BAKED Chicken Taquitos (Rolled Tacos)

 

Baked taquitos are a much healthier option than their fried cousins – and they’re super easy to make for a quick weeknight meal.

Baked Taquitos (Rolled Tacos)Who doesn’t love a taco and who doesn’t love a taquito, or rolled taco? Nobody I know! Too bad those deep-fried taquitos are so not good for us. I have learned to make a baked version that is actually Hubs approved! I think he even said he prefers them to the old-fashioned deep fried kind…or maybe I dreamed that… but he really does like these lighter taquitos.

The trick is using corn tortillas instead of flour because the corn are much lower in fat and calories (and if you use flour tortillas, you end up with flautas, not taquitos). The hard part about using corn tortillas is that they like to crack and fall apart when you roll them up. No worries! I have a solution that makes rolling them much more user-friendly.

Of course you can stuff your taquitos with anything you like: beef, chicken, pork, veggies, cheese, beans, etc., so whatever your favorite taco or taquito filling, roll it up in the corn torts and bake ’em up!

I made a simple chicken taco filling by combining a couple of cups of cooked chicken (I cooked off a whole chicken in the crock-pot using this method) with some salsa (I think I used some of my preserved cherry tomatoes with green chiles), seasonings, diced onion and bell pepper in a skillet and cooking until the onions and peppers softened. Then I added some diced yellow squash and chopped cilantro and cooked a few more minutes, until the liquid was cooked down. Too much liquid will cause your tortillas to crack, so drain it off if you have too much.

Baked Taquitos (Rolled Tacos)To make the corn tortillas pliable, begin by laying out about 6 on the torts on the foil covered baking sheet you will use to bake the taquitos. Then lightly spray both sides of each tortilla with cooking spray. I use canola or olive oil spray. If you don’t have cooking spray, you could very, very lightly brush the torts with some canola or olive oil instead – just keep it light.

Baked Taquitos (Rolled Tacos)Next, stack up the torts and fold them up into a very lightly dampened light-weight kitchen towel. We’re going to steam them in the microwave, but we don’t want the towel to be sopping wet because the torts will turn to mush.

Baked Taquitos (Rolled Tacos)Baked Taquitos (Rolled Tacos)Place the wrapped up tortillas in the microwave and cook for about 1.5 minutes. Very carefully unwrap the package as the steam will burn you as it’s released. Don’t leave the torts wrapped in the hot towel very long because they will get mushy. NOTE: if you like soft tacos, use the same method to steam the tortillas, then fill and eat immediately rather than baking them.

Spoon filling down the middle of a tortilla and carefully roll up and secure with a toothpick and place on the baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the torts. I usually only steam about 6 tortillas at a time because I find that if I do more, the ones in the middle don’t get enough steaming – or they get cold before I can fill and roll them. So, repeat the steps above until you’ve used up all of your filling. My filling made about 18 taquitos. If your torts crack a lot, you probably need to cook them a little longer in the microwave as cooking temps may vary.

Baked Taquitos (Rolled Tacos)Baked Taquitos (Rolled Tacos)You can give them another light spray of cooking oil, if you like. Bake the taquitos at 425 for about 15-20 minutes, until pretty crisp. If you want them to be really crispy, broil them for the last minute or so – just don’t leave them unattended or you’ll have chicken briquettes instead! Some of the tortillas may crack a little, but since they are crispy, they will hold their shape after they’re baked. Be sure to remove the toothpicks before you serve so you don’t spear anyone in the nose! :)

Baked Taquitos (Rolled Tacos)Garnish with sour cream and/or guacamole and serve with your favorite salsa. Add a side of beans or Mexican rice, and you have a complete Mexican meal! Baked Taquitos

BAKED Chicken Taquitos (Rolled Tacos)

Serves 15-20 taquitos
Meal type Appetizer, Lunch, Main Dish, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable
Occasion Casual Party, Super Bowl
Region Mexican
Baked taquitos are much healthier than fried taquits and are fast and easy to put together for a weeknight meal or for a snack or party. Use any filling you like!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Cooked Chicken (shredded)
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3/4 cups salsa
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning (or equal parts: chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, oregano & onion powder)
  • 1 Small yellow squash, diced
  • 15-20 corn tortillas
  • cooking spray (olive oil or canola oil, preferable)

Optional

  • 1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped

Directions

Taquito Filling
Step 1 Combine chicken, onion, bell pepper, salsa and seasoning in a large skillet and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
Step 2 Baked Taquitos (Rolled Tacos)
Once onions and peppers have softened, add the squash and cilantro and cook about 5 minutes longer, until liquid has cooked down and squash is fork tender. Remove from heat.
Tortilla Prep
Step 3 Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil.
Step 4 Baked Taquitos (Rolled Tacos)
Stack tortillas up and wrap up in a lightly damp light-weight kitchen towel (or tea towel) and place in microwave. Cook for about 1.5 minutes
Assembly
Step 5 Baked Taquitos (Rolled Tacos)
Spoon filling down center of tortilla, then carefully roll up and secure with toothpick and place on baking sheet. Repeat until first set of six tortillas is filled, then steam the next 6 tortillas and repeat steps until all of the filling has been used.
Step 6 Bake at 425 degrees for about 15-20 minutes until tortillas are crispy. Broil for the last minute or two for extra crispy taquitos.
Step 7 Garnish with your favorite Mexican toppings, such as sour cream, guacamole or salsa.

Notes

As I mentioned above, the filling is really up to you to personalize. The possibilities are endless as to what you can put inside a taquito, so have fun being creative with different proteins and veggies. You can go carnivorous, vegan, vegetarian, too - whatever works for you and your family. The Hubs loves to make turkey taquitos with leftover Thanksgiving turkey every year, too.

I haven't ever had enough leftover to freeze, but I'm betting these will freeze well and can be reheated in the microwave. I do know that they make for a great leftover lunch the next day!

2 Comments

  1. Janine says:

    Yummo, Betsie!!!! We love taquitos and I adore corn tortillas. I learned long ago that they have a lot less calories than the flour tortillas so I always opt for them. Going to try this asap!!!

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