15-Minute Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos Recipe

15-minute air fryer chicken taquitos are little fried tortillas filled with rotisserie chicken, oodles of cheese, refried beans, and a touch of salsa. Served with more sour cream and salsa, plus any other toppings you'd like, what's not to love about this dish?

Often associated with the frozen food aisle and grab-and-go foods, taquitos are not what people think of when they imagine authentic Mexican cuisine, according to food blogger and photographer Ksenia Prints of At the Immigrant's Table. And yet, these delicious rolls just may have a very traditional Mexican origin. Taquitos are made up of a rolled tortilla, stuffed with a mix of fillings (Chicken, cheese, beans, and beef are the most common ones.) and deep-fried to a crispy exterior and a gooey, chewy interior. 

The taquito's origin in the U.S. is often attributed to San Diego, thanks to a tortilla factory owner (via Taste Atlas). However, taquitos draw their roots from Mexican flautas — translated as "flutes," due to their shape — which are as authentically Mexican as it gets. The main difference between the two dishes is the tortillas in which they are rolled, as taquitos are made in corn tortillas and flautas in flour tortillas. And now that we have that settled, making your own chicken taquitos can be easy, fast, and fun. And when you make them in the air fryer, the resulting "flutes" are delicious and healthier than their deep-fried counterparts.

Gather the ingredients to prepare air fryer chicken taquitos

To get started, it's best to arrange all the ingredients for these chicken taquitos ahead of time. It will make the assembly and cooking process that much faster, which is saying something for a 15-minute recipe.

For the ingredients, you will need to gather shredded chicken, garlic, your favorite salsa, shredded cheese, and refried beans. For salsa, either red or green works just fine. For shredded cheese, go for a Tex-Mex blend or a blend of cheddar and mozzarella. You will need corn tortillas as well, but you can also make these with small flour tortillas if that's all you have on hand. For rolling the taquitos, make sure you have some toothpicks. Corn tortillas are delicate, and frying in the air fryer is not as quick as deep frying. Sealing the taquitos with toothpicks helps prevent them from unrolling and spilling all their beans in the basket of your air fryer, both literally and figuratively. 

Finally, we recommend serving taquitos with sour cream, more salsa, and any additional toppings you like, such as guacamole, Mexican hot sauce, fresh cilantro, and/or jalapeño peppers will all go well on top of the cooked taquitos.

Preheat the corn tortillas

This next step may seem odd to you, and you'll be tempted to skip it to save time. However, going so would be a big mistake.

As you may know, corn tortillas are more fragile than their flour counterparts. Applying heat makes them more pliable and easier to roll, which is crucial in making taquitos. To preheat the corn tortillas, wrap them in aluminum foil, and preheat in the air fryer at 400 F for five minutes. To save some time, you can also wrap them in a paper towel, and preheat them in the microwave for one to two minutes.

Make the chicken and cheese mixture

With your corn tortillas nice and warm and wrapped snugly in a towel to preserve their heat, just like a little burrito, it's time to move on to making our filling. There really isn't much that goes into this, as you can play around with the toppings as you wish. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the shredded chicken, minced garlic, and salsa. Mix well to combine. You can also add or substitute any of the flavorings, adding cumin, paprika, or even diced jalapeños to change the flavor of the taquitos.

Add the shredded cheese to the bowl, and toss everything together. The cheese helps the chicken bind together, and it also becomes beautifully stretchy and gooey when fried. The more cheese, the better, as far as we're concerned.

Fill and roll the taquitos

Spray the air fryer basket with oil. To avoid major spills, you can even coat the air fryer basket with aluminum foil prior to oiling. If you don't have an oil spray, feel free to brush the basket with a bit of oil.

Working it like a burrito, slather each corn tortilla with 1 tablespoon of refried beans, then the chicken and cheese mixture. Roll the tortilla up, and secure along the seal with a toothpick.

Arrange the rolled taquitos in a single layer in the air fryer basket, taking care not to pile them on each other. Spray or brush the taquitos lightly with oil, as this helps them crisp up and get a lovely golden brown hue.

Cook the taquitos in the air fryer

Now that your chicken taquitos are filled, rolled, and arrange side-by-side in the air fryer basket, it's time to send them for a bronzing session in the air fryer. Don't worry, because this will only make them taste better.

Cook the chicken taquitos in the air fryer at 400 F for seven minutes on one side. Turn them over using tongs, and cook for an additional three to four minutes, until they are golden brown all over. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may only be able to fit four to five taquitos at a time, so you'll need to repeat the cooking process with the remaining taquitos. Don't pile them on to save time, as this will result in soggy taquitos instead of the crunchy, crispy flutes you're expecting.

Some of your taquitos may burst while cooking. This is totally fine and doesn't hurt the flavor. It usually happens from overstuffing them, so try to be less generous with the filling next time.

Serve the air fryer chicken taquitos with all of your favorite Mexican fixings

Serve these 15-minute air fryer chicken taquitos immediately out of the air fryer with additional salsa, sour cream, and any other toppings you want. (Guacamole, Mexican hot sauce, fresh cilantro, and jalapeños are our suggestions!)

The air fried taquitos should be crunchy on the outside, and gooey and cheesy on the inside. They will taste of seasoned chicken, salsa, and cheese in the best ways possible. We love eating them for a light lunch with a salad or rice and beans, or as an appetizer in a great Mexican feast. Pair them with a Mexican Cerveza or a cold agua fresca for best results.

15-Minute Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos Recipe
5 from 18 ratings
These 15-minute air fryer chicken taquitos are little fried tortillas filled with rotisserie chicken, oodles of cheese, refried beans, and a touch of salsa.
Prep Time
5
minutes
Cook Time
10
minutes
Servings
10
Servings
three taquitos on plate
Total time: 15 minutes
Ingredients
  • 10 to 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded chicken
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ cup salsa, plus more for serving
  • 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup refried beans
Optional Ingredients
  • sour cream, for serving
  • guacamole, for serving
  • Mexican hot sauce, for serving
  • fresh cilantro, for serving
  • jalapeño peppers, for serving
Directions
  1. Preheat the corn tortillas wrapped in a paper towel in the microwave. Alternatively, you can wrap them in aluminum foil, and preheat in the air fryer at 400 F for 5 minutes.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the shredded chicken, garlic, and salsa. Mix well to combine. Add the shredded cheese, and toss everything together.
  3. Spray the air fryer basket with oil.
  4. Top each corn tortilla with 1 tablespoon of refried beans, then the chicken and cheese mixture. Roll the tortilla up, and secure with a toothpick.
  5. Arrange the taquitos in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Spray or brush lightly with oil.
  6. Cook the taquitos in the air fryer at 400 F for 7 minutes. Turn them over, and cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes, until they are golden brown all over.
  7. Serve the taquitos immediately with additional salsa and sour cream, and any other toppings you want, such as guacamole, Mexican hot sauce, fresh cilantro, or jalapeño peppers.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 171
Total Fat 8.9 g
Saturated Fat 4.1 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 27.8 mg
Total Carbohydrates 14.6 g
Dietary Fiber 2.3 g
Total Sugars 0.9 g
Sodium 266.6 mg
Protein 9.0 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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