I grew up eating taquitos, but as you might have guessed, they were almost always the frozen kind. Not that there is anything wrong with the occasional frozen taquito, but these Homemade Beef Taquitos are an entirely different (and better) experience!
Once you get the hang of rolling these, you can have beautifully crispy and cheesy taquitos within about an hour. They are perfect to make in advance of a game-day celebration or casual Cinco de Mayo happy hour!
Of course, there are a few tricks to making these really good so let’s dive in!
Ingredients for the Beef Filling
This beef filling is my go-to filling for taquitos. It has the perfect mix of spices, onion, jalapeno, and cheese. Plus, it’s fast to stir together so you can spend your time on the rolling!
Not a beef fan? Be sure to check out my other filling suggestions below.
To start this filling, add some neutral oil or olive oil to a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and jalapeno peppers for the beef version. Then use a wooden spoon to crumble the ground beef as it cooks and add all your spices (chili powder, paprika, oregano, salt, and pepper). In a pinch you can also use a store-bought taco seasoning mix, which works just fine!
Cook this all down until the meat is nicely browned, about 8-10 minutes. Then remove either filling from the heat and stir in cilantro and Cotija cheese. This is my favorite Mexican cheese for recipes like this.
What kind of cheese to use for Taquitos
I like to use a cheese that isn’t super-melty for my taquitos. If you use something like Monterey jack or cheddar cheese, it will melt out of the taquitos while they bake and you’ll have a huge mess on your hands!
So, I stick with something like Cotija cheese or even queso fresco will work great. You can stir your cheese right into your ground beef mixture so everything is together which will make rolling the taquitos much easier.
Instructions on How to Roll Beef Taquitos
Once your filling is done, you have to roll all of these beef taquitos. This is really the only mildly hard part of the recipe. My advice: Give yourself some extra time and extra tortillas, don’t do this in your church clothes, have a beer and relax.
This is the process I used:
Pour 1/4 cup oil into a small skillet and get it warm over medium-low heat. Throw in one corn tortilla at a time. Cook them literally for about 5 seconds per side. You just want to get them warm, flexible, and coated in oil.
Then, using tongs or maybe a spatula, transfer them to a clean surface, put two tablespoons of your preferred filling directly in the middle, and roll it up.
Don’t worry if some of the filling falls out the ends. That’s to be expected. Assuming your tortilla is nice and flexible, they should roll up nicely.
It might look like there’s a lot of oil on that tortilla, and that’s because there is. Get over it. If you skimp on the oil, don’t blame me when your taquitos crack open because the tortillas are too dry.
Put the rolled taquito seam side down on a baking sheet. Continue until you have them all done!
To Bake or Fry Homemade Taquitos
Personally, I prefer to bake these taquitos because frying them is a lot of work when you already did a lot of work. They do get really nice and crispy even if you bake them. I would recommend baking them for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and you can go longer if you want. The longer you cook them the more crispier they will get. Hint: Crispy is awesome.
If you are an over-achiever and want to fry the taquitos, that is absolutely doable. Just toss them in a deep fryer or a skillet with about 1/2 inch of oil in it. Fry them for a minute or two on both sides and they will be very crispy.
Another option?! Air fry them! These would cook beautifully in an air fryer. I would try them at 400˚F for about 8-10 minutes. They should get nice and crispy but you will have to cook them in batches.
While you are waiting you can prepare your dips and clean up a bit so you will be all set when the party arrives.
- Something easy to serve with these? Try my fresh Cabbage Salsa!
Other filling options for homemade taquitos
Don’t stop at just beef taquitos. There are dozens of filling options for taquitos once you get the idea down.
- Chicken Taquitos. These are a classic taquito option. Start with a rotisserie chicken to make your life easier.
- Bean Taquitos. For a high protein vegetarian option, use refried beans or black beans in your taquitos.
- Mushroom Taquitos. I’ve made a diced mushroom taquito by substituting the ground beef in this recipe.
- Flour Taquitos? Sure! You could use flour tortillas instead of corn which I like to call flautas, but they are similar.
What to serve with homemade beef Taquitos
I always like to garnish my beef taquitos with some fresh cilantro and maybe a few dashes of hot sauce, but other than that the serving options are pretty varied and I always like to set out various options for people.
A few kinds of fresh salsa (like this grilled salsa) is always nice for dipping and sour cream or Greek yogurt is nice for a creamy element to dip in.
I’m sure your crew would love a batch of homemade guacamole to go with these taquitos as well.
However you serve them, these beef taquitos are always a hit and are a great way to serve a bunch of people (or just your family) easily.
- 30 6 in corn tortillas, in case you mess a few up
- 1 c. neutral oil, I used vegetable oil
- Tomatillo sauce
- Sour cream
- 1 lb ground beef
- ½ red onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeno, minced
- 1 tbsp oil
- ¼ c. cilantro, optional
- 1 c. crumbled Cotija cheese, 6-8 ounces
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp oregano
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 2 avocados
- ½ c. salsa
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- For beef filling add oil to a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and jalapeno. Cook for a few minutes until veggies soften. Then add beef and seasonings and continue to cook until beef is cooked through, about 8 minutes.
- Stir in cilantro and Cotija cheese and remove from heat.
- To make the taquitos add 1/4 cup of neutral oil to a small skillet over medium heat. Add one corn tortilla to the pan and cook for 5 seconds per side. Remove from pan and lay on a clean surface.
- Spoon two tablespoons of filling into the center of the tortilla and roll it into a tight cylinder. Place rolled taquito on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat until all taquitos are made.
- Bake taquitos for 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until they are crispy on the outside.
- Serve taquitos immediately with sour cream, salsa, and guacamole. Leftover taquitos can be reheated in the oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.