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How to Cook Crispitos – A Step-by-Step Guide

Food Guide

Crispitos are a popular Tex-Mex snack or appetizer consisting of a seasoned meat filling wrapped in a tortilla and fried or baked until crispy. With a delicious crispy shell and savory interior, these little Mexican rolls are fun to eat and make a great party food.

If you’ve never attempted making crispitos at home, it may seem intimidating. But it’s actually quite easy with the right techniques. Follow this step-by-step guide to learn how to cook perfect crispitos every time!

Ingredients Needed

Crispitos have just a few key components:

  • Tortillas – Flour or corn tortillas work well. Look for soft tortillas that are easy to roll.

  • Filling – Ground beef, shredded chicken, or pork make classic fillings. Get creative with seasoned meat mixes.

  • Cheese – Oaxaca, Monterey Jack, cheddar, or Mexican blends melt beautifully.

  • Seasonings – chili powder, cumin, garlic, cayenne, etc. customize the flavor.

  • Oil – For pan-frying. Vegetable, canola, peanut, or avocado oil work well.

  • Extras – Sour cream, guacamole, salsa, etc. for serving.

Step 1: Prepare the Filling

The filling is what really makes crispitos special. You can go classic with ground beef or get creative with chicken, pork, or turkey fillings. The meat should be well-seasoned for plenty of flavor.

For basic ground beef:

  • Cook 1 lb ground beef with taco seasoning and salt
  • Drain grease and let cool slightly
  • Stir in spices like cumin, garlic powder, onion powder

For shredded chicken:

  • Shred or chop cooked chicken breast
  • Toss with buffalo wing sauce, ranch dressing, or enchilada sauce
  • Mix in cheese, onions, peppers, etc.

You want a thick, moist filling that will hold its shape when wrapped.

Step 2: Assemble the Crispitos

Once your filling is ready, it’s time to assemble. You’ll need softened tortillas that are pliable enough to roll without cracking.

  • Lay a tortilla on a flat surface
  • Spread 2-3 tablespoons of filling in a line down the center
  • Sprinkle cheese over the filling
  • Fold sides of tortilla over filling and roll up tightly
  • Place seam-side down on a baking sheet or plate
  • Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling

Be sure to wrap the crispitos tight enough that the ends are sealed so filling doesn’t leak out. But not too tight that the tortilla cracks. Place them seam-side down so they don’t unroll.

Step 3: Cook the Crispitos

To achieve that signature crispy texture, crispitos need to be cooked until the outside is crunchy. You can pan-fry, bake, or air fry.


  • Pour 1/2 inch of oil into a skillet over medium heat
  • Fry crispitos 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown
  • Drain on a paper towel-lined plate


  • Preheat oven to 400°F
  • Arrange crispitos on a lightly greased baking sheet
  • Spray tops with oil or brush with melted butter
  • Bake 15-20 minutes, flipping once halfway

Air Fry

  • Arrange in air fryer basket lightly spritzed with oil
  • Cook at 370°F for 8-12 minutes, shaking basket occasionally

Frying gives the biggest crunch factor, while baking is easiest for big batches. Get them golden brown and crispy on the outside.

Step 4: Finish and Serve

Your hot, crispy, gooey crispitos are ready to enjoy! Finish them with your favorite toppings and dips.

  • Top with shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, avocado
  • Drizzle with crema, queso, salsa
  • Serve with sour cream, guacamole, beans, rice

Enjoy this Tex-Mex classic on its own or alongside other Mexican favorites. The options are endless!

Crispito Filling Ideas

The filling is what makes crispitos special. Get creative with different meat, veggie, and cheese combinations.

  • Ground beef or pork with taco seasoning
  • Shredded chicken in buffalo or ranch sauce
  • Carnitas-style pulled pork with salsa
  • Sausage, potato, and cheese filling
  • Bean, corn, and pepper veggie filling
  • Chili spiced ground turkey or lamb
  • BBQ pulled chicken or brisket

Mix in cheese, onions, peppers, cilantro, etc. Experiment with global flavors too – Indian, Greek, Italian – for fusion crispitos.

Crispito Cooking Tips

  • Use softened tortillas – corn or flour work.
  • Don’t overfill – 2-3 tbsps filling max.
  • Wrap tightly so ends are sealed.
  • Cook thoroughly until golden and crispy.
  • Bake in a 450°F oven for best results.
  • Pan-fry for 3-4 minutes per side if wanting extra crunch.
  • Flip/rotate while cooking to prevent burning.
  • Let cool slightly before eating if very hot.

Common Crispito FAQs

Get all your crispitos questions answered here!

What’s the best meat for crispitos?

Ground beef is classic, but chicken, carnitas, and sausage also make tasty fillings. Go with well-seasoned, shredded or ground meat.

Do you bake or fry crispitos?

You can bake or pan-fry for crispy results. Baking is easiest for big batches. Pan-frying gives them an extra crispy crunch.

How long do you cook crispitos?

Bake at 400°F for 15-20 minutes. Pan-fry for 3-4 minutes per side. Cook through until crispy and browned.

What oil is best to fry crispitos?

Opt for high smoke point oils like vegetable, canola, peanut, or avocado oil. Olive oil can also work.

How do you keep crispitos rolled?

Place them seam-side down so they don’t unroll. Wrapping them tight enough is key as well. Don’t overfill them which can cause cracking.

Can you freeze crispitos?

Yes, freeze baked crispitos in a single layer then transfer to bags. Reheat directly from frozen in a 375°F oven.

Making crispitos from scratch lets you control the fillings and spice flavors. Impress family and friends with these homemade Mexican rolls. Crispitos also make fun snacks for game day, fiestas, or movie night.

Now that you know how to cook crispitos three ways, you can enjoy this crave-worthy Tex-Mex specialty anytime. ¡Buen provecho!


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