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Easy Chicken Flautas Recipe

These chicken flautas are filled with shredded chicken, cheese and salsa then fried to crispy perfection! An easy family favorite recipe that’s ready in less than 30 minutes!

Our family loves Mexican food whether it’s sheet pan quesadilla, beef taquitos or slow cooker carnitas we love it all!

Chicken flautas on a white plate.
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Perfectly Crispy Chicken Flautas

I’ve been on a real Mexican-inspired food kick lately and have been serving up things like chicken burritos and Instant Pot Mexican chicken to my family. They are loving it! 

These chicken flautas are made with a cheesy chicken filling rolled up in a flour tortilla and fried to crispy perfection. Make the filling ahead for easy snacks or an appetizer served with guacamole and pico de gallo.

Difference Between Flautas and Taquitos

If you’re like me, you probably find it difficult to tell what the difference is between a flauta and a chicken taquito. They are actually very similar!

Flautas can sometimes be a bit longer in length if a larger flour tortilla (like a burrito-sized one) is used, whereas a taquito is almost always made from smaller corn tortillas.

Traditionally, taquitos are made with corn tortillas but in this flautas recipe and my black bean taquitos, I use them interchangeable depending on what is in my fridge.

Recipe Ingredients

This easy chicken flautas recipe uses simple, easy-to-find ingredients which is perfect for when you’re in a hurry to whip up a meal!

Chicken flautas ingredients on marble counter.

Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.

  • Chicken: I use shredded chicken but store bought rotisserie chicken or leftovers of roasted chicken work great, too.
  • Cheese: Monterey Jack is my favorite cheese to use in these easy chicken flautas.
  • Salsa: I prefer to make my own salsa, but you can definitely use store-bought.
  • Sour cream: The sour cream helps to bind the filling together.
  • Green chiles: I use canned diced green chiles for some mild heat.
  • Seasoning: I make my own taco seasoning or chili seasoning but use what you have.
  • Tortillas: Flour tortillas are best for chicken flautas, although corn tortillas can be used.

Substitutions and Variations

This easy chicken flautas recipe is probably the variation I make the most, but you have so many options for fillings when it comes to flautas.

  • Swap the protein for shredded beef, pork, or sliced tofu. I have even used leftovers of chicken tinga or salsa verde chicken.
  • Try different cheese. How about mozzarella, cheddar cheese, pepper jack, or gouda? Any melty cheese would work well.
  • Add veggies. Throw in some chopped bell peppers, zucchini, sautéed mushrooms, or diced cooked potato.
  • Spices: I love to use a blend for convenience, but chili powder, ground cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder or oregano can be used.
  • Add different flavors. Try adding minced garlic, a squeeze of lime juice, or some chopped cilantro to the filling. Some cayenne pepper for a bit of heat if you like.

How to Make Chicken Flautas

Follow these easy step-by-step instructions for making your own delicious chicken flautas at home!

Showing how to make flautas in a 6 step collage.
  1. Make the filling. Grab a medium bowl and stir together the chicken, cheese, salsa, sour cream, diced chiles, and chili seasoning. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Fill the tortillas. Lay your tortillas on a flat surface like your countertop or on a chopping board and place 3 tablespoons of filling into the center.
  3. Roll them up. Roll up the tortilla tightly around the filling and secure everything with a toothpick.
  4. Complete the batch. Continue rolling tortillas until you’ve used up all the filling. Place seam side down as you wait to start frying.
  5. Fry: Heat the 3/4-inch of oil over medium heat in a large skillet until it reaches 375°F. Place 2 – 4 flautas into the hot oil, use tongs if necessary. Fry flautas, turning as needed, for 2 to 4 minutes, or until golden brown on all sides.
  6. Keep warm and serve: Transfer fried chicken flautas to a paper towel-lined plate and immediately sprinkle with salt. Let oil drain off for a minute or two, then transfer to baking pan lined with a wire rack and keep warm in the oven.

Chicken Flauta Toppings

I love to serve chicken flautas with lots of fresh toppings. Put the toppings in bowls on the table and let everyone choose their favorites. Here are some favorites:

  • Shredded iceberg lettuce
  • Chopped or sliced tomatoes
  • Guacamole or diced avocados
  • Sour cream
  • Salsa
  • Chopped onions
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Mexican crema or cilantro lime crema
  • Queso fresco or cotija cheese

Expert Tips

Frying the chicken flautas gives the crispiest exterior, but if you’re looking for other ways to cook them, baking and air frying are good options.

  • Bake in the oven: Place a wire rack in a lightly greased 9×13-inch baking dish. Add flautas, seam-side down, and brush with olive oil. Bake at 425°F for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Broil for extra crispiness.
  • Air Fry: Preheat the air fryer to 400°F. Place 4 flautas, seam-side down, in the basket without touching and brush with olive oil or spray lightly with cooking spray. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, flipping halfway through, until golden and crispy.
  • Tortillas: To prevent your tortillas from cracking when you roll them, heat them in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds between damp paper towels.  
  • Oil temperature: Keep an eye on the temperature of the oil and adjust the heat to maintain the temperature at 375°F to avoid frying too quickly.
  • Avoid overcrowding: Depending on the size of the pot you’re using for frying, I suggest only adding 2 – 4 flautas at a time to the oil. This ensures that they will fry evenly and get nice and crispy all over.
Chicken flautas on a white plate with toppings.

