This Baked Chicken Taquitos recipe is an easy and healthy way to enjoy the frozen classic! Pre-cooked shredded chicken gets mixed together with diced onion, chunky salsa, refried black beans, and cheddar cheese for a quick and delicious homemade filling. Serve up these cheesy taquitos on game night or for a Cinco de Mayo celebration.

A stack of baked chicken taquitos with refried beans and cheese on a white plate for a Cinco de Mayo party.

Chicken and Cheese Taquitos

In need of an easy, make-ahead appetizer for your Cinco de Mayo party?

…Or any other celebration where you have a TON of hungry people in need of a hearty snack? (Like the Super Bowl or other game day, birthday parties, dinner parties, or even Christmas dinner!)

This Homemade Baked Chicken Taquitos Recipe is THE answer to your hungry-people dilemma.

Not only can taquitos be easily prepped ahead of time, but they are also just filling enough that they will tide your ravenous guests over until the main dish comes out.

Don’t have a main dish? These taquitos can also double as the star of the show and taste great with accompaniments like this Instant Pot Mexican Rice, Fresh Tomato Salsa, and a big bowl of the best Homemade Guacamole.

A party plate full of taquitos with cilantro on top next to lime wedges.

What are Taquitos?

Taquitos are a Mexican dish made from a corn tortilla that is then filled with chicken or beef, refried beans, and cheese. Traditionally, the taquito is then deep-fried until the tortilla gets crispy and the filling is warmed up. However, you can also bake them in the oven (like in this recipe!) for a healthier alternative.

While frozen taquitos can be easily found in your local grocery store, it does not take too much additional time to make your own healthier (and much tastier!) version at home. Plus, you avoid the deep fryer and avoid common allergens in the frozen version, such as gluten and soy. Making your own is a great way to enjoy a healthier side with all of your favorite topping.

Corn tortillas, cheese, bell pepper, jalapeno, onion, salsa, and rotisserie chicken as the ingredients in homemade taquitos.

Ingredients

The simple ingredients you need to make these homemade chicken taquitos include:

  • Chicken. A store-bought rotisserie chicken works best in this recipe and will save you TONS of time. Make sure you buy a traditional or plain-flavored one. You can also use chicken breasts that you have cooked at home, too. This recipe is also perfect for leftover chicken.
  • Vegetables. Onion, bell pepper, and jalapeño might as well be the “holy trinity” of Mexican cuisine! These veggies combine with garlic to give the taquito filling superb flavor.
  • Salsa. In addition to the vegetables, a large majority of the filling’s flavor comes from salsa. Medium salsa will give them a subtle kick whereas mild salsa will not. Also, opt for a thicker salsa versus a runny salsa for the best filling consistency. Try making your own with this Roasted Salsa or this Tomatillo Salsa Verde.
  • Refried Beans. Refried black beans were used in this recipe, but you can also use traditional refried beans.
  • Cheese. Shredded cheddar cheese or Monterrey Jack cheese are favorite cheeses for this recipe. If you are dairy-free, opt for a dairy-free cheese alternative or leave it out completely. (You won’t miss it!)
  • Mexican Spices. Just a few spices (cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper) come together to give this recipe an authentic Mexican flair.

How to Make Chicken Taquitos

Below you’ll find the basic steps to make these homemade taquitos:

Make the Filling

Whether you cook your own (like this Instant Pot shredded salsa chicken) or buy a pre-cooked bird, you need to shred or cut the chicken into small pieces. Large pieces will make biting through the taquito difficult.

Then, in a large saucepan over medium heat, sauté diced onion, bell pepper, jalapeño, and garlic for 3-4 minutes.

Add the cooked, shredded chicken, chunky salsa, and spices to the skillet. Continue cooking for 3-4 minutes.

Set the pan to the side.

Fill the Taquitos

Preheat the oven to 400℉. For the best results, give the oven plenty of time to warm up.

The key to working with corn tortillas is to warm them up in a skillet.

Heat up the tortillas in coconut oil until tortillas are softened and slightly brown on each side. Set aside on a baking sheet lined with paper towels to let drain.

Place refried beans, chicken mixture, and cheese down the center of the tortilla. Continue with the remaining taquitos.

Roll and place seam side-down on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet in a single layer.

Rolling can be slightly challenging, but a few tips and tricks will help you become a taquito rolling master.

Tips for Rolling Taquitos:

  • Warming up the corn tortillas in a touch of coconut oil or avocado oil will soften the tortillas and make them easier to roll.
  • Do not over-fill the taquito with too much of the filling. Too much filling will result in it spilling over the sides and making a mess!
  • Place your filling just slightly off-center and towards the side you will start the rolling.
  • Pull the taquito tightly as you are rolling.
  • As soon as the taquito is rolled, place it seam side-down on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and DO NOT TOUCH IT. Moving the already-filled taquito will make the filling come out and will weaken the tortilla.
Sixteen taquitos rolled up and placed seam side down on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Bake in the Oven

Place the loaded baking sheet in the preheated oven.

Bake for 24 to 26 minutes. They are done when the edges are crispy and slightly brown.

Watch the oven, though. The edges can burn if left too long.

Baked taquitos topped with cilantro.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep-Ahead: This recipe is best when prepared COMPLETELY and then reheated in the oven the day of serving. Assembling the taquitos and waiting to bake them is not recommended. They will most likely fall apart and not hold their shape. 
  • To Store: Once they are baked to crispy perfection, let them cool to room temperature and then transfer them to either a gallon-sized ziplock bag or a large Tupperware container. Refrigerate for up to 2 days before serving.
  • To Freeze: Tightly wrap completely cooled taquitos and store in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 to 4 months.
  • To Reheat: When ready to reheat, preheat oven to 325°F and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until heated through. You can cover them in a damp paper towel and use the microwave, as well.

