This is one of those recipes that I pulled together based on the fact that on Fridays we eat Mexican food, I had leftover slow cooker beef roast in the fridge, and at 6:00 I didn’t want to put very much effort into coming up with a meat and two sides #typicalsouthernplate. I never expected this on the fly meal to turn out so good, but this has to be one of my top three made at home Mexican meals.
I have an air fryer, and I like to use it for multiple frozen items, but lately I’ve been loving it for making flautas and taquitos. We live somewhere that’s normally moderate in temperature so homes don’t have AC. Well wouldn’t you know it that we’ve had a hot spell for weeks. I don’t feel like turning on our lights because they heat up the room, so the oven is second definitely string right now.
Thank goodness for the air fryer! It doesn’t heat my house up, and it crisps flour tortillas in a fraction of the time that my oven does which means that I don’t feel like I need to walk around my house with clothes made from ice packs or buy a baby pool to fill up with ice water for our family room. I’d hate to have to explain to my husband how my indoor baby pool isn’t crazy and is necessary for beating hot flashes. Nothing to see here, keep moving and no two people won’t fit in my pool. I miss air conditioning.
I made the filling for our 8 flautas by using my food processor to chop up the leftover roast beef and carrots from our Wednesday night supper and I added a medium potato that I didn’t use for our mashed potatoes. If you think adding the carrot in sounds strange, it wasn’t. I had a lot of meat leftover, so the carrot didn’t dominate the flavors and didn’t go to waste! The potato was zapped in the microwave for about 5-6 minutes. Once it was softened, I mashed it up and mixed it in with the meat, cheese, and seasonings. If you’re feeding a larger crew and need more flautas then double the filling ingredients and tortillas.
I used flour tortillas but if you’re a fan of corn tortillas then you do you. I have better results when I spray the tortilla with cooking spray before they cook. Also, don’t overload the flautas with filling so that they warm through and don’t unwrap or tear. My air fryer holds about 4-5 flautas but your basket may be larger. I don’t overcrowd it so that the tortillas have a chance to crisp up which means cooking in batches, but they’re ready relatively fast.
The red sauce was made by quickly blending a couple of tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, garlic, cilantro, lime, cumin, sugar and salt and after, I cooked it with a little water to thin it out. If you prefer, buy a store bought salsa, blend it, and then thin it with water. I always heat my sauce on the stove so that the flautas are plated in a warm sauce. The ingredients and recipe for my salsa roja (red sauce) can be found below.
The next time that you have leftover beef, pork, or chicken I hope that you’ll consider making these Air fryer flautas. Truth be told though these would be great as vegetarian flautas too!
These ingredients make 8 flautas, but it’s easily doubled
For the flautas:
Small batch Red Sauce:
For the Flautas:
Chop the meat up in a food processor until finely chopped, but not a paste. I had carrots that I included in the meat mixture if you have them left and want to include them it was 1 cooked carrot.
Cook the potato in the microwave by poking holes in it, wrapping in a damp paper towel, and cooking it for 3 minutes and then flipping it over and cooking for 2-4 more minutes or until tender enough to mash.
In a bowl, mix the meat, potatoes, cheese, and seasoning together. Taste it and adjust the seasoning.
Add about 3-4 Tbsp. of meat to each flour tortilla, and roll it up. I try to avoid the edges so that the meat doesn’t fall out.
Heat the air fryer to 360 or 375 degrees (depending on your model) and spray the flautas with cooking spray right before placing them in the air fryer basket.
Cook for 4 minutes and check them to see if they are crispy enough. If not, then cook in 1-2 minute intervals to avoid burning the tortillas.
For the Red Sauce:
In a small blender mix all of the sauce ingredients with the exception of the water, until it is very smooth.
Pour the blended sauce into a small pan and add 1/4-1/2 cup of water to help the sauce to reach a desired consistency.
I like this sauce thin so that it spreads out across the plate, but add the water slowly until you are satisfied.
Heat the sauce over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
Serve 3-4 flautas either sitting in the sauce or drizzle it over the top, or use the sauce on the top and bottom.
For a fast sauce, blend your favorite jarred salsa and warm it. Thin it if needed with water.
I like to top my flautas with finely chopped lettuce or cabbage (which is a traditional topping in Mexico), sour cream, tomatoes, and whatever cheese that I have hanging out in the refrigerator.
Other ideas are, beans, olives, green onions, chopped white onions, assorted cheeses.