Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos – All the flavor of the chicken taquitos in your favorite Mexican restaurant, but healthier because these are air fried! Crispy and crunchy on the outside with a perfectly spicy chicken, cheese, and cream cheese filling mixture that just melts in your mouth! EASY, ready in 20 minutes, and the whole family will want seconds! Oven baking instructions are also provided.

Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos - All the flavor of the chicken taquitos in your favorite Mexican restaurant, but healthier because these are air fried! Crispy and crunchy on the outside with a perfectly spicy chicken, cheese, and cream cheese filling mixture that just melts in your mouth! EASY, ready in 20 minutes, and the whole family will want seconds! 

Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos Recipe

If you’re anything like me, you love Mexican food and want to recreate the best Mexican restaurant food in your own kitchen. And in your dream world, make it a bit healthier without sacrificing any of the flavor. 

Well then say hello to these air fryer chicken taquitos!

Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos - All the flavor of the chicken taquitos in your favorite Mexican restaurant, but healthier because these are air fried! Crispy and crunchy on the outside with a perfectly spicy chicken, cheese, and cream cheese filling mixture that just melts in your mouth! EASY, ready in 20 minutes, and the whole family will want seconds! 

They’re crispy and crunchy on the outside, with a just-spicy-enough seasoned shredded chicken filling, and made in your air fryerDon’t worry, if you don’t have one I do give oven-baking instructions below.

And oh yes, there’s also melted shredded cheese combined with cream cheese in the filling mixture so with every bite of these air fryer taquitos you’re also getting that lovely, melty and gooey cheese factor which is music to my cheese-loving ears.

Because I am big on sauces, dips, garnishes, and things of this nature you better believe that I piled on the Mexican crema, pico de gallo, salsa, avocado, and cilantro. All optional but highly recommended.

Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos - All the flavor of the chicken taquitos in your favorite Mexican restaurant, but healthier because these are air fried! Crispy and crunchy on the outside with a perfectly spicy chicken, cheese, and cream cheese filling mixture that just melts in your mouth! EASY, ready in 20 minutes, and the whole family will want seconds! 

Ingredients in Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos

When you’re getting ready to grocery shop for these chicken taquitos made in an air fryer, you’ll be happy with how few ingredients there are and how easy they are to find!

You’ll simply need the following chicken taquito filling mixture ingredients:

  • Cream cheese
  • Chipotles in adobo sauce
  • Cumin
  • Smoked paprika
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Shredded chicken, cooked
  • Mexican shredded cheese blend

Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos - All the flavor of the chicken taquitos in your favorite Mexican restaurant, but healthier because these are air fried! Crispy and crunchy on the outside with a perfectly spicy chicken, cheese, and cream cheese filling mixture that just melts in your mouth! EASY, ready in 20 minutes, and the whole family will want seconds! 

For Garnishing (all optional):

  • Mexican crema or sour cream
  • Salsa
  • Pico de gallo
  • Avocado or guacamole
  • Cilantro

Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos - All the flavor of the chicken taquitos in your favorite Mexican restaurant, but healthier because these are air fried! Crispy and crunchy on the outside with a perfectly spicy chicken, cheese, and cream cheese filling mixture that just melts in your mouth! EASY, ready in 20 minutes, and the whole family will want seconds! 

How to Make Chicken Taquitos in an Air Fryer

Making chicken taquitos in an air fryer is fast and easy! Just follow these easy and straightforward steps:

Step 1: Mix together the cream cheese, chipotles in adobo, cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and salt. 

Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos - All the flavor of the chicken taquitos in your favorite Mexican restaurant, but healthier because these are air fried! Crispy and crunchy on the outside with a perfectly spicy chicken, cheese, and cream cheese filling mixture that just melts in your mouth! EASY, ready in 20 minutes, and the whole family will want seconds! 

Step 2: Add the chicken and mix. 

Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos - All the flavor of the chicken taquitos in your favorite Mexican restaurant, but healthier because these are air fried! Crispy and crunchy on the outside with a perfectly spicy chicken, cheese, and cream cheese filling mixture that just melts in your mouth! EASY, ready in 20 minutes, and the whole family will want seconds! 

Step 3: Add the shredded cheese and mix.

Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos - All the flavor of the chicken taquitos in your favorite Mexican restaurant, but healthier because these are air fried! Crispy and crunchy on the outside with a perfectly spicy chicken, cheese, and cream cheese filling mixture that just melts in your mouth! EASY, ready in 20 minutes, and the whole family will want seconds! 

Step 4: Soften the tortillas in the microwave (tips provided below) and add 2 tablespoons of chicken filling to each tortilla before rolling up.

Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos - All the flavor of the chicken taquitos in your favorite Mexican restaurant, but healthier because these are air fried! Crispy and crunchy on the outside with a perfectly spicy chicken, cheese, and cream cheese filling mixture that just melts in your mouth! EASY, ready in 20 minutes, and the whole family will want seconds! 

Step 5: Add the rolled taquitos seam side down to the air fryer basket, spray with olive oil cooking spray, and air fry for 5 minutes.

Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos - All the flavor of the chicken taquitos in your favorite Mexican restaurant, but healthier because these are air fried! Crispy and crunchy on the outside with a perfectly spicy chicken, cheese, and cream cheese filling mixture that just melts in your mouth! EASY, ready in 20 minutes, and the whole family will want seconds! 

Step 6: Flip, spray again, and air fry for 2-5 minutes more, checking after 2 minutes to see if they’re done.

Step 7: Repeat the air frying process with the remaining taquitos, garnish, and serve! 

Can I Make Chicken Taquitos Without an Air Fryer?

Yes you absolutely can make chicken taquitos without an air fryer. Simply bake them like I do for my Baked Cheesy Beef Taquitos.

About 15 minutes at 375F should do the trick but of course monitor them for doneness.

Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos - All the flavor of the chicken taquitos in your favorite Mexican restaurant, but healthier because these are air fried! Crispy and crunchy on the outside with a perfectly spicy chicken, cheese, and cream cheese filling mixture that just melts in your mouth! EASY, ready in 20 minutes, and the whole family will want seconds! 

What Kind of Chicken Should I Use for Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos?

When I make air fryer chicken taquitos I always use shredded chicken from a store bought rotisserie chicken. It’s the most convenient for me.

However, if you have leftover grilled chicken, poached, or baked chicken on hand that will work fine as well.

Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos - All the flavor of the chicken taquitos in your favorite Mexican restaurant, but healthier because these are air fried! Crispy and crunchy on the outside with a perfectly spicy chicken, cheese, and cream cheese filling mixture that just melts in your mouth! EASY, ready in 20 minutes, and the whole family will want seconds! 

Can I Make Beef Taquitos in an Air Fryer?

Yes you sure can. I suggest one of the following options:

  1. Use my Cheesy Beef Taquitos recipe but air fry them rather than bake them.
  2. Use this recipe provided for chicken taquitos, but use 1 pound of already cooked and browned ground beef. Season it with a bit of taco seasoning if you like, too.

Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos - All the flavor of the chicken taquitos in your favorite Mexican restaurant, but healthier because these are air fried! Crispy and crunchy on the outside with a perfectly spicy chicken, cheese, and cream cheese filling mixture that just melts in your mouth! EASY, ready in 20 minutes, and the whole family will want seconds! 

Should I Use Corn or Flour Tortillas for Chicken Taquitos in an Air Fryer?

For these chicken taquitos in the air fryer, I used corn tortillas although you can use flour if you’d like.

Corn tortillas can be a bit tricker to roll without breaking or ripping so here are my tips for rolling corn tortillas:

  1. Place the tortillas on a microwave-safe plate and cover them with a thin dishtowel. You can also use a bowl to make a dome over the plate although I find a towel is easier.
  2. Heat on high power for 30 seconds.
  3. If after 30 seconds they aren’t soft and pliable, heat in 10-second bursts until they are.
  4. Keep them covered under the dishtowel and grab them one by one for rolling.

Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos - All the flavor of the chicken taquitos in your favorite Mexican restaurant, but healthier because these are air fried! Crispy and crunchy on the outside with a perfectly spicy chicken, cheese, and cream cheese filling mixture that just melts in your mouth! EASY, ready in 20 minutes, and the whole family will want seconds! 

