Can you air fry frozen taquitos (AKA flautas, rolled tacos, and tacos dorados)? Yes! Satisfy your Mexican food cravings with this recipe for air fryer frozen taquitos. Learn what temperature to cook frozen taquitos, how long to air fry frozen taquitos, and more. Make crispy frozen taquitos in the air fryer in under 10 minutes! You’ll love this tasty and easy snack with guacamole, salsa, or sour cream.
Hey, all! I have been getting a lot of requests for a post on heating frozen taquitos in the air fryer. Like, A LOT.
Aa a result, I’ve been debating whether to do a post with frozen taquitos cooking instructions. Frozen taquitos are, across the board, ultra-processed foods that I recommend limiting (or even avoiding). Air frying doesn’t make these previously fried finger foods healthier than oven baking, and there aren’t really better-for-you options available:
|Brand||Flavor||Tortilla type||Calories||Net carbs (g)||Protein (g)|
|El Monterey||Chicken & Cheese||Flour||220||25||7|
|El Monterey||Beef & Cheese||Flour||220||25||8|
|Delimex||Chicken & Cheese||Flour||190||26||6|
|Jose Ole||Beef & Cheese||Flour||220||24||8|
|Trader Joe’s||Black Bean & Cheese||Corn||190||21||5|
|Whole Foods Market- 365 Brand||Chicken||Corn||240||28||11|
|Feel Good Foods||Beef & Cheddar||Corn||230||20||10|
|Feel Good Foods||Chicken & Chipotle||Corn||180||22||8|
|Feel Good Foods||Pinto Bean & Cheddar||Corn||200||22||7|
Personal opinions aside, many do like these foods, so it doesn’t make sense for me to completely ignore them. So, let’s dig in and talk taquitos!
- 🌯 Taquitos vs Flautas
- 📋 Calories, Net Carbs, Protein
- ⭐ Benefits
- 🥘 Ingredients
- 🍽 Equipment
- 🔪 How to Make Frozen Taquitos in Air Fryer
- ️⏲ Cooking Time and Temperature
- 🔥 Oven Directions
- ️🌡️ Leftovers
- 🥗 Dipping Sauce
- 💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
- 👩🏻🍳 More Air Fryer Frozen Appetizers
- The Disclaimer…
- 📖 Recipe
🌯 Taquitos vs Flautas
Taquitos and flautas, what’s the difference? In general, taquitos are made with corn tortillas, while flautas are made with wheat flour tortillas. These two terms are often used interchangeably on U.S. food packaging; check the ingredients list to know what you’re getting.
Both taquitos or flautas can be filled with chicken, cheese, beans, or beef. They’re then rolled up long and thin, in the shape of a flute, before being deep-fried. (Fun facts: “flauta” is actually the Spanish word for flute, while “taquito” means small taco.)
📋 Calories, Net Carbs, Protein
One serving of this air fryer frozen taquito recipe (3 taquitos) has 220 calories, 25 grams net carbs, and 7 grams protein. This nutrition information is for the El Monterey Chicken and Cheese Taquitos without dips or toppings. Nutrition info may vary depending on your portion size and the brand of taquitos you use.
What are the benefits of frozen taquitos cooked in the air fryer? Most mainstream supermarket taquitos are loaded with added oils and preservatives. Air fried frozen flour taquitos also contain a lot of white flour.
That said, I appreciate that there are some advantages that aren’t strictly nutritional. Why else would people keep buying them, right?
Some of the below benefits help to keep those with food insecurity fed. Unfortunately, some of these also highlight barriers to getting healthier foods to these populations:
- Easy to obtain: Frozen taquitos are readily available at most major grocery stores and bulk stores like Costco. There’s no need to make a special trip to an expensive health food store. This is convenient for those who have limited access to transportation.
- Low upfront cost: Depending on the store, I can get a 6-serving pack of frozen taquitos for under $3. It will cost more (at least upfront) to make homemade taquitos, particularly if we’re using high-quality ingredients. Unfortunately, a lot of ultra-processed foods are cheaper by the calorie.
- Fast and simple: Frozen taquitos can be eaten on their own, without needing a long shopping list. Their simple and fast preparation can make them a realistic option for those who struggle to prepare their own food (due to various disabilities and medical conditions).
