Mexican Vegetarian Black Bean Flautas (Easy Recipe!)

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If you love Mexican cuisine, you won’t be able to resist these healthy Vegetarian Mexican Flautas. Packed full of flavor, these crispy flautas are easy to make, kid-friendly, and are perfect for an easy dinner any night of the week!

My family loves Mexican cusine – Enchiladas, Nachos, Flautas, Quesadillas, etc. So a lot of times I’ll find myself in the kitchen experimenting with how to make a healthier version of these traditional recipes that still taste great but are so much better for us! 

Flautas are rolled tortillas that are stuffed with various fillings. They are delicious but the traditional flautas recipe calls for them to be deep-fried, and vegetarian versions found at Mexican restaurants are usually just filled with cheese and nothing else.

I wanted to create something that was reminiscent of flautas but could be baked instead of fried, and had a healthier filling than just plain cheese.

For this latest recipe, I filled the tortillas with a black bean and corn filling and oven-baked the tortillas — and it turned out great! I hope you love it as much as we did – these really were some of the best flautas we’ve ever had. Spice up your Taco Tuesday with these vegetarian flautas!

👩‍🍳 Why This Recipe Works

  • Healthy and Flavorful
  • Great Recipe for Family Dinners
  • Authentic Mexican Recipe
  • High in Protein
  • Loaded with Veggies
  • Simply Seasoned

🥘 Ingredients

Black Beans: Use canned organic black beans that have been drained and rinsed. You can also use refried beans if you don’t have whole beans.

Corn: I prefer to use frozen corn because it’s so easy to use. But you could also opt for fresh corn or even canned corn if you like.

Olive Oil, Red Onion and Garlic: The start to any delicious meal in my opinion is garlic and onion sauteed in olive oil. It adds a rich depth of flavor to the black beans. For additional spice, add in 1-2 diced poblano peppers.

Tortillas: I used yellow and white corn tortillas, but you could even use sprouted whole wheat flour tortillas if you want to use a soft flour tortilla and don’t need this recipe to be gluten free.

Salsa: Use your favorite salsa or pico de gallo. Make your own or use store bought for ease.

Spices: This recipe calls for simple spices such as kosher salt, chili powder, taco seasoning, and cumin.

🍽 Equipment

📖 Variations

Easy Chicken Flautas Recipe: If you’re making this recipe for meat eaters, replace the black bean and corn mixture with shredded chicken cooked with taco seasoning and Mexican spices. Top with cheese so the chicken mixture binds well to the tortillas!

Vegetarian Cheese Flautas: If you don’t need to make this recipe vegan, you can add shredded cheddar cheese, monterey jack cheese, pepper jack cheese, or any shredded Mexican cheese that melts well.

Potato Flautas: Try a combination of mashed potatoes and shredded cheese as the filling for these delicious flautas! You can even turn these into sweet potato flautas by using roasted or mashed sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes. It turns out to be super creamy on the inside, crispy on the outside. Your taste buds will thank you!

Your Favorite Toppings: You can top these easy black bean flautas with a variety of options based on your personal preference! Try an avocado salsa, guacamole, hot sauce, taco sauce, fresh pico de gallo, green salsa or salsa verde, Mexican cream, sour cream or even plain Greek yogurt!

🔪 Instructions

Step 1: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook diced onion 3 to 5 minutes in the hot oil, or until soft. Reduce to medium heat. Add minced garlic, and cook 1 minute, or until translucent and fragrant.

Red onion and garlic being cooked in a frying pan.

Step 2: Stir in beans, chili powder, taco seasoning, cumin, garlic powder and 1 cup water.

Water being poured over beans and spices

Step 3: Reduce heat to medium low, and simmer 10 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated.

Cooked beans in a frying pan.

Step 4: Remove from heat. Mash beans until mixture is thickened but still chunky, and some beans remain whole. They should resemble refried black beans.

Beans being mashed in a frying pan.

Step 5: Stir in 1 cup salsa and corn, and season with salt and pepper. Cool.

Corn kernels added to the bean mixture.

Step 6: Preheat oven to 425F. Coat 2 large baking sheets with cooking spray or line with parchment paper. Spoon 1/3 cup black bean mixture down the center of each tortilla.

Two filled and rolled up flautas on a baking sheet.

Step 7: Roll tortilla around filling, and secure closed with toothpick, and place seam side down. Set filled tortilla on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas and black bean mixture. Make sure to place flautas seam side down on the baking sheet so they stay rolled up.

Rolled up flautas on a baking sheet.

Step 8: Bake 6 to 10 minutes, or until tortillas are golden brown and crisp. Note: If you want to add more crispiness, you can put these vegan flautas under the broiler for a few min and top each one with 1 Tbsp of queso fresco to get a nice crust on top. You could also crisp them up in the air fryer!

👪 How To Serve

Combine fresh cilantro and remaining salsa in a small bowl. Place 2 flautas on each plate, and top with remaining salsa. Add salt and black pepper to taste.

You can also top this main dish with a squeeze of lime juice and green onions. If you need more spice sprinkle with cayenne pepper.

