I have a weakness for fried foods. I think it’s that perfect crunching sound when you take a bite, but I’m sure the hot-delicious melted insides help a bit, too.
It’s actually one of the reasons I’ve always refused to buy a fryer—moderation and fried foods aren’t words that tend to go together in my own life so I’ve always avoided buying a fryer. I can’t be trusted.
Since we don’t often fry foods in our house, I’ve gotten creative over the years with baking foods you’d traditionally fry. Some experiments don’t work, while others, such as these taquitos, are almost as crispy and golden brown as their fried counterpart. A little bit of oil brushed on the tortillas is really all you need.
BAKED VEGAN TAQUITOS
For the filling, especially vegan filling like the one I’m using today, I like to stick to a vegetable or two along with beans — black, pinto, or white beans. Mashed beans make for a filling that sticks together, which makes the taquitos easier to roll. (Want to make your beans from scratch? Here’s how to make them on the stovetop or in a pressure cooker.)
I like to swap out the vegetables depending on the season. Right now, with our crisp fall weather, I gravitate toward sweet potatoes. But for spring, it’s all about the greens such as kale and spinach, and in the summer, it’s zucchini and peppers.
HOW TO ASSEMBLE TAQUITOS
Once the filling is made, making the taquitos is as simple as rolling the taquitos, brushing them with bit of oil, and baking them.
A few words of wisdom from over the years: smaller, store-bought tortillas that have been heated in a damp towel make for the best assembly. I’ve found the shelf-stable tortillas to work best second to fresh, homemade tortillas. If your tortilla cracks while rolling, they probably aren’t warm or damp enough.
Also, after rolling, make sure the taquitos are placed seam side down. And to duplicate that perfect crunch, brushing the taquitos with oil before baking.
These sweet potato taquitos freeze well. Just place the assembled taquitos on a rimmed baking sheet lined with wax paper. Make sure the taquitos are not touching each other. Pop the sheet pan in the freezer and freeze them until they’re solid. Transfer the taquitos to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to six months.
There’s no need to thaw before baking. Just add about 5 minutes to the bake time.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH TAQUITOS
To keep these vegan, I like to drizzle with a variation of the cashew sauce. It’s great with cilantro and garlic—I like to keep it simple.
Eat these taquitos as a tasty movie snack or serve with them alongside a simple salad with greens and roasted vegetables for a light vegan dinner. These taquitos are also a great hand-held toddler meal! Instead of topping the taquitos, I give my son a small bowl of cashew dip with these taquitos.
More Great Vegetarian Tex-Mex Recipes to Try!
Baked Sweet Potato Taquitos Recipe
For the filling:
- 1/2 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and shredded (about 2 cups)
- 1 (15-oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed; liquid reserved (or about 2 cups homemade beans)
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 6 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
- 24 6-inch corn tortillas
- 4 tablespoons olive oil for brushing
For the dip:
- 1 cup creamy vegan cashew “cheese” sauce
- 1/2 cup lightly packed chopped cilantro
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Minced red onion
1 Make the filling: In a medium skillet, combine the shredded sweet potatoes with the black beans, garlic powder, chili powder, salt, and 3 tablespoons of the bean liquid.
Simmer the mixture until the sweet potatoes are tender; 6 to 8 minutes. Lightly mash the black beans and stir in the minced cilantro.
2 Warm the tortillas: Wrap tortillas in a damp towel and place in a 300˚F oven for roughly 10 minutes to warm. Alternatively, wrap the tortillas in damp paper towels and place in the microwave for 20 seconds or so.
3 Assemble the taquitos: Place a tortilla in front of you. Scoop 2 to 3 tablespoons of the filling onto the third of the tortilla closest to you. Roll the edge closest to you over the filling and tuck the edge tightly under. Then, continue to roll.
Place the taquito seam side down on a baking tray lined with parchment. Stick with a toothpick if necessary to keep the filling from falling out. Repeat with remaining filling. (Depending on how much filling you've used with each taquito, you may have tortillas leftover.)
At this point, the taquitos can be frozen for up to 6 months; see headnotes for detailed freezing and reheating instructions.
4 Bake the taquitos: Preheat your oven to 425˚F. Brush with olive oil and bake for 18 to 22 minutes until tortillas are browning and crisp.
5 Assemble the dip: While the taquitos are baking, in a small bowl combine the cashew cream with the cilantro, garlic, and salt.
6 Serve: Serve the taquitos with the cashew dip drizzled on top, along with a sprinkle of cilantro and minced red onion, if desired.
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