Flautas are a crowd-pleasing Mexican dish that can be made many different ways.
“Flautas” is Spanish for “flutes.” If you’ve ever had this cuisine at a Mexican restaurant, you’ll immediately understand why.
Flautas are made from tortillas that are filled and then rolled up and fried. The result: a long, thin, flute-shaped roll that’s extra-crispy and bursting with a savory, spiced filling.
How to Make Flautas: The Basics
Flautas are typically made with corn tortillas. They’re stuffed with a filling that may include shredded meat (usually beef or chicken), cheese, onions, or potatoes. The filling is usually spiced with additions like cumin, garlic, bay leaves, lime juice, cilantro, and/or cayenne pepper.
The filling is cooked on the stove so the flavors meld together. The filling gets spooned along the center of each tortilla. Then they’re rolled up tightly and secured with a toothpick.
Each flauta is then fried in hot oil until golden brown and crispy.
Flautas vs. Taquitos: What’s the Difference?
Flautas are often called “taquitos,” “tacos dorados,” and vice-versa. Are they the same things, though?
The main differences don’t have to do with flavor, but rather with size and shape. Often, a true flauta will be longer and thinner than a taquito because they’re made from larger tortillas. Taquitos are usually shorter, and may even be flatter because of the way they’re rolled.
However, these differences aren’t always attended to when flautas/taquitos are made. The result is a dish that sits squarely in the middle. The fillings are often similar, and they’re even served with similar condiments and toppings.
So, yes, you can call flautas “taquitos” and taquitos “flautas.” Just know that if you’re eating a long, thin, rolled-up tortilla that’s distinctly flute-shaped, it’s definitely a flauta.
Flautas Variations to Try
Flautas taste delicious with a variety of fillings. Here are some popular ones to try and enjoy.
Shredded Chicken with Cheese and Jalapenos
Shredded chicken is a common flauta filling. Spice it up with fresh jalapeno, cilantro, Monterey jack cheese, lime juice, and salsa.
Filling flautas with potatoes is a traditional way to make them in Mexico.
Shredded Beef and Onion
For flautas that are more filling, stuff them with a mixture of beef and sliced onion with garlic.
How to Serve Flautas
Flautas are generally served hot on a bed of crisp lettuce with a variety of toppings or condiments. Sour cream, avocado, salsa (like pico de gallo), guacamole, and shredded cheese are common options.
When you serve your own flautas, provide a variety of condiments so your guests can top them according to their preferences.
Remember, flautas are eaten with your fingers, not a fork or knife. In fact, one of the reasons they’re literally called “flutes” is because you hold them in your fingers like you’re playing a flute to eat them.
Needless to say, this Mexican cuisine is a fun party food and a big hit with kids. Serve them up hot and crispy, and enjoy!