{baked} Chipotle Beef Taquitos

You people are funny, ya know that? Kate and I get a kick out of trying to read our audience. We think we have you pegged and know the kinds of things that are going to excite you but every once and a while you throw us a curve ball. Some times we’ll spend weeks anticipating a post we’re just sure you’ll go crazy over and then we post it and, …meh. Then there are other times where we pull something together at the last minute or write a tutorial about something we’re sure everyone already knows how to do and people go nuts over it. Or how about the polls? The polls that overwhelmingly tell us that you want to see more low-cal foods and easy dinner options, but what does everyone go ga-ga over? Cupcakes. And Cookies. Go figure! Hopefully either way we’re keeping you both entertained and loaded with an arsenal of good eats.

I mention this because one of my surprise hits were these Creamy Chicken Taquitos. Truth be told I threw those together the night before I needed something new to post and I really hoped that I wrote everything down right and no one hated them. They turned out to be a huge hit and I’ve seen them popping up all over the blogosphere. They were even recently featured in the Chicago Sun-Times. Sure it’s just a blurb, but the blurb says, “these are some of the best taquitos I’ve ever had” so I’ll take it!

I figured I’d ride the wave while it’s hot and show you another great baked taquito. I created this recipe with one purpose in mind: using up left over pot roast. I love a good roll-over meal; one you can make one day and then transform the left-overs into something else the next day. I often make pot-roast or french dip sandwiches on Sundays, and inevitably we have a tupperware container full of left-over meat the next day. I think slow-cooked beef like that is best right out of the oven (or crock pot) and I just can’t eat it again like that for left-overs. So this is my solution and I loooove it. My husband says he thinks these ones are even better than the chicken ones. You be the judge! I think any left-over roast will work great with this as long as it’s not flavored with something like bbq sauce. But your basic pot roast or french dip is perfect.

Baked Chipotle Beef Taquitos
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3 C cooked, shredded beef roast
4oz green chilies, undrained
1/4-1/2 t minced chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (I do 1/4 for mild spiciness)
3 t adobo sauce from the canned chipotle peppers (see below for note)
1 t garlic powder
1 t coriander
1/2 t cumin
1 t chili powder
zest from one lime
1 T fresh lime juice
1 package Queso Fresco (about 12 oz)
6″ white corn tortillas (about 20) I decied I like white corn torillas WAY better than yellow.
olive oil or cooking spray
kosher salt

Note: If you don’t want to work with the chipotle peppers, or can’t find them, try adding some Chipotle Chili Powder. You can find it by the other spices in the grocery store. It will still give you a smoky spice, so start with a little and increase to taste.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Take your shredded beef and slice any larger pieces across the grain so you have pieces about 1/2-1″ long. Place in a bowl and set aside.

Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce:We’ve talked about chipotle peppers before. They’re little red beauties that come canned in a smoky sauce. (They’re the same peppers used in this salad) Most of my recipes only use a small portion of the can you need to buy. So as not to waste the rest, I take the left overs and after de-seeding the peppers, I blend it all together with the sauce and then freeze it in 1t portions. Then it’s easy to pull out for recipes like this.

To prepare the peppers for the taquitos: pull out a pepper, trying to leave as much of the sauce as you can in the can. You’ll want to slit the pepper open to remove the seeds. You can just scrape them out with a small knife. Or, what I often do is just take care of it over the sink. Open it up and run it under a slow stream of water to wash the seeds out. You’ll want to be careful as the flesh is tender and can wash off too!

Mince it up as needed. And be careful, they’re spicy! Don’t touch your nostrils or your eyes, or pretty much anything else before washing your hands very well. Kate and I both know this from experience. Lots of experience.

Combine chilies, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, garlic, coriander, cumin, chili powder and lime zest and juice in a bowl. After stirring to combine, gently toss together with shredded beef.

Wrap a pile of about 10 tortillas in damp paper towels and microwave for 1 minute to soften. (after those are used, do the next 10)

Now bust out the queso fresco. You can find it at just about any grocery store now days. It’s generally in the refridgerated cheese section and looks like this:

You can always substitute monterey jack or pepperjack, but I like queso fresco because I feel cool using foreign foods. Plus, it’s a traditional Mexican cheese and it tastes good.

Working with one tortilla at a time, crumble about 1T queso fresco in a line across the center of the tortilla. Top with 1-2 T shredded beef mixture and roll that baby up.

I use 6″ tortillas and I usually get about 20 taquitos. I fill them on the full side, so you could definitely stretch this and easily get more out of the recipe.

Place seam-side down on a lightly oiled/sprayed baking sheet. Use cooking spray or lightly brush olive oil on the top of each one. (I use olive oil in a mister and it works perfect.) Lightly sprinkle kosher salt on the top of each one.

Bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and your house smells like a Mexican restaurant. A Mexican restaurant in a good way, not in a nasty, greasy, stinky way.

Take them out of the oven and let them cool for just a few minutes. Eat ’em hot!

These should absolutely, positively be served with a healthy smothering of fresh guacamole. And some sour cream if you wish.

Freezer instructions: People are always making requests for freezer meals- so here ya go! Taquitos are definitely best right after cooking, so if you’re not going to use all of them, plan ahead and freeze some. I bake just enough for my little family to eat for a meal and then food-save the rest in dinner-sized portions. Then you can pull them out for a quick meal, appetizer or snack any time! To freeze Make as noted above through the step where you sprinkle the tops of the taquitos with salt. Place in a dish a single layer, not touching each other and set in the freezer. After frozen, place in zip-top bag, foodsaver bag, or any other air tight container. To cook, preheat oven to 425. Place frozen taquitos on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake until edges are golden brown. (Usually about 30 minutes)


  1. Ok, I just made your French Dips yesterday and they were great! This will be perfect with the leftover meat. Thanks!

    Love the blog, congrats on the nomination.

  2. I also just made the chicken ones this week (er last week) and I made them twice in a row because they were that freakin good. Can't wait to make these!

  3. I for one am thrilled to see a healthy dinner option. All the desserts lately have left me cold- I just don't cook/make dessert. I know, I'm strange. With the exception of your white chocolate cheesecake with gingersnap crust. Divine. Anyway, thanks for this post. It looks yummy!

  4. i made your french dip last weekend and we made tostadas with the leftover meat. They were yummy! I can't wait to try these next time!

  5. Oh man I just made the french dip sandwiches the other day, but the leftovers are gone. You guys are good at what you do and I just love the recipes. Keep a good balance of sweet, salty, spicy, and all will be happy πŸ™‚

  6. I'm in love with your taquitos! My husband and I tried the chicken ones last week. I've been nervous to work with Chipotle peppers (not sure why…), but the pictures on here make it much less intimidating. Thanks and can't wait to try!

  7. Oh, those sounds yummy. I buy that cheese all the time for our Mexican treats, so I even have it on hand. I've never thought of baking them. I usually make a taco out of that leftover stuff.

  8. I think I will have to try both the chicken and the beef together to figure out which I like best. Either way, I am psyched to have the recipe as we do enjoy the store-bought version, but they will be no match for these!

    I found you on TasteSpotting and am writing to say that if you have any photos that aren’t accepted there, I’d love to publish them. Visit my new site (below), it’s a lot of fun! I hope you will consider it.


  9. i am making these tonight for a lady in my ward. the only thing i will do differently is pan frying the meat in a little olive oil first. my granny's mexican friends always do that to their shredded beef and it makes the flavor amazing! thanks for all the great recipes.

  10. Just had to say thank you for the recipe! I made these right after you posted the recipe because we had leftover French Dip sandwich meat (which by the way was a big hit at my house as well). My husband LOVED these…he could not stop commenting on how good they were.

    Thanks again for the recipe!

  11. I made these tonight and they were yummy! The only problem was that my tortillas were tough. The ends were nice and cruncy but the middle was hard to bite into. I baked them exactly like you said. Any tips? Thanks!

  12. Oh. My. Gosh. Just made these last night and absolutely loved them. I'm going to have to agree with Eric…they were even better than the chicken ones! Sooooo yummy.

  13. GREAT recipe! Made the french dip sandwiches and then used the leftover meat for these and it was so easy! 2 great meals for a great price and easy prep time!

  14. Ok so i might just be reading this wrong, but am i supposed to have the beef cooked before i mix this into the taquitos or do i just have it cut up raw and put in? The part that is confusing me is the fact that the ingredients part calls for cooked beef roast. Thanks so much!They sound amazing

  15. Adrianne- yes, the beef should be already cooked. I always just use left-overs (from French Dip sammies, or pot roast or whatever) so if you need to cook it specifically for this just pop it in a crock pot with some onions, garlic, salt, pepper, any other seasonings you want and some beef broth. Slow cook it till it's nice and tender (5-6 hours depending on the size). Sorry if that wasn't clear!

