Chicken Taquitos

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Chicken Taquitos – ๐ŸŒฎ๐Ÿง€๐Ÿฅ‘ Learn how to make the BEST tasting taquitos at home that rival a Mexican restaurant in just 30 minutes with a handful of common ingredients! Crispy and crunchy on the outside, warm melted cheese and seasoned chicken on the inside, these will be a hit at your next fiesta or casual get-together! Instructions provided to bake, air fry, or fry so you’re set to make this EASY recipe!

Plate of crispy taquitos drizzled with green sauce and sour cream, garnished with cilantro, served with a side of red salsa.

Easy Cheesy Chicken Taquitos Recipe

If you’ve ever wondered how to make the best chicken taquitos at home, my easy recipe will show you how! No need to run out to your local Mexican restaurant when you can DIY.

These ultra crispy, crunchy taquitos with a creamy, cheesy seasoned chicken filling are going to become a new favorite. Who can resist warm taquitos with a crispy shell with the best crunch!

A person dipping a taquito into a bowl of red salsa, garnished with sour cream and cilantro, with more taquitos in the background.

Ready in less than 30 minutes and made with just a handful of very common ingredients, you’re going to feel like a Mexican chef when everyone asks for seconds.

You can serve these as a snack, as an appetizer at your next fiesta, or main dish with a Loaded Chicken Taco Salad or with any of the other amazing taco, enchilada, and burrito recipes featured below the recipe card.

Family-friendly and definitely picky-eater approved. Your Cinco de Mayo and casual-get-together menu just leveled up.

Plate of golden-brown taquitos drizzled with green sauce and cream, garnished with grated cheese and cilantro, served with a side of red salsa.

Ingredients in Homemade Chicken Taquitos

You’ll just need the following very common fridge and pantry ingredients for the best chicken taquitos!

  • Cream cheese – use 6 ounces full fat because lite or ‘spreadable’ products are mostly water and will lend very poor results (soggy, waterlogged taquitos) so go with full fat
  • Sour cream – use full fat; I have not tried using full-fat Greek yogurt but it would probably be fine
  • Red salsa – any heat level, any brand, not super chunky
  • Cooked shredded chicken – See the FAQs for my suggestions
A close-up of crispy taquitos topped with green salsa, sour cream, and fresh cilantro on a black plate.
  • Shredded Mexican cheese blend – or your favorite shredded cheddar cheese, pepper jack cheese, or cheese blend
  • Cumin – a teaspoon ground cumin gives the filling mixture awesome flavor
  • Chili powder – add more than called for some a bit of heat (as written, these are not at all spicy)
  • Garlic powder
  • Kosher salt – depending on how much sodium the cooked chicken has that you use will also impact how much salt to add to the filling mixture
  • Pepper
  • Flour tortillas – See the FAQs why I prefer flour to corn tortillas for taquitos
Ingredients for making taquitos, including shredded chicken, cheddar cheese, sour cream, salsa, and tortillas, displayed in separate bowls on a marble countertop.

Note: Scroll down to the recipe card section of the post for the ingredients with amounts included and for more complete directions.

How to Make Chicken and Cheese Taquitos

Let’s make taquitos and let’s do it quickly and easily. Here’s how with minimal prep time and in just 30 minutes total time!

Chicken Taquitos - ๐ŸŒฎ๐Ÿง€๐Ÿฅ‘ Learn how to make the BEST tasting taquitos at home that rival a Mexican restaurant in just 30 minutes with a handful of common ingredients! Crispy and crunchy on the outside, warm melted cheese and seasoned chicken on the inside, these will be a hit at your next fiesta or casual get-together! Instructions provided to bake, air fry, or fry so you're set to make this EASY recipe!
  1. Stir together the cream cheese, sour cream in a large bowl.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients (except the tortillas) and stir to combine.
  3. Add about 2-3 tablespoons of the chicken mixture in a vertical strip on one side of the tortilla and then roll it up tightly. Repeat on they’re all rolled and you’re ready to cook them.
  1. Cook using desired method (see below) until done and golden brown, garnish with salsa, guacamole, crema, cilantro, or your favorite toppings!
A plate of taquitos covered in green and white sauces, sprinkled with cheese, served with sides of red and green salsas and guacamole.

Should I Bake, Air Fry, or Fry Taquitos?

