I’ve mentioned before that one of our go-to meals is a simple roasted chicken (spatchcocked) with a few simple vegetables on the side. Of course, it’s just the two of us most nights, and we generally have leftover chicken after this meal. Often I’ll throw it on top of a green salad for lunch or dinner the following day. Sometimes, however, a little creativity ekes out, and I come up with something different to make with my leftovers.
This time around, it was chicken taquitos.
Traditionally, taquitos are rolled corn tortillas filled with meat and/or cheese and deep-fried. While I do deep-fry on the rare occasion, it’s a bit of a mess and not something I’d like to tackle on a weeknight. These, however, are totally do-able, don’t make a huge mess, and are lighter to boot. You simply mix together shredded, cooked chicken, spices, and cheese (dairy-free if you prefer), and roll it up in tortillas. Place them on a baking sheet, spritz a little olive oil over, and bake. Whip up a big bowl of guacamole while they’re baking, and you’re set. (Guacamole totally counts as a vegetable, by the way, so it’s a well-balanced meal. Personally, I think I eat enough of it to count as two vegetable servings. Go me!)
They’re definitely kid-friendly to boot, as they’re a great finger food. You can even customize them to your liking. Have leftover beef or pork instead? Use it. Want more spice? Why not add more chili powder, or even a little cayenne? It’s totally up to you. I imagine even adding beans would be tasty. All I know is, this is a recipe we will use time and again. I hope you will too.
Oven-Baked Chicken Taquitos (gluten-free, dairy-free option)
3-4 c shredded cooked chicken
1 t ground cumin
1 t ground chili powder
1/2 t kosher salt
1/4 t garlic powder
1/4 t onion powder
1 c shredded cheese (I prefer Monterey Jack or Cheddar) or non-dairy cheese (such as Daiya)
12-16 corn tortillas
Olive oil or cooking spray (I prefer using olive oil in my Misto)
Guacamole and salsa to serve
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the chicken, spices, and cheese.
Place the corn tortillas on a plate and cover with damp paper towels. Microwave for 30 seconds, and then rearrange the tortillas so that the bottom ones are on top, the top on bottom, the inside ones moved toward the outside of the stack, and so on. Heat again for 30 seconds, covered again with the damp paper towels. Continue this until they are warm but not hot. This will make the tortillas more pliable and less prone to cracking when you roll them.
Place 3-4 tablespoons of the chicken filling in the center of a tortilla and rill up tightly. Place seam-side-down on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling.
Spray the tortillas with olive oil (or lightly brush on) and bake for 20-25 minutes or until crisp.
Serve with guacamole and salsa.
Serves about 4.