Delicious Chicken Flautas are tightly rolled tacos with a cheesy chicken filling, wrapped in a crispy, golden flour tortilla. They’re made quick and extra easy with these simple tips for foolproof frying, and guaranteed to win over any crowd!
Serve them as an appetizer with guacamole for dipping, or alongside Spanish rice and charro beans for an authentic Mexican dinner at home! And, if you love serving Mexican food in your own casa, add easy Crock Pot Chicken Tacos and Sour Cream Enchiladas to your recipe repertoire!
WHAT ARE FLAUTAS?
Flautas originated in Mexico and translates to “flutes” in English. This comes as no surprise really, seeing as how they are cylindrical, skinny and narrow in shape just like a flute. However, unlike the flute, they are edible and completely delicious.
Flautas are tightly rolled and fried tortillas (flour or corn) with a filling of meat and, oftentimes, cheese. Chicken is the most popular flauta variety within the United States.
FLAUTAS VS. TAQUITOS
It can be difficult to determine exactly what it is that differentiates a flauta from a taquito. They’re both tacos that have been tightly rolled and fried. However, taquitos are typically smaller in size.
Taquitos are made with small corn tortillas, whereas flautas are often made with either corn or flour tortillas and sometimes even burrito-sized flour tortillas.
The two also differ in origin. Flautas are straight out of Mexico, but the same can’t necessarily be said for taquitos. Ralph Pesqueira, Sr. claims to have been the first to serve up taquitos in the 1940s out of his San Diego restaurant called Indio.
Chicken Flautas (or Flautas de Pollo) is a very simple Mexican dish to make at home and requires very little in the way of ingredients.
- Flour Tortillas – Flautas are the perfect finger food thanks to their handheld size! Avoid those labeled “Burrito Tortillas” for this recipe, and stick with standard, taco-sized flour tortillas.
- Chicken – White breast meat is best. If you’re in need of a time-saver, you can use the breast of a store-bought rotisserie chicken. If making the chicken yourself, this Baked Chicken Breast Recipe is perfect for Flautas de Pollo!
- Cheese – Cheese not only adds creaminess and flavor, but it also serves as a binder. Monterrey Jack is an excellent choice, as it is a superior melting cheese that pairs seamlessly with Mexican ingredients.
- Oil – The type of oil you use is more important than you might think. Different oils have different smoke points. For frying, you need a high smoke point. Canola oil is great for frying, as it has a high smoke point and is a truly flavorless oil. However, you could also use vegetable oil, if you already have it on hand.
HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN FLAUTAS
Before you begin, be sure you have your prep work completed. Don’t worry — it’s pretty minimal: Shred the cooked chicken breasts and grate the cheese. See how easy that was? Now, on to the oil.
- Heat the Oil — Bring the oil to temperature in a large skillet over medium-high heat. The best way to know if you’re oil is hot enough, is to use an instant-read (or better yet, an infrared) thermometer. You want the oil to be between 350°-375°.
- Mix it Up — Next, mix the shredded chicken and cheese in a large bowl and set aside until ready to use. For a little extra flavor, feel free to add a squeeze of fresh lime juice to the filling!
- Microwave the Tortillas — Wrap a stack of 3-5 flour tortillas at a time in damp paper towels and place on a microwavable -safe plate. Microwave for 30 second -to-1 minute intervals, just until the tortillas are soft and pliable.
- Fill the Tortillas and Roll — Add about 2 tablespoons of filling to each tortilla and roll tightly. Once you have 3-4 assembled, begin adding them to the oil one at a time.
- Fry — Be sure to add the Chicken Flautas to the oil seam-side down. To keep the tortillas from unraveling and the filling in place, use a pair of tongs to hold it the flauta in place for about 15 seconds. Then, fry for about 30-45 seconds on each side, just until the flauta is golden brown in color.
HOW TO EAT CHICKEN FLAUTAS?
Flautas are considered finger food, and can be eaten with your hands — no knife and fork necessary — making them an excellent choice for party food! They’re often served with a medley of shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, sour cream, and/or guacamole.
5 MORE MEXICAN RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Tacos al Carbon feature full-flavored flank steak marinated in a simple cilantro-lime marinade, and is perfect for a quick-cooking weeknight dinner!
- Beef Chimichangas are loaded with a savory ground beef filling and topped with a quick and easy stovetop queso! Plus, tips for frying to perfection and more.
- Chicken Ranchero is a healthy take on a Mexican classic. Perfectly baked chicken with a topping of Ranchero sauce and Monterey Jack cheese. Cut it up and serve it with tortillas and sliced avocados.
- Steak Quesadillas are an easy, crowd-pleasing dinner loaded with flavor thanks to quick-cooking, taco-seasoned steak strips, melty Monterrey Jack cheese, and sauteed onions and peppers.
- Baked Beef Empanadas filled with juicy, taco-seasoned ground beef and melty Cheddar cheese come perfectly packaged in a golden exterior of buttery, flaky pie crust.
Delicious Chicken Flautas with a cheesy chicken filling tightly rolled in a golden, fried flour tortilla.
- 1 1/2 cup canola oil
- 2 1/2 -3 cups cooked and shredded chicken
- 1 1/2 cup Monterrey Jack cheese
- 12 flour tortillas
Add the Canola oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat, and wait for the oil to reach between 350°-375°. In the meantime, assemble the flautas.
Mix the shredded chicken and cheese in a large bowl together and set aside until ready to use.
Wrap a stack of 3-5 flour tortillas at a time in damp paper towel and place on a microwavable -safe plate. Microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute intervals, just until the tortillas are soft and pliable.
Add about 2 tablespoons of filling to each tortillas and roll tightly. Once you have 3-4 flautas assembled, begin adding them to the oil one at a time.
Gently add the flautas to the hot oil seam-side down, and using a pair of tongs, hold it in place for about 15 seconds. Fry for 30-45 seconds on each side, or until the flauta is golden in color. Set aside on a plate lined with paper towels, and repeat with remaining flautas.
Serve with desired topping and enjoy!