Flautas Recipe

4.56 from 9 votes
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Flautas – tortillas filled with tender meat, cheese, salsa, and then fried (or air-fried) to crispy golden perfection! Great appetizer, dinner and even freezer friendly.

We all know that Mexican flavors are my favorite and I think Mexican food should be its own food group. For years, whenever we would go to a new Mexican restaurant, if there were flautas on the menu, it is what I would order every time. It was how I gaged if the place was any good.

Sometimes they would only have Taquitos, so that had to be my guide. But either way, they are super simple and easy to make, so if they are done poorly, you know maybe that place isn’t the best.

chicken flautas on a white plate with lettuce and tomatoes on top

 

What Is A Flauta?

Flauta is a Mexican word that translates to “little flutes” In Mexico they are corn tortillas that are filled and rolled up, into a long thin shape like a flute. Then they are fried to crispy perfection!

In the United States flautas are a flour tortilla that is filled with meat (usually beef or chicken), cheese, and then fried until it is golden and crispy. They are not filled super full, so you get a long and skinny, crispy tortilla. It is often served with condiments like sour cream or guacamole for dipping.

Because of their size you can serve them as an appetizer or even a main dish. Serving 2-3 of these along with a side and you have a dinner everyone will love!

flautas stacked on a white plate

What Is A Flauta Vs Taquito

Again, what it means in Mexico vs the United States is different. In Mexico Taquito just means “little taco” so it is a small corn tortilla that is rolled and fried. Very similar to a flauta, just smaller. But in the United States, restaurants usually differentiate by the tortilla used.

A flauta uses a flour tortilla and taquito uses a corn tortilla. You will see some places uses the terms interchangeably, but lots of restaurants and even frozen versions use that distinction. The filling can be the same, they are both fried and great dipped in sour cream or salsa.

Are Flautas Rolled Tacos?

Essentially yes, they are. Rolled tacos are just a tortilla that is filled with meat and cheese and then rolled and fried. You can use either a flour or corn tortilla, so taquitos and flautas are both basically rolled tacos.

how to make chicken flauta images in a collage

What You’ll Need

  • Tortillas – Flour if you want the US version, Corn if you want the Mexican version
  • Shredded chicken
  • Taco Seasoning
  • Salsa
  • Green Chilies
  • Cheese
  • Oil for Frying

Traditionally these are fried in a little oil to get them nice and crispy, but they work great in the air fryer as well. I have instructions for that in the recipe card below, so if that is what you are looking for be sure to scroll to the bottom.

stack of flautas on a white plate

How To Make Flautas

  1. It is best to warm your tortillas in a towel before you start, so they are nice and soft and don’t crack when you roll them.
  2. Mix together your shredded chicken, taco seasoning green chilies, salsa, and cheese until everything is evenly combined.
  3. Add the filling to each tortilla and gently roll up tightly, place them seam side down on a plate or baking sheet while you roll all of them.
  4. Heat your oil over medium high heat. Once it is about 360º F add 5-6 flautas, depending on the side of your pan.
  5. Cook for 4-5 minutes, flipping gently to get all sides nice and golden. Once they are crispy, place them on a paper towel lined plate.
  6. Let cook for about 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe Tips

  • These are great to make ahead. I like to make my own and then freeze them, so they are similar to the ones you buy at the store. Let them cool completely and then store in an airtight container or freezer safe bag. Then you can heat them in the oven, toaster oven or even air fryer to serve.
  • Get creative with your filling. I like to use rotisserie chicken because it is very easy! But you could make the filling for Instant Pot Chicken Tacos and then skip the taco seasoning and salsa in the recipe. Or you could use the Pork Taco Filling. Or if you have a shredded beef like Slow Cooker Italian Beef it even works with that. Even regular ground taco meat is a great filling.
  • Make sure you warm your tortillas before you start assembling. This will stop them from cracking and falling apart as you fill and roll them up.
chicken flautas on a white plate with lettuce and tomatoes on top

What Goes With Flautas

These are great to serve with dips or even as a main dish with your favorite Mexican side dishes.

Can I Use My Air Fryer

Absolutely! If you want to avoid frying, you can definitely cook these in the air fryer. Brush them with a little bit of oil and then place a single layer in the basket of the air fryer and cook on 400º for about 5-6 minutes per side. Just keep an eye on them until they are nice and golden brown.

close up chicken flautas for pinterest

More Tasty Mexican Recipes

4.56 from 9 votes

Flautas

By Erin
Flautas – flour tortillas filled with tender meat, cheese, salsa, and then fried (or air-fried) to crispy golden perfection! Great appetizer, dinner and even freezer friendly.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

  • 3 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • 4 oz can chopped green chilies, drained
  • 1 Tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 12 small tortillas
  • Oil for frying

Instructions 

  • Fill a large skillet with about 1 inch of oil. Heat over medium high heat, until about 360º F.
  • In a bowl mix together chicken, green chilies, taco seasoning, salsa, and cheese until evenly combined.
  • Heat flour tortillas in a towel, for 45 seconds or until they are warm and don't crack when you fold them.
  • Fill each tortilla with about 1/4 cup of filling, spreading into a thin layer. Roll up and place seam side down on a plate or baking dish.
  • Place 4-5 rolled tortillas into the hot oil and cook for 4-5 minutes, turning to make sure they are evenly golden brown.
  • Remove and place them on a paper towel lined plate to cool for about 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

In Mexico you would use corn tortillas for this recipe. In the US flautas are often made with flour tortillas. so you can pick which type of tortilla you would like.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 564kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 79mg | Sodium: 961mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Erin
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Dinner Recipes
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
Calories: 564
Like this recipe? Leave a comment below!

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About Erin S

Welcome to Dinners, Dishes, & Desserts where my love of food meets my busy life. My name is Erin and I’m a casual home cook who loves to feed people. On this blog, you’ll find hundreds of quick and easy recipes made mostly from scratch. My days are spent in the kitchen, creating new recipes to share with family and friends.

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12 Comments

  1. I cannot wait to make these. I always order flautas if it’s available on the menu when we eat out. I can’t wait to make my own!

    1. >> Ok, you did read the part where I shared the Mexican version and how it differs from what American think it is. But how it is actually from Mexico right?

      @Erin, We’re talking about the *word*, not the dish, right? “Flauta” is a Spanish word that means “little flute” wherever Spanish is spoken.