These seriously amazing cheesy chicken flautas are so easy and everyone loves them! If you are looking for a quick Mexican meal that can be made ahead of time or even frozen, these flautas are perfect. We like having them for dinner, but they also make great appetizers.
They are so much healthier, and so much easier than fried flautas. It took me a few tries to perfect them, but now they are a family favorite! If you follow my tips, they will still turn out perfectly crispy on the outside. And of course no one can resist that cheesy chicken filling that is perfectly spiced.
One way I know I can ensure smiles at the dinner table is by serving any type of Mexican dish. From tacos to enchiladas, to tostadas, my family loves them all. We had been buying chicken taquitos at Costco, but I wanted to save money by making them at home.
When I first started making them a couple years ago, we called them chicken taquitos. But then I did a little research and found out that they are actually called flautas. You learn something new every day!
What is the difference between flautas and taquitos?
Both are tasty Mexican flavored foods that usually contain meat, cheese and other ingredients rolled up in a tortilla and either fried or baked. They are so similar that sometimes the names are used interchangeably, but here are the main differences:
- Flautas are typically made with flour tortillas. The name means “flute” which makes sense because they are long and round like flutes! They are usually made with larger flour tortillas, which gives them their long and thin shape.
- Taquitos on the other hand, are usually made with smaller flour tortillas, so they are often times served as appetizers. Taquito means “little taco”, because they have all the flavor of tacos, but in miniature size.
No matter what you call them, they are both delicious Mexican foods that are ridiculously easy to make at home! They also freeze up really well, so I like making a double batch and saving half for when we have an extra hectic weeknight. Dinner can be ready in minutes!
Want to skip my tips and tricks? Just scroll to the bottom of the post for the printable recipe card with detailed measurements and instructions.
HOW TO MAKE FLAUTAS WITH CHICKEN FILLING
- cream cheese (I like to use light cream cheese, it’s even softer and creamier. But you can use full fat if you prefer.)
- canned diced green chilies (These add moisture as well as a nice spicy kick.)
- ground cumin (one of my very favorite Mexican spices)
- chili powder
- dry minced onion (I like it because it’s super quick, but you can use a bit of diced white, yellow, or green onion if you prefer.)
- cooked chicken breast (You can use a rotisserie chicken, or cook your own. I like to use chicken breast, but you can substitute chicken thighs if you prefer.
- shredded pepper jack cheese (We like the added spicy flavor, but you can substitute regular jack cheese, or even mozzarella cheese.)
- flour tortillas (We LOVE the uncooked flour tortillas from Costco, they are amazing! I just brown them up really quick, then proceed with the recipe as directed.)
- non stick cooking spray (Spraying this on the rolled up flautas helps them bake up nice and crisp, plus it gives the salt something to stick to. If you prefer, you can brush them with oil or melted butter.)
- kosher salt (A light sprinkling of kosher salt makes every bite of these chicken flautas extra tasty!)
- Let your cream cheese sit at room temperature for a few hours till it is very soft. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking pan with a silicone liner, or spray with non stick spray.
- Beat or whisk cream cheese till it is smooth and creamy. Stir in the green chilies, spices, and minced onion.
- Add the shredded (or diced) cooked chicken and the shredded cheese. Stir till mixture is thoroughly combined.
- Spread about three tablespoons of the chicken mixture down the middle of a flour tortilla. Roll up and place seam side down on the baking sheet.
- Repeat with remaining tortillas, spacing each flauta about an inch apart.
- Spray the top of each flauta with non stick cooking spray, then sprinkle with a little kosher salt.
- Bake at 425° for about 15 minutes, or till lightly browned.
- Serve hot with your favorite dipping sauce.
If you have any leftovers, wrap them and store them in the refrigerator. They will last 2-3 days. You can reheat them in the microwave, or pop them back in the oven.
PRO TIPS FOR MAKING THE BEST FLAUTAS:
-These seem to come together better when you use shredded instead of diced chicken. Not only do I find it easier to roll them with shreds instead of chunks, the cheese and spices get into all the nooks and crannies a little easier, making every bite simply perfect.
-Make sure to leave space between them on the baking dish. That way the air can circulate around them and all of the edges will be crispy. If you need to, use two baking sheets.
-Use kosher salt! The larger chunks make it easier to sprinkle a light coating. I’ve tried using regular table salt and sea salt, and they end up tasting over salty. If you don’t have kosher salt, it’s probably better just to spray them with cooking spray and skip the salt altogether.
HOW TO FREEZE CHICKEN FLAUTAS
- After you roll them up, place them on a cookie sheet; it is fine if they are touching each other. Cover and freeze for an hour, or two, or until they are firm.
- Take them off the cookie sheet and place in an airtight container. I like to use heavy duty ziplock gallon sized freezer bags. They will last for 3-4 months in the freezer.
- When you are ready to serve them, you can thaw them, spray with cooking spray, sprinkle with salt and cook as directed. Or you can add cooking spray and salt while they are still frozen and add a few minutes to the cooking time. (Mine usually take another 8-10 minutes.)
- We also love these with a can of black beans added to the filling. They are extra hearty, and of course the extra fiber and nutrition is a bonus!
- Toss in some veggies like corn, peppers, or even dice tomatoes or salsa.
- Switch out the type of cheese: you could use a Mexican blend, Monterey Jack, mozzarella, or even colby jack. I don’t recommend cheddar though, it doesn’t melt as well.
- Adjust the heat to your liking. Feel free to use more or less green chilies, stir in some finely diced jalapeno peppers, or stir in some red pepper flakes.
- Use your favorite spices. Don’t like cumin? No worries, you can omit it and use something else. I think garlic would be tasty as well.
LOVE TEX-MEX FLAVORS? TRY THESE:
- Cabbage Taco Skillet
- Mexican Corn Soup
- Black Bean and Beef Enchiladas
- Taco Salad
- Chili Casserole
- Nacho Soup
MORE TASTY CHICKEN RECIPE IDEAS:
- Mayonnaise Chicken
- Curry Chicken Wraps
- Poppy Seed Chicken
- Monterey Chicken
- Maple Dijon Chicken
- Teriyaki Chicken
- Chinese Chicken Salad
CREAMY BAKED CHICKEN FLAUTAS RECIPE
- 4 ounces light cream cheese, very soft
- 1 (4.5oz) can diced green chilis
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 Tbsp dry minced onion
- 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
- 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
- 12 flour tortillas
- Non-stick spray
- Kosher salt
- Whisk cream cheese till very soft. Stir in green chilies, cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, and minced onion till mixture is smooth.
- Stir in the chicken and cheese.
- Spread about 3 Tbsp of chicken mixture down the middle of each flour tortilla. Roll up and place seam side down on lightly greased cookie sheets.
- Spray each taquito with non-stick spray and sprinkle with kosher salt.
- Bake at 425° for about 15 minutes, or till lightly browned.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn a small amount from your purchase, no cost to you.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 258Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 402mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 13g