Crispy Chicken Flautas are flour tortillas filled with juicy, flavorful chicken, then fried to golden, crispy perfection. Use rotisserie chicken meat to save time and mix up the meat in advance for a quick snack that only takes about 30 minutes to make.
Serve these easy chicken flautas with sour cream and Restaurant Style Salsa. They will be a hit at your party or on your dinner table.
Table of Contents
Why We Love Chicken Flautas
Irresistibly crispy and golden – Frying the flautas gives you that golden, crispy shell that is completely irresistible.
Finger food or dinner – These rolled tacos can pull double duty as a party appetizer or a meal.
Easy to make – The recipe might have a few more steps but they are simple to follow and easy to complete.
Ingredients to Make Chicken Flautas
- Shredded Chicken – You can cook some chicken breast just to use for this recipe, or take the easy route and just grab a rotisserie chicken at the store and use that.
- Tomato Sauce – You don’t want dry chicken and this will add some flavor and also keep the chicken moist.
- Canned Green Chiles – One small can, to bring flavor and just a little bit of heat.
- Taco Seasoning – Make your own or use the pre-mixed spices. If you don’t have any, you can use 1 teaspoon of chili powder, and half a teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and cumin.
- Garlic Salt – This seasoning blend is pretty salty so be careful not to add too much.
- Black Pepper
- Flour Tortillas – You want 6-inch flour tortillas (fajita or soft taco size), and you’ll need about a dozen.
- Vegetable or Canola Oil – for frying.
How to Make Super Crispy Chicken Flautas
Be sure to check the recipe card below for full ingredients & instructions.
- Heat oil in a large, deep pot or dutch oven, to 375°F. Use a deep frying thermometer if you have one. The oil should shimmer across the top and sizzle with the tortillas touch it.
- Line a plate, platter, or baking sheet with paper towels and set aside. This is for laying the fried tacos on so the excess oil can drain off. If you have a baking rack with a sheet , place the paper towels under the rack.
- Mix all the ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl and assemble the tacos. Lay a tortilla out on a flat surface and spoon a few scoops of the chicken mixture onto the tortilla. Roll it up tightly and secure with toothpicks.
- Using metal tongs, lower the flauta into the hot oil and hold it there for a few seconds to help the flauta hold it’s shape once you let it go. I can usually fit 3-4 in the pot at a time – don’t overcrowd.
- As they are ready to be taken out of the oil, grab it gently with the tongs and transfer to the rack or paper towels. Keep in mind they darken and the shell hardens a bit as they sit. Sprinkle with salt.
While they are similar, in that both are rolled up with a meat or cheese filling and fried, they have distinct differences. Flautas are made with larger flour tortillas and end up long and skinny, like the flutes they are named for. While taquitos are made with corn tortillas, and are shorter and sometimes a little flatter. A taquito is known as a rolled taco or small taco, while flauta is Spanish for “flute.”
Flour tortilla rolled up with a meat filling and fried in oil, baked or air fried. They are named for their shape, which is like that of a flute. They are sometimes called taquitos or rolled tacos, and you can fill them with shredded chicken, beef, or pork, or even grilled veggies.
They originated in Mexico, although the history is a bit unknown.
Spicy – For spicy meat filling, add some canned jalapenos instead of green chiles, or a pinch of cayenne pepper or a few dashes of hot sauce like Tapatio.
Kid-friendly – Leave out the green chiles.
Meat – You can use any kind of shredded meat, like beef, pork, or shredded turkey.
To serve, try stacking them up on a platter and garnished with things like shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, and diced tomatoes. Serve sour cream, guacamole, and salsa on the side for dipping.
Storage and Reheating
Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days.
Freezer: Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw completely before reheating.
Reheating: Reheat in the oven at 350 degrees, the air fryer at 350 degrees, or in a skillet on the stovetop. Spraying them with a little cooking spray helps to add a little color.
- Flour tortilla are generally pretty soft and easy to roll, but if you need to you can wrap them in a clean towel and heat them in the microwave for 15-20 seconds.
- When in doubt, less is more. If you notice your tortillas cracking a little in the center, you’re using too much filling.
- Use as many toothpicks as you need to feel like your tortillas are secure. You’re going to remove them before serving.
More Mexican Inspired Appetizers
Crispy Chicken Flautas
- 3 cups shredded chicken
- 8 ounce can tomato sauce
- 4 ounce can green chiles
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 12 6-inch flour tortillas
- Vegetable or Canola oil
- Fill a large, deep pot, like a dutch oven, with 2-inches of oil. Heat to 375 degrees F over medium heat. Using a deep frying thermometer is helpful. The oil should shimmer across the top and sizzle when the tortillas touch it.
- Line a large plate (or a sheet pan with a rack on top) with a stack of 3-4 paper towels and set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine shredded chicken, tomato sauce, green chiles, taco seasoning, garlic salt and pepper.
- Lay a tortilla on a flat surface, like a cutting board. Spoon about 2-3 tablespoon of the chicken mixture along the middle of the tortilla. Roll the tortilla tightly around the filling and secure with a toothpick. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling.
- Using metal tongs, place a flauta in the hot oil and hold it there for a few seconds before releasing into the oil. This will help the flauta hold its shape. Repeat with each flauta, working in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pot. I can usually fit 3-4 in the pot at a time.
- Fry until they are golden brown then transfer to a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
- Serve hot, garnished with shredded lettuce, shredded cheese and diced tomatoes. Serve sour cream, guacamole and salsa on the side for dipping.