San Diego Style Rolled Tacos #SundaySupper

by Anne Papina on August 25, 2013

San Diego Style Rolled Tacos #SundaySupper | Webicurean

In Southern California, there’s a food phenomenon known as the rolled taco. For whatever reason, “rolled tacos” are exclusive to SoCal. Sure, we see “taquitos” and “flautas” on menus all over, but really, they’re not the same (even if technically they are). Could be in the way they’re prepared–tightly rolled corn tortillas filled with beef or chicken, fried to perfection. More likely it’s in the way they are served–three in a small paper food tray, topped with guacamole and shredded cheese. In any event, when I found out Heather over at girlichef and Bea from The Not So Cheesy Kitchen were co-hosting this week’s Global Street Foods for #SundaySupper, the first thing that came to mind were these rolled tacos.

Now, you’re probably wondering what would a born and raised San Franciscan know about rolled tacos? Well, my quest began at a young age, when my BFF, who was raised in San Diego, would go on and on about these “rolled tacos.”  Eventually, I moved to Del Mar for a few months, spent most of my time in San Diego, and every day was a hunt to find the next rolled taco. Mind you, I wasn’t there just for the tacos, although some days it seemed that way!

Even though Los Angeles likes to lay claim to this delicious treat, the best are in San Diego. And they’re everywhere–just about every restaurant, bar, hole in the wall, and taco truck sells them. One place I visited even had a whole salad bar dedicated to toppings, but purists know, they’re simply served with guacamole and some shredded cheddar cheese on top.

This particular recipe makes great use of leftover chicken. I simply picked up a rotisserie chicken from the local market–although I could have easily roasted a couple of chicken breasts to make the dish. If you’d rather have beef, try this melt-in-your-mouth slow cooker beef barbacoa from the Unsophisticook. Since we try to avoid fried foods as much as possible, I baked these instead of frying, and the end result was just as satisfying, without the extra guilt. Try serving them with Martin’s Easy Mexican Rice for a complete meal.

San Diego Style Rolled Tacos #SundaySupper | Webicurean

Shred the chicken with a fork until you have 3 cups’ worth.

San Diego Style Rolled Tacos #SundaySupper | Webicurean

Shred the cheese.

San Diego Style Rolled Tacos #SundaySupper | WebicureanIn a large bowl, thoroughly mix the chicken with the cheese, crushed garlic, and salsa.  Set this aside.

San Diego Style Rolled Tacos #SundaySupper | WebicureanHeat the tortillas in the microwave–place on a microwave-safe dish, cover with a damp paper towel, and zap for about 30 seconds.  This will make them more pliable so they won’t crack. Spread about 2 tablespoons of the chicken mixture across the tortilla, and roll it up tightly.

San Diego Style Rolled Tacos #SundaySupper | WebicureanLine up the rolled tacos on a greased baking sheet. If necessary, secure with toothpicks. Once you’re done, brush lightly with a little olive oil, then pop them in the oven.

San Diego Style Rolled Tacos #SundaySupper | Webicurean

While the taquitos (!) are baking, make the guacamole in a molcajete if you have one. First crush the onion, garlic, and jalapeno in the bowl. Next grind in the cilantro, then mash the avocados in one at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.

Guacamole #SundaySupper | Webicurean

Stir in the lime juice and salt to taste. By the way, to store any leftover guacamole, try this tip for covering it with water.

San Diego Style Rolled Tacos #SundaySupper | Webicurean

Meanwhile, the tacos should be done, so remove from the oven and let cool a bit.

San Diego Style Rolled Tacos #SundaySupper | Webicurean

Enjoy a heaping plate.

San Diego Style Rolled Tacos #SundaySupper | Webicurean

Or two. :)

Here’s the printable version:

5.0 from 2 reviews
San Diego Style Rolled Tacos
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
These taquitos, or rolled tacos, are filled with a savory blend of chicken and pepper jack, then topped with guacamole for a Southern California treat.
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 5
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • ¾ cup shredded jalapeno jack cheese
  • ½ cup salsa
  • Corn tortillas
  • Olive oil
  • Shredded cheddar cheese (for garnish)
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the chicken, garlic, cheese, and salsa. Set aside.
  3. Warm a stack of tortillas covered in with a damp paper towel in the microwave for about 30 seconds. The tortillas need to be hot enough to be pliable but not too hot to the touch.
  4. Spread about 2 tablespoons of the chicken mixture straight across the tortilla (as pictured above), then tightly roll up the tortilla.
  5. Please seam side down on a greased baking sheet. If necessary, secure with a toothpick.
  6. Repeat until all of the chicken mixture has been used. (I got about 15 rolled tacos out of it.)
  7. Lightly brush a little olive oil over the top of each rolled taco, and bake 15-20 minutes, or until they start to brown.
  8. Serve hot topped with plenty of guacamole and shredded cheddar.


And here’s the guac:

5.0 from 2 reviews
Prep time
Total time
This creamy guacamole is seasoned with onions, garlic, cilantro, jalapeno and a splash of lime.
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 4-6
  • 1 tbsp chopped jalapeno
  • 2 tbsp chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ⅓ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2-3 ripe avocados, chopped
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • Salt
  1. Finely mash the jalapeno, onion, garlic, and cilantro in a molcajete. Next add the avocados, one at a time, mashing to the desired consistency. Avocados have been small lately, so use 2-3 depending on the size.
  2. Stir in lime juice and salt to taste.
To keep your leftover guac green, try this tip for covering it with water:


Now let’s see all the street foods the rest of the #SundaySupper crew has cooked up!

Bread on the Boulevard

Hand-Held Savory Eats

To-Go Containers

Sweets on the Streets

Grab a Thermos 

Sunday Supper MovementSo tell me, what are your favorite (GLOBAL) STREET FOODS?  Do you seek out food trucks, carts, and vendors? Feel free to leave me any links or stories that you may have about Street Food experiences in the comments section.  Also, please join us for our live twitter chat tonight at 7pm (Eastern) using the #SundaySupper hashtag, and check out the Sunday Supper board on Pinterest.

Note: I earn a modest commission on any purchases made via the links on this page.

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