Crispy, savory and simple to make, these Air Fryer Taquitos are the perfect bite for parties or a family weeknight meal!
Ground Beef Taquitos in the Air Fryer
A craving for Mexican food is a force to be reckoned with, am I right?
Resistance. Is. Futile. Wouldn’t it be lovely to satisfy that craving from the warm, friendly comfort of your own kitchen?
The layers of ingredients and flavors certainly make Mexican a fan-favorite cuisine. The only problem comes when you need a portable package of those flavors and you've got to keep the mess at a minimum.
When even Walking Tacos sound too sloppy, Ground Beef Quesadillas too flat, and Ground Beef Empanadas seem too daunting, or maybe you're just really in a dip/dunking mood, try out these Air Fryer Ground Beef Taquitos!
Crispy, crunchy and full of authentic flavors? Yep. Easy to make? Indeed. Crowd-pleasing and family-friendly? Just peep those reviews.
Do You Even Air Fry?
Let’s talk about air fryers, dear readers. If you don’t yet own one, get yourself to the nearest store (Ok, who are we kidding: add it to your Amazon cart right now) and avail yourself of this magical appliance STAT.
What exactly is an air fryer, you ask? Oh, just a small countertop miracle-box that cooks by circulating hot air around your food. The results are crispy, juicy and evenly cooked food, with minimal clean-up required.
The Air Fryer applies a crisped golden exterior to just about anything, and is simple to clean up (some are even dishwasher safe). You can make meatballs in the air fryer, and some of us (re: my husband) even think Air Fryer Hamburgers are better than grilled!
Plus, it will breathe new life into take-out leftovers like you would NOT believe! That limp pizza in the fridge just got a new lease on life.
Why You Are Going To Love Air Fryer Taquitos
- Perfect as an appetizer or main course!
- Craving Mexican? These crispy ground beef taquitos hit all the right notes.
- Leftovers freeze well. Great make-ahead dish to have in your freezer stash, too!
Key Ingredients And Substitutions
- Ground Beef - Mystified by those numbers on a package of ground beef? They refer to the lean meat to fat ratio of various ground beef varieties. 80/20 indicates 80% lean meat plus 20% fat. Why does it matter? Fat content is critically important because it can drastically affect the flavor, moisture, and texture of your finished meal. For these air fryer taquitos, most any ground beef will do, including 80/20 or 90/10.
- Eggs - Eggs are a great binding ingredient, meaning they help all the other ingredients stay together and also help maintain the juicy goodness of your dish. Don’t stress over what type of eggs. Just whisk up whatever is on hand.
- Soft Corn Tortillas - Tortilla shells are a great vehicle for almost any filling. Taquitos are always made with corn tortillas. They’re the perfect size, texture, and flavor. If you use a flour tortilla, we won’t tell, but then you’ve got yourself a flauta. In the spirit of authenticity, stick with corn tortillas for these ground beef taquitos.
- Corn Husks or Kitchen Twine- I’m sorry, did you say corn husks? This may be an unfamiliar ingredient, but they can usually be found in the Latin section of your local grocery store. Corn husks are removed before serving, and are simply used to wrap your taquito to prevent ingredients from escaping during cooking. Alternatively, tie up each end of your taquitos with some kitchen string and call it a day.
- Cheese - Cheese, glorious cheese. Is there a recipe out there not improved by the addition of warm, rich, melty, cheese? No. Cheese makes everything better. Sort of like bacon, but I digress. For these air fryer taquitos, try cheddar, Monterey Jack, or your favorite Mexican blend.
- Onion/Green Pepper - The savory, aromatic base of onions and peppers gives Mexican dishes their signature flavor. For this recipe, yellow onions are ideal, but white onions will work just fine, and onion powder will do in a pinch. Green bell peppers are a great choice, but red or yellow will also yield delicious results.
- Garlic Powder/Paprika - These earthy, savory seasonings help bring out all the other flavors of this dish. If you have fresh garlic on hand, feel free to saute it along with your onions and peppers.
How To Make Air Fryer Taquitos
For The Meat Mixture:
- Heat the olive oil at medium heat in a large frying or saute pan. Using a wooden spoon, saute the onions and peppers until the onions are slightly browned and the green peppers are softened. Keep an eye on the heat so you don’t scorch these ingredients.
- Add the ground meat to the pan and break it apart until there are no large pieces. Brown the meat until no pink remains. Your vegetables will continue to soften and infuse their savory goodness into the meat mixture. Yes, your kitchen should smell phenomenal at this point. Breathe it in and enjoy!
- Just when you think it can’t get any better, go ahead and add the garlic powder and paprika. Stir to combine.
- Remove pan from the heat and season with salt and pepper.
Assembling The Taquitos
- Transfer the meat mixture into a separate bowl and let it cool off a bit.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs. Once the meat mixture is cooled, add the whisked eggs and mix well.
- Ready to put those corn husks to work? On a clean work surface (a plate will do, too), lay a strip of corn husk (or kitchen string) horizontally across your workspace. Place a tortilla on top.
- Working vertically from the top of your tortilla to the bottom, add one tablespoon of shredded cheese. Layer with 1.5 tablespoons of the meat mixture.
