Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos are quick, easy, and fun! Small corn tortillas are wrapped around creamy, spicy chicken, then fried without the guilt in the air fryer.
Crunchy, Cheesy Chicken Taquitos, Made in the Air Fryer!
Chicken taquitos are a kid-friendly, crowd-pleasing favorite – but traditional taquitos do come with a significant “price tag,” calorie-wise! That’s because these crispy little rolled tacos are usually deep-fried in oil, which ups the calorie content quite a bit. If you’re a fan of taquitos (or any crispy, cheesy, savory Mexican dish!), you will love these. And if you’re a fan of easy cooking without the mess and calories of deep-frying, you will adore them!
The filling for these little guys is out of this world. Shredded chicken, cream cheese, Mexican blend cheese, and chipotle sauce? Yes, this is seriously mouthwatering. Serve them up for an irresistible appetizer, or make them into a meal by adding your favorite sides. Either way, you can’t go wrong!
Are Taquitos Healthy?
While taquitos may not work for every diet, in general, I think that these homemade, air-fried taquitos can definitely be called healthy! Since they are made with real, wholesome ingredients, they are a quick and easy dinner that you can feel good about. Also, homemade chicken taquitos aren’t full of sodium, preservatives, or trans fats like frozen taquitos or even restaurant taquitos – a win in my book!
What Are Chicken Taquitos Made Of?
- Shredded Chicken: Any shredded cooked chicken will work. Pick up a rotisserie chicken to make some at the last minute, or try making Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Breasts or this perfect stovetop shredded chicken instead.
- Cream Cheese: Soften the cream cheese before using it.
- Chipotle Sauce: If you don’t have chipotle sauce, you can use a couple of canned chipotles in adobo sauce, instead. Just finely chop them and add them to the filling.
- Spices: Cumin, smoked paprika, and garlic powder make these chicken taquitos so savory! You’ll need a little salt, too.
- Tortillas: This recipe is designed for corn tortillas – flour tortillas will result in more of a flauta texture, but you could use them in a pinch.
- Mexican Blend Cheese: I love Mexican blend cheese in my taquitos, but you can use any cheese that you like. Cheddar, Colby, and Colby jack would all be great.
- Cooking Spray: I recommend using one that is 100% olive oil or avocado oil, I personally like this cooking spray the best.
- Queso Fresco (or Cotija Cheese)
- Tomatillo Avocado Salsa (seen in the photos)
- Mexican Crema (or sour cream)
- Pico De Gallo
How to Make ‘Em
One of the best things about making taquitos this way is that the process is very simple, and it’s so quick! Your favorite appetizer (or dinner) is just minutes away.
- Make the Filling. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the shredded chicken, softened cream cheese, chipotle sauce, and spices. You can use a spoon or a hand mixer – either one works fine.
- Warm the Tortillas. To warm up the tortillas and make them pliable, place them on a plate and cover them with a towel or with a microwave-safe bowl. Heat them in the microwave for about 30 seconds, and they should be warm and flexible. If not, continue heating for 10 seconds at a time until they are easy to work with.
- Fill and Roll the Tortillas. Take one tortilla at a time, and spoon about 2 tablespoons of filling along the edge. Add a couple of tablespoons of shredded cheese on top of the filling and then roll up the tortilla tightly, and set it seam-side-down in the basket of your air fryer. Repeat until all of the tortillas are filled (you may have to place some of them on a plate if your air fryer basket runs out of room. In that case, you can air-fry them in batches).
- Air-Fry the Taquitos. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F. Arrange the taquitos in the air-fryer basket so that they are not touching. This way, they’ll get hot and crispy on all sides. Spritz lightly with cooking spray, and cook them for about 5 minutes. Then flip the taquitos, spray again with cooking spray, and cook for another 2 minutes, or until as crispy as you like them.
- Enjoy! Serve your chicken taquitos immediately with all your desired toppings.
