It is time for some Taquitos! While the name may suggest little tacos, they are more like crunchy little cigars that make the perfect appetizer or lunch! Taquitos are usually made with seasoned beef or chicken and cheese but there are many other awesome plant-based alternatives like black beans, jackfruit, lentils and more. Pick your favorite brand of shredded vegan cheese and you are good to go. Fun fact: taquitos made with corn tortillas are called taquitos, but taquitos made with flour tortillas are called flautas. There you go, you learn something everyday!
Origins of Taquitos
They were not invented in Mexico! Apparently they were created by street vendors as lunch food in New Mexico back in the 1920’s. They join a long list of Mexican inspired popular dishes but created in the US, like: Fajitas, Sopapillas, Chile con queso, Taco salad, and Chimichangas.
Best tortillas for taquitos
Corn tortillas (white or yellow) are best for the job but they can be a little temperamental. Because they don’t contain any flour, corn tortillas can easily tear or split. It is best to buy corn tortillas labelled “homemade” or “freshly made” or tortillas that have a little flour them like the brand La Tortilla Factory. If you can find them, they will make your job a lot easier. The worse case scenario is that your taquitos can come apart or split. They will taste great but won’t look very nice. This is what can happen! These were air fried!
3 Steps to making Taquitos
Prepare the filling. This can be done the day before an keep refrigerated.
Assemble and roll the taquitos.
Cook the taquitos.
There are 3 ways to cook them:
1.) Pan frying
3.) Air frying
All 3 methods produce tasty taquitos but there are a few differences. Pan frying is more like the real thing you have in Mexican restaurants. I had to use a generous amount of oil so that they crisp nicely. Second, was air fried taquitos. They came out crunchy, not as dark as pan frying. A few exploded (because I used a lower quality tortillas) but they were delicious. Baking them works as long as you spray some oil on them. Corn tortillas don’t have much moisture. Make sure to drain the cooked taquitos on paper towels.
How to prevent breaking the corn tortilla?
Cold tortillas can break when rolled. To prevent this, just wrap a few tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave for 20-30 seconds until they are warmed up. Fill and roll one tortilla at a time and keep the rest covered until you use them to keep them soft.
How to prevent the taquitos from coming open
Create a little flour paste (mix 1-2 tbsp flour mixed with the same amount of water) to seal together the seam. Use a toothpick to sow the seam!
Dairy-free cilantro cream
This sauce only takes a few minutes to make. It is quite versatile because you can use cashews, vegan mayo ( a little more fattening) or plain vegan yogurt (Forager). All you need is fresh cilantro, leaves and stems, some lemon or lime juice, salt and pepper.
Easy Black Bean Taquitos
- food processor
- 1 can black beans drained and lightly rinsed
- 1 medium chopped onion (white or yellow)
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and chopped
- 1 tbsp lemon or lime juice
- 1 small carrot peeled and finely diced
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 cup vegan shredded cheese (Violife, Chao etc.)
- Yellow or white corn tortillas
Cilantro Cream Sauce
- 1 ripe avocado
- 3/4 cup vegan plain yogurt or 3/4 cup of soaked cashews
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 cup fresh cilantro (leaves and stems)
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- salt & pepper
Prepare the filling
- Drain and lightly rinse the black beans and set aside.
- Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a small pot, blanch the diced carrot
- Peel and dice the onion and the garlic.
- Heat up a frying pan with a few tablespoon of oil.
- Stir in the diced onion, garlic, cumin powder, salt, cayenne pepper and cook for a few minutes.
- Deglaze using the lemon juice, add the blanched diced carrots, black beans and simmer covered for few minutes.
- Taste and adjust seasonings. Set aside to cool down.
- Mash the filling with a fork or pulsing it in a food processor. Just enough to quickly blend all the ingredients.
Prepare the corn tortillas
- Lightly wet a clean kitchen towel and fold 10 corn tortillas inside the towel. Microwave for 10-20 seconds. Keep them in the towel until you are ready to assemble them.
Make the cilantro cream
- Combine the avocado, raw cashews (or plain vegan yogurt) with the garlic clove, fresh cilantro, lemon or lime juice, salt and pepper in a food processor and blend.
- Add a little water if you want it a little thinner.
Make the taquitos
- Make the flour paste by mixing equal amount of flour an water.
- Make sure that the corn tortillas are covered with a warm damp towel to keep them soft and pliable.
- Take out one tortilla and place 2-3 tbsp of filling in a line in the middle and top with shredded vegan cheese.
- Tightly roll the taquito and brush a little flour paste on the edge to seal it.
- Carefully insert a toothpick along the seam to keep the roll from opening during the cooking.
- Place the taquitos on a tray. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
- If you are panfrying them, heat up a few tablespoons of oil in a frying pan.
- Place 2-3 taquitos in the pan making sure that the seam is down. Hold each taquitos with metal tongues the first few seconds as they cook.
- Cook 5 minutes for each side until they turn lightly brown and crispy.
- Serve with your favorite salsa and drizzle some cilantro cream.
s. You have to place the seal down and hold them down for a few seconds to make sure that they don’t open during the frying.
Insert a toothpick like you were sowing the seam. This will keep the taquito from opening. Only cook a few at a time so that you can hold them as they cook and keep them tight.
Can I freeze my taquitos?
Yes, so make extra. Let them cool down first and place them in a sealed plastic bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible. Just thaw out before heating up in the oven or on the stove.
Other filling options
Spinach and artichokes, sweet potatoes, seasoned jackfruit.. So many possibilities!
You can also serve your taquitos with red or green salsa, Pico de Gallo, guacamole.