Baked Taquitos with Queso featuring Kent Hanawalt

Baked Taquitos with Queso featuring Kent Hanawalt

Need another great quick and easy recipe for potlucks, picnics, or any other gathering? These baked taquitos with queso are perfect and a crowd favorite. We hear from another beef producer from Montana, Kent Hanawalt. And just check out his gorgeous photos! 

McLeod, Montana

When did you start farming? What brought you into farming?

My maternal grandparents had a chicken ranch in S Cal, and my paternal grandparents had an orange ranch. As I became a teenager, they were plowing up the oranges and building houses, so I bailed out and went to Montana.


Are there any differences between your farm now and when you were a kid?

Everywhere we raised chickens and oranges is now houses.

Who farms with you and what are their roles?

I now run a ranch that was homesteaded by my wife’s grandfather in 1896.

What has been the hardest part of farming for you?

The hardest part is dealing with the lack of income.


What has been the most satisfying part of farming for you?

The most satisfying is working with my horses to accomplish the job at hand.

What crops (or animals) do you grow and why?

We grow Red Angus cows to harvest the grass.

What do you think was the most useful advance in farming such as machinery, genetics, chemicals, etc.?

Grandpa Elges relied on horses. We rely on hydraulics: hydraulics to run the swather, the baler, the bale wagon, the loaders, the backhoe…


What is one thing you’d like to get across to the general public about what you do?

We are the ultimate green industry: we convert a solar-powered waste product – grass – into high-quality food: beef. Our cattle live a good life.

What advice would you give to anyone interested into getting into your field?

Do your homework. Ranching is a VERY expensive hobby that few can afford

What is your favorite thing to do with the food crop you grow?

Grilled, medium rare.

Any memories you want to share about this feature ingredient?

I have one book printed, and two in the works to share my memories.

You can read more from Kent by visiting his website, Millennium Cowboy. 


Typically, taquitos are fried. These taquitos are baked instead. Served alongside a quick and delicious bean and cheese queso dip! 

Beef Taquitos
Yields 20
quick and simple baked beef taquitos
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
  1. 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  2. 1/2 (15 ounce) can refried beans
  3. 1 recipe Taco Seasoning
  4. 1/2 (7 ounce) can El Pato Mexican Tomato Sauce (can sub regular tomato sauce)
  5. 3/4 cup cheddar, grated
  6. 20 soft taco sized flour tortillas
  1. In a large skillet over medium high, brown the ground beef and pour off any grease. Add the taco seasoning, refried beans, and tomato sauce. Stir to combine. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Heat the tortillas in the microwave for 30 seconds to soften. Add 1 - 2 tablespoons of taco filling, a pinch of cheddar cheese, and roll up. Place on baking sheet seam side down. Repeat process with remaining tortillas until all of beef filling is used up.
  4. Bake 10 minutes at 400 or until taquitos are golden brown. Remove from oven and serve.
  1. Taco Seasoning
  2. 1 tablespoon chili powder
  3. 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  4. 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  5. 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
  6. 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  7. 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  8. 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  9. salt and pepper to taste
Prairie Californian
Bean and Cheese Queso
quick bean and cheese queso dip
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
  1. 1/2 (15 ounce) can refried beans
  2. 1/2 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles
  3. 1/2 cup salsa
  4. 1 teaspoon oregano
  5. 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  6. 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  7. 1/2 cup beer
  8. 1 can Fiesta Cheese soup
  9. 4 ounces Velveeta (or cheese equivalent)
  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir well to combine as all ingredients melt together. Reduce heat to low and cook 10-20 minutes to let flavors combine. Remove from heat and serve as dipping sauce.
Prairie Californian
This post is part of my Thirty Days of Food series where I am writing about food and farming for the entire month of November, to find out more about it all or how to follow along, visit my Thirty Days of Food page to find more great recipes with farmer features!