Are taquitos healthy?

Many wonder if taquitos are healthy, and the answer is they can be. Unfortunately, store-bought versions are often full of preservatives and other unhealthy ingredients. When you make them at home, you can ensure lean and healthy fillings.

A pile of baked taquitos on a white plate next to a bowl full of salsa.

Are taquitos gluten-free?

Sometimes taquitos are gluten-free. Usually, the boxed kind from the store is not free from gluten. However, when you make them at home with healthy ingredients and corn tortillas and not flour tortillas, they are a delicious gluten-free snack or meal you can enjoy.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Cut corners. Save time by buying a rotisserie chicken or even pre-cooked and shredded chicken from the store.
  • Sauté all day. Take the time to cook the chicken and vegetables together to create depth of flavor.
  • Heat it up. Warming up the corn tortillas in coconut oil makes them easy to work with.
  • Take your time. Rolling taquitos can be a bit difficult, but slow down and you should be fine.
  • Seam-down. After you roll the taquitos, be sure to set them on the baking sheet with the overlap facing down.
  • Add some spice. A little bit of chili powder or cayenne pepper with some onion powder, cumin, and garlic powder will take these taquitos up a level.
A baked chicken taquito being dipped into a glass bowl of salsa.

What to Serve with Taquitos

While these crispy taquitos are pretty fabulous and flavorful on their on, a few different Mexican-inspired dipping sauces would taste great with them, too.

Consider serving these with:

Taquitos make a great finger food appetizer to serve at a party or even as a main dish for a Cinco de Mayo celebration. 

A few other Mexican food recipes you might enjoy include this Mexican Shrimp CevicheChicken Enchiladas Verdes, and this Skillet Mexican Street Corn Salad.

Other Mexican Food Recipes

There are so many ways to enjoy flavors from south of the border. These great recipes will satisfy any craving.

Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers and Mexican Stuffed Sweet Potatoes are so tasty.

Try this Healthy Mexican Quinoa Salad for a light lunch. Barbacoa Tacos are so full of flavor, as well.

You can even enjoy Mexican food in the morning with Healthy Mexican Breakfast Casserole or Easy Migas Recipe.

Don’t forget the Mexican 75, Cadillac Margarita, or Blood Orange Margarita on the side.

Tap stars to rate!

4.75 from 8 votes

Baked Chicken Taquitos Recipe

Baked Chicken Taquitos recipe is an easy and healthy appetizer to serve for a Cinco de Mayo party!  Pre-cooked shredded chicken gets mixed together with diced onion, chunky salsa, refried black beans, and cheddar cheese for a quick Mexican food recipe.
Yield 16 servings
Prep 30 minutes
Cook 25 minutes
Total 55 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion finely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper finely diced
  • 1 jalapeño finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 3 ½ cups cooked chicken shredded
  • ½ cup salsa medium
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • ¼ tsp. paprika
  • tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 16 corn tortillas
  • 3-4 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 8 oz. black beans refried
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese* shredded, or Monterrey Jack cheese

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • In a large saucepan over medium heat add olive oil, diced onion, bell pepper, jalapeño, and crushed garlic. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften.
  • Add shredded chicken, salsa, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper to the skillet. Continue cooking over medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
  • While vegetables and chicken are cooking add 1 tablespoon coconut oil to a large saucepan or skillet. Cook 3 corn tortillas over medium heat for 45-60 seconds per side, or until they begin to brown slightly. Repeat with remaining corn tortillas and coconut oil. Place corn tortillas on a paper towel-lined plate to drain until ready to use.
  • Spread 1 tablespoon refried black beans down the center of each corn tortilla. Next, add 2-3 tablespoons chicken mixture and 1 tablespoon shredded cheese. Roll up the filled corn tortilla as tight as you can and place face-down on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Make sure it does not touch any of the other taquitos. Repeat with remaining tortillas and chicken filling.
  • Once all corn tortillas are filled, bake taquitos in the preheated oven for 24-26 minutes, or until edges are slightly browned and crispy.
  • Serve baked chicken taquitos with homemade salsa, guacamole, or sour cream and enjoy!

Tap stars to rate!

4.75 from 8 votes

Notes

  • Nutritional information is based on 1 taquito per serving.
  • If dairy-free, use dairy-free cheese alternative or leave out cheese completely.

Meal Prep and Storage

    • To Prep-Ahead: This recipe is best when prepared COMPLETELY and then reheated in the oven the day of serving. Assembling the taquitos and waiting to bake them is not recommended. They will most likely fall apart and not hold their shape. 
    • To Store: Once they are baked to crispy perfection, let them cool to room temperature and then transfer them to either a gallon-sized ziplock bag or a large Tupperware container. Refrigerate for up to 2 days before serving.
    • To Freeze: Tightly wrap completely cooled taquitos and store in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 to 4 months.
    • To Reheat: When ready to reheat, preheat oven to 325 °F and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until heated through. You can cover them in a damp paper towel and use the microwave, as well.

Nutrition

Calories: 203kcal, Carbohydrates: 16g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 33mg, Sodium: 196mg, Potassium: 235mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 415IU, Vitamin C: 11.2mg, Calcium: 86mg, Iron: 1.2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Comments

  1. What’s the best way to cook ahead and serve next day? By the way I’ve made these many times and they’re absolutely delicious!

    1. Hi Denise! The best thing to do is cook them all of the way the day before, then warm the taquitos back up in the oven before serving.

  2. These look great! I love Taquitos but don’t like buying the prepackaged ones from the store. I am definitely going to give this recipe a try.