- Vegetarian: It’s possible to find vegetarian frozen taquitos, if that’s what you’re looking for. Some of the bean and cheese taquitos are veg-friendly, but always check the ingredients list to be sure. (Trader Joe’s brand offers vegetarian taquitos.)
- Crispy: You can microwave frozen taquitos, but the tortillas may get soggy. Air frying is a super way to get crispy flautas without adding more oil.
- Delish: The #1 reason many choose these is because they taste good. Not everyone is health-oriented.
Here’s what you need to make frozen taquitos in an air fryer:
- Package of frozen taquitos
- Dips or toppings of choice
If you want a frozen taquito that is minimally processed (at least compared to competitors), I’d go with 365, Trader Joe’s, or Feel Goods Foods brands. Unfortunately, I could not find any of these products the last time I hit the stores.
In general, I’d stay away from taquitos labeled “extra crunchy” as these may have even more added oil (and saturated fat) than regular varieties. The El Monterey Extra Crunchy Southwest Chicken Taquitos is one example.
I made air fryer frozen chicken and cheese taquitos (El Monterey brand) but other varieties have similar nutrition stats. You’re usually not getting significantly more protein making frozen beef and cheese taquitos, for example.
The vegetarian bean taquitos tend to have a little more fiber and a little less protein per serving than meat or poultry taquitos. They may be lower fat, though this may be because the veg taquitos I looked at are from “health food” brands.
To make air fryer taquitos from frozen, I recommend an air fryer and a meat thermometer. Large and small air fryer baskets can work with this recipe. Adjust your batch as needed to get the taquitos in a single layer.
I developed these directions with my 10-Quart Kalorik Air Fryer Oven. Those using a Ninja Foodi, Cosori, Pampered Chef Air Fryer, Actifry, Nuwave, Instant Vortex, Cuisinart, Philips, Power Air Fryer, etc. may need to make slight tweaks to the cooking time.
🔪 How to Make Frozen Taquitos in Air Fryer
Let's talk about how to cook frozen taquitos in an air fryer! Start by preheating your air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200C) for 5 minutes.
Remove a hot tray from the air fryer and carefully add the taquitos in a single layer. Leave room for air to circulate around the sides of the taquitos for maximum crispiness. (Don’t overcrowd the air fryer!) I was able to fit 9 taquitos on a tray (3 per person).
Put the tray in the top rack position of the air fryer oven. No oil spray is needed.
️⏲ Cooking Time and Temperature
What temp to air fry frozen taquitos? Air fry frozen taquitos in a preheated air fryer for a total of 7-8 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200C). Flip the taquitos after the first 5 minutes of air frying time.
Your cooking time will ultimately depend on the thickness of your taquitos and how crispy you like them. Feel free to adjust the cooking times provided here. For the best results, always keep a close eye on the food the first time you try a new air fryer recipe.
As an extra precaution, I like to check that the taquitos have reached a minimum internal temp of 165F (74C). Half-cooked taquitos really don’t taste very good! Let your taquitos rest for 1-2 minutes before eating- they're very hot!
🔥 Oven Directions
You can make frozen taquitos in the oven as well! Bake frozen taquitos on a cookie sheet for 12 min in an oven preheated to 400F (200C). (These directions are for El Monterey taquitos, cooking times may vary by brand.)
How to store frozen cooked taquitos? Cooked taquitos will last 3-4 days in a covered container in the refrigerator, or you can refreeze them. Generally, leftover taquitos won’t have as good a texture as when they’re freshly prepared.
How to reheat frozen taquitos in the air fryer? Reheat leftover taquitos (that were refrigerated) for 2-3 minutes in an air fryer preheated to 375F (190C). I use the top rack position of the air fryer oven for this.
🥗 Dipping Sauce
What dips go with frozen taquitos made in the air fryer? Taquitos in restaurants are often served over a bed of leafy greens. Tomatoes, avocado, onion, shredded cheese, sour cream, and sauces may be on the side.
