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Baked Chicken Taquitos

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Taquitos! They're fun to say and fun to eat, they freeze well and please kids. These are filled with chicken, cheese, and seasonings, and then baked to crispy perfection.

Photography Credit: Nick Evans

Welcome to Eat Your Food!, our biweekly column of real meals made for real kids by Nick Evans.

For many years, I wasn’t a huge fan of the taquito, which is essentially a taco wrapped like a mini burrito that is then baked or fried. Taquitos just seemed like too much work when you could just layer the same fillings in between a few tortillas and make quesadillas much faster.

But they have grown on me over the years. Like quesadillas, taquitos are a great way to use leftovers such as chicken or veggies. But unlike quesadillas, which require attention on the stovetop, taquitos are pretty hands-off once you get them made and in the oven.

Video! How to Make Baked Chicken Taquitos

My kids have been raised on Tex-Mex so they are used to seeing tacos and quesadillas on the table. They haven’t had many taquitos though so this was an opportunity for me to introduce them to similar flavors in a slightly different form.

Baked Taquitos with Chicken


The recipe for these chicken taquitos is my standard chicken taquito filling for kids. It’s very mild and also very flexible. My base is shredded chicken, plus two kinds of cheese (the cream cheese really helps the filling come together), and some mild green chiles.

I would use spicier ones if it were just me, but children exist.

Have extra veggies? Toss them in. Different protein? It’ll probably work. Just make sure to dice whatever you add pretty finely and mash it together with the cheese really well.

Baked Taquitos with Chicken fill the taquitos How to Make Taquitos bake the taquitos


I prefer making taquitos with corn tortillas, which get really nice and crispy in the oven. But the problem with corn tortillas is they also tend to rip when you are filling and rolling them.

The solution I’ve found that works great is to wrap a few tortillas (I do four at a time in 2×2 stacks) in wet paper towels. Then microwave them on HIGH for about 20 seconds. This basically steams the tortillas and make them really flexible.

Once you have rolled the taquitos, brush them with vegetable oil and bake them as soon as possible. This will keep them from drying out and cracking too much. You might still get a few cracks in your taquitos, but don’t fret about it. They will still taste great!

Homemade Taquitos with chicken


These taquitos freeze beautifully. After you have baked them, let them cool to room temperature. Then freeze them flat on a baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer safe bag and remove as much air as possible. They keep well for a month or so.

For best results, reheat frozen taquitos in a 350°F oven until warmed through, 15 to 20 minutes. You can also reheat batches of three taquitos in the microwave on high for 90 seconds, but they will be a soggier than using the oven method.

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Because the taquitos aren’t very spicy, I like to make a quick dipping sauce with sour cream and sriracha, which brings some real heat.

It’s an awesome sauce for so many things, but is especially good paired with the crunchy and cheesy taquitos.

How to Make Taquitos

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Oh, boy. This photo of my 2-year-old daughter is sort of a trigger event for me. She was not happy with me on this particular dinner night. She was mad because I took her jacket off. HOW DARE I DO SUCH A THING?!

Meanwhile, my son loved these taquitos, mainly because he could carry them around and take bites while he tended to his ever-growing collection of fire trucks. (Side question: Is four too many?)

My daughter ate essentially nothing on this particular night. I even tried to make an on-the-fly quesadilla with the taquito filling because she normally likes quesadillas more. Did not work because, you know, JACKET.


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Baked Chicken Taquitos Recipe

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 18 taquitos (4 to 5 is a good adult serving)

For the shredded chicken, you can poach your own chicken, cook it in the pressure cooker, or you can use a store-bought rotisserie chicken.


For the taquitos:

  • 2 cups (about 1 pound) cooked shredded chicken (see Recipe Note)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) grated cheddar cheese
  • 4 ounces canned mild green chilis
  • 1 teaspoon mild chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 18 to 20 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • Vegetable oil, for brushing

For serving:

  • Fresh cilantro
  • Sour cream
  • Mild salsa

DAD ADD: Sriracha Cream Sauce

  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha hot sauce


1 Preheat  the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet.

2 Make the taquito mix: In a medium bowl, mash together shredded chicken, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, green chilis, and seasonings. Mix together really well.

Taste and feel free to adjust seasonings to your liking. This basic version should be fairly mild and kid-friendly.

Baked Taquitos with Chicken bring together the seasonings Homemade Taquitos with chicken add the cheeses

3 Prep the tortillas: Wrap the corn tortillas in stacks of two in between damp paper towels. Microwave on high for 20 seconds to make them more flexible.

How to Make Taquitos warm the tortillas

4 Assemble the taquitos: Add two heaping tablespoons of the chicken filling to each tortilla and wrap tightly—a small cookie scoop (like this one) works well here. They should resemble long cigars.

Immediately brush corn tortillas with vegetable oil to prevent cracking and place, seam-side down, on the lightly oiled baking sheet.

Repeat until all of the filling is used. You should get 18 to 20 taquitos.

Baked Taquitos with Chicken fill the taquitos Homemade Taquitos with chicken roll the taquitos

5 Bake the taquitos: Bake the taquitos as soon as possible to prevent the tortillas from cracking too much. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until they are crispy and golden brown.

If some of your tortillas crack badly, you can try again with a new tortilla and just transfer the filling over. Ultimately, though, a few cracks are okay and the taquitos can still be picked up and eaten—and they are still delicious!

How to Make Taquitos bake the taquitos

6 Make the cream sauce: While the taquitos bake, stir together the sour cream and sriracha. Taste and adjust to your liking. This can be made well in advance and keeps just fine for a few days in a covered container in the fridge.

7 Serve: Serve immediately with the cream sauce. Leftovers can be frozen for up to a month and reheated in a warm oven.

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Nick Evans

Nick has been writing delicious recipes for the home cook for almost a decade. He lives in Denver, CO and embraces a delicate balance of diaper changing, trail running and beer drinking. His website is Macheesmo and his first book is Love Your Leftovers.

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5 Comments / Reviews

No ImageBaked Chicken Taquitos

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Susan

    I made them last night for supper. This recipe is a keeper. I did make them spicier since its just my husband and me. Good way to use leftover chicken.


  2. HeatherLampman

    I’m thinking that covering the wrapped Taquitos with a damp kitchen towel should solve the cracking problem? I’d form them and wrap with the damp towel as I go, then spray and bake at the end.

  3. Foodiewife

    My baby is now a grown man, but I prefer milder Mexican food. This recipe looks terrific and versatile. The photo of your daughter is a great capture!

    Show Replies (1)
  4. Julie

    Can’t wait to try. Love this column so much

Homemade Taquitos with chickenBaked Chicken Taquitos