Taquitos! Just in time for Cinco de Mayo. One of my pet peeves is when people say that a healthier version of a traditionally unhealthy food tastes just as good. When it obviously doesn’t. “You’ll never know it’s light!” Ya, maybe if you’ve never tasted real food, but most of the time that’s just crap. Anyone who has followed counsel of the diet books to make spaghetti with spaghetti squash instead of pasta knows what I’m talking about. So when I tell you that a lighter version of something really does match up to it’s calorie-dense cousin, you can believe me! That’s why I was pleasantly surprised when I made taquitos at home for the first time. The tortillas baked up nice and crisp, and I found spraying the tops with a little cooking spray and a pinch of salt helped them have that deep-fried flair. And actually, I prefer this baked version because the deep fried ones tend to get so chewy and oily. These are super easy to make and even easier if you prepare the filling ahead of time. You could experiment with all kinds of filling–shredded beef or pork would be great, too. This particular filling is something I came up with for an entirely different recipe but I thought it might work well as a taquito filling and I think I was right. My family gobbled these up.
Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos
1/3 C (3 oz) cream cheese
1/4 C green salsa
1T fresh lime juice
1/2 t cumin
1 t chili powder
1/2 t onion powder
1/4 t granulated garlic, or garlic powder
3 T chopped cilantro
2 T sliced green onions
2 C shredded cooked chicken (for extra yumminess, use grilled taco chicken!)
1 C grated pepperjack cheesesmall corn tortillas (and actually, flour ones are really good as well)
cooking sprayHeat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.Heat cream cheese in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds so it’s soft and easy to stir. Add green salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and granulated garlic. Stir to combine and then add cilantro and green onions. Add chicken and cheese and combine well.
You can prepare up to this step ahead of time. Just keep the mixture in the fridge.
Work with a few tortillas at a time and heat in the microwave until they are soft enough to roll without cracking. It helps to place them between damp paper towels. Usually 20-30 seconds will do it. If you find yours are cracking when you roll them or are coming unrolled right away, just try heating them longer and try the paper towel thing.
Place 2-3 T of chicken mixture on the lower third of a tortilla, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the edges.
Place seam side down on the baking sheet. Lay all of the taquitos on the baking sheet and make sure they are not touching each other. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray or an oil mister and sprinkle some kosher salt on top.
The ones pictured below are actually flour tortillas- which I found out I like just as well (maybe even better!) than corn ones.
Freezer Instructions: Prepare the taquitos through rolling them out and placing them on the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the freezer and freeze until solid, then transfer to a large freezer bag. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 425 and place the taquitos on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
Looking for the beef version? It’s right here!
Lastly, recently this recipe was noted in an article in the Chicago Sun-Times where the author noted that they were “some of the best taquitos I’ve ever had” I’ll take it!