Our chicken taquitos recipe will help you make a large batch of crispy treats for dinner in just 40 minutes.
If you love taquitos, you’re in for a treat. With this recipe, we’re showing you how to make fat, crunchy rolls of meat and cheese for dinner (in a healthier way than usual).
This recipe makes 4 servings so you can share it or stick it in the freezer and save some for future meals.
What Is a Taquito?
A taquito is a Mexican staple of meat and cheese rolled up in corn tortillas and deep-fried to crispy perfection. It’s a snack everyone adores — crunchy on the outside, flavorful and oozing on the inside.
The dish is typically served with a dip, such as sour cream or guacamole. We’re serving ours with guacamole, because it’s full of healthy fats and ooh so creamy.
Flautas vs Taquitos
Flautas are almost identical to taquitos. They’re also deep-fried tortilla rolls, but made with wheat flour tortillas instead and often come in larger sizes.
If these two tick your boxes, enchiladas probably do, too. They’re similar to Flautas or taquitos, but instead of being deep-fried, they’re baked with tomato sauce and topped with cheese.
Is This Recipe Healthy?
Taquitos are often deep-fried, so they often come with loads of calories that you don’t want to consume. Ours, however, are baked in the oven instead, so you don’t have to consume any excess grease and gain unnecessary calories.
Our recipe also complies with the USDA’s dietary guidelines — calories, saturated fat, and sodium levels are all within allowance. We make it possible by using less (but enough) cheese and going easy on the salt.
Besides, we add a healthy twist to the filling: cooked zucchini. It not only keeps the interior moist, but also adds fiber and several micronutrients.
Thanks to these changes, the taquitos are a little healthier.
Ingredients You Will Need
Let’s get to what builds these flavorful, crispy rolls.
1. Corn Tortilla
Corn tortillas are a must for taquitos, by definition. It’s an awesome gluten-free carb option in the world of flour and bread.
But to make a healthy dish, we’ve found you a low-sodium option (link for purchase is available in the recipe card). It also comes in just the right size to make indulgent rolls.
The traditional version uses minced beef, but we just felt like trying something new. Chicken is a leaner, more-affordable protein option, and we’re happy to say it works just fine.
Still prefer beef? We get it — nothing compares to the flavor of ground beef browned by its own rendered fat. Simply opt for 85% lean ground beef instead of chicken for this recipe, and you still have a healthy, delicious meal.
If you don’t see yourself having zucchini in a separate dish, this is a smart way to sneak it into your diet. It helps the filling retain moisture and keeps us nurtured (as well as regular!)
4. Aromatics and Spices
The key to flavorful rolls is the right amount of seasonings and aromatics.
The chicken-zucchini filling is stir-fried with onions until it all becomes translucent and browns a bit. Onion is a crucial element for sweetness and caramelization.
Then for the seasoning, we just add cumin and pepper powder — the basics. If you want to, go wild with adobo sauce, smoked paprika, cayenne, or anything that gives the filling a kick.
For this recipe, we’re using two types of cheese: ched and mozz.
As we said before, we’ve kept the fat content in check, so you can rest assured and enjoy the stringy deliciousness.
With the ingredients gathered, let’s get cooking.
How to Roll
If you’ve never rolled taquitos before, don’t be intimidated because it’s easy.
Place a tortilla sheet on your cutting board;
Scoop a good amount of the filling and place it in the middle of the tortilla;
Use your spoon to spread the filling out (not the entire tortilla), but a horizontal line in the middle. Something like this image.
Top the filling with cheese, then grab the tortilla half on your side, fold it over the filling pile (don’t squish the filling). Steadily roll the tortilla up like a cigar, then place it seam-side down in your baking dish.
Corn tortillas can get dry quick and become stiff, harder to work with if left in the open air. You can either place a damp kitchen towel on top of the tortillas stack, or heat in briefly in the oven.
What to Serve With
Your experience with taquitos will be greatly enhanced with the right side dishes:
Going with crunchy taquitos is everyone’s favorite dip: guacamole. You can either dip the rolls in it or whip out some crispy Doritos, or both, which is what we’re doing.
And to round the meal off, add a glass of lightly sweet watermelon juice.
