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Crispy chicken taquitos are the ultimate finger food with only 15 minutes of prep!

Taquitos stacked on top of each other and topped with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and more.

A Family Favorite

We have Mexican food EVERY week! And being Hispanic, we did the same thing growing up. Now, we are just getting our own kids to love these recipe too, like today’s Taquitos recipe (which is a family fav). But, what are they?

Taquitos are a Mexican dish consisting of a small tortilla that is rolled around a filling of meat and cheese and then deep-fried (“small tacos”). They are similar to Flautas and are so incredibly yummy!

Why We love them!

  • For any meal. These chicken taquitos are so great as appetizers or as a Mexican dinner.
  • Simple + Quick. Not only are minimal ingredients needed, but they are also quick to make.
  • Change it up. The filling can be easily adapted to suit different tastes, from using different meats to adding various spices and toppings.

Ingredients

  • vegetable oil canola oil, peanut oil, or olive oil labeled for frying
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken shredded beef and pork are also great options. I like to have Shredded Chicken in the freezer to use in recipes like this one. You can also bake up some chicken to shred or use a rotisserie chicken.
  • 6 ounces cream cheese the creamy texture adds flavor and binds the chicken mixture
  • 1½ cups baby spinach – for added flavor, texture, and color
  • 1½ cups shredded colby jack cheese Mexican blend cheese is another great choice, or cheddar cheese, Monterey jack cheese, or pepper jack cheese also works.
  • ½ cup salsa Change the salsa to change the flavor – Sweet Salsa Verde or Tomatillo Salsa are both great!
  • ⅓ cup sour cream helps create a smooth filling as well as adds a tangy twist
  • salt and black pepper – change up the flavor using cumin, garlic powder, garlic pepper, taco seasoning, or chili powder
  • 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas classic taquitos use corn tortillas, but you can use a similarly sized Flour Tortillas
  • toppings (optional) shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, sour cream, Red Salsa, Salsa Verde, Cafe Rio Dressing, Pico de Gallo, jalapeños, Guacamole, or Queso Blanco

How to Make Taquitos

  1. PREP. Fill a saucepan with ½ inch of oil and heat over medium heat to 350°F.
  2. FILLING. Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix 3 cups chicken, 6 ounces  cream cheese, 1½ cups spinach, 1½ cups Colby Jack cheese, ½ cup salsa, and ⅓ cup sour cream. Add salt and pepper.
  3. FRY. Once oil is hot enough, add a few tablespoons of chicken/cream cheese mixture to the center of a tortilla and spread out. Roll the tortilla and use tongs to place it seam-side down in hot oil. Cook until golden brown on both sides, 2–3 minutes per side. Set on paper towels to drain.
    • Repeat until all 12 (6-inch) tortillas have been filled, rolled, and fried.
  4. SERVE. Serve warm with your favorite toppings.

We love to serve these with: Homemade Salsa, Guacamole, Queso Blanco.

Pro Tip!

To prevent cracked tortillas, wrap a stack of corn tortillas in damp paper towels and microwave for 15-30 seconds until warmed up. Many tortillas crack or break because they are not warm enough.

Alternative Cooking Methods

  • Oven baked. Check out our Baked Taquitos recipe.
  • Air fryer. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F. Place the taquitos, seem side down, in the air fryer basket. Make sure they are not touching and spray with a light coating of cooking spray. Cook for about 3 minutes flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes or until lightly brown and crisp.
Taquitos stacked on top of each other and topped with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and more.
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5 from 925 votes

Taquitos Recipe

By: Lil’ Luna
Everyone loves these classic taquitos! They're fried to golden perfection and are great as appetizers or even a main dish.
Servings: 12
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 25 minutes

Ingredients 

  • vegetable or canola oil, for frying
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • cups baby spinach, stems removed and chopped
  • cups shredded Colby Jack cheese, or Mexican blend cheese
  • ½ cup salsa, store-bought or homemade
  • cup sour cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas (or flour tortillas)

Toppings

  • shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, sour cream, Pico de Gallo
Save This Recipe!
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Instructions 

