Tacos Dorados vs Flautas

When diving into the world of Mexican cuisine, it’s easy to find yourself faced with delicious, yet seemingly similar dishes. Two such dishes that often spark curiosity and debate are tacos dorados and flautas. While both consist of a rolled tortilla filled with various scrumptious ingredients, there are some key differences between these two popular dishes.

Tacos dorados, also known as golden tacos or taquitos, originated in Mexico and are typically made with corn tortillas that are filled with different kinds of meats, vegetables, or cheese. On the other hand, flautas, meaning “flutes” in Spanish, are slightly larger than tacos dorados and are usually made with flour tortillas. Although these dishes may look and taste similar, their differences become more evident when you dive into the origins, preparation methods, and toppings.

Key Takeaways

  • Tacos dorados and flautas are similar dishes with distinct origins, ingredients, and preparation methods.
  • Tacos dorados typically use corn tortillas and have a smaller form factor, while flautas are made with flour tortillas and usually larger in size.
  • Both dishes offer a wide variety of fillings and toppings, allowing for endless possibilities when it comes to flavors and textures.

Origins of Tacos Dorados and Flautas

You may be familiar with the delicious Mexican dishes known as Tacos Dorados and Flautas, but have you ever wondered about their origins? Both are popular in Mexican cuisine, but each has its unique history and regional variations.

Tacos Dorados, also known as golden tacos or taquitos, trace their roots back to Central Mexico. The dish has been part of Mexican culinary traditions for centuries, originally made with corn tortillas filled with spicy meat, rolled, and then deep-fried to achieve a crispy texture. Over time, their popularity spread throughout Mexico, and new ingredients, such as beans and cheese, became widely used as fillings.

On the other hand, Flautas, which translates to “flutes,” has its origins in Northern Mexico. Similar to Tacos Dorados, Flautas are made with a corn or wheat tortilla and often filled with shredded chicken, beef, or cheese. They are then rolled into a narrow, flute-like shape and deep-fried until crispy. The use of wheat tortillas in Flautas is a testament to the influence of wheat cultivation in Northern Mexico, particularly in states like Chihuahua and Sonora.

Both Tacos Dorados and Flautas are typically served with various accompaniments, such as guacamole, sour cream, salsa, or even in a broth. As the dishes traveled beyond their respective regions, their popularity grew, and they became integrated into the broader Mexican cuisine.

The variations between Tacos Dorados and Flautas also depend on the location and traditions of the region. In some areas, the terms are used interchangeably, while in others, they are differentiated by the choice of tortilla or the way they are served.

No matter the subtle differences between the two dishes, they both stand as emblematic and beloved components of Mexican cuisine, each representing a unique story rooted in the diverse culinary history of Mexico.

What are Tacos Dorados?

Tacos Dorados, also known as “golden tacos,” are a popular Mexican dish that you might have encountered at a restaurant or food stand. Made from corn tortillas, Tacos Dorados have a crispy, crunchy texture that makes them irresistible. In this section, we will focus on the key aspects of Tacos Dorados, including their size, shape, filling, and presentation.

To make Tacos Dorados, you’ll start with corn tortillas. These tortillas are typically small in size, measuring about 5 to 6 inches in diameter. Corn tortillas provide the necessary sturdiness and authentic flavor that make Tacos Dorados unique.

The filling of Tacos Dorados can vary greatly depending on your personal preferences. Some common ingredients include shredded chicken, beef, pork, or even mashed potatoes. The filling should be well-seasoned and flavorful, as it will be the star of the dish.

Next comes the distinctive shape of Tacos Dorados. To achieve this, the corn tortilla is filled and folded in half, giving a crescent shape. By folding the tortilla, you ensure that the filling remains enclosed during the frying process. The filled tortillas are then secured with a toothpick to keep their shape.

Frying is an essential step in making Tacos Dorados, which gives them their characteristic golden color and crispy texture. Typically, the filled and folded tortillas are shallow fried in oil until the exterior is crispy and golden brown. A well-fried Taco Dorado will have a beautiful balance of a crunchy shell and flavorful, tender filling.

Finally, the presentation of Tacos Dorados adds to their appeal. They are often served with toppings like lettuce, cheese, salsa, and avocado, adding layers of flavor to the dish. You can enjoy these tasty snacks as a casual appetizer or a main course depending on your preference.

In summary, Tacos Dorados are delectable, crispy corn tortillas filled with a variety of delicious ingredients. Their unique shape and size make them a versatile dish, suitable for both everyday snacks and special occasions.

What are Flautas?

