These Easy Homemade Beef Taquitos are my copycat version of El Paso’s Chico’s Tacos’ famous rolled tacos. Corn tortillas are filled with a flavorful beef mix before being fried till crispy, smothered in a juicy tomato broth, loaded with tons of gooey, mild, finely shredded cheddar cheese, and drizzled with a tongue-burning green chile salsa.

Why I Love This Recipe

You can take the girl out of El Paso, but you can’t take El Paso out of the girl! I left Texas in the late 90s, but every time I go back the first place I visit is Chico’s Tacos.

I’m not the only El Paso, Texas native that is obsessed with Chico’s Tacos. Check out this Food Network video with Aarón Sanchez, an award-winning chef, author, television star, and restaurateur. He explains why their beef taquitos are simply the best:

Luckily, I think I’ve cracked the code with this simple copycat recipe: beefy taquitos, flavorful tomato broth, spicy jalapeño salsa, and a mountain of melty shredded cheese. Best of all? The whole recipe takes just 20 minutes to make, start-to-finish, so I can get my Chico’s fix whenever the craving strikes.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Before you go getting intimidated by a long ingredient list, give it a read-through. The majority of items called for are pantry staples, so I’d bet you already have at least half of what you need on hand! Here’s everything you’ll need:

  • Lean Ground Beef – To keep these on the healthier side, I generally opt for 90/10 or 85/15 ground beef. You can also swap in ground bison, turkey, or chicken for a lighter option.
  • Dried Oregano & Dried Parsley – Dried herbs are more potent than fresh; if you are using fresh herbs, multiply the amount used by 3.
  • Garlic Powder – I use garlic powder and pungent fresh garlic here. If you have to choose just one, use fresh.
  • Corn Tortillas – I suggest store-bought corn tortillas that have not been refrigerated.
  • Neutral Oil – You need something with a high smoke point and no flavor. My go to for deep frying is vegetable or corn oil.
  • Mild Cheddar Cheese – mild cheddar gives off serious Chico’s vibes. I highly recommend shredding the cheese yourself with the smallest shredding holes on a box grater for the finest strands of cheese so the cheese melts in the warm sauce.
  • Canned Whole TomatoesHunt’s are my personal favorite.
  • Roasted Anaheim Chiles or Canned Green Chiles – Optional, but extra delicious.
  • Onion – I usually reach for white onions, but any color onion will work here.
  • Garlic – Fresh garlic is always preferred in salsas, but feel free to swap in 1/4 teaspoon of ground garlic powder for each clove of fresh if you need.
  • Jalapeños – If you prefer a spicier salsa, use Serranos.
  • Tomatillo – A tomatillo is optional, but will make your green salsa extra yummy.
  • Salt & Pepper – Don’t forget the seasoning!

How To Make Homemade Beef Taquitos

I know what you’re thinking: I have to make 3 (!!!) separate things to get these beef taquitos on the table?!? Not to worry, mis amigos. The whole recipe takes just 20 minutes to complete. Here’s how it’s done:

Step 1: Make Taquitos.

Make Beef Filling. Combine ground beef with oregano, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Guess what? You don’t need to precook filling. You will add raw meat mixture to tortillas, and then fry. The meat will cook when fried.

rolling ground beef mixture into taquitos.

Heat Tortillas. Heat a comal (cast-iron griddle) over low heat. To assemble each flauta, warm a tortilla on the comal, turning it once, until pliable, about 20 seconds on each side.

Assemble Taquitos. Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon of raw ground meat in a line across the tortillas. Tightly roll them up, then skewer with toothpicks to keep them closed. OR use my magical slurry tip.

Fry Taquitos. Once they are all assembled fry them in hot oil for about 1-2 minutes on one side, then turn over and finish frying until golden and crispy. Using the tongs, transfer to a towel-lined sheet pan to drain.

fried rolled tacos draining on paper towels.

Step 2: Make Tomato Broth.

Blend. In a blender combine canned whole tomatoes, onion, garlic cloves, oregano, salt, pepper, parsley, chile (optional), water, and puree until smooth.

ingredients for making tomato broth laid out on a table next to the blender.

Heat. Pour the mixture into a saucepan and bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer to keep warm.

Step 3: Make Jalapeño Salsa,

Boil or roast jalapeños and tomatillo until soft.

Blend. Remove stems from jalapeños and blend with tomatillo, garlic clove, water and salt.

roasted jalapeño salsa ingredients on a colorful hand-painted plate.

Step 4: Plate.

Place your single order (3 taquitos) or a double order (6 taquitos) in a bowl or food tray, pour sauce over taquitos, and sprinkle cheese on top, and drizzle with jalapeño salsa. Enjoy immediately!

overhead shot of chico's taco's style rolled beef tacos in a rectangular red and white paper dish with a molcajete of jalapeño salsa and a smaller paper basket filled with crinkle fries on the side.

