filling and continue to roll. Place seam side down on baking sheet. Repeat for additional tortillas, resteam tortillas if necessary.
  9. Spray tops of taquitos with nonstick spray.
  10. Place in oven and cook until golden brown and crispy, about 15 minutes.
  11. Remove and serve with your choice of sides.
Calories
67 cal
Fat
2 g
Protein
4 g
Carbs
9 g
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Healthy Southern Cooking http://healthysoutherncooking.com/
Our final filling, refried beans is probably the easiest of all the filling to make.  I start with dried pinto beans and then add garlic, onion and jalapenos to the water and cook them down.  Once they are soft you can mash them with the back of a wooden spoon or blend them with an immersion blender.  You could also transfer the beans to a food processor or blender, puree and return to the stove.  Alternatively you could substitute black beans if you prefer and you don’t have to have them pureed, you could do whole beans as well.  If you are short on time you could certainly substitute canned beans.  If doing from dried beans then the beans should be started a little before or around the same time as the beef as it requires a longer cooking time.  If using canned, it takes a matter of minutes and can be done shortly before filling the tortillas.

Refried Beans
Serves 15
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
3 hr 10 min
Total Time
3 hr 25 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
3 hr 10 min
Total Time
3 hr 25 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 lb. dried pinto beans, rinsed and sifted for pebbles
  2. 1 quart water
  3. 1 tsp. sea salt
  4. 1/2 cup onion, diced
  5. 1 clove garlic, minced
  6. 1 jalapeno, diced (or to taste)
  7. 1/3 cup shredded cheese; Mexican blend, pepper jack, etc.
  8. 15 mini corn tortillas
  9. nonstick cooking spray, such as canola or olive oil
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Instructions
  1. In a large pot add beans and water, bring to a rapid boil, cover and remove from heat. Let sit one hour covered, do not disturb.
  2. After the hour, remove lid and add salt, onion, garlic and jalapeno, bring mixture to a boil, reduce to simmer and cover. Allow beans to cook 3 hours or until tender. Periodically check for liquid and add more water if necessary.
  3. When beans are soft there should be a little bit of liquid in the pot, no more than 1/3 cup. If there is more boil off the excess over high heat, if there is less, add enough to make 1/3 cup.
  4. Increase heat to high, using the back of a wooden spoon press and mash beans, you can also use an immersion blender or you can transfer the contents to a blender or food processor and puree then return beans to pot.
  5. Turn on the heat to medium and while stirring constantly until beans thicken and become slightly pasty, about 10 minutes.
  6. Remove beans from heat and allow to cool before handling.
  7. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  8. Steam tortillas in sealed plastic bag with a wet paper towel inside, approximately 30 seconds in the microwave or until moist and soft. You can also prepare a steam basket over boiling water on the stove and steam until soft and moist, about 10 minutes. Keep tortillas covered until ready to use.
  9. Spray baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
  10. Working in batches place softened tortillas on work surface, spoon about a heaping tablespoon of beans in a straight line across the tortilla, about 1/3 way up from the edge. Sprinkle with a little bit of cheese. Fold bottom 1/3 of tortilla over filling and continue to roll. Place seam side down on baking sheet. Repeat for additional tortillas, resteam tortillas if necessary.
  11. Spray tops of taquitos with nonstick spray.
  12. Place in oven and cook until golden brown and crispy, about 15 minutes.
  13. Remove and serve with your choice of sides.
Calories
49 cal
Fat
1 g
Protein
2 g
Carbs
8 g
Print
Healthy Southern Cooking http://healthysoutherncooking.com/
All of the fillings can me prepared a day or two before and stored in the refrigerator in air tight containers.

For this recipe you will need the smaller size corn tortillas.  Some are labeled mini, street taco or small. The ones that I used were labeled as mini and come in a 60 count package and measure just over 4 inches in diameter.  When shopping for tortillas, press and squeeze the package, the tortillas should be very soft.

Normally taquitos are deep fried, we’re cutting out that process and doing a lighter version.  The corn tortillas get steamed, until they are pliable.  This can be done in a steamer basket or sealed in a plastic bag with a wet paper towel.

Before filling the tortillas the beef barbacoa filling needs to be shredded into tiny piece so it will easily fit in the in the mini tortilla. The chicken will have to be finely diced along with the peppers and onions. The pork can be shredded or diced with a knife and that includes the pineapple as well.  They need to be small enough so when rolled they fit in a small space.

 

 

A heaping tablespoon of the filling is added about a third of the way from the edge of the tortilla in a straight line then rolled up and placed seam side down on a baking sheet treated with nonstick spray. Sometimes the tortillas may try to unravel and you may have to secure with a toothpick. Once all the taquitos are rolled and placed on the baking sheet, the tops are sprayed with nonstick cooking spray and placed in a preheated oven, cooked until golden brown.

If the tortillas are not fresh enough and can’t be softened by steaming they will tear. Sometimes you may have just a few tortillas that will fall apart while others will work just fine.  If the majority are not working, you may have to resort to dip frying the tortillas.  While this does increase the fat content it still is not as bad as deep frying them.  To dip fry, you simply heat a heart healthy oil, such as canola oil, over moderate high heat and place the tortilla in the oil, submerge and remove, about 5-10 seconds, then drain on rack lined with paper towels, this will soften them enough to roll.  Remember, this step is not necessary unless your tortillas were not fresh and pliable enough. 

You can serve each variety of taquito on separate platers so people know they are choosing beef, chicken, etc. or you can mix them all together, sort of like Russian roulette, you never know what to expect when you bite into it.

Of course you can use any of these filling recipes for tacos, burritos, tostadas, nachos and much more.

Olé!

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