This Chicken Taquito recipe is one of the all-time most popular recipes on Our Best Bites. The story behind it is interesting, too. I was actually making something entirely different that I planned on entering into a recipe contest. That recipe was somewhat of a flop, but the filling I came up with was amazing and I thought it would make an incredible filling for a crispy taquito. So I said forget-it to the recipe contest, and re-worked the filling in these crispy oven-baked taquitos, and turns out it was one of the best decisions ever, as this recipe has become a beloved family favorite all over the country.
These come together fairly quickly, and an awesome bonus is that these freeze (unbaked) beautifully so you can make extra and have a meal for later.
You’ll need some cooked, shredded or diced chicken for this recipe. You can use a mix of dark and/or white meat, or whatever is easiest. For me, easiest is often a rotisserie chicken from Costco.
The “creamy” component in this recipe comes from a couple of things. For starters, I use a little bit of cream cheese. It melts together with the shredded jack cheese to make an awesome creamy texture that coats the chicken.
You can use either plain Jack cheese, or pepper jack if you’d like a little more heat.
Some other things go in there for tons of flavor, like some green salsa,
green onions, fresh lime juice, and plenty of seasonings.
Just mix it all up and your filling is done.
You’ll place a few tablespoons on small flour, or corn tortillas and roll them up tight. You’ll want to keep your filling about an inch away from both ends because it will leak out the ends. Another trick is to roll them tight. Don’t be loosey-goosey or they’ll fall apart.
Once you get them all rolled up, you can either bake them immediately, OR
save them for later. I’ve taken these to friends in a bag like this one below. They’re great in the fridge for a few days and you can bake them up as needed. Or you can freeze them and bake them straight from the freezer. It’s totally worth it to make a double batch so you can pop one in the freezer!
To bake them immediately, lightly spray a foil-lined baking sheet with non-stick spray, or brush lightly with oil. Place the taquitos in a single layer, not touching each other, and then lightly brush the tops with olive oil, or give them a quick spray of non-stick spray and sprinkle lightly with kosher salt.
Bake them in the oven until they turn golden brown, especially on the edges.
You can see how the bottoms totally crisp up
and while that outside tortilla is perfectly crisp, the inside layers are soft and awesome.
These are seriously amazing.
It is absolutely mandatory to serve them with our Creamy Lime-Cilantro dressing for dipping, but they’re also good with good ol’ salsa, sour cream, and guacamole.
If you’ve seriously never tried these, today is your day. Put them on your menu plan!
Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos
- Yield: 12
These taquitos are an all-time reader favorite, and it’s so easy to see why. Pair it with our Creamy Lime Cilantro Dressing for a fantastic Latin dish!
- 1/3 cup (3 oz) cream cheese (low fat is fine, avoid fat free)
- 1/4 cup green salsa
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic, or garlic powder
- 3 Tablespoon chopped cilantro
- 2 Tablespoon sliced green onions
- 2 C shredded cooked chicken (for extra yumminess, use grilled taco chicken!)
- 1 C grated pepperjack or plain jack cheese
- small flour or corn tortillas
- kosher salt
- cooking spray or olive oil
For the filling
- Heat cream cheese in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds so it’s soft and easy to stir.
- Add green salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and granulated garlic.
- Stir to combine and then add cilantro and green onions.
- Add chicken and cheese and combine well.
- (You can prepare up to this step ahead of time. Just keep the mixture in the fridge.)
For the taquitos
- Heat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.
- If using corn tortillas, work with a few tortillas at a time and heat in the microwave, wrapped in damp paper towels until they are soft enough to roll without cracking. Usually 20-30 seconds will do it. If using flour tortillas straight from the fridge, it helps to warm them in the microwave so they’re easier to roll.
- Place 2-3 T of chicken mixture on the lower third of a tortilla, keeping it about 1 inch from the edges. Roll up tortillas and place seam down on a baking sheet, not touching one another. Spray lightly with cooking spray, or lightly brush with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with kosher salt. Place pan in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving. Dip in sour cream, or our favorite: Creamy Lime-Cilantro Ranch.
For the freezer instructions
- Prepare the taquitos through rolling them out and placing them on the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the freezer and freeze until solid, then transfer to a large freezer bag. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 425 and place the taquitos on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
Wanna make it a meal?
Serve with a side of Black Beans and a simple green salad with Creamy Lime-Cilantro Dressing. Wash it down with some Brazilian Lemonade!
Looking for the beef version? It’s right here!
Lastly, recently this recipe was noted in an article in the Chicago Sun-Times where the author noted that they were “some of the best taquitos I’ve ever had”
I’ll take it!
Angie, ya there actually is a difference in the salsas. Green salsa is made mostly from tomatillos, cilantro, lime, and jalapenos. The flavor is definitely different. But if you don't want to buy it, go ahead and throw in some regular salsa. It won't taste quite the same, but it will still be good!