Flautas are a popular Mexican dish that you can enjoy as a snack or appetizer. They are made by filling a flour tortilla with various ingredients and then rolling it into a cylindrical shape. After that, they’re typically fried to achieve a delicious, crispy texture.

When it comes to the tortillas used in flautas, they are usually made from flour. This distinguishes them from their close relative, the taco dorado, which is prepared using corn tortillas. The flour tortillas make for a softer and more pliable base, which can be easily rolled without breaking.

The filling options for your flautas are almost limitless. Some traditional fillings include shredded chicken, beef, and pork. However, you could also get creative with vegetarian options like beans, cheese, and even potatoes. The important thing is to make sure that the filling is well-seasoned and finely chopped or shredded so that it can be evenly distributed within the flauta.

The size of flautas can vary, but generally, they are smaller than a main course meal, making them an ideal bite-sized snack or appetizer. Due to their convenient size and shape, flautas are easy to eat with your hands, making them a popular addition to many social gatherings and parties.

In summary, flautas are a versatile and delicious Mexican dish featuring flour tortillas filled with various ingredients and fried to crispy perfection. Whether you’re looking for a tasty appetizer or a quick snack, flautas are sure to satisfy your cravings with their flavorful fillings and irresistible texture.

Exploration of Ingredients and Fillings

When comparing tacos dorados and flautas, it’s important to understand the differences in ingredients and fillings. These popular Mexican dishes share some common elements, but there are a few distinctions that set them apart.

In both tacos dorados and flautas, the fillings primarily consist of proteins like chicken, beef, or pork. Shredded chicken and shredded beef are popular options, contributing to their similar textures. However, tacos dorados can also be filled with more diverse ingredients such as potatoes, beans, or cheese, offering you more variety.

Condiments play a significant role in enhancing the flavor of both dishes. Salsa is a popular choice for tacos dorados, while flautas often come with different sauces like salsa verde, guacamole, or sour cream. Onions are another common topping for both tacos dorados and flautas, adding a hint of tang and crunchiness.

Here’s a comparison of the fillings and toppings typically found in tacos dorados and flautas:

Tacos Dorados:

  • Proteins: Chicken, beef, pork
  • Other Fillings: Cheese, potatoes, beans
  • Toppings: Salsa, onions


  • Proteins: Chicken, beef, pork
  • Toppings: Salsa verde, guacamole, sour cream, onions

For the exterior of the dishes, tacos dorados are made with corn tortillas while flautas are usually made with flour tortillas. This difference in the tortillas has a noticeable impact on their taste and texture. Corn tortillas provide a firmer and slightly denser texture, while flour tortillas result in a lighter and flakier final product.

You will also find a variety of vegetables being used as accompaniments for both tacos dorados and flautas. These might include lettuce, tomatoes, and avocado, which can help elevate the flavor profiles and add a dose of nutrients to the dish.

In conclusion, the choice between tacos dorados and flautas comes down to personal preference. Each dish has its unique qualities, and experimenting with different fillings and condiments can help you discover your favorite combination.

Analyzing the Preparation Method

When preparing Tacos Dorados and Flautas, there are some key differences in the method and ingredients used. Both dishes begin with tortillas, but Tacos Dorados typically use corn tortillas, while Flautas generally utilize flour tortillas.

For the fillings, you can choose a variety of meat options, such as chicken, beef or pork. In both cases, the meat is cooked and shredded beforehand. Tacos Dorados and Flautas can also be made with vegetarian fillings, like potatoes or cheese. However, no matter the filling, the preparation process is similar.

To assemble a Tacos Dorados or Flauta, place the filling in the center of the tortilla and roll it tightly. Once you have your roll, it’s time to achieve that crispy exterior. The traditional method is to fry them in hot oil until golden and crisp. Fried tortillas create the crunchy texture that both of these dishes are known for.

While frying is the typical preparation method, there is an alternative for those seeking a healthier option: baked taquitos. Baking results in a slightly less crispy exterior but is a healthier alternative to deep frying.

Tacos DoradosFlautas
TortillasCorn tortillasFlour tortillas
FillingsMeat or vegetarianMeat or vegetarian
PreparationFried (or baked)Fried (or baked)

Once your Tacos Dorados or Flautas are crispy, it’s time to add the toppings. Both dishes can be served with a variety of sauces, such as salsa, guacamole, or sour cream. Additionally, you might garnish them with fresh vegetables like lettuce, tomatoes, and onions.

In summary, Tacos Dorados and Flautas primarily differ in the type of tortilla used, with other variations being minor. Preparation methods and toppings are similar, and you can customize your dish according to your personal taste preferences. Enjoy experimenting with different fillings, sauces, and garnishes to make these dishes truly your own.

