Homemade air fryer taquitos are a quick and easy dinner or after school snack and use only 2 ingredients. Made with tender shredded beef (or chicken), air fried taquitos are a healthier alternative to deep frying. Top with your favorite garnishes and sauce for the perfect tasty meal.
I’m always looking for a new easy air fryer recipe, and these homemade taquitos definitely fit the bill. Using simple ingredients, with quick prep and assembly, these are a delicious alternative to tacos for Taco Tuesday. And they are incredible when served with the homemade creamy and spicy ranch dressing. My whole family loves this easy meal especially because they can customize their dish using their favorite toppings. For the filling I use my slow cooker shredded tri-tip, but feel free to use shredded chicken as well!
Why this recipe works
- Air frying is a healthier alternative to the deep fryer. Using 70% less oil than traditional frying methods, air fry taquitos are a simple nourishing comfort meal.
- Easy assembly and quick cooking time helps you get dinner on the table fast.
- Can use a variety of fillings. While I used shredded tri-tip, you can also use shredded rotisserie chicken or ground beef.
- Customize with a variety of toppings. From shredded cheese, pico de gallo, guacamole or a spicy ranch sauce, keep it simple or load ’em up!
3 easy ingredients
- Corn tortillas are what is traditionally used for taquitos. When using flour tortillas, they are called flautas.
- Meat filling of choice. If you grew up on shredded beef taquitos like I did, you may want to stick to that. But shredded chicken taquitos are also delicious and yummy! Especially if you have leftover chicken to use up.
- Cooking oil of choice. I prefer cooking spray, but feel free to also brush on a bit of olive oil on each taquito before air frying.
Important first step – heating the tortillas
The most important step in making these easy air fryer taquitos is to first heat tortillas to make them pliable for rolling. My grandma and mom *always* heated them over an open flame one by one, and I still love that method best. First, it gives the tortillas a nice little char on the edges. Second, it allows for better control when softening the tortillas. Feel free to heat them in a pan or use the microwave though.
To heat directly on the stove, set flame to medium low, then place tortilla on open flame and heat for about 20 seconds on each side. Just long enough to make the tortilla soft and pliable, and slightly char the edges.
If heating in the microwave, wrap a stack of tortillas in a damp paper towel, then heat for about 45-60 seconds. You may have to heat the tortillas in the middle of the stack for another 20-30 seconds.
Assembly and air frying
Once tortillas are softened, start assembling. Place meat filling in the center of each warm tortilla, then roll. It helps to insert a toothpick in the seam to help keep the tortilla tightly rolled. You can cook the taquitos with the toothpick inserted, then remove before eating. If you don’t have toothpicks on hand though, just place rolled taquitos seam side down on the tray.
Place taquitos in a single layer in the air fryer basket, and then spray taquitos with a little oil on each side.
Cook in the air fryer set to 400 degrees f for approximately 9 minutes. Make sure to flip half way through cooking process, and give the side you flip over another light spray with cooking oil.
As with all air fryer recipes, cook time may vary a bit by your make and model. 9 minutes in my Breville air fryer oven cooked them to the perfect golden brown color. And depending on the size of your air fryer, you will likely need to air fry taquitos in 2-3 batches.
Best taquito toppings
- Shredded cheddar cheese or cotija cheese
- Sour cream or Greek yogurt
- Pico de Gallo or spicy ranch dressing
- Guacamole and spicy ranch dressing
- Fresh cilantro and onions
Store leftover taquitos in an airtight container for up to 3 days. For best results in achieving crispy taquitos, reheat in the air fryer for 1-2 minutes, or in the microwave for 45-60 seconds.
Yes, you can absolutely add cheese to the filling to make cheesy beef taquitos. I grew up eating them with just the beef filling, but you can certainly add cheese as well as black beans, which is another popular add-in!
You may not have that many leftovers haha! But you can certainly make a double batch and freeze in a freezer-safe container for up to 6 months. To reheat, no need to defrost! Just heat the air fryer to 400 degrees and air fry for about 8 minutes, till warmed through.
A note about taste
If you grew up eating fried taquitos, these will taste a little different. The air fryer does a fantastic job of creating crispy and crunchy shells, but it can’t impart the flavor that deep frying does. So keep that in mind that these will taste a bit less flavorful. But they are still delicious! Just different.
If you’re just getting started in eating a bit healthier, it may take a bit for your tastebuds to adjust and appreciate a lighter flavor. Eventually you (and your stomach) may appreciate the lighter flavor and less greasy taquito from the air fryer.
I hope you love this easy and quick meal as much as we do! If you give them a try, please make sure to leave a comment and/or 5 star rating.
Tried this recipe? Please leave a comment and/or rating, letting me know how you enjoyed it! Connect with me on Instagram and Pinterest, and never miss a post by signing up for my weekly newsletter!
Homemade Air Fryer Taquitos
- 1 Air Fryer
- 12 corn tortillas
- 1 lb cooked shredded beef can also use shredded chicken
- cooking spray
- Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees f
- Begin by heating the tortillas to soften them up and make them malleable. Heat directly on the stove, by setting flame to medium low, then place tortilla on open flame and heat for about 20 seconds on each side. Just long enough to make the tortilla soft and pliable, and slightly char the edges.
- Now start assembling. Place meat filling in the center of each warm tortilla, then roll. Insert a toothpick in the seam to help keep the tortilla tightly rolled. You can cook the taquitos with the toothpick inserted, then remove before eating. If you don’t have toothpicks on hand though, just place rolled taquitos seam side down on the tray.
- Place taquitos in a single layer in the air fryer basket, and then spray taquitos with a little oil on each side.
- Cook in the air fryer set to 400 degrees f for approximately 9 minutes. Make sure to flip half way through cooking process, and give the side you flip over another light spray with cooking oil.
- Remove from air fryer and cook in batches if need be. Garnish with your favorite toppings.
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