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Baked Spinach Flautas

This variation of flautas is baked instead of fried and stuffed with spinach, onions and garlic. Now you can enjoy a tasty Mexican dish, with a moderate amount of melted cheese, and no guilt! No one on a diet at this house, but everyone here enjoys them!

I have been making these for over 20 years. The original recipe was called Spinach Burritos and was published by Taste of Home. I’ve rearranged the ingredients and quantities and have arrived on, what I feel, is an even tastier recipe! Oh, and you may have noticed that I changed the name in the process from Spinach Burritos to Baked Spinach Flautas

Burritos vs. Enchiladas vs. Flautas

I had to do a little research to name these appropriately. I always felt that it was pretty wrong to be calling these stuffed and rolled spinach wraps, burritos! So here’s what I found.

A burrito is an extra-large flour tortilla filled with no end of beautiful, marvelous things. Like meats and cheese and veggies and rice and beans, etc. Everything that is cooked in a burrito is cooked before assembly, piled into the tortilla and then tucked and wrapped. There’s no baking, and burritos are meant to be eaten with your hands. Obviously, these spinach yummies are not burritos.

Are they enchiladas? They are covered with sauce and cheese and baked, just like an enchilada. But, as you probably know, enchiladas use corn tortillas and are drenched in their tasty bed of sauce.

But what is a flauta? I’d never even heard of flautas before doing my homework here. Flautas are similar to enchiladas because they are filled with meat and rolled. (Obviously, this recipe is vegetarian and doesn’t have the meat). Flautas are usually fried (these are baked), and aren’t usually covered with sauce and cheese. Any sauce or cheese is usually served on the side. And another key difference from enchiladas, the flauta uses a flour tortilla.

close up of Baked Spinach Flautas
plated Baked Spinach Flautas

And the winner is…flautas!

Since they are mostly flautas I went with that. They are just a healthier, baked, vegetarian version.

Tips for Baked Spinach Flautas

Since we’re working with frozen spinach, it’s best to have that completely thawed first. Try to squeeze out as much liquid as possibly to avoid soggy flautas.

spinach draining in colander

Cook the onions and garlic. By adding the spinach to your pan, you have the chance to cook out any additional water.

spinach cooked with onion and garlic

Flour tortillas are much easier to roll than corn so there is no need to warm them first. Pile your ingredients toward one end of the tortilla, then starting on that side, roll it up and place seam-side down in your pan before topping with salsa and cheese.

close up of Baked Spinach Flautas

Baked Spinach Flautas

Yield: Serves 4
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

This healthy and delicious, low-fat and vegetarian meal satisfies your longing for real cheese and rich Mexican flavors.

Ingredients

  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. butter or oil
  • 20 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed very dry
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 8 (8inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 cup picante sauce or salsa, divided
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease a 9x13” baking pan.
  2. Heat butter or oil in a large skillet and add onion and garlic. Saute until tender. Add spinach, pepper and salt and stir and cook until heated through and spinach has lost all remaining moisture.
  3. Place ¼ cup of spinach mixture on eachtortilla; top with 1 tablespoon of picante or salsa and 2 tablespoons of cheese. Roll up and place in prepared 9x13” pan.
  4. Top burritos with remaining sauce and cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 2 flautas
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 392Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 1320mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 7gSugar: 7gProtein: 19g

These are great with any Mexican side dish – saucy black beans, pico de gallo, corn, rice, refried beans. The boys love to top anything like this with sour cream. Or as I like to call it, “frosting”.

For another great Vegetarian Mexican favorite be sure to check out Southwestern Veggie Bowls! Share the love! Be sure to rate, comment and share.

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