Taquitos de Pollo (Chicken Taquitos)

Taquitos are always a family favorite. Filled with leftover shredded chicken and pan-fried, taquitos de pollo are easy to make and fun to eat. Serve with lots of fun toppings like salsa and crema.

Bowl of Taquitos Topped with Shredded Lettuce, Salsa, Crema Mexicana, Cilantro, and Queso Fresco

Simply Recipes / Alison Bickel

Growing up, my Mexican mom announcing she was making taquitos was music to my ears and a cause for celebration. The crispy, rolled-up pockets of goodness were an everyday thing because it was easy for her to prep over the course of the day while still managing two daughters. It was a dish that always felt special but didn't take too long. 

As we grew older and got more interested in cooking, my younger sister and I started helping my mom with the preparation. We rolled the taquitos, washed the toppings, chopped (as our knife skills improved), and made salsa in the blender with dried chile arbols or fresh serrano chilies with garlic and tomatoes blistered on the stove. 

This is an excellent opportunity to get your family involved in the process, too. And it's an easy dish for anyone to master. 

Bowl of Taquitos Topped with Shredded Lettuce, Salsa, Crema Mexicana, Cilantro, and Queso Fresco

Simply Recipes / Alison Bickel

What are Taquitos?

Traditionally, taquitos are corn tortillas stuffed with fillings such as chicken, beef, cheese, beans, shrimp, and more. They are pan-fried until crisp and served with toppings. 

Many people use taquitos, flautas, and tacos dorados interchangeably, but they can be different dishes based on the cook and region. Flautas tend to be much larger, hence the name (which translates to "flute"). They are often achieved by rolling and frying two tortillas together or using burrito-size flour tortillas. 

Tacos dorados are sometimes called taquitos. However, they can also be smaller tortillas, filled, folded in half (rather than rolled), and fried until golden.

When to Serve Taquitos

Taquitos are a fun snack food, a favorite appetizer, or a winning main dish. Since the taquitos and all the toppings are pretty heavy, the only side dish my mom would serve was her famous black beans

It is still one of my favorite meals, and now I make them with my daughter. She rolls the taquitos even better than I do.

A Flexible Recipe

This taquitos recipe is easy to tailor to your taste and any special diets, and the toppings make it easy for people to personalize the dish. Don't like chicken? Use cheese. Don't like corn tortillas? Use flour. Taquitos are an easy weeknight meal or something you can make for a large crowd at a celebration. 

Platter of Taquitos Topped with Shredded Lettuce, Salsa, Crema Mexicana, Cilantro, and Queso Fresco

Simply Recipes / Alison Bickel

These are a colossal leftover helper and can quickly become vegetarian-friendly. Fill the taquitos with leftover mashed potatoes, a shredded pot roast from the night before, a mix of shredded cheese, or both. I've even made these with a glut of string cheese I needed to use up, and the kids went wild for them. 

I also like to make double batches and freeze the extras. They’re an easy meal to pull out of the freezer for kids and adults alike.

Tips for Easy Prep

My mom made this recipe work for her because she would portion out her tasks in between mom-ing. She'd boil some chicken breasts early in the day and shred them. Then, later on, she'd roll up the taquitos and use toothpicks to secure them before storing them in the fridge to fry later.

While my mom would use toothpicks when rolling ahead of time, you don't need to. You can place the rolled taquitos seam-side down with tongs in the frying oil. However, toothpicks are a good choice if you are not confident in your rolling skills because they help keep taquitos together. Just make sure you take them out before serving.

Serve the freshly fried taquitos with lots of toppings such as shredded iceberg lettuce, cilantro, chopped white onion, crema, and homemade salsas.   

Taquitos Enchiladas!

If you find yourself in the unlikely position of having lots of leftover taquitos, use them as a base for enchiladas. Add canned or homemade enchilada sauce and some melty cheese on top, then bake at 375°F until bubbly, let it sit for 5 minutes, and serve. 

