Do you like savory snacks with a crisp, crackling crunch? Then you are going to love these vegan taquitos with jackfruit carnitas.
They can be made in the air fryer or oven. Perfect for dipping into guacamole, salsa, or cashew queso.
As I’m developing recipes, I keep notes on a pad in the kitchen drawer. I write down what worked, cross out what didn’t, and make suggestions on what to try in the future.
Some recipes take just a little bit of time to perfect – like easy spinach salad with pecans and vinaigrette. But with others, I keep tweaking over weeks to even months.
Jackfruit carnitas have been my song of the summer. I have been working on them since way back in June or July.
From the first go, they were delectable. But could they be even better? I had to keep trying (for the sake of science) to make the perfect jackfruit carnitas.
Should I brown the jackfruit in whole pieces first? What if I shred it all in the food processor instead, and then brown it in one go? I could leave it on its own, or sauté it with onions and garlic…
So many different incarnations!
That means that over the past few months, I’ve eaten my weight in jackfruit carnitas. (At this point, I’m about 70% jackfruit.)
Jackfruit carnitas have the full-bodied, rounded flavors of ancho chili powder, cumin, red wine, and other spices.
I’ve eaten them in tacos. I’ve had them in burritos. I’ve added them to rice bowls.
But when I wanted to do something extra fun with the Pyrex full of jackfruit carnitas in the refrigerator, I made vegan taquitos.
What are taquitos?
Taquitos are rolled up corn tortillas that contain a filling. In this case, that filling is jackfruit carnitas and shredded non-dairy cheese.
My preferred non-dairy cheese for this purpose is Daiya cheddar-style farmhouse block, shredded by hand. (Not the pre-shredded kind in bags. I’m not a fan of that one.) It’s featured in my post on the best vegan cheese for your every need.
Taquitos are typically fried. But I like to cook them in the air fryer or oven to get that crispy exterior. Plus, you don’t have to worry about the tortillas unraveling in a vat of hot oil, and spilling your filling.
They are so satisfying to eat, because you get the crunch of the exterior. Then you bite through to the tasty deliciousness underneath.
Taquitos are a popular Mexican food and also a regular in the frozen section of most grocery stores.
But there’s no need to buy a plane ticket or drive to the market. Vegan taquitos are easy to make at home.
What’s the difference between taquitos and flautas?
Good question! There are lots of opinions on what differentiates a taquito from a flauta. But for me, crunchy taquitos are made with corn tortillas. They are also called rolled tacos or tacos dorados.
If you use flour tortillas instead, they’re called flautas. (That’s Spanish for “flutes.”)
Start by warming the corn tortillas
Making taquitos requires a little bit of patience. Each corn tortilla needs to be warmed up first. Otherwise, it won’t be pliable enough to roll without breaking.
I’ve had times where I’ve been too impatient. I ended up with broken tortilla and an air fryer full of loose jackfruit. Still tasty, but not nearly as pretty as it could have been.
So take your time.
Put a corn tortilla onto a warm, non-stick skillet. Heat for a couple of minutes on each side.
Then move the tortilla to a plate or cutting board.
(If you’re really in a hurry, I give microwave instructions for heating the corn tortillas in this post.)
How to roll & fill taquitos
About a quarter of the way into the corn tortilla, make a line of filling. Put a couple Tablespoons of jackfruit carnitas in a row. Then put non-dairy cheese next to it or on top of it.
If you’d prefer to skip the non-dairy cheese, that’s fine. I’ve made these taquitos without it, and that’s good too. It doesn’t need the cheese for all of it to stick together.
Then pick up the end closest to the filling, and pull it over the jackfruit mixture. Give it a little tuck underneath.
Then keep rolling as tight as you can until your taquito is shaped like a cigar.
Once it is rolled, you’ll want to place the taquito seam side down, so that it doesn’t unravel.
If you’re air frying the taquitos, put it seam side down in the air fryer. If you’re baking, put it seam side down on a parchment paper covered baking sheet.
For best results, it’s better if the vegan taquitos have some air between them. (As opposed to smashing them all next to each other.) If they’re all touching as they cook, you’ll have crunchy ends and a softer middle.
Give the taquitos a spritz of oil spray.
Bake them at 420 degrees for 15 minutes. Or if you’re air frying, air fry at 400 degrees for 9 minutes.
(I don’t recommend flipping the vegan taquitos over while they cook, because they may not be fully sealed yet.)
Easy to reheat and eat!
Taquitos are a handy make-ahead meal, because it’s easy to store them in a freezer bag in the refrigerator or freezer. Simply take a couple of cooked taquitos out of the bag whenever you need a meal in a hurry.
To reheat refrigerated taquitos, air fry at 400 degrees for 5 minutes.
To reheat frozen taquitos, air fry at 400 degrees for 7 to 8 minutes, stopping once to flip half-way through.
Great for new parents
A few bags of taquitos would be a thoughtful gift for new or soon-to-be parents.
I’ve never had kids myself. But I hear that it’s nice to have foods that can be eaten one-handed if you’re breastfeeding, holding, or tending to a new baby.
It would also be a break from all of the soups and casseroles new parents are sure to get.
What to serve with them?
Vegan taquitos with jackfruit – in the air fryer or oven!
- 14 soft corn tortillas
- 1 batch jackfruit carnitas divided
- ½ cup + 4 teaspoons shredded non-dairy cheese divided
- Spritz oil spray I use organic canola oil spray.
- Optional dipping sauces for serving: easy guacamole, salsa, and/or vegan sour cream
- If you plan on baking the taquitos, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pre-heat the oven to 420 degrees. If you are air frying, skip this step.
- Bring a non-stick skillet to a medium heat. Put one corn tortilla onto the skillet. Warm one side for a minute or so. Then flip the corn tortilla and warm that side as well.
- Once the corn tortilla is warm and pliable, move it to a plate. Put another corn tortilla onto the skillet.
- While the second tortilla warms, fill the first one. Put 2 Tablespoons of jackfruit carnitas in a single row across the tortilla. The row should be closer to one edge, off from center. Then put 2 teaspoons of shredded non-dairy cheese next to the jackfruit carnitas in a row.
- Grab the end of the tortilla, and fold it over the row of jackfruit carnitas & non-dairy cheese. Tuck it underneath the jackfruit, so that it's firmly holding onto it, like a hug. Then continue to roll the tortilla, until it's shaped like a cigar.
- If you're using an air fryer, put the taquito seam side down into the air fryer basket. If you're using the oven, put the taquito seam side down onto a parchment paper covered baking sheet.
- Continue heating the tortillas, filling, and rolling them until all of the taquitos are made.
- FOR THE AIR FRYER: You won't be able to fit all 14 taquitos into the air fryer basket at once. So you'll need to air fry in batches. Line the taquitos in an even layer in the air fryer basket next to each other, allowing some room for air flow. Don't stack taquitos on top of each other. They won't brown that way. Give the taquitos a quick spray of oil. Air fry the taquitos at 400 degrees for 9 minutes. I don't recommend flipping them, because they may not be fully sealed yet.
- FOR THE OVEN: If you're baking the taquitos, give them space between each taquito for proper browning. Give the taquitos a quick spray of oil. Bake the taquitos at 420 degrees for 15 minutes. I don't recommend flipping them, because they may not be fully sealed yet.
- You'll know the taquitos are ready when the edges are turning brown, and the center of each taquito feels firm to the touch. Carefully remove them from the oven or air fryer. They will be hot.
- Serve with guacamole, salsa, and/or vegan sour cream.