Mini Corn and Leek Flautas
These cheesy flautas are a fun and easy appetizer to make, and are completely meat-free for vegetarians. If you're planning ahead, you can make these a day or two in advance, then re-crisp them in the oven before serving. — Allison Beck
Click here to see A Vegetarian Super Bowl Party.
For the leek confit:
- 2 large leeks, white part and light green part only, cut in half and finely sliced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup of water or chicken stock
- ½ teaspoon salt
For the flautas:
- 16 large flour tortillas
- ½ pound smoked Cheddar cheese (or sharp white Cheddar), shredded
- ½ pound Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
- 1 cup leek confit (recipe above)
- One 15-ounce can corn, rinsed (If in season, use 5 ears of fresh corn, kernels removed)
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- A dash of cayenne
- Cilantro-lime crema, for dipping (recipe below)
For the crema:
- ½ lime, juiced
- 4 ounces sour cream
- 1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chives, chopped, optional
For the confit:
On the stove, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat in a lidded sauté pan or Dutch oven. Add the leeks and sauté for 3-5 minutes, or until translucent. Add the water or stock, turn the flame down to low, cover and cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are completely soft and beginning to turn to mush. Take the lid off and cook uncovered until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 more minutes.
For the flautas:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut each tortilla into 5 smaller rounds.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cheeses, leek confit, corn, cumin, salt, and cayenne and toss to combine. On a clean work surface, brush each round with a little bit of water. Place 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of each round, and roll together so the edges overlap (they should look like mini tacos, and the water will help the edges bind). Place the flautas seam side-down on a cookie sheet lined with parchment, about 20 per sheet.
Bake the flautas in the oven for 10 minutes, until the tortilla is nicely browned, and the cheese is bubbling. Allow the flautas to rest on the cookie sheets until cool enough to touch. Arrange on a platter and serve immediately with some sour cream or cilantro-lime crema for dipping.
For the crema:
While the flautas cool, combine all ingredients for the crema in a food processor and blend until fully incorporated.
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- ½ green bell pepper, chopped
- ½ onion, finely diced
- 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
- ¾ cup water
- 1 (10 ounce) package corn tortillas (such as Ortega®)
- ½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- 1 cup salsa
- 24 toothpicks
- 2 cups vegetable oil for frying
Heat 1 teaspoon vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the bell pepper and onion cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and stir in the chicken breast. Cook and stir until the chicken breast is no longer pink in the center, about 10 minutes. Shred the chicken using two forks. Stir in the taco seasoning and water. Simmer until the liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Stir in the Cheddar cheese, then remove from heat, and set aside.
Lightly brush each corn tortilla will a layer of salsa. Spread about 2 tablespoons of the chicken mixture in a line along the bottom edge of the tortilla. Tightly roll the tortilla into a cylinder, and secure the ends with one or two toothpicks. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
Heat 2 cups vegetable oil in a large skillet to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Fry the flautas in the preheated oil, no more than 4 at a time, until golden and crisp, about 4 minutes. Drain the flautas on a paper towel-lined plate. Discard toothpicks and top finished flautas with remaining salsa.
What is a flauta?
A flauta is a tortilla that is filled with meat or poultry, cheese, and other fillings. Then it’s fried in a little bit of oil over the stove! It’s perfect to serve as an appetizer, lunch, or dinner dish! It can be filled with any fillings you prefer but this recipe calls for shredded beef.
It’s SO good. This recipe hits it out of the park with anyone who tries it. The crunch from the fried tortilla and the creamy melted cheese mixed in with the beef is just SO YUMMY! I could eat 10 of these flautas if I’m not careful. These don’t last long around my family.
Feel free to switch up the ingredients and add shredded chicken or pulled pork instead of beef, or use flour tortillas instead of corn tortillas. You could even use different cheeses or toppings—the possibilities are endless!
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cooked and shredded
- 1 (8 ounce) jar picante sauce
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- 8 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 8 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese
- 36 (6 inch) corn tortillas
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a medium bowl combine the shredded chicken, picante sauce and ground cumin. Mix together.