Optional Variations

While I love these fried rolled tacos just the way they are, there’s always room for customization. Here are some of my favorite variations:

  • Air Fried or Baked Taquitos. If you want a lighter take on taquitos, cook filling first and then air fry or bake flautas at 425F until lightly golden and crispy. Just be sure to lightly fry the corn tortillas before you roll them up; this will ensure that they get nice and crispy.
  • Bison, Turkey, or Chicken Taquitos. Another easy way to lighten things up is by choosing a leaner ground meat. Try bison, turkey, or chicken. You can also swap in chicken tinga, carnitas, or brisket if you prefer.

Expert Tips

  • How do you fry taquitos so they don’t fall apart? When making flautas, I suggest store-bought corn tortillas that have not been refrigerated. If you use corn tortillas that have been refrigerated they will likely tear when rolling. Another tip, heat a comal (cast-iron griddle) over low heat. To assemble each flauta, warm a tortilla on the comal, turning it once, until pliable, about 20 seconds on each side.
  • Instead of toothpicks. Make a slurry of equal parts all-purpose flour and water and use in place of the toothpicks, brushing it along the edge of the tortilla and then pressing to seal.
  • Make-Ahead Tips. The beef taquitos, tomato sauce, and jalapeño salsa can all be made and refrigerated SEPARATELY for up to a week or frozen for up to three months.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between flautas and taquitos?

I have always called them flautas, but the terms are used interchangeably depending on geographical location and personal preference. Both are filled and rolled tortillas that are fried until crisp. They are also called tacos dorados

What should I serve with taquitos?

If you want to go the full Chico’s route, serve these beef rolled tacos with accordion or crinkle fries plus a root beer or a chelada! Otherwise, feel free to pair these tasty treats with other Mexican favorites like Homemade Refried Beans, Mexican Rice (Arroz Mexicano), or Cilantro Lime Rice.

More Tasty Snack Recipes

If you tried my Chico’s Tacos copycat recipe for Homemade Beef Taquitos, let me know how it turned out by rating and reviewing it below or by tagging me in your social media posts so I can cheer you on!

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close-up of beef taquitos served chico's style with tomato broth, melted cheese, jalapeño salsa and crinkle fries.

Easy Homemade Beef Taquitos (Chico’s Tacos Copycat)

5 (7 ratings)
Corn tortillas are filled with a flavorful beef mix before being fried till crispy, smothered in a juicy tomato broth, loaded with tons of gooey, mild, finely shredded cheddar cheese, and drizzled with a tongue-burning green chile salsa.

Ingredients

Taquitos:

  • 1 pound ground buffalo or lean ground beef
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 12-16 corn tortillas
  • Vegetable or Canola oil for frying, depth of 2″ in your pan
  • 1 pound finely shredded mild cheddar cheese

Tomato Broth:

  • 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
  • ¼ onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon dried parsley
  • 2 roasted Anaheim chiles or 1 can, 4 ounce green chiles (optional)
  • ¼ cup water

Jalapeño Salsa:

  • 3 jalapeños
  • 1 tomatillo, husked and rinsed
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup water

Instructions 

Taquitos:

  • Combine ground beef with oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  • Heat a comal (cast-iron griddle) or heavy frying pan over low heat. To assemble each flauta, warm a tortilla on the comal, turning it once, until pliable, about 20 seconds on each side.
  • Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon of raw ground meat in a line across the tortillas. Tightly roll them up, then skewer with toothpicks to keep them closed.
  • Heat the oil until hot.
  • Once they are all assembled fry them in hot oil for about 1-2 minutes on one side, then turn over and finish frying until golden and crispy. Drain on paper towels.

Tomato Broth:

  • In a blender combine whole tomatoes, onion, garlic cloves, oregano, salt, pepper, parsley, chile (optional), water, and puree until smooth.
  • Pour the mixture into a saucepan and bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer to keep warm.

Jalapeño Salsa:

  • Boil or roast jalapeños and tomatillo until soft. Remove stems from jalapeños and blend with tomatillo, garlic clove, water and salt.
  • Place your single order (3 taquitos) in a bowl, pour sauce over taquitos, and sprinkle cheese on top, and drizzle with jalapeño salsa.

Notes

  • Instead of toothpicks. Make a slurry of equal parts all-purpose flour and water and use in place of the toothpicks, brushing it along the edge of the tortilla and then pressing to seal.
  • Serve with accordion or crinkle fries, root beer, or a chelada!
Calories: 308kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 18g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 66mg, Sodium: 644mg, Potassium: 302mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 542IU, Vitamin C: 10mg, Calcium: 310mg, Iron: 2mg

Photography by Jenna Sparks
Originally published: February 2011.