Make homemade chicken taquitos with this easy taquitos recipe. Instructions are included for oven baked taquitos, cooking taquitos in air fryer and stove top fried taquitos. Homemade taquitos are easier than you think! Easy air fryer taquitos or oven baked taquitos make a great weeknight meal or serve for Taco Tuesday.
What Is The Difference Between Taquito vs Flauta
The origin of taquitos is traced back to the San Diego area. The origin of flautas is unknown. You can find fried rolled taquito style dishes (tacos dorados) in many parts of Mexico as well as the United States.
Traditionally, a flauta is made from a burrito size flour tortilla. Traditional taquitos are made from 6-inch corn tortillas. This recipe can be made with any type of tortilla. Images show flour tortillas, as my family prefers. We usually use uncooked flour tortillas or uncooked almond flour tortillas for a gluten free option.
You can deep fry or bake (or air fry) both flautas or taquitos. Both are crispy golden brown when cooked.
Why You’ll Love These Cheesy Chicken Taquitos
- Flavor: These will be the best taquitos you’ve ever eaten! The combination of flavors in perfect.
- Nutrition: About 300 calories per taquito. High in protein, Vitamin A and Calcium.
- Time: Prep time takes only 10 minutes! Cook time varies depending on the method.
- Cooking Method: Instructions included for air fryer, oven baked and fried on the stovetop.
- Diet: Gluten Free (use gluten-free corn or almond tortillas)
Store Bought Frozen Taquitos: Follow these instructions to cook air fryer frozen taquitos.
For a full printable ingredients list and instructions are in the recipe card below.
- 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded (see below to learn how to cook chicken)
- ¼ cup salsa
- ¼ cup cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup sour cream (you can substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream)
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, pepper jack cheese or Mexican cheese
- 1 ½ cups baby spinach leaves , chopped
- ¼ cup canned green chilis
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 8-10 6-inch flour tortillas, almond flour tortillas or corn tortillas (this works well with uncooked tortillas as well)
- 2 Tablespoons oil (avocado oil, corn oil or canola oil is recommended. I do not recommend using olive oil)
Spice substitution: You can substitute 2 teaspoons of taco seasoning for the cumin, garlic powder and chili powder if you prefer.
- sour cream
Ground Beef Variation
Substitute 2 cups of cooked ground beef to make beef taquitos. Assemble beef taquito with beef filling as directed below.
Gluten Free Variation
Most of these ingredients are naturally gluten free. Make sure that your work surface and utensils are free from cross contamination. Substitute flour tortillas for corn tortillas that are specifically gluten free. Double check that any spices you use do not have any gluten additives.
How To Make Shredded Chicken
I like to use Costco rotisserie chicken for these homemade air fryer taquitos but making shredded chicken breast is very easy.
Crockpot: Place 2-3 thawed chicken breasts in a slow cooker with 1 cup of chicken stock. Cook on low for 3-4 hours or high for 7-8 hours. Use an instant read meat thermometer to make sure chicken is 165°F. Shred with two forks.
Instant Pot: Place 2-3 chicken breasts in an Instant Pot with ½ cup of chicken stock. Seal and set pressure cooker to high pressure for 10 minutes. Do a quick release. Internal temperature of the chicken should be 165°F. Shred with 2 forks.
Oven: Place 2-3 chicken breasts in a casserole dish. Cover the dish with foil. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes or until the internal temperature is 165°F. Shred with 2 forks.
Full step-by-step instructions are in the recipe card below. You can print or save to Pinterest for later.
Step 1 – Make Sauce Mixture: In a large bowl, combine salsa, cream cheese, sour cream, shredded cheese, chopped spinach, green chilis, cumin, garlic powder and chili powder. Stir to combine.
Step 2 – Add Chicken: Add the shredded chicken and stir to mix cheesy chicken filling.
Step 3 – Fill Tortillas: Spoon 3-4 tablespoons of chicken filling in a line along each tortilla.
Step 4 – Add Chicken: Using your hands, roll the tortilla tightly into a taquito shape. Assemble the remaining taquitos. Repeat until all the chicken mixture is gone. You will be able to assemble 6-8 tortillas.
How To Cook Taquitos In The Air Fryer
Place taquitos in a single layer in the air-fryer basket or air fryer tray. Brush or spray oil on the outside of the tortilla to help them crisp while cooking. Air fry at 325°F for 7-8 minutes, turning once while cooking. Depending on the size of the air fryer you may need to cook them in batches. Homemade air fryer chicken taquitos are the quickest way to cook your own taquitos. This method is especially great when you want to air fry taquitos (air fryer flautas) for just one or two people.
