When I lived out in California I used to frequent a little Mexican chain called Baja Fresh, and they had what I thought were the best flautas ever. Little did I know, these were not the best flautas ever, I just didn’t have much to compare them to at that point. However, once I discovered how much I liked flautas, I started trying them more frequently at Mexican restaurants. This was hard for me, because whenever I went out for Mexican I would always order the same thing: enchiladas with red sauce. It was my staple, my comfort food…I could never go wrong with that red sauce and whatever filling choice I decided for that day. This isn’t typical to my food trying personality though, because I love trying new things (except when someone tries to mess with my enchiladas!), so I am happy I started branching out a bit when it came to Mexican food.
Anyway, flash forward years later, I’m a vegetarian, and I’ve never been able to find vegetarian flautas at a restaurant. Always with chicken or some other meat, they tempt me and then crush my flauta dreams when they don’t offer some delicious veggie option. So I set out to make a vegetarian flauta that would satisfy my flauta cravings and put the meat versions to shame! After a couple different attempts at different veggie combos, I found the best…..This is it!
These bake up in no time, and the trick to getting them crispy, instead of soggy on the bottom, is to bake them on top of a wire rack (like the kind you use to cool cookies!). You give it a light spray of non stick spray, and then load them on top in a single layer. It works amazingly well and it ensures that the whole flauta gets crispy! If you aren’t interested in vegetarian meals, you could easily add shredded chicken to this recipe…however, even without it, between the beans and the sweet potato, you get a really hearty and healthy meal. It’s great for meatless Monday’s or whenever!
- 1 package of flour tortilla small/taco size
- 1 15 ounce can black beans
- 1 cup corn
- 1 medium sweet potato cooked and diced into small pieces
- 1/2 large onion diced (any color onion works)
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp dried or fresh cilantro
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes [optional]
- 2 oz cream cheese room temperature (can use low fat if desired), cut into small cubes
- 6 ounces pepperjack cheese grated
- 1/4 cup red enchilada sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil spray
- salsa guacamole, and plain greek yogurt or sour cream for dipping
1. Pre-heat your oven to 425F. Place a wire rack or 2 depending on size, on top of a large baking sheet. Spray wire rack with non-stick spray and set aside.
2. In a large non-stick skillet, combine beans, corn, onion, chili powder, cumin, cilantro, cayenne, and enchilada sauce. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring regularly to evenly cook. Add in the cubed of cream cheese, and stir to melt and incorporate into veggies. Carefully add the sweet potato and mix gently. Add salt, pepper, and any additional seasoning to taste. Turn off heat.
3. Placing your tortillas in a pile on the counter, slice off about 1/2 inch from one side (***see photo below labeled step 3 for visual). Add a "line" of veggie filling to the center of the of the tortilla, about 1-inch thick. Top with a layer of cheese, and then roll the tortilla (cut side going over the top and getting rolled under) all the way around, and place seem side up, onto the wire rack/baking sheet. **You may have to secure the flauta with a toothpick to keep it closed (I always do this). Repeat with all the tortillas and filling mixture.
4. Once all the flautas are rolled up on the wire rack, spray a quick layer of olive oil spray over them, and then place into the oven. Bake for 15 minutes*, or until the flautas are browning and crispy (*may be a few minutes more or less depending on oven- check after 12 minutes). Remove when finished and allow a few minutes to cool.
5. Serve with salsa, Greek yogurt/sour cream, and guacamole for dipping. Enjoy!
See below photo for step #3 visualization
**You may have to secure the flauta with a toothpick to keep it closed (I always do this)
Recipe Adapted from Peas & Crayons
Like Mexican food as much as us? Try out some of these delicious recipes (click on photo to see recipe):
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