Lately, it’s been hard to get the whole family to sit down to dinner together. With two teenagers who are always at theatre rehearsals or basketball practice, schedules are unpredictable. I’ve started looking for recipes I can freeze in individual portions so the kids can prepare them easily and (I hope) eat less fast food when they’re ravenous after a long day. These green chile chicken taquitos have been a huge hit. They’re spicy, satisfying and crunchy, but baked instead of fried with about 300 calories each.
You can use any kind of cooked chicken as the base for the filling for these taquitos. The day I made this recipe I used cooked rotisserie chicken breast meat I bought at Costco, but you could use any cooked chicken you have on hand. Allie’s Crock-Pot Cilantro Lime Shredded Chicken works great in this recipe.
The cooked chicken is mixed with green salsa, canned green chiles, garlic and spices in a large sauté pan, and then simmered for a few minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated. You want the filling to be fairly dry and not soupy. The filling gets its creamy texture and richness from a little bit of cream cheese, and a bright finish from fresh lime juice and cilantro.
Roll the taquitos by placing 1/3 cup of the filling in the bottom third of a flour tortilla, then rolling away from you. You can add 2 tablespoons shredded or crumbled cheese, like Monterey Jack, Colby Jack, cheddar or queso fresco, if you like. I usually just stick with the cream cheese, but if you want it extra cheesy, knock yourself out.
Place the rolled taquitos, seam side down, on a parchment-lined baking sheet. To help the taquitos crisp in the oven, spray or brush them lightly with olive oil. I use my Misto oil sprayer for this, but a pastry brush will work just as well.
As this point, you can freeze the taquitos on the baking sheet, and once they are frozen store them in a freezer container or bag to bake later. A second option for freezing the taquitos would be to bake them first, freeze them on a baking sheet, and then store them to reheat in the microwave.
Bake the taquitos at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, until they’re golden brown and crispy. I like to serve these taquitos with pico de gallo and guacamole, plus a side of fresh fruit. They also taste terrific with Allie’s Avocado Lime Dipping Sauce.
- 4 cups cooked shredded chicken, or use [url href=”http://foodlove.com/crock-pot-cilantro-lime-shredded-chicken/” target=”_blank”]Crock-Pot Cilantro Lime Shredded Chicken[/url]
- 1 small can (7 oz.) green salsa, or make your own [url href=”http://foodlove.com/salsa-verde/” target=”_blank”]Easy Homemade Salsa Verde[/url]
- 1 small can (4 oz.) chopped green chiles
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 clove garlic, pressed, or 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 4 oz. or 1/2 package cream cheese
- Juice of 1/2 lime, about 1 tablespoon
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 1/2 cups shredded or crumbled cheese such as Monterey Jack, Colby Jack, cheddar or queso fresco (optional)
- 12 taco-size flour tortillas
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil
- Combine all the filling ingredients except cream cheese, lime juice and cilantro in a large nonstick skillet. Heat over medium high heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the cream cheese and stir until cheese is melted and blended with other ingredients. Add lime juice and cilantro. Allow filling to cool until just warm.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- To fill the taquitos, place 1/3 cup filling in the bottom third of a flour tortilla. Add two tablespoons shredded or crumbled Monterey Jack, Colby-Jack, cheddar or queso fresco (optional). Roll the tortilla and place seam side down on parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Lightly coat the outside of each taquito with olive oil or canola oil, using an oil sprayer or pastry brush.
- Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes until golden and crispy.
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