Enjoy the flavors of Mexico with these easy chicken flautas. Rolled tortillas are filled with a cheesy and creamy chicken filling and then fried to golden perfection! They make a delicious snack or a quick dinner for your hungry family.
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Crispy Crunchy Cheesy
I came across some recipes in my old recipe box for chicken flautas or ‘flautas de pollo’ and I knew I just had to try making my own. A creamy cheesy chicken filling rolled up tight in a tortilla and then fried to crispy perfection? Count me in!
I love that you can also make these easy chicken flautas ahead. Make the filling and store it in the fridge for a couple of days until you’re ready to assemble and fry your flautas, or you can even assemble them and pop them in the freezer to fry them whenever you’re ready.
Serve these chicken flautas as a snack or appetizer or alongside some chicken tinga or salsa verde chicken and bowls of Mexican rice and corn and tomato salad for a full meal. These crispy crunchy rolls are sure to be a hit!
What is the 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 taquito. I did some digging to discover that they are actually very similar!
Flautas can sometimes be a bit longer in length if a larger tortilla (like a burrito-sized one) is used, whereas a taquito is almost always made from smaller tortillas.
Another difference is that traditionally flautas are made with flour tortillas and taquitos are made with corn tortillas. I use them interchangeably in this recipe.
This recipe uses simple, easy-to-find ingredients which is perfect for when you’re in a hurry to whip up a meal!
Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.
- Chicken: I use shredded chicken and most often, my go-to when I’m in a hurry is to pick up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. It’s already cooked and ready to shred, which makes my job so much easier! You can also cook your own roasted chicken if you’ve got time.
- Cheese: Monterey Jack is my favorite cheese to use in these easy chicken flautas because it has a nice mild flavor and it melts really well. You can use your favorite cheese.
- 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 and gives it a nice creamy texture.
- Green chiles: I use canned diced green chiles. They have a bit of heat but are milder compared to other chiles. You can leave them out if you prefer not to add any spiciness to your chicken flautas.
- Seasoning: I make my own taco seasoning or chili seasoning with chili powder, ground cumin, onion powder, and garlic powder, but again, store-bought will work here.
- Tortillas: You can use either flour or corn tortillas, however flour tend to hold better.
- Oil for frying: Vegetable or canola oil are both good options for frying.
- Optional toppings: Salsa, chopped tomatoes, sour cream, guacamole, onions, etc.
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. If you’re looking for inspiration, you might like some of these ideas:
- Swap the protein for shredded beef, pork, or sliced tofu.
- 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.
- 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 Flautas
Follow these easy step-by-step instructions for making your own delicious chicken flautas at home! Don’t forget to preheat your oven to 200°F to keep your flautas warm before serving.
- Make the filling. Grab a medium bowl and stir together the chicken, cheese, salsa, sour cream, diced chiles, and chili seasoning. Season everything with salt and pepper.
- 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.
- Roll them up. Roll up the tortilla tightly around the filling and secure everything with a toothpick.
- Complete the batch. Continue rolling tortillas until you’ve used up all the filling. Place seam side down as you wait to start frying.
- Fry: Fill a large skillet or deep saucepan with 3/4-inch of oil. Heat the oil over medium heat until it reaches a temperature of 375°F. When the oil is ready, carefully place 2 – 4 flautas into the hot oil. I use tongs to do this, so my fingers don’t touch the hot oil. Fry the flautas, turning as needed, for 2 to 4 minutes, or until they are golden brown on all sides.
- Keep warm and serve: Transfer the fried chicken flautas to a paper towel-lined plate and immediately sprinkle over some salt. Let the oil drain off them for a minute or two, then transfer them to a baking pan lined with a wire rack and keep warm in the oven while you fry the remaining flautas.
Serve them warm with your favorite toppings and remember to remove the toothpicks before serving!
Other Ways to Cook Flautas
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.
- Make Ahead: These easy chicken flautas taste best freshly fried, but you can make the filling and assemble them in advance. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
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 ideas:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Freshly fried chicken flautas are irresistibly crispy and this is the best time to eat them! If you have leftovers, you can store them, just know that you will lose some of the crispiness when they’re reheated.
Fridge instructions: As mentioned above, these are best the day they are fried, but you can store them in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Freezer instructions: 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.
Reheating instructions: This easy chicken flautas recipe is best when eaten after being freshly fried, but if you’ve stored them, you can reheat them on a baking sheet for 10 – 15 minutes at 350°F until they’re heated throughout. You can also warm them in a microwave for 15-second intervals until warm.
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- 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.
- 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.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
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