Honey Buffalo Chicken Taquitos

Chicken Taquitos are super easy, exploding with flavor and about to become your favorite meal, appetizer or snack!

These Chicken Taquitos are bursting with shredded honey buffalo chicken and cheese all rolled up in crispy tortillas that can be baked or cooked in a skillet without any oil! These chicken taquitos can also be made and frozen for later – instructions included!  They are a a ridiculously delicious party appetizer that everyone will go crazy for OR easy favorite meal served with a green salad and veggies!

This chicken taquitos recipe is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Tyson Foods, Inc.   All opinions are my own.

easy Chicken Taquitos stacked on a white plate

Chicken Taquitos

These Chicken Taquitos are insanely delicious.   The sweet heat cream cheese chicken is so intoxicating you will want to eat it with a spoon!    

After I posted my Slow Cooker Honey Buffalo Meatballs, I was so in love with the tantalizing sauce, I’ve been trying to think of what more I could do with it – aside from drink it – light bulb – Honey Buffalo Chicken Taquitos!  Positively addicting light bulb –  as in I made this chicken taquitos recipe twice in one week because I couldn’t get the almost too-good-to-be-true-craving out of my mind, my belly, my soul.  

From the sweet heat, to the velvety cream cheese, to the layers of spices, to the to bubbly cheese, to the perfectly crisp, tortillas, these chicken taquitos are perfection.

If you want to be the hero at your next party or cause a near interference and steal the Game winning touchdown, then I highly recommend serving up these gems.  Or you could just make them and eat them yourself.  Been there.  Loved that.

WHERE DID CHICKEN TAQUITOS COME FROM?

Do you LOVE chicken taquitos like me? I can never grow tired of the crunchy tortilla giving way to juicy chicken. So who do we have to thank for this brilliant culinary concoction?

It turns out, taquitos quite possibly originated in my hometown of San Diego!   Food lore claims San Diego area tortilla factory owner, Ralph Pesqueria Jr. Tex-Mex, made the first taquitos.

Pesqueria devised the taquito in the 1940s as a strategy for increasing his sales – and it worked!  Pessqueria has been a popular Mexican restaurant ever since, now known as El Indio Mexican Restaurant & Catering. On Saturday, Aug. 15 2019, El Indio will celebrated its 79th anniversary! 

That’s some pretty rad, close to home food history.  I think Patrick and I need to try a new restaurant this weekend – and you need to try this chicken taquitos recipe!

baked Chicken Taquitos recipe on a cutting board

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FLAUTAS AND TAQUITOS?

Before we dive into this chicken taquitos recipe, I’ve been asked what the difference between flautas (meaning flute in Spanish) and taquitos are? The differences are extremely subtle:

  • Tortillas: Taquitos are generally made with corn tortillas; flautas are made with flour tortillas.
  • Size: Taquitos are smaller because they are made with small corn tortillas; whereas flautas are larger because they use burrito-size flour tortillas which are the length of a dinner plate.
  • Course: Taquitos are often served as an appetizer because of their size; flautas are often served as the main dish.

So, if we want to get technical, these chicken taquitos are actually chicken flautas, but I’m going with taquitos because they are more of a party food and you can make them with corn tortillas if you wish.

Ingredients for chicken Taquitos recpie

This Chicken Taquitos only requires a handful of ingredients. You will need:

  • chicken: make sure to use thawed chicken
  • sharp cheddar cheese: use freshly grated for superior taste and melting ability 
  • tortillas: I prefer TortillaLand tortillas which are raw and found in the refrigerated section because they cook up fresh and crispy
  • cornstarch: thickens the honey buffalo sauce
  • cream cheese: you can use full far or reduced fat works great
  • hot sauce: I use Frank’s Original
  • honey: you can also substitute with granulated sugar, more or less to taste
  • apricot preserves: adds a dimension of sweetness without adding just plain sugar
  • brown sugar: rounds out the heat
  • soy sauce: make sure to use low sodium so our chicken taquitos aren’t too salty
  • seasonings: garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, chili powder, ground cumin, salt, pepper – no bland chicken taquitos here!

