Holed up for several days during the latest round of freezing temps, I was inspired with a bout of indoor industriousness. The colder it got, the more I did. Outside it snowed, inside I ironed. Outside it hailed, inside I repaired a missing button. I sorted through a big drawer of paperwork, cleaned a shelf in the pantry, re-lined the refrigerator drawers, and organized the hall closet. I made hot soup and a batch of chili in the Instant Pot, and before the freezing rain started, I decided to make some breakfasts for the freezer. 

While I was working, I watched outside and happened to notice a portly little bird. I imagined he was cold and wet, but seeing him hop from spot to spot on our patio, I was sure he must be hungry. I didn’t have any birdseed, but hoped I could find something to feed him. A quick Google search led me to the Audubon Society, whose website said that oats, peanuts, seeds, nut butters, raisins, dried fruit, millet, and Cheerios are a few pantry items you can safely feed to birds, as long as they don’t have  added salt, sugar, or preservatives. I made a quick snack board for my hungry friend, and then got busy making breakfast. 

Here’s a baked tortilla roll-up guaranteed to satisfy all your hungry crunchy cravings. Stuffed with all the things you love in a breakfast burrito, but in a crispy, toasty format, these Breakfast Taquitos are a cinch to make. Much better for you and much less less expensive than the store-bought variety, you can fill them as you like. They’re delectably crispy when hot and freshly baked, but they will retain every bit of their crunch if reheated in the oven. Plan to make these for breakfast and eat a few as you’re making them. Freeze the rest, and you’ll have some stashed away for easy meals to come. 

Use any tortillas you like for these. I found a family size package of Mission Carb Balance tortillas that was on sale during my last trek to Costco. I knew we would never eat 16 tortillas quickly enough, but I still got excited about snapping them up to make more than a few burritos for the freezer. You can also use gluten-free tortillas, although I recommend folding these in half like you would with a quesadilla, as the gluten-free kind tend to be a little more prone to splitting. Brush with oil and bake these folded ones just as you would with a regular tortilla and you will have all the same crunchy, toasty bites, but in gluten-free form. 

Be careful not to overcook your ingredients. They will cook further when you bake your taquitos and get still another round of heat if you freeze and rewarm them. You want your eggs creamy and fluffy, so cook them until they are set but soft, and still somewhat wet and jiggly. I used fully-cooked chicken breakfast patties that I had in my freezer, so I microwaved them for 2 minutes at 50% power to just defrost and warm them through. 

Don’t get hung up on the ingredients, and don’t limit yourself to just breakfast. Other fillings like beef or chicken, and greens or veggies, would make these an easy option for lunches and dinners, too. Or, you can use beans and rice and make these entirely plant-based. Just remember, to keep that crunch after freezing, skip the microwave and reheat in the oven. Enjoy them as is, or serve with sour cream, guacamole, or fresh salsa. 

While my taquitos baked, I checked with the Backyard Bird Shop to see if the somewhat expired millet I had was safe, and yes, it was. However, expired grains might be dried out and not have enough hydration, so just like us, the birds may not prefer them. This didn’t seem to deter my hungry friend, though. He devoured everything I set out, and he even brought a few more hungry guests to the party. 

Breakfast Taquitos

  • olive oil, for brushing
  • 6 ounces breakfast sausage, casings removed
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 large onion diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 Tablespoon butter 
  • 3 eggs plus 4 egg whites, beaten
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained 
  • 1/2 cup salsa, or bottled hot sauce
  • 4 ounces shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese (1 cup)
  • 6 flour tortillas (10 inches each)

Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper and lightly brush with olive oil. Heat sausage in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, breaking up meat into bite-size pieces with the back of a spoon until cooked through, about 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer cooked sausage to a plate; wipe skillet lightly with a paper towel.

Add bell pepper and onion to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened. Transfer to plate alongside sausage. Wipe skillet with a paper towel. 

Add butter to skillet and let melt before adding eggs; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until soft curds form. Remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 425º F. Working 1 tortilla at a time, place tortilla on working surface then add a strip of scrambled eggs. Top eggs with sausage, peppers and onions, black beans, salsa or hot sauce, and cheddar cheese. Roll into a tight roll, then place seam-side down on prepared sheet pan. Brush taquitos with olive oil and bake until tortillas are crisp and cheese is melted, 12 to 14 minutes. 

To freeze: 

Transfer taquitos to wire rack and let cool. Place in an evenly-spaced single layer on baking sheet and freeze. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer-safe resealable bag and store up to 2 months. Reheat on a baking sheet in a preheated 375º F oven until crisp and warmed through, about 20 minutes. 

Donna Ferguson

Donna Ferguson

I love to cook, garden, and write about all the things in Vancouver and the Northwest that make life so great.

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