Tips and Tricks
While making chicken taquitos in the air fryer is super easy, it’s always helpful to have a few tips and tricks up your sleeve. Here are my best pieces of advice for making awesome taquitos, every time.
- Rolling: If your taquitos seem to want to unroll, you can use a toothpick to keep them closed. Toothpicks are safe to use in the air fryer and work well for holding foods together!
- Cooking Spray: You might be tempted to skip this step, but it is key to getting a crispy result. The cooking spray sizzles on the food as it heats up in the air fryer, which gives it that crispy “fried” texture without the necessity of deep-frying.
- Timing Adjustment: Air fryers are all a little different, so you might need a few minutes longer for your taquitos to get crispy. If you check them and they aren’t quite to your liking, feel free to give them more time!
What to Serve with Taquitos
Air fryer chicken taquitos are a fun snack and a fabulous appetizer, but they also make a fast and festive dinner, that’s sure to satisfy. Just add some sides to bulk up the menu, and you’re in business. Here are a few sides that go perfectly with cheesy chicken taquitos:
- Charro Beans: Also known as Cowboy Beans, this protein-packed side dish is perfect with taquitos: These Instant Pot Charro Beans are the real deal, loaded with onions, tomatoes, beans, sausage, and more.
- Arroz con Gandules: A Peurto Rican favorite, this savory dish of seasoned rice with pigeon peas makes a light but hearty side. Try this easy recipe for Arroz con Gandules – it has authentic flavor and it’s so easy!
- Mexican Street Corn: Corn on the cob is seasoned to perfection, drizzled with crema, and sprinkled with cotija cheese. It’s basically irresistible! Make your own Mexican Street Corn with this simple recipe, and enjoy.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- These taquitos are best eaten immediately, however leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- They will get soggy when stored. However, they can be reheated in the air fryer again to get them a little crispy again. If I have leftovers, I wrap them individually in saran wrap (or foil). Then I air-fry them again, straight from the fridge, for about 3 to 4 minutes at 400°F to reheat and re-crisp them up!
Can I Freeze These?
Yes, taquitos are a favorite for freezing! Just cool them down, and then line them up on a clean tray or platter, not touching. Freeze them for about an hour, and then pack them into a freezer bag. Store in your freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge before reheating in the air fryer.
Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos
For the Taquitos
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the chicken, cream cheese, chipotle sauce, salt, cumin, smoked paprika, and garlic powder. Using a hand mixer or mixing spoon, beat until combined.
- Cover the tortillas with a towel (or place the tortillas on a plate and flip a bowl upside down to cover them). Heat tortillas in the microwave for 30 seconds. If tortillas aren’t warm and pliable, heat again at 10-second intervals.
- Remove one tortilla at a time and put 2 tablespoons of filling along the edge of one tortilla, add a couple heaping tablespoons of shreeded cheese, then roll the tortilla up tight. Place filled tortilla seam-side-down in the air fryer basket. Continue until all tortillas are filled. (Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may have to work in batches.)
- Don’t let the taquitos touch, so they will get crispy on all sides. Spray with cooking spray.
- Preheat air fryer to 400°F. Cook taquitos for 5 minutes. Then flip the taquitos and spray again with cooking spray. Place taquitos back in the air fryer for 2 minutes more. Check after 2 minutes, and if they aren’t crispy enough, fry a minute or two longer, until desired level of crispiness.
- Remove and repeat with any remaining taquitos.
- Serve the taquitos with all toppings desired! These taquitos are best
- eaten immediately. They will get soggy after a period of time, but can be placed back in the air fryer to re-crisp them. Cook them for a minute or two to get them crispy again.
More Easy Mexican Recipes
- Mexican Chicken Adobo
- Chorizo and Eggs
- Cilantro Lime Rice
- Arroz Con Leche
- Homemade Tamales
- Best Taco Meat
- Homemade Chorizo
- The Best Cheese Enchiladas
- Easy Tres Leches Cake
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