Fake-Out Flautas

Makes 12 Flautas; Serves 6
When I first made these at home, the fam asked if I'd ordered from the local taqueria. Talk about a coup! Flautas are those addictive deep-fried skinny tacos. This version became a total repeat-recipe hit. I call them "fake-out" because unlike their messy, deep-fried cousins, they are a quick low-fat, baked, vegetarian gem of a recipe. Serve with Guacamole, the ultimate scoopable flavor bomb.


  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 6 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, grated
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • One 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 tablespoon safflower or other vegetable oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees with the racks in the upper and lower third positions. Lay out the tortillas on two rimmed baking sheets and scatter the cheese over them. Place in the oven for 1 to 2 minutes to melt the cheese.
  2. Meanwhile, toss the tomatoes, black beans, salt, and lime juice together in a bowl.
  3. Distribute the bean mixture evenly over the melted cheese and roll up the tortillas. Arrange side by side, seam side down, on one baking sheet. Brush the oil over the tops. Bake for 8 minutes, or until golden and crispy.
cook's note
Oven-Frying Versus Deep-Frying
Any deep-fried food, such as these flautas or Potato Poppers (page 214), that can be reasonably replicated by oven-frying is worth a try. Oven-frying is easier to do and doesn’t require the careful handling that deep-frying does (see page 135). Here are a few tips:
• Coat the food with items that create a wowie crunch like panko bread crumbs (see page 17) or crushed tortilla chips.
• Brush a light coating of oil to coat the surface of the food before putting it in the oven.
• Preheat your metal baking pan in the oven before the food is added; this will help you achieve that audible sizzle-sear right off the bat.
• Broil for the last few minutes of cooking to finish with a golden touch.
Need help with the ingredients? Check our pantry list:
Photo by Jonathan Lovekin