Side dishes with great flavor that go well with this easy weeknight dinner include: this tomato, cucumber and avocado salad, these air fryer tortilla chips, this instant pot tomato soup, or this tortilla soup!

❄️ How To Store

Refrigerator: Allow flautas to cool to room temperature. Transfer to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.

Freeze: After flautas have cooled transfer them to a freezer safe container. They will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Reheat: When ready to reheat from the refrigerator warm in the microwave, or place in the oven or toaster oven for 10 minutes at 350 F to warm and crisp.

Two black bean mexican flautas served on a white plate with condiments

❓Recipe FAQs

What is a flauta?

Flauta (pronounced flaw-ta) is a Mexican dish or classic street food, also known as taquito, tacos dorados, or rolled taco. No one knows where in Mexico they originated, but the state of Sinaloa classifies flautas as one of their specialties.

Traditionally, they are tortillas filled with beef, shredded chicken, and sometimes cheese, fried, and topped with condiments such as salsa, sour cream and guacamole. If using chicken you can opt for a rotisserie chicken, or chicken breasts for your chicken filling.

Will kids enjoy these crispy black bean flautas?

These flautas or little tacos, as my kids like to call them, are crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside – everything a kid would want! My kids love Mexican food and they are always excited when we make these for dinner!

Can these Flautas be made ahead of time?

These Mexican flautas are a great option if you are looking to prep ahead of time. The filling can be made and wrapped in the tortillas, and then kept in the fridge for up to two hours before cooking.

Are Mexican flautas healthy?

The traditional way to make flautas can’t really be called healthy, but with a few simple swaps you can enjoy my version guilt free! These flautas are great for you because they are:
Low in Calories, High in Protein: By swapping out the usual meat filling with black beans, you are reducing calories and cholesterol and adding in fiber and additional nutrients. These flautas have a third of your daily value of protein.
Baked Not Fried: Baking the black bean flautas rather than frying them reduces the amount of unhealthy fats you would get from a traditional flauta recipe.
High in Fiber: The corn tortillas, black beans and veggies are all packed with fiber! 1 serving of this recipe gives you 15g of fiber, 50% of your daily fiber needs.

💭 Expert Tips

  • Let the filling cool completely before filling the tortillas, otherwise they may crack.
  • To make the tortillas pliable for rolling, you can heat them in the microwave for a few seconds, or place between a damp paper towel or dish rag.
  • Soak your toothpicks for at least 20 minutes in water before inserting them into your flautas. The moisture that is absorbed while soaking will prevent the toothpicks from burning during the baking process.
  • If you want to pack more veggies into your flautas, try adding in 4 cups baby spinach, chopped and cooked down and/or 1-2 yellow or orange bell peppers, diced into your filling. Note: if you add in these veggies you need to increase the spices & salt to taste!
  • For a soft flour tortilla that is easy to roll, place between a damp paper towel or dish rag.

Healthy, vegetarian, black bean mexican flautas on a white plate, topped with cilantro, cheese and salsa

🌮 More Delicious Mexican Recipes!

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📋 Recipe Card

Healthy Vegetarian Mexican Flautas

Packed full of flavor, these Mexican flautas are easy to make, kid-friendly, and perfect for a healthy weeknight meal.

Prep Time15 mins

Cook Time25 mins

Total Time40 mins

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Mexican

Diet: Gluten Free, Low Calorie, Vegan, Vegetarian

Servings: 6

Calories: 315kcal

  • Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Cook onion 3 to 5 minutes, or until soft. Add garlic, and cook 1 minute, or until translucent and fragrant.

  • Stir in beans, all of the spices, and 1 cup water.

  • Reduce heat to medium low, and simmer 10 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated.

  • Remove from heat. Mash beans until mixture is thickened but still chunky, and some beans remain whole.

  • Stir in 1 cup salsa and corn, and season with salt and pepper. Cool.

  • Preheat oven to 425F. Coat 2 large baking sheets with cooking spray. Spoon 1/3 cup black bean mixture down center of tortilla.

  • Roll tortilla around filling, and secure closed with toothpick. Set on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas and black bean mixture.

  • Bake 6 to 10 minutes, or until tortillas are browned and crisp. Note: If you want to add more crispiness, you can put the flautas under the broiler for a few min and top each one with 1Tbsp of cheese to get a nice crust on top. Meanwhile, combine cilantro and remaining salsa in small bowl. Place 2 flautas on each plate, and top with remaining salsa.

Top Tips for making Healthy Mexican Flautas

  • Let the filling cool completely before filling the tortillas, otherwise they may crack.
  • To make the tortillas pliable for rolling, you can heat them in the microwave for a few seconds.
  • Soak your toothpicks for at least 20 minutes in water before inserting them into your flautas. The moisture that is absorbed while soaking will prevent the toothpicks from burning during the baking process. 
  • If you want to pack more veggies into your flautas, try adding in 4 cups baby spinach, chopped and cooked down and/or 1-2 yellow or orange bell peppers, diced into your filling. Note: if you add in these veggies you need to increase the spices & salt to taste!   

Recipe adapted from Vegetarian Times.

Serving: 2flautas | Calories: 315kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 4g | Sodium: 1175mg | Potassium: 846mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 5g

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