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Tortillas filled with meat and cheese and fried to perfection! Crispy, flavorful flautas are a delicious dinner for everyone!
What is a flauta?
A flauta (which translates to “flutes”) is a Mexican dish made from tortilla that is filled with meat or poultry, cheese, and other fillings. Then it’s fried in a little bit of oil over the stove – and they’re amazing!!
This recipe hits it out of the park with anyone who tries it. The crunch from the fried tortilla and the creamy melted cheese mixed in with the beef is just SO YUMMY!
Honestly, I could eat 10 of these flautas if I’m not careful. 😉
Feel free to switch up the ingredients and add shredded chicken or pulled pork instead of beef, or use flour tortillas instead of corn tortillas. You could even use different cheeses or toppings—the possibilities are endless!
How to Make Flautas
FILLING. You’ll need about 3 cups of shredded beef and 1 cup of shredded cheese for this recipe. This is the perfect time to use up the leftover pot roast (or shredded chicken) you made the other day! Have about 12 flour or corn tortillas on hand too.
Start by heating up the vegetable oil in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add the shredded beef, cheese, salt & pepper to a bowl and mix everything together.
TORTILLAS. Before preparing the flautas, heat up the tortillas in the microwave, covered with a damp paper towel, for about 20 seconds. This will prevent them from cracking or tearing when you roll them up.
FRY. Add the meat mixture to heated tortillas and roll. Use tongs to hold each flauta and place seam side down in the oil, holding there for a few seconds. Fry the flautas until golden on all sides and repeat until meat is gone. Place each flauta on a paper-towel lined plate.
TIP: Cover the beef flautas with foil to keep them warm until ready to serve.
Tips, Tricks + Storing
Can you make them ahead? Flautas are definitely best served warm. I suggest making these right before you’re ready to serve them. Keep them covered with foil until ready to serve and eat.
Start with warm fresh tortillas. Sometimes corn tortillas can crack when you’re rolling them up to make flautas. If your tortillas are cold, warm them in a pan, on a griddle, or heat them for about 20 seconds in the microwave. If your tortilla cracks, it is because the tortilla is too cold or it is stale.
Storing: Store your leftover flautas wrapped in foil and in an airtight container. Keep them in the fridge for a few days. You can heat them up in the microwave or over the stove for a few minutes. You could even heat them up in the oven on low heat.
our favorite flautas toppings
- Pico de Gallo
- Cafe Rio’s Ranch Dressing
- Avocado Cream Sauce
- Salsa Verde
- Sour cream
- Chopped tomatoes
- A squeeze of lime juice
- Cotija cheese
Both dishes are made from a filling rolled up in a tortilla and fried until crispy, and oftentimes the names are used interchangeably. The main difference is size—flautas are made with larger tortillas (often flour but sometimes corn) and taquitos are made from smaller corn tortillas.
If your tortilla cracks, it could be because it is too cold or it is stale. If your tortillas are cold, warm them in a pan, on a griddle, or heat them for about 20 seconds in the microwave. Heating them should soften them enough to not crack.
For more of our favorite Mexican entrees, try:
- vegetable or canola oil for frying
- 3 cups shredded beef or shredded cooked chicken
- 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
- ½ cup salsa store-bought or homemade
- 1 (4-ounce) can diced chiles
- garlic salt with parsley flakes to taste
- pepper to taste
- 12 6-inch flour tortillas (or corn tortillas)
- salt to taste
- shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, green salsa, guacamole, Cilantro Ranch dressing
- Preheat the oven to the warm setting or about 200 degrees F.
- Fill a large saucepan with about ¾ inch oil. Heat over medium heat to 375 degrees F.
- In a medium bowl, combine chicken, cheese, salsa, diced chiles, garlic salt and pepper.
- Working with 4 tortillas at a time, spread a heaping spoonful of chicken filling along the middle of each tortilla. Roll the tortillas tightly around the filling and secure each one with a toothpick.
- Using tongs, hold each flauta in hot oil until firm, then release to continue cooking. Cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes, then remove to a paper towel–lined plate and immediately season with salt.
- Transfer flautas to a foil-lined baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while assembling and cooking the remaining tortillas. Serve warm with toppings.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.