What Chicken is best?

You can either use chicken breasts or chicken thighs for this chicken taquitos recipe:

  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts:  are my personal preference because they are leaner but still emerge wonderfully juicy from cooking the bath of flavor all day and from being smothered in sauce and cream cheese.  You will want to check your chicken breasts towards the earlier end of the cooking window to make sure they don’t become overcooked.
  • Boneless skinless chicken thighs: are dark meat and therefore inherently juicier and more forgiving as far as cooking time. 
picking up easy Chicken Taquitos dipped in ranch

Can I Use Rotisserie Chicken?

If you are running low on time and can’t commit to the slow cooker, then I’ve got you covered.  You can speed up this chicken taquitos recipe by using a Costco rotisserie chicken. I wouldn’t recommend a grocery store rotisserie chicken as they don’t have as much meat on them (or you can use two!). 

Shred the chicken into crock-pot and cook with spices and honey buffalo sauce on low for 30-60 minutes, then proceed with step 2 and use the tongs if necessary.

What are the best tortillas for chicken taquitos?

As my Mexican food connoisseur husband always says, Mexican food is only as good as the tortillas, so your chicken taquitos are only as good as your tortillas! If you want the BEST chicken taquitos, I highly suggest and TortillaLand tortillas.

TortillaLand tortillas boast far superior texture and fresh taste. They  are made of five simple recognizable ingredients – wheat flour, water, canola oil, salt sugar – love the freshness.   They come raw so you cook them up yourself which means you get even more fresh tasting tortillas.

I found my TotillaLand tortillas in the refrigerated section of Costco and while I was checking out, the cashier started gushing about how much she loved these tortillas.  And so will you! You also should be able to find them at Wal-mart and many other grocery stores.

Can I use Corn Tortillas?

Yes, you may use corn tortillas for this chicken taquitos recipe, but be aware that they tend to fall apart more easily and they won’t become crispy, unlike TortillaLand tortillas, unless they are fried. To help prevent tearing, you have two options:

  • How to Flash Fry Tortillas:  Heat enough canola or vegetable oil in medium skillet so it covers the bottom and heat over medium high heat.  Once hot, add a corn tortilla and flash fry for about 10 seconds on each side.  We are just looking to immerse and heat the tortilla so it becomes soft and pliable without crumbling- we do NOT want it to become crispy at all.  Now your tortilla is pliable!
  • Microwave Tortillas: Instead of flash frying corn tortillas, you can microwave them as well, but this method is not 100%  fool proof.   To microwave corn tortillas, place 6 tortillas in between two damp paper towels on a microwave safe plate, and microwave 40 to 50 seconds so they are warm and pliable.    Proceed to fill and roll tortillas before microwaving the second batch.

How to make chicken taquitos

Like all great recipes, they become even greater if the taste far exceeds the effort.  Case in point:    

  • Make sauce.  Whisk together your Honey Buffalo Sauce ingredients which is a unique blend of not only hot sauce and honey but my secret ingredient, apricot preserves (magic!) and the rainbow of buffalo spices.    
  • Add ingredients to slow cooker.  Add half of this sauce to the slow cooker along with the chicken.  
  • Cook chicken.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours in the slow cooker.  
showing how to make Chicken Taquitos by adding chicken to crockpot
  • Shred chicken.  When tender, shred the chicken.
  • Add cream cheese.  Stir in some cornstarch and cream cheese to thicken and creamify the chicken.  I use reduced fat not only because it has less fat, but because it is super soft and mixes so well with the chicken.  
  • Add sauce to chicken.  Once the chicken is nice and creamy, stir in the remaining Honey Buffalo Sauce and you will be smacking your own hand from eating the chicken all by itself.
showing how to make Chicken Taquitos by adding cream cheese to chicken
  • Roll chicken taquitos. Roll your chicken in your tortillas and shower the filling with sharp cheddar cheese.  

HOW TO COOK CHICKEN TAQUITOS

You can bake your chicken taquitos, cook in a skillet without any oil or fry them. Baking is great for a large batch of hands-off cooking, skillet is great for crispy taquitos without oil and frying is the ultimate indulgence.

