These Baked Taquitos have been my go-to meal for the past month: healthy, fast, and incredibly satisfying.
Dipping a crispy taquito into a bowl of warm homemade salsa can transport any dinner table straight to the heart of Mexico.
Baked Taquitos in Tomato Chipotle Salsa Recipe
Taquitos are traditionally deep-fried, but we're going to bake them.
Baking them will give you all the crispy goodness without the downsides of plopping them in the fryer. Bueno?
First thing is to get those tomatoes roasting. I have 2 normal sized tomatoes here, but 3 plum tomatoes is fine too. De-stem and put in oven at 400F for 20-30 minutes.
Poaching chicken works good for taquitos (and enchiladas) because it can then be easily shredded into a flexible inner mixture.
Cover two chicken breasts with cold water. Season the water with salt and freshly ground pepper. Here I’ve also added half an onion and some cilantro sprigs to give additional flavor to the chicken (and to make the kitchen smell good).
Bring to a boil and then let simmer until the center is no longer pink, about 20-30 minutes. (Note: rotisserie chicken is a good alternative to make this recipe even faster.)
Cut off any visible stem and slice open to remove the seeds and veins. Don't worry about getting every last seed out.
After roasting for 20-30 minutes your tomatoes will look like this:
Add to a blender along with half an onion, a clove of garlic, and only one half of the chipotle.
Pulse blend and taste for heat. Add the other half of the chipotle if you want more heat (I usually do).
And say hello to one of Mexico's finest creations: warm Tomato-Chipotle salsa.
OK, chicken is done by now. We'll use two forks to shred it.
Pull against the grain and the strands will fall off easily, leaving you with 1-1.5 cups of chicken for each chicken breast used.
In a mixing bowl, combine the shredded chicken with 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion, healthy pinches of salt and pepper, and some crumbled cheese (approximately 2 tablespoons).
I'm using Cotija cheese. This is a salty Mexican cheese that tastes like a cross between Feta and Parmesan, but cheese is a minor player in this dish so any alternative will do (Feta, Jack, Mozzarella).
We're also going to add 3-4 spoonfuls of our newly created Tomato-Chipotle salsa.
And a bit of cream binds everything together well. I'm using 2 tablespoons of creme fraiche but there are loads of alternatives available: sour cream, Mexican crema, cream cheese.
Mix well and set aside.
Heat up the tortillas in the oven for a few minutes or in the microwave for 20-30 seconds. This will make them flexible enough to roll into taquitos. I'm using corn tortillas, but flour will work too.
Fill each tortilla with a heaping spoonful of chicken mixture.
Roll tight and use a toothpick or skewer to hold them together.
I’m using a skewer with seam sides facing each other to keep them as cylindrical as possible.
You can get away without using toothpicks by rolling them tight and bunching them together on a baking sheet. (Note: skewering them does make it easier to brush all sides with oil/lard.)
These need a little bit of fat to help them crisp up in the oven. Olive oil is a good option. As photographed, I am brushing them with homemade lard.
Bake in the oven at 400F.
Now is a good time to make a Basic Guacamole. Crush 2 tablespoons of finely chopped onion using the back of a fork:
Add to a bowl along with the juice of half a lime, 1 avocado, and plenty of salt to taste. Mix together well.
OK, 20-25 minutes later the edges of the taquitos will start to darken. Perfect!
You can serve these next to bowls of Guac and sauce if you want.
But covering them in Guac so you can sprinkle another layer of cheese over the top is an even better option.
And of course, you have a freshly made warm Tomato-Chipotle salsa waiting patiently to coat each bite.
These taquitos are versatile too. Once you get the basic technique down you can get creative with the inner filling.
And don’t forget, authentic Mexican is one of the most forgiving cuisines out there, so if you don’t have all the ingredients on hand, plow forward and make these with what you have available, it’ll be worth it.
Baked Taquitos Dipped In Tomato-Chipotle Salsa
- 2 chicken breasts (or 3 cups rotisserie chicken)
- 2 tablespoons creme fraiche (or Mexican crema, sour cream, cream cheese)
- 1 white onion
- 12-15 corn tortilllas (flour tortillas OK too)
- cheese (Cotija, Feta, Jack or Mozzarella)
- olive oil (or lard)
- cilantro for garnish (optional)
For the Tomato-Chipotle salsa:
- 2 tomatoes (or 3 plum tomatoes)
- 1/2 white onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 chipotle in adobo
For the Basis Guac:
- 1 avocado
- 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
- Cover the chicken breasts with cold water. Season the water with salt and pepper. Add onion and cilantro.
- Bring to a boil and let simmer until center is no longer pink
- Roast the tomatoes at 400F for 20-30 minutes
- Combine with 1/2 white onion, 1 clove garlic and 1/2 chipotle in adobo
- Pulse blend and taste for heat, add more chipotle for more heat
- Shred the chicken with two forks
- Combine the chicken in a mixing bowl with 2 tablespoons chopped onion, salt, pepper, 2 tablespoons creme fraiche, 2 tablespoons cheese, and 3-4 spoonfuls of the Tomato-Chipotle salsa
- Mix well
- Heat up tortillas
- Add a heaping spoonful of the chicken mixture to each tortilla
- Roll tight and secure with a toothpick or skewer
- Brush with olive oil or lard
- Bake at 400F for 20-30 minutes
- For the Basic Guac: crush 2 tablespoons of finely chopped onion using the back of a fork
- Add onion to a bowl along with juice of half a lime, 1 avocado, and plenty of salt to taste
- Coat the taquitos with Basic Guac and sprinkle with a final layer of cheese and cilantro
- Serve with the Tomato-Chipotle salsa
You can use a similar technique for our recent Chicken Flautas.