These mouth-watering beef taquitos have a luscious, cheesy and flavorful ground beef filling wrapped up in a crispy corn tortilla. A great recipe that you can easily make in the air fryer or the oven.
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Baked or Air Fryer Taquitos
These homemade beef taquitos are incredibly satisfying and the best part is, they can be made in the oven, in the air fryer, and can also be fried on the stovetop.
This taquito recipe is made with Mexican-style seasoned ground beef, a combination of cream cheese, shredded cheese and sour cream.
This flavorful mixture is then rolled into a tortilla and baked, air fried or fried to get that irresistible crunchy texture on the outside that pairs perfectly with the creamy filling. Serve it with your favorite toppings like pico de gallo, guacamole, shredded lettuce and sour cream.
What Are Beef Taquitos and How Do They Taste?
Beef taquitos are a Mexican food dish that can be served as a main dish, a snack, a side dish, or as an appetizer. Taquito means little taco in Spanish. Taquitos are similar to tacos but the main difference is that taquitos are filled, rolled up and cooked until crispy and crunchy. They can be stuffed with different fillings like refried beans and cheese, Mexican shredded beef or chicken (chicken taquitos are always a big hit).
Taquitos taste amazing! They are savory, well seasoned and cheesy with a slight smoky taste from canned chipotles in adobo sauce.
Why You Should Make This Easy Recipe for Beef Taquitos?
- Make Ahead: Taquitos can be made in advanced and freeze very well.
- Customizable: From switching up the cheeses to swapping the meat for another variety, or adding more heat with spices, you can make these taquitos your own signature dish.
- Flavor: Full of ooey-gooey melted cheese and juicy beef, and packed with classic Mexican flavors, these taquitos hit the spot when you’re looking for a filling meal or a simple snack.
- Versatile: Baked, air fried or deep fried, your choice.
Ingredients and Substitutions
For the complete list of ingredients and quantities, check the printable recipe card below.
How Do You Make Beef Taquitos?
Here’s the quick version of how to make these easy beef taquitos recipe. Find all of the details on the printable recipe card below.
- Cook the ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat, breaking up the beef into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon.
- Once the meat is browned, add the taco seasoning, chipotles and their adobo sauce if using.
- Lower the heat and stir in the cream cheese. When melted, add the salsa, sour cream and shredded cheese and remove from the heat.
- Warm up the corn tortillas to make them soft and pliable.
- To assemble one at a time, spread the beef mixture on a warm tortilla.
- Roll and place taquitos seam side down on a baking sheet or in the air fryer basket to ensure the tortilla stays closed.
- Repeat until all of the beef mixture and tortillas have been used. Choose your preferred cooking methods from the options below.
Oven Baked Taquitos
- Brush or spray the cooking oil onto the taquitos.
- Place the baking dish in the oven and bake until crispy and golden brown.
Air Fryer Taquitos
- Place taquitos seam side down in the air fryer basket.
- Mist with oil and cook for the recommended time.
- Halfway through cooking, flip the taquitos, misting again with oil.
Deep Fried Taquitos or Pan Fried Taquitos
- IMPORTANT: When deep frying, roll the taquitos and secure them with them with a toothpick so they don’t open up when they hit the oil.
- For deep frying, fill a deep pot or skillet with any mild oil such as vegetable oil or grape seed oil. Heat the oil over medium-high until it reaches 350ºF
For pan searing, fill a skillet with about 1/2 inch of oil and heat over medium-high heat.
- Place three to four taquitos into the hot oil and fried until crispy and golden brown, . Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain. After a few minutes when the tortilla looks crispy and dried remove the toothpicks.
Common Questions About Taquitos
What are Beef Taquitos Made of?
These beef taquitos are made with a blend of seasoned beef, creamy and melty cheese and sour cream all rolled in a corn tortilla that becomes crispy when baked or air fried.
Are Taquitos Healthy or Unhealthy?
Since these taquitos are baked or air fried, they are healthier than the ones deep fried.
Are Taquitos Better in the Air Fryer or Oven?
Both methods work very well and yield crispy taquitos, however, for big batches, I recommend baking the taquitos as the air fryer cannot accommodate as many taquitos as an oven can.