Bake – If you want to make baked taquitos, follow the baking instructions provided in my Baked Cheesy Beef Taquitos recipe. About 15 minutes at 375 degrees F but of course, keep an eye on how they look. Baking times will vary. You can increase the oven temp to 400F and they’ll take a bit less time but can be prone to burning before the cheese inside actually melts. Line baking sheet with parchment paper for easier cleanup.

Air Fry – My Air Fried Chicken Taquitos recipe is the perfect recipe to consult! Break out that air fryer basket and cooking spray, and they’ll be ready in no time.

Fry – For today’s recipe I am frying! Yep, I said it, frying with vegetable oil because it produces the crispiest, most authentic-tasting chicken taquitos so you don’t need to run out to your local favorite Mexican restaurant when you can make them at home! I don’t do this often, but for special occasions or cravings, I am fine with the saturated fat and calories.

  1. Heat 1 to 2 inches oil to 350F in a heavy bottom skillet such as a cast iron skillet and wait until it’s hot and bubbling. I suggest NOT guessing and using a clip-on thermometer. The other way to check is to add a tiny piece of tortilla into the oil and if it starts to sizzle and cook immediately, you’re ready to go. Caveat here is that if the oil is TOO hot, you may not know it, and you don’t want to burn your taquitos.
  2. Add 2 or 3 taquitos to the oil, and fry for about 2 minutes total, flipping halfway through. Repeat until all taquitos are fried and ready to devour!

what to serve with taquitos

Garnish your taquitos with red restaurant-style salsa, tomatillo avocado salsa, guacamole, crema, cilantro, fresh lime juice, or your favorite toppings!

Serve them with Mexican rice, cilantro lime rice, or alongside any other favorite Mexican recipes!

A plate of crispy taquitos topped with green salsa, sour cream, and crumbled cheese, garnished with fresh cilantro.

Storage

In the Refrigerator: This recipe will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. Note that anything that’s served “crispy and crunchy” will not retain that same lovely texture after being refrigerated. There’s no way around it. For that reason, I don’t recommend freezing taquitos.

To Reheat: I use my microwave for quickness and ease and reheat my leftovers for about 30 seconds on high, or as needed. But you can use your stove or oven, whatever is best suited for you to warm up these cream cheese chicken taquitos.

Recipe FAQs

what’s the best chicken to use for chicken taquitos?

For the ultimate in quickness and ease, pick up a store bought rotisserie chicken and use 2 cups of shredded chicken (white or dark meat) in this recipe. You can also use my Poached Chicken recipe, leftover Baked Lime Cilantro Chicken, or leftover grilled chicken, such as this Grilled Lime Cilantro Chicken.

Really any cooked (leftover) chicken you have on hand and can shred or dice small is fine.

should i use flour or corn tortillas for taquitos?

I prefer 6 to 8-inch flour tortillas like I use in Steak Quesadillas because flour tortillas are easier to roll and more pliable, less prone to ripping, and in the US, corn tortillas are often a bit smaller in size. For taquitos, having the extra bit of size makes filling + rolling them easier.

However use your preferred tortillas. If you are using corn tortillas (great option if you’re gluten free), place them in your microwave with a slightly damp paper towel draped over them, and heat for about 15 seconds. The steam will help soften them just enough so you can fill and roll them hopefully without them ripping.

Do i need to put toothpicks through the rolled taquitos?

Some people do this to hold the taquitos together better during the frying process but as long as you don’t overstuff them with too much filling mixture, I don’t find this necessary.

can i make taquitos ahead of time?

For best taste and texture, the sooner you indulge and enjoy the freshly cooked, warm taquitos the better they’ll be! Anything fried or (baked to a crispy texture) is always best served right away. This isn’t a great recipe to try to make in advance if I am being totally transparent.

can i use another protein or make a flavor variation?

If you’re feeling like ground beef, follow my recipe for Cheesy Beef Taquitos. Leftover pork? Make my Pulled Pork Tacos and then wrap some of it up into the taquito filling mixture.

Like the flavor of buffalo sauce? Use 1/4 cup buffalo sauce rather than the red salsa in the filling mixture for buffalo chicken taquitos. Or add a teaspoon chili powder to the filling mixture in addition to the cumin. Love cumin or onion powder, consider increasing to more than a teaspoon cumin or teaspoon garlic powder. A teaspoon onion powder is a nice touch, too.

