Everyone will love these Hawaiian Steak Flautas with Pineapple Salsa. I mean EVERYONE and I mean LOVE. My family went wild for these and couldn’t say enough about the tangy Hawaiian barbecued meat combined perfectly with the sweet and tangy pineapple salsa. The presentation is fun and tasty in a tightly wrapped tortilla that makes for easy hands-on eating. For a more formal dinner-party, try serving the meat and salsa on top of a flavorful basmati rice.
The steak filling in the flautas begins with diced flank steak that becomes instantly tender. Next, add full-bodied barbecue and adobo sauce, seasoned with chili powder, smoked paprika, ground ginger and cumin. Red onion adds bite and fresh pineapple adds a sweet tang and texture for even more complexity to the meat.
This pineapple salsa is quick and easy but don’t be unimpressed by its simplicity. Made with fresh pineapple, red onion and green bell pepper. A bit of adobo sauce from the chipotles that you used in the meat mixture brings everything together and the addition of ground ginger to the salsa gives a Polynesian flair.
The flauta filling calls for just a 1/2 cup of barbecue sauce so make this step really count. Use your favorite, good quality barbecue sauce. This Simple Barbecue Sauce is one of mine. This is one of those sauces you can cook on the stove anytime because you already have all the ingredients in your pantry. If you haven’t made your own barbecue sauce before, try it. There is a difference in tasting fresh, quality ingredients vs. bottled sauce with preservatives added in.
I assembled the flautas using 12-inch flour tortillas but feel free to use whatever size you like. I cut off about a third of the tortillas before I roll them, otherwise the flautas are nearly double-rolled in tortillas.
Served on top of a simple cabbage slaw topped with the pineapple salsa and more meat filling, this meal is satisfying and healthy. Easily adaptable for more heat and if you’re a cilantro fan, sprinkle some over the finished dish or add to the salsa. (I’m not so I didn’t.)
- 8-10 (12-inch) flour tortillas
- Pineapple Salsa
- 2 cups fresh pineapple, chopped
- 1 red onion, finely chopped, divided (put ½ in salsa)
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon adobo sauce
- (from can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce)
- Flauta Filling
- 1 /12 pounds flank steak, diced*
- Remaining red onion from salsa
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup barbecue sauce
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced (more if you want a lot of heat)
- 1 cup fresh pineapple, chopped
- ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- *You can substitute ground meat but the texture is not quite the same
- Combine salsa ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside in the fridge.
- Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add steak and red onions, season with salt and pepper, and cook until steak is mostly cooked through. Add garlic and sauté another 30 seconds.
- Add remaining filling ingredients and simmer for 3-5 minutes, or until steak is cooked through and barbecue sauce is warmed. Remove from heat and stir in ½ cup cheese. Taste and adjust seasonings and heat as desired.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking tray with foil and place a baking rack on top of it.
- Divide flauta filling evenly between tortillas and roll as tightly as possible. If you like, save some of the filling to be served on top of the flautas. Optionally, cut off about ⅓ of the tortillas before rolling if you want less tortilla.
- Brush both sides of each flauta lightly with olive oil, and place on rack, seam side down.
- Cook flautas for 10 minutes, then turn oven to broil. Broil flautas until golden brown, 2-3 minutes, watching closely so they don’t burn. Flip flautas over and broil the other side until crispy.
- Top individual servings of flautas with more filling or barbecue sauce and pineapple salsa.
- Cook's note: This filling and salsa is so delicious, it would also be great served over rice rather than wrapped in the flautas.
- This recipe made 8 flautas (2 per person). You could use smaller tortillas for more flautas. Serves 4.
Recipe adapted from Carlsbad Cravings.