How To Fry Taquitos
Use a deep fryer or add about 1 ½ inches of oil to a large skillet and heat to medium-high. Once hot (the tortillas should sizzle immediately when added to the oil). Fry the taquitos in small batches, for a few seconds on each side, rotating them as they cook, until they are golden brown and crispy on all sides. Place them on a paper towel lined plate.
How To Bake Taquitos In The Oven
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line your baking dish or baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray to prevent taquitos from sticking.
Spray the tops of the tacos with oil, or brush them lightly with oil. Place taquitos on the baking sheet seam side down.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the shells are crispy. Turn once while cooking.
Tips for the Best Chicken Taquitos
- Warm corn tortillas before filling. Wrap in a damp paper towel and microwave for 10 seconds to make soft and pliable.
- Don’t skimp on the filling. Add plenty of filling to each taquito. They will be thicker than frozen taquitos you find in the freezer section of the grocery store.
- If you are baking or air frying, brush the tops of the taquitos with oil. Avocado oil is my favorite.
- Place seam side down when starting to cook. By the time you turn it over the cheesy filling will secure the taquito together so it doesn’t open up when you flip it over.
- Cook until golden brown.
Serve homemade chicken taquitos recipe as an appetizer or main course. Serve your crispy taquitos with pico de gallo or salsa, guacamole, sour cream as a dipping sauce. Sprinkle with some cilantro.
Serve with Mexican rice and black beans or refried beans.
- Instant Pot Spicy Mexican Rice
- Instant Pot Black Beans
- Instant Pot Refried Beans
- Pico de Gallo
- Mango Habanero Salsa
Assemble your rolled taquitos but do not cook them if you are going to eat them later. Place in a ziploc bag or airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours or freeze for up to 3 months.
For best results, cook taquitos from frozen in the oven. Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes, turning once. Keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t get overly crispy. Use an instant read meat thermometer to make sure the internal temperature is 165°F. Frozen taquitos in air fryer can brown before the inside is hot if you’re not careful. If cooking from frozen in the air fryer cook for the first 5 minutes at 275°F to defrost. Increase the heat to 350° and cook until heated through and crispy.
Remove from the oven and serve while warm.
Store taquito leftovers wrapped in aluminum foil, in a ziploc bag or an airtight container. Place in the leftover taquitos in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Remove your homemade chicken taquitos from the fridge. Reheat in the air fryer or the oven on the original temperatures. Turn once while cooking. You can also reheat in the microwave. Microwave in 20 second intervals until warm.
Frequently Asked Questions
Place the seam side down when you begin to cook your taquito. It should stick together. If it doesn’t you can use a toothpick to keep them together.
Fresh corn tortillas are less likely to crumble than old tortillas. Heated corn tortillas are less likely to break as well. Wrap your corn tortilla in a damp paper towel and microwave for a few seconds to warm.
Some delicious dipping sauces for chicken taquitos include salsa, guacamole, sour cream, or a tangy chipotle mayo. Experiment with different flavors to find your favorite combination!
Easy Homemade Chicken Taquitos Recipe (Oven, Stovetop and Air Fryer Methods)
- 2 cups chicken cooked and shredded
- ¼ cup salsa
- ¼ cup cream cheese (4 ounces)
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 2 cups Mexican cheese blend shredded
- 1 ½ cups baby spinach chopped
- 4 ounces canned green chilis
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 8 6-inch flour tortillas or use corn or uncooked tortillas
- 1 tablespoon oil avocado or canola oil
- sour cream
- fresh cilantro chopped
- Add salsa, sour cream, cream cheese, spinach, shredded cheese, green chilis, cumin, garlic powder and chili powder to a medium bowl and stir until smooth.
- Add chicken and toss to combine. Taste and add more seasoning, if needed.
- Place a large spoonful of filling in a line along each tortilla and roll tightly. Secure with a toothpick if needed.
- Repeat until all the chicken mixture is gone.
Oven Baked Taquitos Instructions
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Spray the tops of the tacos with avocado oil or canola oil, or brush them lightly with oil.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tortillas are crispy. Turn once while cooking.
Fried Taquitos Instructions
- Heat a large skillet with high sides over medium-high heat. Add 1 ½ inches of oil.
- Once hot, place taquitos into the skillet. Do not overcrowd. You may need to do in batches depending on the size of your skillet and taquitos. Fry for about 30 seconds and turn to fry all sides.
- When taquitos are golden brown and crispy, remove with tongs to a paper towel lined plate to drain excess oil.
Air Fried Taquitos Instructions
- Place taquitos in the air fryer basket. Brush with oil. Bake for 7-8 minutes, turning once.
- Serve taquitos while they're warm. Garnish with sour cream, salsa, guacamole and fresh chopped cilantro.