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Chicken Taquitos

๐ŸŒฎ๐Ÿง€๐Ÿฅ‘ Learn how to make the BEST tasting taquitos at home that rival a Mexican restaurant in just 30 minutes with a handful of common ingredients! Crispy and crunchy on the outside, warm melted cheese and seasoned chicken on the inside, these will be a hit at your next fiesta or casual get-together! Instructions provided to bake, air fry, or fry so you're set to make this EASY recipe!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Servings: 12
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Ingredients  

  • 6 ounces full-fat brick style cream cheese, very well softened to room temp
  • ยผ cup full-fat sour cream
  • ยผ cup red salsa, any brand, any spicy level, not super chunky
  • 2 cups cooked shredded chicken*, See Notes for my recommendations
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend, or your favorite shredded cheese
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder, or to taste
  • ยฝ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • ยฝ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 12 flour tortillas, about 6-inches in diameter
  • Vegetable oil, for frying (if frying; if baking or air frying see Notes below)

Instructions 

  • To a large bowl, add the cream cheese, sour cream, salsa, and stir to combine. Tip – Make sure the cream cheese is very well softened to room temp or this is unnecessarily difficult.
  • Add the cooked chicken, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and stir to combine.
  • Add about 2 tablespoons filling in a vertical strip at the edge of each tortilla and roll up tightly. Tips – Don't overfill. Flour tortillas are easier to work with, more pliable, and don't rip as easily. If you're using corn tortillas, add a stack to the microwave, cover with a damp paper towel, and heat for about 15 seconds to 'steam' the corn tortillas just a bit which will make them easier to work with and roll without ripping.
  • To a heavy-bottomed skillet with a bit of depth (cast iron is preferred; don't use a nonstick skillet that's intended to make scrambled eggs!) add enough oil so that it comes up to about 1 to 2-inches high.
  • Heat the oil until it's 350F as measured with a thermometer. Tips – I strongly recommend not guessing and using a thermometer. However, if you don't have one and you are going to guess, likely the oil is hot enough when it's bubbling and you can add a small piece of tortilla to the oil and it cooks instantly, but that it's not so hot that the tortilla just burns.
  • Add about 2 or 3 rolled taquitos to the oil, and fry for about 2 minutes total, flipping and once midway through. The exterior should be golden browned but not burnt when done. Tips – Don't crowd the pan because the taquitos will not cook properly because the overall temp of the oil will drop too low and/or there isn't enough oil freely flowing and circulating around the taquitos to cook them.
  • Place cooked taquitos on a plate lined with paper towels to cool briefly while you repeat the frying process with all remaining taquitos. Discard fry oil safely after you're done.
  • Serve immediately. Taquitos are best served hot and fresh. Leftovers will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 4-5 days however there is no way to replicate the crispiness of freshly cooked taquitos after they've been refrigerated. I warm my leftovers if I have any in the microwave for about 30 seconds. I don't recommend freezing taquitos because the texture after thawing won't be very good.

Notes

Chicken – For the ultimate in quickness and ease, pick up a store bought rotisserie chicken and use 2 cups of shredded chicken (white or dark meat) in this recipe. You can also use my Poached Chicken recipe, leftover Baked Lime Cilantro Chicken, or leftover grilled chicken, such as this Grilled Lime Cilantro Chicken. Really any cooked (leftover) chicken you have on hand that you can shred or dice small is fine.
Cooking Methodsย 
Fry โ€“ For todayโ€™s recipe I am frying with vegetable oil because it produces the crispiest, most authentic-tasting chicken taquitos comparable (or better than) your local favorite Mexican restaurant.
Air Fryย โ€“ Myย Air Fried Chicken Taquitos recipe is the perfect recipe to consult!ย 
Bakeย โ€“ If you want to make baked taquitos, follow the baking instructions provided in myย Baked Cheesy Beef Taquitosย recipe. About 15 minutes at 375 degrees F but of course, keep an eye on how they look. Baking times will vary. You can increase the oven temp to 400F and theyโ€™ll take a bit less time but can be prone to burning before the cheese inside actually melts. Line baking sheet with parchment paper for easier cleanup.

Nutrition

Serving: 1taquito, Calories: 220kcal, Carbohydrates: 17g, Protein: 12g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 40mg, Sodium: 492mg, Potassium: 150mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 363IU, Vitamin C: 0.2mg, Calcium: 177mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

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