SKILLET: I prefer the crispy texture of skillet “frying” (without any oil!) the chicken taquitos because they taste just as amazing and are healthier than if you bake them because they require ZERO oil or cooking spray.  Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Working in batches, add taquitos and cook, until golden brown on all sides, rotating as needed, approximately 2 minutes. Repeat until taquitos are all cooked and the TortillaLand uncooked tortillas puff to golden deliciousness.

BAKE: Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F.  Spray baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.  Spray the taquitos with nonstick cooking spray, or lightly brush with some oil to promote crisping. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until taquitos are golden brown and crispy.

DEEP FRY: Heat oil in a large heavy bottom pan to 425 degrees F. Cook taquitos in batches so they can comfortable move around and aren’t touching each other while cooking. Cook until golden about 3 to 5 minutes. Place a cooling rack over foil or paper towels to catch excess oil then place chicken taquitos on cooling rack so they stay crispy.

CAN I MAKE CHICKEN TAQUITOS AHEAD OF TIME?

YES.  Chicken Taquitos are a great recipe to make in advance to have on hand for leftovers; simply warm them in the oven or toaster oven until hot and crispy. There is no need to buy the frozen version when you can have fresh, hot taquitos any time! 

When making ahead, allow chicken taquitos to cool completely, then freeze or store in refrigerator. They last for 3 to 5 days in the fridge stored in an airtight container.

CAN I FREEZE CHICKEN TAQUITOS?

Yes! Chicken Taquitos are a great make ahead, have on hand snack or meal. To freeze:

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

How to Cook Frozen Taquitos

  • When ready to severe, bake chicken taquitos from frozen.
  • Remove desired amount of taquitos from freezer.
  • Place taquitos on a greased baking sheet so they aren’t touching.
  • Bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until warmed through and crispy.

What Should I serve with Chicken Taquitos?

So now you can be all ready for the Big Game with your flavor exploding, touchdown Honey Buffalo Chicken Taquitos!  They will steal the show, and some hearts.

Looking for more shredded chicken recipes?

dipping the best Chicken Taquitos recipe in ranch

WANT TO TRY THIS CHICKEN TAQUITOS RECIPE?

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If you love taquitos, you will love my Cheesy BBQ Pork Taquitos, and Cheesy Hawaiian BBQ Beef Taquitos.

Super easy Slow Cooker Honey Buffalo Chicken Taquitos bursting with sweet heat cream cheese chicken filling you will want to eat it with a spoon! Perfect party appetizer that everyone will go crazy for or easy favorite meal!

Slow Cooker Honey Buffalo Chicken Taquitos

Chicken Taquitos are easy, explodignt with flavor and about to become our favorite meal or snack! These taquitos are bursting with shredded honey buffalo chicken and cheese all rolled up in crispy tortillas that can be baked or cooked in a skillet without any oil! These chicken taquitos can also be made and frozen for later – instructions included! They are a a ridiculously delicious party appetizer that everyone will go crazy for OR easy favorite meal served with a green salad and veggies!
Servings: 12 -16 taquitos
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds chicken breasts (thawed)
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese or more to taste
  • 12 flour TortillaLand tortillas
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, cubed

Honey Buffalo Sauce

  • 3-4 tablespoons hot sauce (I use Frank’s Original)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup apricot preserves
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp EACH salt, garlic pwdr
  • 1/2 tsp EACH onion pwdr, smoked paprika, chili pwdr, ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoons black pepper

Instructions

  • Add chicken to slow cooker. Whisk together the Honey Buffalo Sauce ingredients and pour HALF of the sauce over the chicken. Reserve the rest. Cover and cook on high 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. Shred chicken when tender.
  • Whisk together 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water and add to shredded chicken along with cream cheese. Stir to combine. Let cook on HIGH for an additional 30-60 minutes or until thickened and creamy, then stir in remaining Honey Buffalo Sauce. If your sauce doesn’t thicken completely for some reason, then use tongs to assemble chicken so you don’t get extra liquid in the taquitos.
  • To assemble, add a heaping ¼ cup chicken filling to the center of each tortilla and top with a heaping tablespoon cheese. Tightly roll up tortillas.
  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Working in batches, add taquitos and cook, until golden brown on all sides, rotating as needed, approximately 2 minutes. Repeat until taquitos are all cooked. Serve taquitos with ranch, blue cheese dressing/sauce or BBQ sauce – or just eat plain!

