Cheesy Chicken Jalapeno Popper Taquitos
Who loves appetizer food? Me! What about a cheesy jalapeno popper? Sounds good right? Now imagine all those cheesy jalapeno flavors mixed with creamy shredded chicken, rolled up into a crispy baked taquito and drizzled with an avocado cilantro ranch sauce. Are you drooling, because I am! But wait, there’s more…. that delicious taquito filling… it’s cooked in your slow cooker!
Can that be any more awesome?! All that yumminess just cooks away all day in your slow cooker. Come dinner time, all you need to do is shred the chicken (seriously, it just falls apart), spread some filling into flour tortillas, roll them up and bake them. And then you get to look like a rock star in the kitchen 😀
There is a downside (if you can even call it that lol)… if you’re home while this is cooking all day, man… you’re going to need to stock up on some snacks, because you will be HUNGRY smelling that deliciousness all day!
Now you all know I’m a spiciness wimp… but the jalapenos in these are the jarred pickled jalapenos, so they’re barely hot, it’s more the flavor of jalapenos. I did chop up some fresh jalapenos for my husband’s taquitos, and garnished with some, but even my kiddos ate the regular ones, so that tells you how “not hot” they are. If you want yours extra spicy, either stir some diced fresh jalapenos into the shredded chicken, or simply sprinkle some on top of the filling before you roll up the taquitos.
You can serve these with any sauce that you’d like. Technically, they’re flavorful enough that they don’t really need sauce, but I love to drizzle sauces and dip my taquitos 🙂 I chose to do the avocado cilantro ranch sauce because I think the flavors really mesh well with the taquitos, and the ranch base helps to cool down any heat.
The sauce is super simple to make… just add 1/2 – 1 diced avocado (depending on how “avocado-y” you like it), a handful of cilantro leaves, and a cup of bottled ranch dressing to your food processor or blender, and process it until smooth. Done! Now because of the avocado in it, you may want to make it while the taquitos are baking, instead of beforehand, otherwise it may go a little brown on you (although it will still taste yummy).
For the actual assembling part of this meal, it’s a good opportunity to get your kids in the kitchen to help you 🙂 They can help spoon some filling on a tortilla, roll it up and place it in the baking pan. I love getting the kids involved, they seem to be more apt to actually eat the food if they helped prepare it or choose toppings, etc.
Here’s the filling in the slow cooker after I shredded the chicken. I could seriously just pull up a chair, grab a fork, and eat it just like that!! But, I must resist, because these taquitos are too good to miss!
The assembling process is really simple… just spoon some filling into the center of the flour tortilla, sprinkle some monterey jack cheese (or whichever you prefer), and roll it up like a cigar.
Now just place them seam side down on a parchment paper lined baking sheet that’s been sprayed with cooking spray. Spray the tops with cooking spray.
Bake at 425 degrees for about 12 minutes or so.
I usually turn on the broiler for the last minute or so because I love these to be nice and crispy!
Drizzle your sauce over the top or serve it alongside… or be decadent like I am and have it both ways 😀
I love the combination of the creamy and savory chicken filling and the bright and fresh garnishes!
These would be a great appetizer as well as a main course!
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Recipe adapted from Le Creme de la Crumb
- 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (can use frozen as well)
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- cup ⅓ jarred sliced jalapeños roughly chopped (use more if you'd like it to be hotter)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cumin
- 16 soft taco-sized flour tortillas
- 1 cups ½ shredded monterey jack cheese or use your favorite
Add chicken, ½ cup water, cream cheese, chopped jalapeños, garlic powder, salt, and cumin to slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high 3-4 hours.
Before serving, preheat the oven to 425 degrees and prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper and spraying with cooking spray.
Shred chicken in the slow cooker and stir to mix well.
Heat tortillas in the microwave for a few seconds to soften them up (easier to roll).
Add 2-3 tablespoons of the chicken filling. Top with a sprinkle of your shredded cheese. Roll tortillas tightly into a cigar-shaped taquito.
Place taquitos on baking sheet and spray with cooking spray. Bake for 12 minutes until cheese is melted and tortillas begin to brown.
If you'd prefer a crispier taquito, broil them for a couple of minutes, just be careful not to let them burn.
Serve garnished with minced cilantro, diced avocado and avocado cilantro ranch dressing (see recipe in notes).
** AVOCADO CILANTRO RANCH:
Combine 1/2 to 1 diced avocado, handful of cilantro and 1 cup of ranch dressing in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth.