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A delicious and deceivingly simple dinner, these Chicken Flautas will make it onto your menu week after week. Tortillas are filled with shredded chicken, cheese and spices and then baked until crispy! Delicious alone or with guacamole, pico de gallo or Mexican Street Corn.
I have been testing and testing this recipe for Chicken Flautas and I’m thrilled to be sharing it with you today! Not only are these ready for the oven in about 10 minutes, but it’s a meal my kids LOVE. You can adjust the cheese, spice or chicken levels to your liking and serve with whatever your little heart desires (or just eat them plain).
This chicken flautas recipe is incredibly simple to make, which is excellent news for anybody with a tightly packed schedule. However, at the same time, it is abundantly flavorful and a meal that the whole family will love. Whether you prefer pan-fried, deep-fried, or oven-baked foods, you can prepare this recipe to your preference.
Chicken Flautas, the ultimate weeknight meal
As a working Mom of four who cooks for a living, I feel like I need to keep collecting those go-to, super speedy dinners for those days that are really taxing. This is absolutely one of those meals. You simply make the chicken filling, roll it up in tortillas and bake. If you’re using pre-cooked chicken, this makes the prep that much quicker. See my notes below about your options when it comes to the protein in this dish.
If you know that you’re going to have a day where you won’t have time to prepare the filling, you could even do it the day before. Simply store the completed filling in the refrigerator, and stuff the tortillas on the day.
Wait just a minute, what is a Flauta?
A flauta (which translates to “Flute” in english) is a Mexican dish made with flour tortillas filled with beef, cheese or chicken and deep fried. I didn’t deep fry these particular chicken flautas, but if that’s your thing, see my notes below.
A taquito (like the cousin of the Flauta) is a smaller corn tortilla rolled skinny and shallow fried in a pan until crispy. It’s somewhat less versatile than a flauta, but delicious in its own way. The same can be said for many of the other tortilla-based dishes originating in Mexico and South America.
The word flauta, as mentioned, means flute and refers to the long, narrow shape of the wrap. It is of Mexican origin and came about when certain tribes started cooking the filling inside of the tortilla, rather than cooking both separately and then adding cooked filling to a cooked tortilla shell.
The basic tortilla recipe has given birth to many other types of dishes, thanks to its incredible versatility. Some of my favorite tortilla-based recipes include the following:
- Chicken flautas (naturally)
- Sour cream chicken enchiladas
- Chicken quesadillas
- Easy chicken tortilla soup
- Chicken fajitas
There are many other recipes that relate to this chicken flautas recipe (I’ll discuss some of those later). But, for now, let’s delve into making the best chicken flautas you’ve ever had.
Basic Ingredients Needed
My chicken flautas recipe is simple and easy to prepare. So, just as promised, this list is pretty darn short. Nothing too out of the ordinary and all common enough that you should be able to find these no problem. Specific increments and directions are listed in the printable recipe card below.
- Canned Chicken – I have become a convert to canned chicken, but not all canned chicken is created equal and Costco’s canned chicken absolutely reigns supreme. However, if you don’t have canned chicken, any other kind of pre-cooked chicken will work well for this chicken flautas recipe.
- Cheddar Cheese – I use a sharp cheddar, but any cheddar is fine. It melts a little nicer if you grate it yourself, but I’m not against the pre-grated kind in the least! (Pre-grated cheese is coated in edible food starch to prevent it from sticking to itself.) If cheddar isn’t your preference, you could play around with other cheeses and find the flavor you prefer.
- Taco Sauce – This is a great all-purpose sauce that I’ve been using more and more frequently in my Mexican cooking. I use La Victoria brand. If you’re not familiar with this ingredient, salsa is a great substitute.
- Alfredo Sauce – jarred, premade alfredo sauce in chicken flautas? YES! It adds a creaminess that I like, plus it helps keep the filling moist. Heavy cream is also an easy substitute.
- Onion Powder, Chili Powder, Cumin – Love love love adding lots of flavor. If you don’t have all three, you can just use taco seasoning. Tastes a little different, but still delicious.
- Tortillas – I use the medium-sized “fajita” flour tortillas. I have also made these with low-carb tortillas, which is delicious! They just take a few extra minutes in the oven to crisp up.
Love Mexican Food? Try these other favorites: Carnitas, Taco Casserole, Easy Taco Soup, Easy Chicken Fajitas, Birria Tacos (life changing recipe!!), and Mexican Street Corn Guacamole (my very favorite thing everrrr!).
How to make Chicken Flautas
Because this is a super speedy chicken flautas recipe that we are “oven frying”, these directions are pretty basic. Be sure to check out my pan frying directions below if that’s your thing.
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
- In a large bowl, stir together the chicken, cheese, taco sauce, alfredo sauce, and spices.
- Fill the tortillas with filling and roll. Place them on the baking sheet with the seam side down.
- Lightly spray them with nonstick cooking spray.
- Bake them for 15 minutes or until the flautas are golden brown. Serve warm with any desired toppings.
Do I have to use Canned Chicken? Other Protein Ideas
Nope! Not at all! If canned chicken is not your thing, feel free to use any kind of precooked chicken like shredded rotisserie chicken, roasted chicken (shredded with skin removed), grilled chicken, cut into small pieces, or even boiled chicken (as long as it’s seasoned well).
Taco meat would definitely work in this application too, as would a can of black beans that have been drained and rinsed really well and mashed slightly. This chicken flautas recipe is incredibly versatile, which means you can adapt it to your own preferences, and use the ingredients that you have on hand. Flexibility is king in Mexican cuisine, whether it be chicken flautas or the whole enchilada.
Pan Frying Directions
So, you don’t want to bake these chicken flautas and want to go down the deep frying road? I don’t blame you. Fried food is gooooood. Using a larger, deep sided skillet, add two inches of canola oil, peanut oil or vegetable oil OR enough shortening or lard to give you two inches of oil. Preheat oil to 375 degrees. (A simple candy thermometer like this one will work great for pan frying.)
Secure 2-3 toothpicks into each flauta to hold it together as it fries. Add 2-3 flautas to the hot oil and fry until golden brown on each side, about 2 minutes per side. Drain fried flautas on paper towels and sprinkle lightly with salt. Serve warm with any desired toppings you want.
What to serve with Chicken Flautas
Oh the possibilities are endless! Basically, anything you want, but here are a few of my favorites:
- Roasted Jalapeno Queso
- Teedo’s Famous Salsa
- Pico de Gallo
- Cowboy Caviar
- Sour Cream
- Rosa Mexicana Guacamole
- Mexican Street Corn Casserole
Chicken Flautas (Flautas de Pollo)
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts cooked and shredded
- 1/4 cup taco sauce or mild salsa
- 1/4 cup alfredo sauce or heavy cream
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- salt & pepper to taste
- 10 tortillas medium, fajita size
- nonstick cooking spray
- toppings: avocado, cilantro, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, etc..
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and set aside.
- In a large bowl, stir the chicken together with taco sauce, alfredo, cheese and seasonings.
- Divide the mixture into ten equal portions and fill the tortillas with filling, rolling tightly and placing the seam side down on the baking sheet.
- Spray chicken taquitos lightly with a nonstick cooking spray and bake for 15 minutes or until they are golden and as crispy as you'd like.
- Serve your chicken flautas warm with any desired toppings: salsa, guacamole, taco sauce, sour cream, cilantro, etc..