Notes

*⅓ less fat cream cheese is already very soft but if you use regular cream cheese, then you will need to soften it. **I think 4 tablespoons is perfect and would only recommend 3 if you want them very kid friendly.

HOW TO FREEZE CHICKEN TAQUITOS

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

How to REHEAT Frozen Taquitos

  • When ready to severe, bake chicken taquitos from frozen.
  • Remove desired amount of taquitos from freezer.
  • Place taquitos on a greased baking sheet so they aren’t touching.
  • Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
  • Uncover and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until warmed through and crispy.

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57 Comments

  1. Erica says

    These were a HUGE hit in our house! So yummy, thanks for the great recipes!

    • Jen says

      YAY! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment Erica! I am thrilled they were such a huge hit!

    • Jen says

      Thank you Karyl! They are one of my favorites, excited for you to try them!

  2. Whitney says

    REALLY good! Used corn torts! Thank you!

    • Jen says

      You are so welcome! I’m so happy you loved them! Thanks Whitney!

  3. Rosie says

    Hello, I tried these last night but for some reason they didn’t work out. I’m not sure if the tortillas were too big but the inner parts were not cooked. What did I do wrong?

    • Jen says

      hmmmmm, I’m sorry Rosie as I haven’t encountered that problem before. I would suggest lowering the heat of the skillet so you can cook the tortillas for longer next time so they have time to cook all the way through without burning. Hope that helps!

  4. OML says

    I won’t be able to get Tortillaland tortillas. You mentioned in another comment to lightly grease them and bake for 15mins if using a regular tortilla. At how many degrees? I really want to try these. I did your carnitas and they were a huge hit. Can’t wait to try these!

    • Jen says

      I’m so happy the carnitas were a huge hit! When using regular tortillas – lightly brush each tortilla with olive oil. Bake at 425 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until golden. Enjoy!

      • Gina Godewyn says

        Can I use the tortilla land tortillas and bake them?

  5. Beth says

    can you use orange marmalade in place of apricot preserves?

    • Jen says

      Hi Beth, orange marmalade is a lot zippier, tangy and not as sweet so no, I would not make it an even swap but you could probably use it if you adjust other ingredients.

  6. Bob Elmore says

    What is the sauce that has been placed over the taquitos in the image? It looks like a caramel but I’m not certain. Can’t find any mention of this.

    BTW – We’ve tried a few of your other recipes and really love them. Thanks.

    • Jen says

      Thanks Bob, I’m so happy you’re enjoying my recipes! The drizzle of sauce is buffalo sauce – more for photo aesthetics 😉

  7. Bob Elmore says

    That’s actually what I thought at first but wasn’t sure. Will roll and eat this evening,,,:)

  8. Amy G. says

    Hello! Do you cook the raw TortillaLand tortillas before adding the filling and rolling taquitos? Thanks!

    • Jen says

      Hi Amy, nope, you just add the filling to the raw tortillas. Enjoy!

  9. Brian says

    What size of tortillas are you using? (Burrito, Soft Taco, Fajita??) There are a number of different diameter tortilla land tortillas available at my local Fred Meyer

    • Jen says

      Hi Brian, I typically go or a 6-inch tortilla – which is usually soft taco or fajita. Enjoy!

  10. Aimee says

    I tried to double the recipe but didn’t put enough chicken in so it turned out very liquidy. Instead of using it for taquitos I put the chicken mixture over rice and beans and topped with leftover pineapple and snap pea slaw and if turned out amazing!

    • Jen says

      I love that you were able to problem solve and ended up with a delicious result! Your bowls sound fabulous!

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