Appetizers & Snacks, Dinner, Side Dishes

Air Fryer Barbacoa Lamb Taquitos

  • Prep 40 mins
  • Marinate 4 hours
  • Total 9h 5 mins
  • Easy
  • Serves 4

These taquitos are super crunchy, rolled and air fried tacos filled with rich and smoky shredded lamb barbacoa. Top them with a fresh, crisp pico and bright squeeze of lime to achieve maximum flavor overload. There are a few steps here that require patience, but after one bite you will sit back, close your eyes, and dream of Mexico.

Tip: Make a double batch and freeze the rolled taquitos before you air fry them. They cook great when they are frozen!

Tip: If you can’t find lamb shanks, you can substitute lamb shoulder (this may increase smoking time), pork shanks, or oxtail.


  • Contains Milk/Dairy
  • Contains Wheat

Tip: Allergy Advice

This dish contains the following allergens: Milk/Dairy, Wheat

Cooking mode

Step-by-step instruction without your screen going to sleep

Barbacoa Lamb Shank

  • 3 tablespoons adobo sauce
  • 4 chipotle chiles soaked in the adobo sauce
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 4 large limes, juiced (about ¼ cup)
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 small red onion, cut into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 ½ pounds boneless lamb shank
  • Kosher salt, as desired


  • 2 cups shredded colby jack cheese
  • 12 6 inch flour tortillas
  • Non-stick cook spray or canola oil, for brushing
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup Mexican crema
  • 1 cup fresh pico de gallo
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges


  • Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Measuring Cups
  • Blender
  • Large Bowl
  • Silicone tongs
  • Rubber Spatula
  • Step 1

    Combine the adobo peppers, sauce, garlic cloves, lime juice, apple cider vinegar and onion in the Ninja Foodi Power Blender. Use the pulse function to process the mixture until the vegetables are roughly chopped. Then turn the power to medium and blend until completely smooth. 

  • Step 2

    Add the spices to the sauce mixture and season with a heavy pinch of salt. Pulse 2 to 4 times to combine. Reserve 1 cup of this mixture for making the taquitos in an airtight container in the fridge. 

  • Step 3

    Trim the lamb shank and season generously with salt. Using gloves, coat the lamb shanks in the sauce and work the mixture into the meat. Cover the lamb shank and marinate in fridge for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

  • Step 4

    Remove the lamb shank from the fridge an hour before you plan to smoke them.

  • Step 5

    To install the grill plate, position it flat on top of the heating element and gently press down until it sits into place. 

  • Step 6

    lace lamb shank onto grill grate then close hood. 

  • Step 7

    While holding the smoke box lid open, use the pellet scoop to pour pellets into the smoke box until filled to the top. Then close the smoke box lid. 

  • Step 8

    Turn dial to select SMOKER. Set temperature to 275F and set time to 4 hours. Select START/STOP to begin cooking. 

  • Step 9

    When cooking is complete, remove the meat from the grill and let rest for 30 minutes. 

  • Step 10

    After 30 minutes, remove the meat from the lamb shanks and shred it. In a large bowl, combine the shredded lamb with the reserved sauce and cheese. Generously fill each of the tortillas with about 1/4 cup of this mixture and tightly roll. Coat the rolled taquitos in non-stick spray or generously brush canola oil.

  • Step 11

    Place the Air Crisp Basket onto the grill grate. Turn the dial to AIR CRISP. Set temperature to 375F and set time to 15 minutes. Select START/STOP to begin cooking. 

  • Step 12

    When unit beeps to signify it has preheated and ADD FOOD is displayed, open hood and load the air fryer basket with the taquitos in a single layer and cook until the tortillas are crispy and the edges are browned

  • Step 13

    When cooking is complete, open hood and remove taquitos from basket. Serve the taquitos with a drizzle of crema, a generous spoonful of pico de gallo, a squeeze of lime, and fresh cilantro.