Zantigo Chilito Recipe: A Delicious and Easy Mexican Dish


If you’re a fan of Mexican cuisine, you’re probably familiar with the mouthwatering flavors of the Zantigo chilito. This classic dish is a crowd favorite, and for good reason – it’s packed with delicious ingredients that come together to create a truly memorable meal. In this article, we’ll dive into the world of Zantigo chilito and provide you with a step-by-step recipe to recreate this tasty dish in the comfort of your own kitchen.

The History of Zantigo Chilito

Zantigo chilito was first introduced in 1967 as a signature item on the menu of an iconic Mexican fast-food chain called Zantigo. The restaurant quickly gained popularity, thanks in large part to the incredible flavors of their chilito. The dish consists of a warm tortilla wrapped around a filling of seasoned ground beef, melted cheese, and a tangy chili sauce.

The Ingredients You’ll Need

To make your own Zantigo chilito at home, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, for extra heat)
  • 8 small flour tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup chili sauce
  • Optional toppings: shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sour cream

The Cooking Process

Now that you have your ingredients ready, it’s time to start cooking your Zantigo chilito:

Step 1: Prepare the Filling

In a large skillet, cook the ground beef over medium-high heat until browned. Add the diced onion and minced garlic to the skillet and cook until the onion is translucent. Drain any excess grease from the skillet.

Step 2: Season the Filling

Add the chili powder, cumin, salt, black pepper, paprika, oregano, and cayenne pepper (if using) to the skillet. Stir well to combine and let the mixture cook for an additional 2-3 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.

Step 3: Warm the Tortillas

Place the flour tortillas on a microwave-safe plate and cover them with a damp paper towel. Microwave for 20-30 seconds, or until the tortillas are warm and pliable.

Step 4: Assemble the Chilitos

On each warm tortilla, spoon a generous portion of the beef filling onto the center. Top with a sprinkle of shredded cheddar cheese. Fold the sides of the tortilla over the filling and roll it up tightly, securing with a toothpick if necessary.

Step 5: Cook the Chilitos

In a large skillet, heat a small amount of oil over medium heat. Place the rolled-up chilitos seam-side down in the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the tortillas are golden brown and the cheese is melted.

Step 6: Serve and Enjoy!

Remove the chilitos from the skillet and transfer them to a serving platter. Drizzle each chilito with chili sauce and top with your favorite optional toppings, such as shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and sour cream. Serve immediately and enjoy this delicious Mexican dish!

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I use ground chicken or turkey instead of beef?
  2. Absolutely! Ground chicken or turkey can be great alternatives to beef in this recipe. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

  3. Can I make the filling in advance?
  4. Yes, you can prepare the filling ahead of time and refrigerate it until you’re ready to assemble and cook the chilitos. Simply reheat the filling before using.

  5. Can I freeze the chilitos?
  6. While it’s best to enjoy the chilitos fresh, you can freeze them for later consumption. Just make sure to wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or place them in an airtight container before freezing. To reheat, simply thaw them in the refrigerator overnight and warm them up in the oven or microwave.


There you have it – a simple yet delicious recipe to recreate the famous Zantigo chilito in your own kitchen. With its flavorful filling and hearty toppings, this Mexican dish is sure to satisfy your cravings. Whether you’re hosting a Mexican-themed dinner party or simply want to enjoy a tasty meal, the Zantigo chilito is a fantastic choice. Try this recipe today and treat your taste buds to a burst of authentic Mexican flavors!

Key Takeaways:

  • Zantigo chilito is a classic Mexican dish known for its delicious flavors.
  • It consists of a tortilla filled with seasoned ground beef, melted cheese, and chili sauce.
  • You can easily make Zantigo chilito at home using simple ingredients.
  • Remember to adjust the recipe according to your preferences and dietary restrictions.
  • Enjoy your homemade Zantigo chilito with your favorite toppings and sauces.


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