  16. I made these with ground beef, because I personally prefer it to shredded beef. They were still highly delicious and the tortillas are so crispy and salty! YUM πŸ˜›

    1. Thank you thank you thank you for commenting about that! Just what I was searching for. Have loads of ground beef, would rather use what I have! πŸ™‚

  17. You are a lifesaver!!! I was assigned to make taquitos for a wedding reception of approx 85 and the chicken ones I usually make I pan fry. Since I didn't want to be scrubbing grease from the walls of my kitchen for the next 6 months, I searched and found your recipe. I basically multiplied the recipe by 10, and I used ground beef instead of the roast due to time constraints and cost. I also left out the cheese due to possible allergy issues, but on the whole, these were WONDERFUL. Very nice flavor w/ both the chipotle and green chiles. Next time I'll do the french dip beforehand and then follow up w/ this when I'm just cooking for my husband and I.

  18. These look amazing! I can't wait to try them out. I am starting to search for recipes for my "big cook" day to load up the freezer, this one is at the top of my list. Thanks so much for posting it.

  19. I'm not even sure if you check or get comments on old posts, but I made these the other day,and we LOVED them. BUT, my tortillas totally fell apart. Most of them started splitting before I even got them in the oven, and the ones that didn't, well, the split while they were cooking. Any suggestions for how to fix that?

  20. ebatestsh- that's a common problem when working with corn tortillas. I think the brand and the freshness (aka how long they've been sitting on the store shelf) matters a lot. But the most important thing to do at home is to warm them enough before rolling, and to make sure there's plenty of moisture as you do. So if yours tend to fall apart, I'd only heat about 3-4 at a time and wrap them well in moist paper towels. They should be hot to the touch when they come out of the microwave.

    Also- try using flour tortillas! They don't tend to crack as much and they taste yummy.

    Good luck!

  21. I do once a month cooking with a group of moms and we love this recipe! I like to add a bit more spice to mine but that's just personal preference!

  22. Love these! I never fry anything, so I was stoked to find the recipe for baked. Also, thanks for the tip about softening corn tortillas-It usually takes me about 30 minutes to soften 20 of them in a pan with some non stick spray, this is SO much easier! Thanks! I will definitely be making these again . . . and again . . . and again!

  23. I like the chicken ones better but the flavor of these are good too. I guess our beef was just way too fatty, yuck. If it weren't for that I probably would have liked them better. πŸ™‚ BUT, the chicken taquitos are one of our top 10 dinners at our house!

  24. im not sure where you live but i love seeing "mexican food" recipes from other parts of the country. when i read this i was going to comment on how you got the name wrong! but i did some more research before i stuck my foot in my mouth. i live in san antonio, tx and when i order a flauta at any mexican food restaurant (and they are a dime a dozen down here) i get what you call a taquito. when i was looking around on the internet people say the difference between a flauta and a taquito is a corn and flour tortilla. someone used the example of a whataburger taquito (whataburger is pretty much in just the south). and by no stretch of the imagination is that a taquito or a flauta. that is just a breakfast taco! any way on to what a taquito is. down here a taquito is an appetizer. it is a corn tortilla with a TINY bit of stuff in it, like chicken, beef, beans, or cheese. and its rolled up as tight as possible so its like a really thin cigar! but according to wiki flauta and taquito are about the same thing!! so i guess its a matter of where you live!


  25. vertigoxcured- that's funny. Everywhere I've ever lived floutas are more like thin chimichangas. Deep fried flour tortillas, thicker than a taquito and thinner than a burrito. Whenever I've bought frozen store-bought taquitos, they're in corn torillas, just like this. It must totally depend on where you live! What's funny is that I make these taquitos with both corn and flour tortialls, so I guess I should call them Flau-quitos! haha

  26. I am so excited to make these!!! I've made the chicken ones and my husband LOVED them and he's very picky about his mexican food. πŸ™‚ I don't even have to wonder if we are going to like something I try off yalls blog because between me and my best friend we have tried almost everything and its all been a hit. Our husbands even talk about how great the blog is! Thanks for all yalls hard work! Can't wait for the cookbook. Yall ROCK!

  27. I just saw that you have a beef version of your taquitos. I have been making the creamy chicken ones but substituting beef for awhile. My family and I love them! I have 4 boys though so I thought I’d share that I also have added : leftover fajita onions and peppers (finely chopped in the food processor so no one knows) , rice, refried beans and any other leftover chicken. I even threw in a handfull of oatmeal. Just making them stretch farther. So good! thanks for the recipe!

  28. We got a smoker recently and I’m going to do a large brisket in it soon (along with some ribs and maybe other goodies – we already have a ton of pulled pork I did). My favorite rub has chipotle chile powder in it, so that with a little lime juice and maybe a tiny bit of chile gravy to moisten it will make good taquitos, I think.