Are Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos Spicy?

For me, no these chicken taquitos made in an air fryer are not spicy but they have just enough heat and flavor.

I use two chipotles in adobo sauce which provides a little bit of spice and flavor but by no means are the chicken taquitos spicy.

To amp up the spiciness level I suggest adding  a few shakes of cayenne pepper.

Extra chipotles in adobo sauce can thin out your filling mixture which is why a dry seasoning like cayenne or even red pepper flakes may be a better option.

Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos - All the flavor of the chicken taquitos in your favorite Mexican restaurant, but healthier because these are air fried! Crispy and crunchy on the outside with a perfectly spicy chicken, cheese, and cream cheese filling mixture that just melts in your mouth! EASY, ready in 20 minutes, and the whole family will want seconds! Oven baking instructions are also provided.

Serving and Storage Suggestions for Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos

I like to serve my air fryer chicken taquitos with a drizzle of Mexican crema or you can use sour cream, which is just a bit thicker than Mexican crema. To make it thinner, add a few drops of milk.

Additionally, I like to add a bit of salsa or pico de gallo, avocado or guacamole, and cilantro.

Finally, you can’t go wrong with a sprinkle of queso fresco.

These air fryer chicken taquitos are at their peak right out of the air fryer because they are delightfully crispy on the exterior and the seasoned chicken filling is warm and satisfying with the perfect amount of melted cheese.

They’ll become soggier as time passes so theoretically they’ll keep for up to 5 days in the fridge or up to 4 months in the freezer but the texture won’t be the same.

Tip: Although a trick to crisp them up again is to pop them back into the air fryer for 1 to 2 minutes.

Unfortunately reheating them in the microwave won’t give you crispness and instead they could be either soggy or the tortillas can turn a bit rubbery.

Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos - All the flavor of the chicken taquitos in your favorite Mexican restaurant, but healthier because these are air fried! Crispy and crunchy on the outside with a perfectly spicy chicken, cheese, and cream cheese filling mixture that just melts in your mouth! EASY, ready in 20 minutes, and the whole family will want seconds! Oven baking instructions are also provided.

Tips for the Best Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos

When you’re getting ready to make the filling mixture for these delectable chicken taquitos in an air fryer, make sure that your cream cheese is well softened to room temperature. If it is nice and soft, you won’t even need to use a handheld electric mixture and can stir it together with a spoon. Or if you want to use a mixer regardless as shown in the photos, go for it.

However, one of the most frustrating kitchen tasks for me is trying to beat or whip cream cheese when it’s too firm. It’s impossible to work with, clumpy, lumpy, and bumpy. So plan ahead and set it out at least 1 hour is my advice.

I use full fat cream cheese because it’s creamier, richer, and the taquitos taste better than if you use a reduced fat cream cheese which has a much higher water content, in lieu of the fat. However reduced fat cream cheese is probably fine although I haven’t personally tested it.

Don’t overfill the taquitos. About 2 to 3 tablespoons of filling mixture is all you need. Remember, these are supposed to be thin little delgadito “tacos”. Not a big gordo (fat) burrito! 

When it comes time to actually air fry the chicken taquitos, make sure not to crowd them in the air fryer basket. They won’t become crispy and fry up like you want if they’re touching. Make sure there is space.

Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos - All the flavor of the chicken taquitos in your favorite Mexican restaurant, but healthier because these are air fried! Crispy and crunchy on the outside with a perfectly spicy chicken, cheese, and cream cheese filling mixture that just melts in your mouth! EASY, ready in 20 minutes, and the whole family will want seconds! Oven baking instructions are also provided.

For this reason, you will have to make this recipe in two batches – approximately 7 to 8 taquitos per batch.

That being said, I also have an XL air fryer. If yours is smaller, you may need to fry them in three batches rather than two.

The only way to get a nice bit of crispness on these perfectly crispy air fryer chicken taquitos is to spray them with a touch of oil before air frying. I like to use olive oil cooking spray.

But, you can use an oil mister and can experiment with another neutral type of oil such as grape seed.

Since all air fryers cook differently, after you flip them after the first 5 minutes of cooking, keep a close eye on them to make sure they are crisping up, but don’t keep them in so long that they burn.