- Ready to roll? Grab the right side of your tortilla and fold toward the left, covering the meat and cheese mixture. Tuck the edge of the tortilla under the filling. Slowly, and as tightly as possible, roll your tortilla. Tie the corn husk (or kitchen string) around the middle. If any filling escapes the ends, simply push it back in. Cut any excess corn husk or kitchen string and repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.
Air-frying Your Ground Beef Taquitos
- Spray the base and sides of your air fryer basket with cooking spray. This will help prevent sticking. Avocado oil spray is a great choice, but any cooking spray without propellants will do. (Propellants can damage the non-stick coating of your air fryer).
- Place as many taquitos into the basket as you can without overcrowding. Spray the top with cooking spray.
- Set your temperature at 375 degrees and your timer for 6 minutes. When your time's up, check your taquitos to be sure the tops are brown and crispy. If so, flip them over and fry for another 3-5 minutes. Slightly browned and crispy on all sides is what we’re aiming for.
- Repeat this process for the remaining taquitos and serve with your choice of toppings.
Tips & FAQs For Making Air Fryer Taquitos
- To make your corn husks more pliable and easier to work with, soak them in water for about 5 minutes and dry well. Tear them into ¼” strips by hand or use scissors if you like things precise. If using kitchen string, cut to about 7” or just long enough to tie around your taquitos.
- To allow the air in your air fryer to circulate evenly, don’t overcrowd your taquitos in the basket. I have used this Ninja Air Fryer, but we've now upgraded to this bigger Cuisinart model. We have loved both!
- Cooking times will vary depending on your machine. If you’re unsure, err on the side of caution and use less time to start. Add more time until your taquitos are perfectly crispy.
- The sky’s the limit when it comes to taquito toppings! Sour cream, guacamole, hot sauce, lettuce, lettuce, cilantro, crumbled Cotija or feta cheese: yes, please! Or use them all. We won’t judge.
- Serve them alongside some Air Fryer Tortilla Chips and salsa, or this Easy Guacamole.
- Ground beef taquitos freeze beautifully for up to 3 months. To freeze, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Once frozen, throw them in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag. To reheat, bake at 450 for about 7-8 minutes.
Air Fryer Taquitos
For The Taquito Filling:
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil for sautéing
- 1 medium yellow onion (diced)
- 1 green pepper (diced)
- 1.5 lbs ground beef
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika powder
- salt & pepper to taste
For Assembling The Taquitos:
- 2 eggs
- 24 soft corn tortillas
- 2 cups shredded marble or Mexican blend cheese
- corn husk strips or kitchen string (cut into ~ 7” long sections)
- natural cooking spray
For The Taquito Filling
- Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, and sauté the onions and peppers, stirring until the onions sweat and turn slightly brown and the green peppers are softened.
- Add ground beef, stirring and breaking down any large pieces with a wooden sauce spoon. Cook until the beef is browned with no pink remaining.
- Add garlic powder and paprika and stir to thoroughly coat. Take the pan off the heat, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Assembling The Taquitos
- Transfer the ground beef mixture into a bowl, stirring continuously for a minute to help the mixture cool down.
- Whisk 2 eggs in a small bowl. Once the ground beef mixture is cool (about 5-10 minutes), add eggs and mix well.
- On a clean work surface or a plate, lay down one corn husk strip (or kitchen string) sideways (in horizontal position). Place a soft corn tortilla on top of the strip. (See notes below for corn husk prep.)
- Put 1 tablespoon of shredded cheese on the tortilla, forming a line from top to bottom (vertically). Add 1-½ tablespoons of ground beef mixture on top of the cheese.
- Roll the tortilla. Start by taking the right side and bring it over to the left, covering the cheese and meat mixture. Tuck the edge under the filling mixture, then slowly and as tight as possible, roll the tortilla. Tie the corn husk strip/kitchen string securely around the middle of the roll. Push any filling that might have come out of the ends back into roll and cut off excess length of the strip/string.
- Repeat the process for the remainder of the tortillas. (*see note for time saving)
Air Frying The Taquitos
- Spray the base and sides of your air-fryer basket with propellant-free oil cooking spray. Place as many taquitos in the basket and rack as you can without crowding them and spray lightly with cooking spray.
- Set the heat to 375°F and timer to 6 minutes. Check the taquitos and once the top surface is brown and crispy, flip them over. Fry for another 3-5 minutes, or until the taquitos are browned and crisp on both sides.
- Repeat the process for the remainder of the taquitos.
- Serve taquitos with sour cream, guacamole, hot sauce, shredded iceberg lettuce, cilantro, crumbled cotija or feta cheese, or any combination of the above.
- Total Time is based on making 3 batches of taquitos @ 10 min cook time each. To save time, assemble in batches of 4-6 and then cook. While cooking, assemble the next batch.
- Corn husks can be purchased on Amazon or Latin food stores. Alternatively, you can use kitchen string (cut into 7” length for each taquito), or toothpicks to close each end of the taquito.
- If using corn husks, soak them in water for 5 minutes and dry well prior to using. This will make them easier to work with. Tear the corn husk into strips (by hand or with scissors), about ¼” wide per strip
- Do not crowd the taquitos in the basket. Make sure there is plenty of space for hot air to circulate.
- Cooking time depends on your air fryer. If in doubt, use less cooking time and keep checking the taquitos and adding more cooking time until they are crispy.
In Love With Your Air Fryer?
Us too! Be sure to browse all of our great ground beef recipes made just for the Air Fryer!