What is the difference between green salsa and original (red) salsa? I have tons of regular salsa and I'd like to avoid buying green if I can. Is there a great difference in flavor?
Made these. Loved them. Ate way too many. Rationalized in my favor because they weren’t fried. Thanks for the recipe.
Amazing! In all 5 of her years, I’ve never seen my daughter take a bite of chicken voluntarily. And she loved these! Thanks for the great recipe 🙂
These are so great! Our family loved them!!! For some reason my husband always can tell when it’s a “Sara” recipe. I’ve lied a couple of times and said I was just inspired…(please don’t sue me for copyright breaches) but my husband rarely falls for it. We loved the black beans with it as well as the creamy lime dressing. I’ve made that dressing several times and it gets better and better. Thanks so much!
These were fantastico!
I used canned chicken from Costco because I was in a hurry (2 cans for the 1 cup) and shredded it in my kitchen aid with the sauce. It was very quick and easy and great. This will be a recipe to keep when trying to make something fast.
I made these and the cilantro/lime dressing tonight for cinco de mayo!
They SO rocked!
THANK YOU, THANK YOU! Everything I have tried from you has been just the best EVER!
My 13 year old son has decided that these will be prepared for his next birthday dinner!
The apple streusel stuff is tomorrow! I am so excited about making it that I am a little worried I might lose sleep.
You guys should make a book.
Have you seen Blurb?
I made these last night, and while mine were not nearly as pretty as yours, they were SO good! We all agree that this recipe is a keeper!
Carrie- you really can’t taste the cream cheese, it just makes it nice and creamy and holds it all together. I say you just don’t tell him it’s in there 😉
This looks SO yummy! My husband hates cream cheese though, so could I substitute with cream of chicken soup? Would that taste funny?
He probably won’t tell the difference unless you tell him. “Oh honey I’m glad you enjoyed those tacoitos smothered in jack cheese.”
thanks for the tips on using corn tortillas–they drive me nuts when they fall apart and unwrap!
Now I’m having visions of making a huge batch of these and throwing them in the freezer for quick dinners! I love taquitos!
We just made these over the weekend. YUM! I had my husband grill the chicken first and then I shredded it. The whole family loved them. I’m making them to take to a family for dinner tonight! Thanks!
I made these for a friend who had knee surgery the other day and cant wait to try them for my family. The chicken mixture was AMAZING. and we love taquitos. the kosher salt is a great idea!
My gluten free children LOVE taquitos. It will be fun to make them as well.
Love these. Too cute abd packes with flavor
Making these tonight! Thanks for the awesome recipe.
OK… I’ll be a follower:)
Happy Days! I love food like this. I am also looking forward to your vegetarian recipes – not because I’m vegetarian (because I’m not), but because I have tried to find some great recipes in my attempt to become more vegetarian-like. Am I making sense? Probably not.
I made the vegetarian by using refried beans and daiya cheese! So simple & tasty 🙂
Just in time for my Cinco de Mayo party!! yay! thanx
Yum!!!! My freshman year of college, my roommate and I would go get taquitos at that true-blue Mexican restaurant in the Macey’s parking lot in Provo that’s open all night and serves stuff like brain tacos. We’d squeeze fresh lime juice all over them and it made them SOOOOOOOOOOO good! I can’t wait to try these!
I am making these. TODAY. Haha they look great!
And about the Cafe Rio dressing… we went to the opening of the Cafe Rio in Idaho falls last week and a guy a few places ahead of me in line asked the manager what was in the dressing that made it so good. The manager laughed and told him it was a secret recipe.
I smiled smugly to myself because I had a homemade tub of it in my refrigerator already 🙂
These look delish! I agree with you on making things “lighter” some things just don’t work. I have found a good trick of putting my olive oil in a spray bottle…Then you can easily spray your pans, tortilla, bread, sautee veggies etc. It will help you go “lighter” on the oil but still have the fabulous taste!
These look so yummy. I will have to add them to my menu for next week.
Also…THANK YOU for the Creamy Lime Cilantro Dressing recipe. Mine is finally to the point that I can’t tell if it is mine or leftovers from Cafe Rio! PERFECT!
I have never actually had taquitos before. They sure look delicious, I think this would be a great recipe to start with!
I was reading this recipe, and seriously my stomach started growling. Looks delish!
my mouth is watering as I type this!
These look great! I agree with the previous comment – “if it has lime and cilantro, I am in!”
We will definitely be trying these out.
If It has lime and cilantro, I AM IN! I reviewed the recipe carefully and am certain this will easily be a family favorite. I plan to have the kids help me with the OAMC and this will be a recipe for the list. Thank you for all your hard work and I am so sorry that you missed the cut off by such a small amount!
Now you are making me hungry, and these are so easy to make…