I love this as a way to add some whole foods to your plate, and it makes for a nice presentation. I like to serve taquitos with:
- Chopped lettuce (shredded iceberg lettuce and shredded cabbage are particularly crisp)
- Salsa (Pico de gallo or a smooth salsa)
- Plain non-fat Greek yogurt (my stand-in for sour cream that offers a protein boost)
What’s left on the plate after dipping the taquitos is kind of a salad. I make sure to eat that too!
Here are a few more ideas for dips and side dishes for taquitos:
- Refried beans or black beans (a nice way to get more protein on your plate)
- Keto Cheese Sauce
- Hot sauce
- Ketchup (not feeling this one, but kids tend to like it)
💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). Frozen taquitos are a calorie dense food that is high in fat and (usually) refined carbs. They offer a small volume of food for the calories. The photos with this recipe show 3 servings of taquitos on a plate- enough for my whole family!
Not only are taquitos low volume, they’re also not protein dense. You can get 6 grams of protein from a 70-calorie large egg, or from 200-230 calories of taquitos.
If you’re struggling to lose weight, don’t make foods like this a regular part of your diet. You’ll likely be miserable and hungry ALL. THE. TIME. if you’re counting calories. One of the special diets (like keto or vegan) will seem like sweet relief, because you’ll actually get to eat decent sized meals again.
In truth, you don’t need to include these in your diet at all. I’m not sure if I’ve ever had a frozen taquito before creating this recipe. I probably won’t have them again unless I do a recipe update.
My pro tip for losing weight is to try dropping foods like this BEFORE going keto, low carb, vegan, etc. You’ll be dropping frozen taquitos on all of those diets anyway (plus a lot of other foods I’d consider healthful). It might be easier to lose weight (and make it a lifestyle) with fewer restrictions.
I’m going to include some more non-whole food recipes like this in the future. If you regularly find yourself visiting these recipes, and you struggle with eating to excess, I highly recommend cutting back on these sorts of foods or cutting them out entirely. (Obviously this is not a sponsored post. Haha)
As you can see in the nutrition chart at the top of the article, none of the major brands of frozen taquitos are low carb or keto friendly. Cutting out highly processed taquitos is an advantage of keto diets, and I wouldn’t try too hard to add them back! If you must have keto taquitos, make a homemade version with low carb tortillas or cheese slices.
Some of the frozen corn taquitos are gluten free options. For example, Feel Good Foods offers chicken taquitos and beef taquitos that are GF friendly. Always check the ingredients label to be sure you’re getting a gluten-free taquito.
Similar to keto diets, none of the major frozen taquito brands carry a vegan option. Cutting out highly processed taquitos is a benefit of vegan diets. To make vegan taquitos, go the homemade route with a whole grain tortilla and vegan refried beans. If you air fry rather than deep fry them, you’ll have a plant-based snack-itizer that’s fairly nutritious.
I would not assume that your frozen taquitos are fully cooked unless it states it on the package. For food safety purposes, I would ensure your taquitos reach a safe minimum internal temp of 165F (74C). Most frozen taquitos were fried before freezing, so they are at least partially cooked.
Yes, but for crispy taquitos, you will need to have an air frying lid for the InstantPot.
👩🏻🍳 More Air Fryer Frozen Appetizers
Want more easy air fryer recipes for frozen appetizers? I’ve got you! Check these out next:
- Air Fryer Frozen Potstickers
- Frozen Meatballs in Air Fryer
- Air Fryer Frozen Pizza Rolls
- Air Fryer Frozen Mozzarella Sticks
Also, don’t miss this list of the Best Frozen Foods for the Air Fryer.
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to my overnight oats no sugar post. Let's get cooking!
Frozen Taquitos in Air Fryer (Flautas Recipe + VIDEO!)
- 9 frozen taquitos (I used these)
- dipping sauces (optional)
- Preheat the air fryer to 400°F (200°C) for 5 minutes.
- Remove a hot tray from the air fryer and carefully add the taquitos in a single layer. I was able to fit 9 taquitos on a tray. Put the tray in the top rack position of the air fryer.
- Air fry frozen taquitos for a total of 7-8 minutes at 400°F (200°C). Flip the taquitos after the first 5 minutes of air frying time. Check that the taquitos have reached a minimum internal temp of 165°F (74°C), and extend cooking time if needed.
- Let the taquitos cool for 1-2 minutes and serve with your favorite dipping sauces.