We highly recommend that you bake just enough to eat and leave no leftovers. Taquitos taste best with their crunchy shell, and reheating them won’t recreate that texture.
If you want quick taquitos, we suggest that you keep unbaked taquitos in the freezer. Roll as many as you can, keep them in the freezer, and take them out to bake (or fry) when you need to.
As the filling is frozen, we suggest thawing the rolls for at least 2 hours before baking. Then you only need to bake it at the same temperature for 5 minutes longer (20 in total).
This section is dedicated to all the taquito cousins.
Ground beef is what the traditional taquitos recipe calls for, and it’s amazing. We love the balance of 85% lean ground beef — low on fat, high on excellent flavors.
If you want lean taquito rolls, chicken breast is the protein you want to go with. Since chicken breast can be dry, there should be a juicy vegetable to keep the filling moist, like the zucchini we’re using.
Pressure-cooked pulled pork makes an awesome filling for taquitos. Unlike other versions, you’ll find an extra juicy filling as you break the shell open.
4. Vegan Taquitos
With the correct spices, cooked jackfruit meat tastes (and eats!) similar to well-seasoned chicken strips. They make a great vegan alternative for this taquitos recipe.
There’s also a great meat alternative that’s been making headlines recently — seitan, which is made of gluten. It’s chewy in texture, and if well-seasoned, makes for a great chicken alternative.
Tasty Finger Foods to Save for Your Next Get-Togethers
We may get our popcorn chicken all plated up for the photos but it’s really meant for partying. Crispy, juicy, and dipped in your favorite sauce, the classic finger food frees your mind off the “what to serve” repertoire.
Or, get these chicken skewers done and your crowd wowed. You can cut and marinate everything in advance, and then get them involved in the skewering for a fun weekend activity, too.
12 oz skinless boneless chicken breast (ground, blended, or finely minced)
8 6-inch corn tortillas
8 oz onions (finely diced)
5.3 oz zucchini (grated)
2 oz cheddar cheese (grated)
1.5 oz mozzarella cheese (whole milk)
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp unsalted chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Heat up a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tbsp unsalted butter and 8 oz diced onions. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 2 tsp chili powder and 1 tsp ground cumin; mix in with the onions.
Add 12 oz ground/minced/processed chicken breast and season with 1/4 tsp salt. Break down the chicken chunks into small pieces. Cook for 4 minutes. Add 5.3 oz grated zucchini and mix in with the chicken. Cook for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside.
Warm 8 tortillas by baking them for 2 minutes in the oven. Stack them and place a damp kitchen towel over. Take one tortilla sheet and put it on the cutting board, add the filling, sprinkle cheese on top, and start rolling. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
Brush with olive oil and bake for about 15 minutes.
Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle chopped parsley to garnish. Serve with guacamole and beverage.
You may want to work quickly when you fold the taquitos because corn tortillas dry out very fast. A good tip to keep them from hardening is to cover them with a dampened kitchen towel.
If they do dry out, however, you can sprinkle or spray a bit of water on them and bake for 1 minute to make them pliable again.
Baked Chicken Taquitos
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 425Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 9g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Vitamin A 347IU
Vitamin C 11mg
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tuyet Pham is an award-winning Saigonese chef who believes that joy is the secret ingredient to delicious food. At Healthy Recipes 101, Tuyet personally tests and simplifies every recipe, ensuring maximum flavor with minimal effort. With a background at prestigious French restaurants P’TI Saigon and Le Corto, Tuyet knows how to make every dish exceptional.
Luna Regina is an accomplished writer and author who dedicates her career to empowering home cooks and making cooking effortless for everyone. She is the founder of HealthyKitchen101.com and HealthyRecipes101.com, where she works with her team to develop easy, nutritious recipes and help aspiring cooks choose the right kitchen appliances.
Lizzie Streit is a Minneapolis-based dietitian and founder of It’s a Veg World After All. She completed her MS in Human Nutrition from Drexel University, and is an expert in culinary nutrition, recipe development, and nutrition communications. Lizzie’s philosophy is centered around making nutrition recommendations, and especially the advice to eat more vegetables, approachable and realistic. She is excited to be working with the team at Healthy Recipes 101 to ensure that their recipes are both nutritious and delicious.
Loved it. My kids loved it. They really enjoyed helping me wrap the taquitos!