  29. We just discovered this recipe and tried it. They were delicious! I left out the chipotle peppers because I didn’t have any, but we loved them that way. My husband has been talking about how good they were for about 3 days now. I need to try doing it with chicken and also your chicken taquito recipe and see what we like best. Thanks for a new favorite!

  30. I absolutely LOVE these! I was wondering… can I make the filling ahead of time and just keep it in the fridge until I’m ready to make these?? Ever since I made these for the first time a couple months ago I always crave them!!

  31. Could you make these with the mexican sweet shredded pork from the cook-book?? We LOVE the chicken ones at our house and I tend to make pork roasts more than beef roasts. Thanks for all the great recipes!

    1. Hannah- yes that would be good! I would do the seasonings to taste though if you’re going to try to add chipotle, etc. The sweet pork would probably be good all on its own in there. Hmm…I need to try that πŸ™‚

  32. Oh no! I was planning on making the salad you refer to in this recipe (to use left over Adobo sauce) and the link is down. I tried to find the recipe in the recipe index and can’t find it there anymore either! Can you repost the green salad recipe that uses chicken, black beans, canned corn and avacado?

  33. I am a HUGE fan of Taco Time. I grew up in Washington and they have them up there. My mom lived in Utah for a while and they obviously have them there. I miss it like crazy and these are a good subsitute for them. Much healthier too πŸ™‚

  34. Both of your taquito recipes look amazing. I whipped up the fillings for both of them tonight, and plan on wrapping them tomorrow and having some for dinner. Thanks for such great recipes, and such a fun blog!

  35. so im learning to cook and my mom recently made pot roast and i was so happy to see this recipe, because now i can use the leftovers in a really fun way!! thanks so much!! cant wait to taste it!!

  36. I tried this tonite and we loved it!!! I have never had a more tasty leftover recipe for roast!!! AMAZING! I used to dread making roast because, even though it is great for the 1st night with potatoes and carrots, noone likes it warmed up. These changed my mind about roast, thank you ladies!!!

  37. I want to make these but without leftover pot roast. Since I’ll be just starting the roast from scratch, I’m wondering if you’ve ever tried adding some of the ingredients as it slow cooks? I saw you mentioned to cook it with onions or broth or whatever, but do you think there would be anything wrong with adding the spices as it cooks or some of the adobo sauce? I just wondered if that would help infuse the flavor anymore or if it would somehow make it worse off. I realize you might lose some of it in the juices and may need to add more at the end, but just wondering if anyone had opinions on it!

  38. This is now a go-to recipe for my freshman son, who is living in the new Heritage Dorms (where D.T. used to be), which have a spacious kitchen!

  39. Hi! I am thinking of subbing some uncooked flour tortillas for the corn tortillas. Do you think I should cook the tortillas before filling and baking or not? Thanks for your help, I love, love your site!

  40. I’m SO excited to make these.. They look delicious! I bought everything for them yesterday, and cooking a roast today.. (I’m really just making a roast today so I can have an excuse to make these tomorrow.. Shhh..)

    Thank you for this awesome blog. I have lurked on it forever, but I’m a huge fan and make tons of these recipes. (Just made black beans and rice with chicken and apple salsa last night..a huge hit at our house).

    You guys are awesome! πŸ™‚

  41. these were fantastic! I put a chuck roast in the slow cooker today. It didn’t really shred but I was able to cut it into nice skinny pieces. I forgot to add the green chilies and they were so delicious I purposely left them out the next time I made more (right after we were done eating).
    Thank you for sharing your talent and love of cooking

  42. Sara, I followed your advice and took the leftover Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce I had from a different recipe and I blended it all together with the sauce and froze it in portions in an ice cube tray. So, now I’m wondering how much of the frozen blended pepper/sauce to use for this recipe since the recipe calls for separate measurements of the peppers and the sauce? I like mild to medium spiciness. So, should I use 1 tsp of the frozen blended or would that be too hot? Thank you.

    1. Ya, that gets a little tricky (which is why I sometimes do a few frozen sauce only/peppers only, but really you just have to eyeball it. I would maybe just do 1/2 teaspoon to start. You can always add more heat at the end!

  43. We are trying to eat clean, so I made these using salsa chicken from the crock pot, whole wheat tortillas and pepperjack cheese. They were delicious! I’m so glad to have a recipe that everyone loved and that leaves enough to freeze! I’m looking forward to seeing what other recipes you have that we can use!

  44. My family would seriously eat the baked creamy chicken taquitos nightly if I made them. NO JOKE!
    I can’t wait to surprise them with this new recipe!

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