These crunchy Beef Taquitos are filled with seasoned ground beef and shredded cheese, then baked or fried for a crispy crunchy exterior. They’re easy to make and best served with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and sour cream for the best Mexican dinner ever!
I’ll never say no to crunchy Beef Taquitos! What’s not to love about a crispy corn tortilla wrapped around Mexican-seasoned ground beef and shredded cheese? Just be warned, these crispy rolled tacos are addictive and will be gone before you know it, which is why I highly recommend making extras!
The ground beef filling in these taquitos is seasoned with some of my favorite Mexican seasonings like chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, ground cumin, and Mexican oregano. One of my favorite things about serving taquitos are all the toppings, so don’t forget the sour cream, diced tomatoes, and shredded lettuce.
If you’re craving the satisfying crunch of these beef taquitos but want to avoid frying them, try baking them instead! I’ve included both baking and frying instructions, making it easy to create a healthy and comforting meal.
What are taquitos?
Taquitos, meaning “little taco” in Spanish, are stuffed and rolled tortillas that are baked or fried to make them crispy and crunchy. The tortillas are usually filled with beef, chicken, or beans and then fried or baked until golden brown. To finish them off, taquitos are often served with toppings and dip on the side, such as guacamole, salsa, and sour cream.
Taquitos are typically found in central and southern Mexico but are popular all over the globe. They can be eaten as a hearty snack or paired with rice and beans as a main dish. If you’re not a huge fan of red meat, try my recipe for Chicken Taquitos instead!
Beef taquito ingredients
- Seasoned ground beef – The ground beef in these taquitos isn’t your ordinary bland ground beef. I punched up the flavors as much as possible and seasoned it with chili powder, cumin, oregano, and salt as well as some chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to add a little heat and smokiness. Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce can often be found in the international aisle at most grocery stores, or you can get them online. If you don’t want to use ground beef, this recipe also works with leftover steak or shredded pot roast instead.
- Onion and garlic – These aromatics provide a savory undertone to the beef filling.
- Tomato paste – This adds a ton of highly concentrated flavor to the ground beef filing without adding too much liquid.
- Corn tortillas – These tend to crisp up more evenly than Flour Tortillas. To keep the tortillas from cracking, wrap them in damp paper towels and warm them for 1 to 2 minutes in the microwave before using them. Then keep them warm and covered while you’re in the process of stuffing and rolling all the taquitos so that they stay warm and pliable.
- Shredded cheese – Any kind of shredded cheese will work in this recipe. I like using a Mexican blend or pepper jack for even spicier taquitos.
- Oil – A small amount of olive oil is used to cook your beef, while a larger amount of frying oil is used to crisp up the taquitos.
How to make homemade beef taquitos
Sauté the garlic and onion in a skillet over medium-high heat. Afterward, add the ground beef and cook until browned.
To your ground beef mixture, add the tomato paste, diced chipotles in adobo, seasonings, and a bit of water. Stir to combine and cook until most of the water has evaporated.
Warm your tortillas in the microwave before stuffing each one with a heaping spoonful of the ground beef mixture and a pinch of shredded cheese. Tightly roll your tortillas and use a toothpick to keep them closed.
Baked or fried
To bake the beef taquitos, place them on a lined baking sheet and lightly brush or spray the top of each taquito with cooking oil. Bake in a 425°F oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Remove the toothpicks, serve, and enjoy!
To fry the beef taquitos, fill a deep skillet or pot with a couple of cups of frying oil. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 350°F. Place three or four taquitos at a time into the oil and fry until golden brown and crispy on all sides. Remove them from the oil, transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels, and allow them to drip dry before removing the toothpicks and serving.
My favorite Taquito toppings
Here comes my favorite part – all the toppings! Shredded lettuce is always a must have for me when serving taquitos (it’s how I grew up eating them), but there are also lots of other toppings I love! Here are a few ideas:
- Guacamole or Guacamole Salsa
- Chipotle Sauce
- Mexican Crema
- Roasted Tomato Salsa or Salsa Verde
- Cilantro Lime Crema
- Pickled Jalapenos
What to serve with beef taquitos
These delicious taquitos tend to be devoured quickly, so it’s never a bad idea to serve them with some Mexican sides to create a filling meal. Try plating them with the following:
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 medium onion, diced
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, minced (optional)
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 cup water
- 18 corn tortillas
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
- oil (about 2-3 cups for frying or 1-2 tablespoons for baking)
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion. Saute for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions have softened.
- Add ground beef and cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked through.
- Add tomato paste, chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, chili powder, salt, cumin, oregano, and water. Stir to combine and cook for 3 more minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Wrap the corn tortillas in a damp paper towel and heat them in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, flipping the tortillas halfway through until all of them are warm and pliable. Place them in a tortilla warmer or wrap them in a clean kitchen towel to keep them warm during assembly.
- Place a heaping spoonful of the ground beef mixture and a pinch of shredded cheese onto each tortilla. Tightly roll up each tortilla and secure it closed by threading a toothpick along the seam (see photo in blog post).
- To fry the taquitos: Pour enough oil into the bottom of a deep skillet or frying pan so that the oil reaches halfway up the taquitos. Heat oil over medium-high heat to 350°F (To test, drop a small piece of tortilla in the oil. If it sizzles, it's ready.) Cooking in batches, add 3-4 taquitos and fry for about 1 1/2-2 minutes per side until golden brown. Transfer taquitos to a large plate or baking sheet lined with paper towels to soak up any excess oil.
- To bake the taquitos: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place the taquitos on a large baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Lightly brush or spray the tops of the taquitos with cooking oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until they're crispy and golden brown.
- Remove the toothpicks from the taquitos and serve with shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, mexican crema and guacamole.