In a small skillet heat vegetable oil over medium high heat. Place a corn tortilla in the oil for 1 to 2 seconds on either side to soften. Repeat with all of the tortillas (if possible, have someone help you do this). Place tortillas on paper towel to soak up some of the oil.
Put 1 tablespoon of the chicken mixture in the center of a tortilla and sprinkle some cheese on top. Roll up tortilla and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet, seam side down. Repeat with all of the tortillas until chicken mixture is gone. If there is any cheese left over, sprinkle it over the rolled tortillas.
Bake tortillas in the preheated oven for 15 to 25 minutes or until tortillas are a little crispy and golden brown.
Serving Air Fryer Flautas (aka Taquitos)
I love to add Instant Pot refried beans as a side to any Mexican dishes and did so here. You can also use the beans as a filling to make bean taquitos.
For garnish, I use sour cream, guacamole, salsa, and more cheese. I have a Nutribullet guacamole recipe that I like to use, or try this easy guacamole recipe.
Mini Corn and Leek Flautas - Recipes
2 guajillo chiles, stems removed
1/2 small white onion, chopped
1 cup monterey jack cheese, grated
Combine chicken breasts, guajillo chiles, onion, celery, bay leaf, salt, oregano, garlic, and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot. Add just enough water to cover the ingredients then bring to a boil. Once the liquid begins to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
When the chicken is completely cooked through, remove it from the pot and shred. Set aside.
Remove chiles, garlic, and 1 cup of the chicken stock from the pot and place in the blender. Blend until smooth.
Heat remaining olive oil in a frying pan. Add chicken, chile sauce mixture, and jalapeno, and cook until combined, about 5 minutes.
Place some of the chicken mixture in each tortilla. Wrap and place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with cheese then bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped New Mexican green chiles that have been roasted, peeled, seeds and stems removed
1 red bell pepper, seeds and stem removed, julienned
1 yellow bell pepper, seeds and stem removed, julienned
1 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin
12 blue corn tortillas (substitute regular yellow corn tortillas if you don't have blue corn tortillas on hand)
Vegetable oil for frying
1 cup of your favorite salsa
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded lettuce
1 cup guacamole
1 cup chopped tomatoes
Baked Black Bean and Sweet Potato Flautas
I went full-on neurotic with this recipe. I tested. And tested. And tested some more.
Poor me right? I had to eat all those delicious flautas. The horror.
Each time they tasted great, but I’m a bit ruthless. I wanted them to be downright irresistable.
It’s about time that veggies take center stage in a dish, and not just be an after-thought, slapped on our plates like a pile of sad peas. Not that peas are sad, but when you spend hours slaving over a main course only to microwave a small pouch of buttered peas and pour them next to your masterpiece of a main dish… well, that’s kind of sad. Veggies need love too! So, as always, I’m here to give vegetables first billing. Followed by cheese, glorious cheese.
Of course you can fry these flautas to make them nice and crispy! You’ll just want to heat up 2 cups of neutral tasting vegetable oil (like canola) to 375 F degrees before frying your little assembled treats, no more than 4 at a time. Remove once golden brown, drain on a paper towel covered plate, and enjoy!
Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Allow the sauce to sit at room temperature for an hour to blend the flavors.
In a heavy skillet, heat the oil and saute the onion and garlic until soft. Remove from the heat and toss with the chicken and cilantro.
Pour the oil to a depth of a couple inches and heat to 375 degrees. Dip the tortillas, one at a time, in the oil for 5 seconds to soften. Remove and drain on paper towels.
Overlap two of the tortillas (cover ½ of one with the other) and place a couple of tablespoons of the filling, sprinkle with cheese, roll as tightly as possible and secure with toothpicks.
Fry the flautas, 2 or 3, at a time until crisp and browned, about 1 minute. Drain and remove the toothpicks.
To serve, arrange the flautas on a platter, drizzle some of the avocado sauce over the top and serve the remaining on the side for dipping.