Easy Taquitos Are The Best Of Both Frozen And Fresh Food Worlds

Store-bought frozen taquitos can be pretty underwhelming, what with that mystery meat filling unenhanced by shreds of a plastic-y cheese blend, but homemade taquitos are a whole 'nother thing. This easy taquito recipe from developer Kristen Carli lives up to its name as it takes under 20 minutes to make, with 15 of these being the time the taquitos spend in the oven. It all starts with shredded cooked chicken — a rotisserie bird would work just fine, as would leftovers from any other chicken dinner you've eaten in recent days. These are combined with shredded cheese and an assortment of spices and other flavorings before being rolled inside itty-bitty flour tortillas. Instead of frying the taquitos, you just give them a few squirts of cooking spray, then bake them until they get crispy.

If you prefer a plant-based diet, Carli suggests a few tweaks you could make to her basic recipe. "You could sub in black beans for a vegetarian alternative," she tells us, and adds "You could [also] easily use non-dairy cheese." You may need to scout out a vegan brand of flour tortillas, though, since these are often made with lard. Sadly, you can't swap them out for the typically lard-free corn tortillas since, as Carli points out, "They have a tendency to break open when you roll them up."

Homemade taquitos, too, can be frozen for convenience's sake

Even though these taquitos are the kind of thing you could easily throw together on a busy night, the recipe is one you might also wish to add to your meal prep repertoire. Cook up a batch when you have 20 minutes to spare, then refrigerate them for up to three days. Warm them up in the microwave if you want to eat right away, or bake them in the oven if you have time to spare for preheating and such. Taquitos on their own can be a quick, easy snack, although they go even better with a side of salsa or queso for dipping. To make a meal of them, though, you might want to add a salad or a side of Mexican street corn (here's our 5-ingredient recipe for the latter).

If you'd like to plan even farther in advance, Carli notes of her taquitos that "They freeze great." She advises flash-freezing them separately on a flat surface such as a baking pan, then storing them in a resealable plastic bag or other airtight container. While you can reheat frozen taquitos in the microwave, for the best texture, Carli recommends "Be sure to bake them in the oven." You could also cook the frozen taquitos covered in sauce and cheese to turn them into easy enchiladas.