 

Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos - All the flavor of the chicken taquitos in your favorite Mexican restaurant, but healthier because these are air fried! Crispy and crunchy on the outside with a perfectly spicy chicken, cheese, and cream cheese filling mixture that just melts in your mouth! EASY, ready in 20 minutes, and the whole family will want seconds! 
Yield: 15

Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 8 minutes

Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos - All the flavor of the chicken taquitos in your favorite Mexican restaurant, but healthier because these are air fried! Crispy and crunchy on the outside with a perfectly spicy chicken, cheese, and cream cheese filling mixture that just melts in your mouth! EASY, ready in 20 minutes, and the whole family will want seconds! Oven baking instructions are provided in the Notes below.

Ingredients

Chicken Taquitos

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened very well to room temp*
  • 2 chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (regular paprika may be substituted)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups cooked shredded chicken**
  • 2 cups Mexican shredded cheese blend
  • 15 corn tortillas

Garnishes (all optional)

  • Mexican crema or sour cream (thinned with drops of milk if desired)
  • Salsa
  • Pico de gallo
  • Avocado or guacamole
  • Cilantro

Instructions

  1. Chicken Taquitos - Preheat an XL air fryer or similar sized air fryer to 400F (or preheat an oven to 375F and spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray); set aside.
  2. To a large bowl, add the cream cheese, chipotles in adobo sauce, cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Alternatively, if preferred you can use a handheld electric mixture but if your cream cheese is well softened, this shouldn't be necessary.
  3. Add the shredded chicken and mix to combine.
  4. Add the shredded cheese and mix to combine; set aside.
  5. Place the tortillas on a microwave-safe plate, cover with a thin dishtowel, and heat on high power for 30 seconds. The tortillas should now be soft and pliable and less prone to ripping or tearing. If not, heat in additional 10-second bursts until they are soft.
  6. Keep the softened tortillas under the dishtowel, and grab one tortilla, one-at-at-time, adding about 2 tablespoons of filling mixture vertically down one side, and roll it tightly to form a taquito.
  7. Repeat with about 7 to 8 tortillas and then place the 7 or 8 taquitos in the basket of an XL air fryer, not touching, and not crowded. Reduce the load in order to not touch or not crowd them.
  8. Spray them lightly with olive oil cooking spray or another neutral oil such as grape seed and/or with an oil mister.
  9. Air fry for 5 minutes.***
  10. Remove the basket, flip over the taquitos with a tongs, spray them again lightly with olive oil cooking spray, return the basket to the air fryer, and air fry for an additional 2 to 5 minutes. Check after 2 minutes to see how they look. Since all air fryers are a bit different, make sure your taquitos have crisped up but aren't burning.
  11. Garnishes - Garnish with or add Mexican crema or sour cream (thin it if desired with a few drops of milk), salsa, pico de gallo, avocado or guacamole, or cilantro as desired.
  12. Air fryer chicken taquitos are best hot and fresh out of the air fryer. They become soggier as time passes. Reheating is possible by placing them in the air fryer again for 1-2 minutes to help encourage them to crisp up again although it's not quite the same. Technically they'll keep airtight for up to 5 days in the fridge or for up to 4 months in the freezer, although fresh is best.

Notes

*Make sure that your cream cheese is well softened to room temperature. If it is nice and soft, you won’t even need to use a handheld electric mixture and can stir it together with a spoon. Plan ahead and set it out at least 1 hour is my advice.

I use full fat cream cheese because it’s creamier, richer, and the taquitos taste better than if you use a reduced fat cream cheese which has a much higher water content, in lieu of the fat. However reduced fat cream cheese is probably fine although I haven’t personally tested it.

**When I make air fryer chicken taquitos I always use shredded store bought rotisserie chicken. However, if you have leftover grilled chicken, poached, or baked chicken on hand that will work fine as well.

***You can make chicken taquitos without an air fryer. Simply bake them like I do for my Baked Cheesy Beef Taquitos. About 15 minutes at 375F, flipping once if desired, should do the trick. But of course monitor them for doneness given your oven and how they are looking.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

15

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 241Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 262mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 3gSugar: 1gProtein: 13g

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