Recipe FAQs

What is a flauta?

As mentioned above, it’s very similar to a taquito in that it’s a tortilla rolled up around a meaty cheesy filling and then fried until crispy.

Which oil is best for frying?

When it comes to frying, you want to look for a neutral-tasting oil that has a high-smoke point, which means it can stay at a higher temperature without burning or smoking. I prefer to use either vegetable or canola oils.

How do you keep your flautas rolled when frying?

The last thing you want is your filling to ooze out of your beautiful flautas while they’re frying. It’s important to roll them tightly around the filling. You can also use toothpicks to hold them together while they fry and then remove them just before serving.

What’s the best way to keep flautas warm?

I preheat the oven to 200°F and line a baking sheet with a wire rack. Once the chicken flautas are finished draining off excess oil, I pop them onto the wire rack and keep them in the warm oven until I’m ready to serve them.

Serving Suggestions

To serve chicken flautas, side dishes options are almost endless! Here are a few favorites I often set out to complete the meal.

Storing and Freezing

Freshly fried chicken flautas are irresistibly crispy and this is the best time to eat them!

  • Store: As mentioned above, this easy chicken flautas recipe is best the day they are fried, but you can store them in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat them on a baking sheet for 10 – 15 minutes at 350°F until they’re heated throughout.
  • Freeze: You can assemble your easy chicken flautas to fry later. Place the assembled tortillas on a baking sheet and freeze for 1 to 2 hours, or until firm. Transfer to a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw before frying. 
Chicken flautas on a plate with tomatoes.

Looking for more Mexican-inspired recipes? Horchata recipe, baked chicken chimichangas, and one pot Mexican chicken and rice are a few to try next.

More Easy Mexican Recipes

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Chicken flautas on a white plate.

Chicken Flautas

5 from 19 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
These chicken flautas are filled with shredded chicken, cheese and salsa then fried to crispy perfection! An easy family favorite recipe that's ready in less than 30 minutes!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6

Video

Ingredients 

  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken , I like to use rotisserie chicken
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • ½ cup salsa
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles
  • 1 teaspoon chili seasoning
  • Kosher salt , to taste
  • Ground black pepper , to taste
  • 12 6-inch flour or corn tortillas
  • Vegetable oil , or canola oil, for frying

Optional toppings: Shredded lettuce, Tomatoes, Guacamole, Sour cream, Salsa, Onions, etc.

    Instructions

    • Preheat the oven to 200°F to keep flautas warm after pan frying. Set a wire baking rack in a baking dish.
    • In a medium bowl, stir together chicken, cheese, salsa, sour cream, diced chiles, and chili seasoning. Season with salt and pepper.
    • Lay tortilla on a flat surface. Place 3 Tablespoons chicken mixture in the center of the tortilla and roll tightly around the filling. Secure with a toothpick. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
    • Fill a large, deep saucepan with 3/4-inch oil. Heat over medium heat to 375°F.
    • When the oil is hot, add 2 to 4 flautas using tongs. Fry, turning as needed, 2 to 4 minutes, or until golden brown on all sides. Adjust heat to maintain oil temperature to avoid frying too quickly.
    • Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate and immediately season with salt. Drain briefly, then transfer to the prepared baking pan and keep warm in oven while frying remaining flautas.
    • Remove toothpicks. Serve warm with desired toppings.

    Notes

    Tortillas: To prevent your tortillas from cracking, heat in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds between damp paper towels.  
    Bake in the oven: Place a wire rack in a lightly greased 9×13-inch baking dish. Add flautas, seam-side down, and brush with olive oil. Bake at 425°F for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Broil for extra crispiness.
    Air Fry: Preheat air fryer to 400°F. Place 4 flautas, seam-side down, in the basket without touching and brush with olive oil. Cook 6 to 8 minutes, flipping halfway through, until golden and crispy.
    Make Ahead: These flautas taste best freshly fried, but you can make the filling and assemble them in advance. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 2 days.
    Storage: As mentioned above, these are best the day of, but you can store leftovers in the refrigerator up to 5 days.
    Freeze: If you would like to freeze these assembled and fry later. Place the assembled tortillas on a baking sheet and freeze 1 to 2 hours, or until firm. Transfer to a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag and freeze up to 3 months. Thaw before frying. 

    Nutrition

    Serving: 2flautas | Calories: 213kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 357mg | Potassium: 203mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 374IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 205mg | Iron: 1mg

    Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

    Course: Appetizer, Main Course
    Cuisine: Mexican

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