Jan 4, 2013

Frozen Friday: Trader Joe's - Beef Taquitos

Trader Joe's (or Jose's on the package) Beef Taquitos features 10 corn tortillas hand-rolled around a filling of shredded beef.

For $3.99, you get 18 ounces (a little over a pound) of frozen Mexican food.

Each taquito is a pretty good size compared to the typical brands available at the supermarket. I'd guess they're about twice the size if not more.

You can cook these in a pan, oven, or microwave. For this review, I decided to make a few in a pan and a few in the microwave.

The microwave makes for fall-apart taquitos.
The microwave is the most convenient option; you just plop a few of these on a plate and set the time. While some things, like mashed potatoes, turn out perfectly well in the microwave, taquitos are not one of those things. The corn tortilla, while pre-fried a little, turns completely mushy and starts to fall apart. Biting into one, there's a bit of a struggle in discerning between the tortilla and the beef as they both have the same soft texture.

Microwave fail.
The pan is the preferred method for me. It takes a little more time (maybe 5 or 6 minutes), but it gives the taquitos a satisfying crunch. There's already a bit of oil in the corn tortilla, so if you like, you can get away with just frying these in a pan without any oil or butter.

I cook these the same way I cook hot dogs; I throw them on the pan under medium heat and just roll them around with my fingers ever so often until they brown a bit. I use my fingers because when they're too hot to touch, I figure they're done. If you're worried about singeing your fingers, you can always use a spatula, chopsticks, fork, or whatever other utensil is handy (just be sure not to scratch your pan if it's non-stick!). If you don't have any of those handy and are still worried about burning your fingers, just tilt the pan to and fro now and again. Easy peasy right?

Mmmm.. crispy pan-fried taquitos!
As I mentioned, pan frying will give you the desired crispy crunch for your taquitos. Once they're done, you're going to want something to dip them in though. The beef, while nicely shredded, isn't seasoned enough to enjoy plain. I like these with some guacamole or other avocado sauce. El Pollo Loco has free avocado salsa, so I used some that I had saved from a night or two prior. It pairs with these very well, adding some much welcomed spicy creaminess. Some shredded Monterey Jack cheese on top is also really nice.

I would not recommend the microwave for these at all. If you're feeling lazy, I would heat these for maybe 30 seconds in the microwave to makes sure the filling is heated before finishing them in a toaster oven or pan.

Overall, Trader Joe's Beef Taquitos are pretty good as long as you have some sort of sauce to set them off. Also, since these are hand-rolled, some of them have a fair amount of empty shell at the ends with no filling. They really should be stuffed to ends consistently. Still, they satisfy a taquito craving in a jiff and are pretty affordable.

Nutritional Info - Trader Joe's Beef Taquitos
Serving Size  - 1 taquito (51g)
Calories - 100 (from Fat - 30)
Fat - 3g (Saturated Fat - 1g)
Sodium - 160mg
Carbs - 10g (Sugar - 0g)
Protein - 7g


  1. I loved your pan cooking instructions.

  2. These are a great value and are taste very good as long as you oven bake them or fry them to make sure they crisp. With a mexican cheese blend and homemade guacamole on top they're much cheaper and better then buying rolled tacos/taquitos from a Mexican restaurant.


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