Cinco de Mayo may still be a month away, but that’s not stopping me from sharing a few of my go-to Mexican recipes, from The Ultimate Chipotle Pork Nachos to Easy Homemade Churros with Chocolate Sauce, and now, a lighter take on a childhood favorite, taquitos!
Growing up in San Diego, taquitos (a.k.a. flautas) made many an appearance on our family dinner table. And while I’m all for the classic deep-fried variety (of onion rings and arancini and ravioli and…) , I’ve lightened the caloric load with this healthy, baked take on traditional taquitos.
Store-bought rotisserie chicken is shredded and tossed with sautéed onions and spices before being mixed with cheddar cheese and rolled into corn tortillas. A quick bake in the oven yields an extra-crispy taquito that’s ready and waiting for a dive into chunky homemade guacamole and fresh salsa. All that’s missing is a Strawberry Margarita Popsicle for dessert!
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Baked Chicken and Cheese Taquitos
Yield: 12 (6-inch) taquitos
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 25 min
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh black pepper
3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
1 cup shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas (See Kelly's Notes)
Homemade guacamole, for serving
Homemade salsa, for serving
Preheat the oven to 425ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook until it's translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes until it's golden and fragrant.
Reduce the heat to low, and then add the lime juice, cumin, paprika, salt and black pepper to the pan, stirring to combine. Add the shredded chicken, tossing to combine.
Transfer the chicken mixture to a large bowl and let it cool for 10 minutes, and then stir in the shredded cheese.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the chicken broth to a simmer. One at a time, dip each tortilla into the broth for 10 to 15 seconds, just until it's pliable enough to roll. Transfer the tortilla to your work surface and place about 3 tablespoons of the chicken mixture on the lower third of each tortilla. Tightly roll up the tortilla, and then place it seam-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat the filling and rolling process with the remaining tortillas.
Taquitos are traditionally made with corn tortillas, however you can use flour tortillas, which are much more pliable, and thus easier to roll. The key to successfully rolling the corn tortillas (without them cracking), is to rely on the quick dip in the simmering (it must be warm!) chicken broth to loosen them up. Don't skip that step, or your corn tortillas will crack during the rolling process.