The Toppings and Condiments

When deciding between tacos dorados and flautas, the toppings and condiments play a vital role in enhancing the flavors of these dishes. In this section, you will learn about the variety of toppings and condiments commonly used for both tacos dorados and flautas.

For tacos dorados, the toppings usually include shredded lettuce or cabbage, chopped tomatoes, cilantro, crumbled or grated cheese, and sliced avocado. As for condiments, guacamole and sour cream are common choices to complement the crispy texture and flavorful filling of the tacos. Pico de gallo, a mix of chopped tomatoes, onions, and chilies, can also be added to provide a refreshing contrast to the dish.

On the other hand, flautas are often garnished with similar toppings like chopped lettuce, tomatoes, avocado slices, and grated cheese. However, the condiments may differ, as flautas are usually served with a more diverse selection of sauces. Green sauce (salsa verde) made from tomatillos, chilies, and cilantro is popular for its tangy and mildly spicy flavor. Red and green sauce (salsa roja) is another option that adds a smoky and spicy touch to the dish.

All these toppings and condiments not only add flavor but also make the dishes visually appealing. Ultimately, the choice of toppings and condiments is subjective, so you can customize your tacos dorados or flautas to suit your taste preferences.

Differences Between Tacos Dorados and Flautas

When it comes to traditional Mexican cuisine, you might be wondering about the differences between tacos dorados and flautas. While both are delicious snacks or appetizers, they have distinct characteristics that set them apart from each other.

One main difference between the two is the type of tortilla used. Tacos dorados are typically made with corn tortillas, whereas flautas can be made with either corn or flour tortillas. The choice of tortilla can influence the texture and taste of the final dish. Corn tortillas provide a more rustic and crunchy experience, while flour tortillas tend to be softer and more pliable.

Shape and size also differ between tacos dorados and flautas. Tacos dorados are folded in half and look similar to a regular taco, albeit a fried and crispy version. On the other hand, flautas are rolled into a cylindrical shape, resembling a flute, which is actually where the name “flauta” comes from.

The fillings for both dishes are quite similar, often consisting of shredded chicken, beef, or pork, as well as cheese or beans. However, each dish can have its own regional variations, with different ingredients being used depending on local preferences or availability. Additionally, flautas may sometimes include ingredients such as potatoes or vegetables.

In terms of origin, both tacos dorados and flautas have roots in Mexican cuisine. Tacos dorados, also known as “tacos de papa” or “taquitos,” can be traced back to areas like Sinaloa and Jalisco, while flautas are believed to have originated in Mexico City or other central regions of the country.

The preparation of tacos dorados and flautas may seem similar at first glance, as both involve filling tortillas and frying them until crispy. However, there are some key differences in the process. Tacos dorados are often shallow-fried on each side after being filled and folded, while flautas are typically rolled tightly around their filling and deep-fried, ensuring a uniform golden-brown color and crunch.

Finally, the presentation aspect sets these dishes apart as well. Tacos dorados are typically served alongside salsa, guacamole, or sour cream for dipping, while flautas are often topped with ingredients such as lettuce, crema, crumbled cheese, and tomato sauce. This not only adds a burst of color to the dish but also provides a delicious contrast in flavors and textures.

As you can see, while tacos dorados and flautas share many similarities, they also have distinct characteristics that set them apart, ensuring that each dish offers its own unique flavor profile and dining experience.

Health Factors

When comparing Tacos Dorados and Flautas, it is essential to consider the health factors involved in each dish. Both Tacos Dorados and Flautas are typically fried, which can contribute to a higher calorie and fat content. However, you can also find baked versions of these dishes, known as baked taquitos, which can be a healthier alternative due to less oil usage during preparation.

The choice of fillings also plays a significant role in the overall health factors of each dish. Incorporating vegetables into the fillings, such as onions, bell peppers, or tomatoes, can enhance the nutritional value by providing vitamins, minerals, and fiber. On the other hand, opting for meat fillings like shredded chicken or beef can add extra protein to your meal, ensuring a well-balanced and satisfying option.

When selecting your protein source, keep in mind that lean meats such as chicken breast or ground turkey can be healthier choices compared to fatty cuts of beef or pork. Additionally, be mindful of the portion size of your protein source, as too much can contribute to increased calorie intake.

Another aspect to be aware of is the toppings and condiments used in Tacos Dorados and Flautas. Guacamole, salsa, and sour cream are popular options but can quickly add up in calories and fat content if consumed in large quantities. It is recommended to use these condiments sparingly or substitute with low-fat or lighter versions to maintain a healthier meal.