What to Serve with Taquitos
You can also try serving a spiced-up soup like chicken enchilada soup, chicken pozole verde, or red pork pozole. For lighter side dishes, try tossing together a Mexican chopped salad or Mexican street corn salad.
Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing Beef Taquitos
Make Ahead – Beef taquitos can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before baking or air frying. Place assembled taquitos in an airtight container or wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator until ready to cook.
You can also store assembled taquitos in the freezer. Flash freeze them on a baking sheet, then transfer them to a freezer-safe container or ziploc bag and freeze for up to 2 months.
Refrigerator – After allowing them to come to room temperature, store leftover taquitos in an airtight container or wrap them in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
Freezing – Wrap cooled taquitos individually in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, or place them in a freezer-safe container or ziploc bag. Store in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Tips to Make Beef Taquitos Like a Pro
Check your taco seasoning to see if it contains salt. If not, try adding it to the beef mixture to taste.
If your taquitos are being stubborn about staying closed, thread a toothpick lengthwise along the seam.
Make your tortillas easier to work with by covering them with damp paper towels and microwaving for 30 seconds just before filling them.
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Beef Taquitos Recipe
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning or 1 packet/1 ounce
- 1 chipotle in adobo sauce finely chopped, plus 1-2 teaspoons adobo sauce (optional)
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 1/2 cup mild or medium salsa such as Pace
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 cup shredded cheese, Monterrey Jack, cheddar or a combination
- 8 corn tortillas
- Cooking oil about 2 tablespoons or oil spray
- Guacamole, chopped tomatoes, salsa, pico de Gallo, sour cream, shredded lettuce, crumbled Cotija cheese,chopped cilantro.
- Preheat the oven to 375º F and grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. You can also use a baking sheet pan lined with parchment paper (for easy clean up) greased with cooking spray. If using the air fryer, preheat to 400ºF.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the ground beef breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until cooked through and no longer pink. If you have any excess fat, drain it if preferred. Stir in the taco seasoning and the chipotle in adobo sauce plus the adobo sauce and mix to combine.
- Lower the heat to medium-low and add the cream cheese. Stir until the cheese has melted. Stir in the salsa and sour cream and mix well. Stir in the shredded cheese and remove from the heat.
- To soften the tortillas and make them pliable, wrap them in a damp paper towel and warm them up in the microwave for 30 seconds.
- To assemble the taquitos, place a tortilla on a clean work surface.
- Add a scoop of the cheesy beef filling on one side of the tortilla all the way to the edges. Roll up the tortilla tightly and place seam-side down on the baking pan. Repeat until all the tortillas are filled and assembled.
Cooking in the Oven
- Lightly brush the tortillas with cooking oil (or mist with oil spray) and bake for about 15 minutes or until crispy.
Cooking in the Air Fryer
- For the air fryer, place the taquitos in the air fryer basket, seam side down ina single layer, making sure they are not touching, and mist with oil. Cook until goldenbrown, about 4-5 minutes. Turn taquitos over, mist with avocado oil, and air fry untilcrispy, 2-4 minutes.
Pan Fried or Deep Fried
- IMPORTANT: When deep frying or pan searing, roll the taquitos and secure them with a toothpick so they don't open up when frying.
- For pan searing, fill a skillet with about 1/2 inch of oil and heat over medium-high heat. Cooking in batches, add 3-4 taquitos into the skillet and fry until crispy and golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain. After a few minutes remove the toothpicks.
- For deep frying, fill a deep pot or skillet with any mild oil such as vegetable oil or grape seed oil. Heat the oil over medium-high until it reaches 350ºF. Cooking in batches, cook 3 to 4 taquitos per
- If your taco seasoning doesn’t contain any salt, you may want to add 1/2 teaspoon of seasoned salt.
- Make your tortillas easier to work with by covering them with damp paper towels and microwaving for 30 seconds just before filling them.
- If you are having trouble keeping the taquitos rolled up, secure them closed by threading a toothpick along the seam.
- When pan frying or deep frying, test the oil temperature by dropping a small piece of tortilla in the oil. If it sizzles, the oil is ready.
- Storing: Store leftover taquitos in an airtight container or wrap them in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
- Freezing: Wrap cooled taquitos individually in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, or place them in a freezer-safe container or ziploc bag. Store in the freezer for up to 2 months.