Frozen taquitos cooked in an air fryer are the definition of a quick meal. With nothing but the toppings to worry about, they’ll be perfectly crispy and ready for you to bite into in 10 minutes.
Perfectly Cooked Air Fryer Taquitos
Taquitos are the perfect comfort food. However, frozen ones are even better because someone’s already done all the hard work for you. There’s no filling, rolling, or annoying toothpicks to help you keep it all in place. Despite this, we’ve decided to make things even easier on ourselves by cooking them in the air fryer. When all we have to do is pop them into the basket, it’s hard not to love them.
With a deeply golden, crunchy flour tortilla exterior, any filling tastes heavenly. Shredded beef, chicken, beans, and mashed potatoes are popular fillings, so choose your favorite. Don’t ask us how, but although they’re only lightly sprayed with oil, they’re extremely rich and buttery.
All this is only elevated when you drizzle your favorite salsa on top. Add a bit of shredded lettuce, Mexican crema, and cotija cheese, and you’ve got a winner-lunch in less than 15 minutes.
Why Use an Air Fryer?
Not only is it easier to cook in an air fryer, but there’s less cleaning. It’s healthier too! Especially for fried foods, you won’t have to worry about your pot of oil reaching the right temperature and then maintaining it throughout the frying process. Just pop it into the air fryer and let the magic of this kitchen appliance do all the work for you. All you have to do is keep an eye on it so you don’t end up with burnt taquitos. You’ll also avoid having to clean up any splattered oil.
Most importantly, using an air fryer is much healthier because food is cooked in hot air. Without any substantial oil or fat, you can reduce the calories and watch your health a little more, even if what you’re eating isn’t necessarily all that healthy. There’s a big difference between crispy taquitos that were deep-fried in oil, versus ones cooked in hot air. Best of all, they’ll turn out just as crunchy.
Do I Need to Thaw Frozen Taquitos First?
No. Thawing the taquitos will actually soften them because the tortillas will absorb moisture from the ice crystals. On the other hand, if you pop them into the air fryer straight out of the freezer, the hot air will immediately evaporate the ice crystals. This will crispen the taquitos without letting any moisture seep in.
How to Cook Taquitos in the Air Fryer
Using frozen taquitos is already a cheat of its own, but cooking them in the air fryer is even more effortless. Here’s what you need to do:
- Fill the air fryer. Arrange the taquitos in a single layer on your air fryer’s wire rack and give them a light spray of oil. If possible, leave an inch or two between each taquito. The more space there is between them, the crunchier they will be.
- Cook. Set your air fryer to 380F and cook the taquitos for 8-10 minutes. Give them a shake or flip them over half-way through to ensure even cooking. Give them an extra minute in the air fryer if you’d like them even crispier because thicker taquitos take longer to cook.
- Remove from the heat. Use kitchen tongs to carefully remove them from the air fryer and set them on a wire rack to cool for a couple of minutes. You can also set them on a plate, but the steam might soften them at the bottom.
- Serve and garnish. Serve with guacamole, sour cream, salsa, and cotija cheese.
Tips for Success
You can’t really go wrong with taquitos that have already been made for you. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind so they turn out perfect:
- Cook in batches. Don’t crowd your air fryer basket. Only place as many taquitos as can fit in a single layer. Cook your taquitos in batches to make sure they all come out extra crispy. You can keep cooked taquitos warm in an oven heated to 200F. Just place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper or a silpat while you fry up each batch of taquitos.
- Keep them frozen. Don’t thaw your taquitos before cooking them. Pop them into the air fryer straight out of the freezer.
- Shake the tray. Half-way through the cooking time, shake the air fryer basket to ensure even cooking.
- Flip them. Make sure to flip your taquitos half-way through the cooking time if they’re packed into a single layer with no space between them.
- Preheat the air-fryer. Every air fryer is different, so check the manufacturer’s instructions to see if yours works better when preheated and do so accordingly.
What to Serve with Taquitos
Taquitos make a great side, but dressed up they can make an equally yummy main dish. Serve them with refried beans, guacamole, salsa, salad, or Mexican red rice. They’re also great with carne asada (Mexican grilled beef) for a crunchy component to your meal.
You can serve your taquitos as they are or load them with shredded lettuce, salsas, Mexican crema, and cotija cheese. If you’re looking for something unconventional, try them with buffalo sauce and a blue cheese dip. Doing so will turn a Mexican meal into an easy game-night snack!
How to Cook Taquitos in the Air Fryer
- 8-10 frozen taquitos depending on how many will fit in one layer
- Olive oil spray
- Fill the air fryer. Arrange the taquitos in a single layer on your air fryer's wire rack. Lightly spray them with oil.
- Cook. Turn your air fryer on to 380F and cook the taquitos for 8-10 minutes. The time will vary according to the size of your taquitos and how crispy you want them to be. If you use a certain brand of taquitos all the time take note of how long it took for them to cook to your liking.
- Remove from the heat. When done, remove the taquitos from the air fryer basket with tongs to avoid singing your fingers.
- Serve and garnish. Serve with guacamole, sour cream, salsa or your preferred fixings.
- Don't thaw the taquitos before cooking them.