Bowl of Taquitos Topped with Shredded Lettuce, Salsa, Crema Mexicana, Cilantro, and Queso Fresco

Simply Recipes / Alison Bickel

Crispy, Crunchy Appetizers

Taquitos de Pollo (Chicken Taquitos)

Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 60 mins
Servings 6 servings
Yield 24 taquitos


For the taquitos

Optional toppings

  • 1 medium white onion, chopped

  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, shredded

  • 1 1/2 cups crema Mexicana or sour cream

  • 1 (10-ounce) package queso fresco, crumbled

  • 1 1/2 cups store-bought or homemade salsa or hot sauce


  1. Heat the tortillas:

    Wrap the tortillas in a clean dish towel and place them in the microwave to steam, making them pliable. Use medium to high heat for increments of 30 seconds until they are just warmed through. Do not overheat, or they will be too fragile to use.

    Stack of Tortillas for Taquitos de Pollo (Chicken Taquitos)

    Simply Recipes / Alison Bickel

  2. Fill the tortillas:

    Place 2 dinner plates on the counter. One is a work surface, and the other is for the rolled taquitos. 

    Using a dinner plate as a work surface, place a warmed tortilla in the center and add about 2 tablespoons of shredded chicken towards the right of the center in an even line. Do not overfill. Roll up tightly without splitting the tortilla. 

    Either place the taquito seam-side down on the plate or secure the tortilla by threading a toothpick through the seam of the taquito like pinning a diaper. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and chicken. 

    Simple Tip!

    If not frying right away, cover with a damp kitchen towel and place in the fridge.

    Row of Chicken on a Tortilla for Taquitos de Pollo Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Alison Bickel

    Four Rolled Taquitos de Pollo with a Toothpick

    Simply Recipes / Alison Bickel

  3. Fry the taquitos:

    Add 1/2 inch of canola oil to a 12-inch cast iron frying pan over medium heat. Use an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature—it should be 350°F. Line a baking sheet or platter with paper towels.

    Once the oil is hot, place 5 to 6 taquitos seam-side down in the frying pan with tongs so you don't burn your fingers. Make sure not to crowd the pan or the taquitos will not get golden brown.

    Once you see the edges turning golden, about 3 to 4 minutes per side, turn over with tongs and fry until the other side is cooked to the same color.

    Remove from the pan with tongs and place on the baking sheet or platter to drain. Add more oil to bring it back up to 1/2 inch up the pan and let the oil come to temperature in between batches, if needed. Repeat with the remaining taquitos.

    Simple Tip!

    If you are frying a bunch, place the finished taquitos on a cookie sheet in the oven at 325°F to keep warm until serving.

    Taquitos de Pollo Frying in a Cast Iron Skillet Filled with Oil

    Simply Recipes / Alison Bickel

    Taquitos de Pollo Frying in a Cast Iron Skillet Filled with Oil (Taquitos Flipped)

    Simply Recipes / Alison Bickel

    Fried Chicken Taquitos on a Paper Towel Lined Baking Pan

    Simply Recipes / Alison Bickel

  4. Serve with toppings:

    Remove the toothpicks. Add toppings like chopped onion, cilantro, lettuce, crema, crumbled queso fresco, and salsa. Serve hot.

    Extra taquitos (without toppings) can be stored in a zip-top freezer bag in the freezer for up to 4 months or in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 days. 

    While you can eat them cold out of the fridge—and I have—they reheat nicely on a cookie sheet in the oven at 400°F for about 5 minutes or until you can see the surface sizzle. If pulling them from the freezer, reduce the temperature to 350°F and increase the time to 10 to 15 minutes. 

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    Platter of Taquitos de Pollo (Chicken Taquitos) Surrounded by Bowls of Toppings (on the Platter, Two Small Bowls with Cilantro and Onions and on the Counter, a Bowl of Salsa, a Bowl of Queso Fresco, and a Bowl of Shredded Iceberg Lettuce)

    Simply Recipes / Alison Bickel

    Bowl of Taquitos Topped with Shredded Lettuce, Salsa, Crema Mexicana, Cilantro, and Queso Fresco

    Simply Recipes / Alison Bickel

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
621 Calories
35g Fat
43g Carbs
35g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 621
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 35g 45%
Saturated Fat 4g 18%
Cholesterol 80mg 27%
Sodium 113mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 43g 16%
Dietary Fiber 6g 22%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 35g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 92mg 7%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 420mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.