  • Fill a saucepan with ½ inch of oil and heat over medium heat to 350°F.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix 3 cups chicken, 6 ounces cream cheese, 1½ cups spinach, 1½ cups Colby Jack cheese, ½ cup salsa, and ⅓ cup sour cream. Add salt and pepper.
  • Once oil is hot enough, add a few tablespoons of chicken/cream cheese mixture to the center of a tortilla and spread out. Roll the tortilla and use tongs to place it seam-side down in hot oil.
  • Cook until golden brown on both sides, 2–3 minutes per side. Set on paper towels to drain. Repeat until all 12 (6-inch) tortillas have been filled, rolled, and fried.
  • Serve warm with your favorite toppings.

Video

Notes

Variations. Change it up by using shredded beef or pork. You can also use a different salsa to change the flavors.
Make ahead of time. You can mix the filling as described in Step 2 up to 24 hours in advance. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Cracked corn tortillas. If your corn tortillas are cracking when you roll them, wrap a stack of corn tortillas in some damp paper towels and microwave for 15–30 seconds until warmed up. The reason many tortillas crack or break is because they are not warm enough.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g, Calories: 126kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 32mg, Sodium: 213mg, Potassium: 88mg, Fiber: 0.3g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 775IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 128mg, Iron: 0.2mg

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

Additional Info

Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
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RECIPE FAQ

  • Add your mix, roll, and then use metal tongs to hold the taquitos in the oil with the seam-side down until they stay rolled. You can also add toothpicks to the center of each taquito before frying to keep in place.
  • The oil should immediately begin to bubble when the taquitos are placed in and each side should take about 1 minute to fry. Place on a paper towel-lined plate to help drain the oil.
  • While I don’t recommend fully frying these chicken and cheese taquitos up ahead of time, you can prepare the ingredients beforehand so that all you have to do is roll and fry.
  • The cream cheese chicken filling can be made 1-2 days ahead of time and stored in a container in the fridge, or the freezer for 6-8 weeks.
  • Leftover cream cheese taquitos can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat on a baking sheet in the oven, in a warm skillet with olive oil on the stove, or in the microwave.

For Mexican Dips and Salsas:

Recipe adapted from Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice

About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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5 from 925 votes (677 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




612 Comments

  1. Elizabeth Hartman says:

    Can these be air fried?

    1. Lil'Luna Team says:

      Yes! Definitely!

  2. Angel says:

    5 stars
    Made this tonight since I had some leftover chicken from El Pollo Loco. I didn’t have 3 cups so I used canned instead and it tasted great. The whole family loves it, even my little kiddos. Thank you so much.

    1. Lil'Luna Team says:

      You’re welcome! So happy to hear you enjoyed the taquitos!

  3. Becca says:

    We made these tonight and got 18 taquitos out of them. So yummy!

  4. Michele Marie Fitch says:

    absolutely delicious will be making again, can these be frozen and saved for a later date?

  5. Shannon says:

    Do you have airfryer instructions?

    1. Lil'Luna Team says:

      These are the air fryer instructions for our flautas (which are very similar to taquitos). These should work great for taquitos too:
      Spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray. Place seam side down, in the basket. Be sure they are not touching. Cook at 400°F for 6-7 minutes. Flip them halfway through.

  6. Lori says:

    Any chance you ban bake these?

  7. Aundrea says:

    5 stars
    Tried this recipe today and it was fantastic! The only change I made was using half and half in lieu of whole milk. My family loved it! Thank you for sharing!!

    1. Aundrea says:

      oops, above comment was for cheese dip, sorry!

    2. Aundrea says:

      5 stars
      oops, the above comment was for the cheese dip! sorry!! I am going to try this recipe next!

  8. Rose K Nishiyama says:

    I love taquitos and flutas. The recipe is easy to make and the ingredients are easy to find in regular stores. The taste was great.

  9. Leslie Stevenson says:

    5 stars
    Sadly, my husband keeps our freezer full of convenience taquitos. This looks like a much better alternative.

  10. Karon says:

    5 stars
    These taquitos are amazing – my kids ask for them for dinner all the time! Thank you 🙂