Dinner Tonight: Cheese Flautas with Cilantro Pesto Recipe

Dinner Tonight

Your source for quick recipe every single week day.

Dinner Tonight: Cheese Flautas with Cilantro Pesto Recipe

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

I usually don't look to Martha Stewart for my Mexican recipes. (That's what Rick Bayless is for.) But for some reason I couldn't get past this one.

I think what sold me were the pumpkin seeds. Usually flautas, sometimes called taquitos, are stuffed with ground beef and cheddar cheese. They can be good in a gut-bomb kind of way, but that's about it. On the other hand, these featured pumpkin seeds which are ground with the garlic and cilantro to create a kind of pesto. It's rolled in the tortillas with the cheese and then pan-fried.

My only worry was that all the filling would fall out during the frying process. Luckily it all largely stayed put. What did fall out turned into glorious little browned bits, which were actually the best part. Sure, these aren't exactly light, but they don't have any meat, and if you serve them with salsa, you can almost feel good about yourself.

  • Yield:3


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 3/4 cup hulled pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • salt and pepper
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil
  • Salsa


  1. 1.

    Place a skillet over medium heat. Soften the tortillas on the skillet for a few second each side. Set aside. Pour 2 tablespoons of the olive oil into a skillet set over medium low heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Then add the pumpkin seeds and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until browned. Scrap into a food processor along with the cilantro, lime juice, and the rest of the olive oil. Process until smooth.

  2. 2.

    Place a tablespoon or so of the pesto onto each tortilla. Sprinkle each with the cheese. Roll up the tortillas, and place them seam side down on a plate.

  3. 3.

    Pour the peanut oil into a skillet set over medium heat. Place 4 our of the tortillas seam side down in the oil. Cook for a minute and then flip. Cook for another minute, and then drain on a paper towel. Repeat with the other tortillas.

  4. 4.

    Serve with salsa of your choice.