Chicken Flautas
These flautas are about to become your family’s favorite quick and easy dinner, appetizer or snack! Flour tortillas are stuffed with fiesta spiced chicken, cheese, salsa and sour cream, rolled up then fried or baked to golden, crispy perfection. You can also swap the chicken for other favorite proteins such as beef barbacoa, carnitas, crockpot Mexican etc. Serve the flautas with shredded lettuce, salsa and guacamole and prepare to fall in love! These chicken flautas can also be made and frozen for later – all instructions included!
Prep Time
15minutes
Cook Time
15minutes
Prep Time
15minutes
Cook Time
15minutes
Chicken Flautas
Ingredients
  • 1/2cup salsa(medium or hot for more of a kick)
  • 1/2cup sour cream
  • 4oz. can mild chopped green chiles
  • 2teaspoons chili powder
  • 1tsp EACH ground cumin, garlic powder
  • 1/2tsp EACH onion powder, smoked paprika dried oregano, salt
  • 3cups shredded cooked chickenI like to use rotisserie chicken
  • 1cup freshly shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
  • 1cup freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Cayenne pepper or hot sauce to taste
  • 12-14 medium (7-8-inch) flour tortillas
  • Vegetable oil(optional for frying)
Instructions
  1. Add the salsa, sour cream, green chilies and all seasonings to a large bowl (except cayenne); stir to combine. Stir in chicken followed by cheeses. Season with cayenne pepper to taste (optional), keeping in mind the flavor will mellow in the tortillas.
  2. If using lower quality tortillas, stack 6 together and top with a dampened paper towel. Microwave for 60 seconds so they’re more pliable and easier to roll. Fill, roll and repeat.
  3. To assemble, lay 12-14 tortillas on a flat surface. Add approximately 3 tablespoons filling to the bottom third of each tortilla then tightly roll up tortillas and place them seam side down.
TO SHALLOW PAN FRY (Recommended)
  1. Optional to keep flautas warm: Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Set a wire baking rack in a baking pan; set aside.
  2. Heat 1 cup vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until 325 degrees F. Once hot, add 2-4 flautas seam side down in oil. Fry, turning as needed until golden brown on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes, adjusting burner as necessary to maintain oil temperature so they don’t fry to quickly.
  3. Let flautas drain briefly on paper towels, then transfer to the prepared baking pan and keep warm in oven while frying remaining flautas
  4. Serve with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, pico de gallo, shredded iceberg lettuce, etc.
Recipe Notes

TO BAKE FLAUTAS

  • Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F.  Set a wire baking rack in a baking pan and spray with nonstick cooking spray. 
  • Add flautas in a single layer without touching then brush with olive oil.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until flautas are golden. Broil for extra crispiness.

TO TOAST FLAUTAS IN THE SKILLET

This method works best with raw tortillas but will still work with cooked tortillas. 

  • Optional to keep flautas warm: Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Set a wire baking rack in a baking pan; set aside.
  • Heat one teaspoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  • Working in batches, add taquitos and cook, until golden brown on all sides, rotating as needed.
  • Transfer flautas to the prepared baking pan and keep warm in oven while cooking remaining flautas

TO AIR FRY

  • Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees F. 
  • Working in batches, brush flautas all over with olive oil then place seam side down in the air fryer basket so they aren’t touching.
  • Cook for 6-8 minutes or until they’re golden and crispy, turning halfway through the cooking time.

TIPS to make the best flautas

  • You don’t have to make chicken flautas!   See the post for all sorts of filling ideas.  
  • Use freshly shredded cheeses because pre-packaged cheeses contain chemicals designed to prevent the strands from clumping in the packaging – these same chemicals inhibit their melting ability.  Only freshly grated cheese will melt in the couple minutes it takes for the flautas to crisp up.   
  • Roll the tortillas tightly so there isn’t any open spaces in the chicken flautas. This prevents oil from leaking into the flautas and bubbling.  It also will help the flautas stay closed and fry up more easily and evenly.
  • Use a toothpick to secure the flautas closed before frying if they are peaking open.  Fry them with the toothpicks intact then remove before eating.   You shouldn’t have to use toothpicks with quality flour tortillas.
  • Make sure you test the oil first, especially if frying without an instant read thermometer.   To do this, tear off a bit of unused tortilla and add it to the oil.  If it boils, your oil is ready but if it boils and turns dark within a minute or so, your oil is too hot. You will have to remove from the heat, wait a few minutes, return to heat and try again.
  • Adjust heat as needed so the flautas cook up golden and crispy.  If you find your flautas are cooking too quickly and surpassing the golden brown before the cheese is melted, then lower the heat.  You may need to start off at medium-high heat and lower to medium heat.
  • To that end, resist the urge to stack the flautas or they won’t be as crispy.  I know I didn’t follow my own advice in the photos so I can speak from personal experience that stacked flautas will steam and you will lose that coveted crispy exterior very quickly.  It is best to serve the chicken flautas lined in a single layer with a little breathing room in between each flauta.

HOW TO STORE AND REHEAT 

You can reheat flautas in the microwave, oven, stove or in the air fryer. 

  • Storage:  store flautas in a single layer (with parchment paper in between layers if stacked) in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 
  • Air fryer:  this is my #1 preferred method for reheating anything crispy – or formerly crispy.  It restores the flautas to their former crispy glory as if they were freshly made – seriously amazing!  Place your flautas in the air fryer basket and air fry at 400 degrees F for 6-8 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  • Stove:  heat a large nonstick skillet to low then add the flauta(s). Cook until heated through, rotating as needed.  Once the inside is warm, you can crank the heat to medium-high to quickly toast the outside.
  • Oven:  place flautas on a baking rack placed over a baking pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or until warmed through. 
  • Microwave:  this is my least favorite method because the exterior doesn’t crisp up, but it’s convenient for hands off reheating. Transfer flautas to ta microwave safe plate and microwave on high or 60 seconds then at 15-second intervals as needed.

How to Freeze 

  • Let flautas cool completely in a single layer.
  • Line flautas on a baking sheet so they aren’t touching.
  • Freeze for 1-2 hours or until solid. This flash freezing will prevent the flautas from freezing together in a clump.
  • Add chicken flautas to a large freezer bag and squeeze out any excess air.
  • Freeze for up to 3 months.

HOW TO REHEAT FROZEN FLAUTAS

  • Air fryer: spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray.  Place desired amount of frozen flautas in the air fryer basket in a single layer so they aren’t touching.  Air fry at 400 degrees F for approximately 10 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  • Oven:  place flautas on a baking rack placed over a baking pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 425 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until warmed through. 
  • Microwave: transfer desired number of frozen flautas to a microwave safe plate and microwave on high or 2 minutes seconds then at 15-second intervals as needed.