In summary, both Tacos Dorados and Flautas can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet if mindful choices are made regarding their preparation, fillings, and toppings. Opting for baked versions, including vegetables within the fillings, and using lean meat options can significantly improve the health factors of these delicious dishes.

Tacos Dorados and Flautas in Contemporary Culture

When exploring Mexican food, you’ll undoubtedly come across two popular street food items: tacos dorados and flautas. While they may look similar, there are subtle differences that set them apart. In contemporary culture, these delicious snacks have found their place not only in Mexican restaurants but also as a beloved part of Mexican-American cuisine.

In cities like San Diego, you’ll discover that tacos dorados and flautas have earned a special fan base. Food trucks and street vendors often serve these crunchy treats filled with various meats, cheeses, and spices. Both originated from different regions in Mexico – tacos dorados hailing from Sinaloa and flautas from Guerrero.

Fine dining lovers also appreciate the nuances between tacos dorados and flautas. The use of spices in both dishes creates a harmonious blend of flavors, making them a favored dish in upscale Mexican restaurants as well. To distinguish between them, remember that tacos dorados are typically folded tortillas filled with shredded meat and sealed with a toothpick. In contrast, flautas are rolled tortillas and fried until crispy.

As Mexican food continues to grow in popularity, tacos dorados and flautas remain a staple dish. Their versatility allows for experimentation with various ingredients and spices, ensuring that your taste buds will always be enticed. So next time you’re craving some authentic street food or visiting a Mexican restaurant, don’t hesitate to indulge in these crunchy delights.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of tortillas are used for flautas and tacos dorados?

For both flautas and tacos dorados, you can use either corn or flour tortillas. However, corn tortillas are more traditional for tacos dorados, while flautas are typically made with flour tortillas. The choice of tortilla affects the texture, with corn tortillas giving a crispier result, and flour tortillas providing a softer, more pliable bite.

How are flautas and tacos dorados prepared?

Flautas and tacos dorados are prepared by stuffing tortillas with various fillings, rolling them up tightly, and securing them with toothpicks if necessary. After that, they are typically deep-fried until golden and crispy. Sometimes, tacos dorados can be pan-fried or baked instead of deep-frying to achieve a lighter, healthier dish. Both are usually served with toppings such as sour cream, salsa, guacamole, or shredded lettuce.

Is there a difference in the fillings of flautas and tacos dorados?

The fillings for flautas and tacos dorados can be quite similar, including shredded or ground meat, such as chicken, beef, or pork, as well as cheese or beans. However, flautas might feature more complex flavors with additional ingredients like sauteed onions, peppers, or spices. Ultimately, the specific filling used depends on personal preferences and regional variations in recipes.

Are flautas and taquitos the same dish?

Flautas and taquitos are often confused, but they are slightly different. As mentioned earlier, flautas are typically made with flour tortillas, whereas taquitos are made with corn tortillas. In some regions, the terms flautas and taquitos may be used interchangeably. The preparation process and fillings can be similar, but the choice of tortilla is what sets them apart.

In which regions are flautas and tacos dorados popular?

Flautas and tacos dorados are popular in Mexico and the Southwestern United States, with each region having its own variations of the dishes. In Northern Mexico, for example, flautas tend to be made with flour tortillas, while the south might use corn tortillas. Tacos dorados are often found in street food stalls and taquerias across Mexico, where they are a popular snack or meal option.

What are the common variations of flautas and tacos dorados?

Variations of flautas and tacos dorados often stem from different regions and personal preferences. Some common variations include using different meats or vegetables for fillings, incorporating additional ingredients like rice or potatoes, and experimenting with various sauces and garnishes. For example, you might find flautas served with a tomato-based sauce in one region, while others may use a green salsa or mole. Similarly, the toppings can vary, from simple sour cream and lettuce to more elaborate garnishes like pickled onions, chili peppers, or crumbled cheese.

Tacos Dorados vs Flautas + Recipe

Here's a recipe for flautas:
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4
Calories 332 kcal


  • 1 lb cooked and shredded chicken
  • 12-14 corn tortillas
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the shredded chicken, queso fresco, and chopped cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Warm the corn tortillas in a microwave or on a griddle until they are soft and pliable.
  • Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of the chicken mixture onto each tortilla and roll tightly to form a flauta.
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Fry the flautas in the hot oil, seam side down, until they are golden brown and crispy on all sides.
  • Remove the flautas from the skillet and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake the flautas in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes until they are heated through and crispy.
  • Serve the flautas hot with a dollop of sour cream on top.


Calories: 332kcal
Keyword tacos dorados vs flautas
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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
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