Chicken Taquitos – absolutely delicious, quick and easy dinner recipe featuring homemade taco-seasoned shredded chicken, salsa and a delightful cream cheese mixture. Crispy on the outside and fully-loaded on the inside!
Baked Chicken Taquitos Recipe
I love all types of Mexican food! I’ve grown to love them over the years. And it comes just naturally as they closely resemble the African cuisine with its big bold flavors.
But these chicken taquitos here have been one of my top go-to summer lunch or dinner as I always stash a pack of homemade shredded chicken in my freezer for busy lazy weeknights.
What are Taquitos Made Of?
These chicken taquitos are always a big hit here at home – whether I serve them on regular nights or when entertaining. You’ll find no reason not to love them as they are so easy to put together. Okay, traditionally, taquitos are made using corn tortillas, but my family prefers using flour tortillas as they crack less and very easy to work on. Aside from tortillas, you’ll need these ones below to complete your list:
- shredded chicken (👈or any of your favorite protein) – leftover chicken breast or rotisserie chicken works fine
- cream cheese – works as a base for our spread
- cheddar cheese – Monterey jack cheese or colby jack would be great too.
- salsa – homemade or store-bought would be fine
- onions and cilantro – to add more bite to this dish
- taco seasoning (👈 check my homemade version) – for that classic Mexican flavor
- lemon juice – lime juice would be good too for that touch of zesty flavor
- vegetable oil – light olive oil or canola are another option for brushing.
What’s the Difference Between Flautas and Taquitos?
Surprisingly, flautas and taquitos look exactly the same if you google them. These two are often used interchangeably. Now let’s start with flautas – what is a flauta?
Flautas is a Spanish word for “flutes”. They are typically made with corn tortillas usually stuffed with shredded meat like chicken, pork and beef along with cheese, onions and more. Flautas are then fried to extra-crispy perfection; making it a crowd-favorite Mexican dish.
However, flautas are often called as taquitos, too, or tacos dorados. So what’s really the difference between flautas and taquitos?
Well, it has nothing to do with the flavor. Taquitos are made from larger tortillas (most oftentimes with corn tortilla) and are usually shorter while flautas take a shape of a flute that are longer and thinner. These difference though aren’t always attended when flautas or taquitos are made as they often have similar fillings and are served with the same toppings or condiments.
So yes, you can call flautas “taquitos” and taquitos “flautas”. It doesn’t change the fact that they’re super filling and addicting!
Can I Use Corn Tortillas?
Yes, you may. But I prefer my chicken taquitos with flour tortilla as they are pliable and doesn’t fall apart easily unlike corn tortillas. You may have to flash fry your corn tortilla so it becomes soft and manageable.
How to Make Corn Tortillas Soft:
- On a medium skillet, heat canola or vegetable oil over medium high heat.
- Once hot enough, add the corn tortilla and flash fry for about 10 seconds on each side.
- You may also use the microwave to heat them up a bit. Simply place 6-8 corn tortillas in between two damp paper towels on a microwave-safe plate and microwave for 40-50 seconds. Now you have soft and pliable corn tortillas!
Can I Fry Them Instead?
If you’re planning on frying some taquitos instead of baking them, I suggest that you use the corn tortillas for best results. Fry them up in about 3/4 inch canola or vegetable oil in a deep large skillet over medium heat and fry 2 minutes each side or until golden brown. Remember though: do not overcrowd the pan.
Can I Make Them In Advance?
You definitely can! Taquitos are a great make-ahead meal. Cook them as directed below and let them cool completely afterwards or store them uncooked. Place them in an airtight container, taking out as much air as possible, and freeze or store in the fridge for 3-5 days. When ready to bake, put them in a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray and bake at 400F for 15-20 minutes.
Or another great alternative for you is to make the shredded chicken and the filling a day ahead then store in the fridge and just fill the tortillas and wrap them up on the day of serving.
Can I Freeze Them?
Another great thing about this recipe though is you may also freeze them for months so you won’t need to drive to the grocery and buy those frozen store-bought taquitos.
Just let them cool completely after baking and line them up on baking sheet and flash freeze for 2 hours or until solid. Transfer them in a freezer bag while squeezing out any excess air and freeze for up to 3 months.
What Do You Serve with Chicken Taquitos?
- Ranch Dressing (which I’ll be sharing soon 😉 )
- Guacamole (recipe is in the recipe box)
- Pico de Gallo (recipe is in the recipe box)
- Refried Beans
- Black Beans and Corn Salad
- Mexican Rice
- Southwest Chicken Salad
More Mexican Recipes
How To Make Chicken Taquitos
Preheat oven at 400F, prepare baking sheet by lining the bottom with parchment paper and lightly grease with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, add shredded chicken, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, salsa, green onions, taco seasoning, cilantro, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix until smooth. Taste and add more seasoning if needed.
Place about 3 tablespoons of chicken mixture on the flour tortillas about 1 inch from the edge. Tightly roll up tortillas and place it seam side down on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat the process with the remaining chicken filling and tortillas and place them about 1 inch apart on the baking sheet.
Lightly brush the tops of the tortillas with oil or spray them with cooking spray. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until tortillas are cooked and lightly golden brown around the edges. Serve with guacamole, sour cream, salsa, Mexican rice or your favorite sauce.
- 3 cups (405 g) shredded chicken
- ½ cup (60 g) cream cheese
- 1 cup (100 g) grated cheddar cheese
- ⅓ cup (86 g) salsa
- 2 fresh green onions , small diced
- 2 teaspoons (8 g) taco seasoning
- 1 tablespoon (1 g) minced cilantro
- ½ tablespoon (7.5 ml) lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- 12 to 15 8-inch tortillas
- vegetable oil , for brushing
- Preheat oven at 400F, prepare baking sheet by lining the bottom with parchment paper and lightly grease with cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, add shredded chicken, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, salsa, green onions, taco seasoning, cilantro, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix until smooth. Taste and add more seasoning if needed.
- Place about 3 tablespoons of chicken mixture on the flour tortillas about 1 inch from the edge. Tightly roll up tortillas and place it seam side down on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat the process with the remaining chicken filling and tortillas and place them about 1 inch apart on the baking sheet.
- Lightly brush the tops of the tortillas with oil or spray them with cooking spray.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until tortillas are cooked and lightly golden brown around the edges.
- Serve with guacamole, sour cream, salsa, Mexican rice or your favorite sauce.
Tips & Notes:
- Chicken taquitos can be stored in the freezer. Place the rolled taquitos in a freezer
safe Ziploc bag before spraying with oil spray, seal the freezer bag taking out as
much air, place in the freezer. When ready to bake, put them in a baking sheet and
spray with cooking spray and bake at 400F for 15-20 minutes.
- If you want to fry taquitos, best option is to use corn tortilla instead as they fry better. Heat the corn tortilla first for about 10 seconds on each side for it to pliable.
- You can use any leftover boneless shredded chicken breast or chicken thighs and rotiserrie chicken.
- If you don't have a taco seasoning handy, you may season it with favorite seasoning.
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.
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