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pile of chicken taquitos on white plate drizzled with avocado ranch
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5 from 5 votes

Cheesy Jalapeño Popper Chicken Taquitos

Creamy jalapeño studded chicken filling is rolled up with cheese in flour tortillas and baked until crispy!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time6 hrs 12 mins
Total Time6 hrs 32 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy chicken recipe
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 1274kcal

Ingredients

Chicken taquitos

  • 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 8 oz cream cheese full fat works best
  • 1/3 cup pickled or jarred sliced jalapeños roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro optional
  • 16 soft taco-sized flour tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese or use your favorite
  • additional jalapeño slices optional - to add to the rolled up taquitos

Avocado Cilantro Ranch

  • 1 medium avocado pitted and chopped
  • handful fresh cilantro about 1 cup
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice fresh is best
  • 1 cup prepared ranch dressing

Instructions

Slow cook jalapeño popper chicken

  • Add chicken, chicken broth, cream cheese, chopped jalapeños, garlic powder, salt, cumin and chopped cilantro (if using) to slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high 3-4 hours.

Shred chicken

  • Shred chicken, then return to the slow cooker with the liquid and stir to mix well.

Prepare to bake

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly spray with cooking spray.

Assemble taquitos

  • Heat tortillas in the microwave for a few seconds to soften them up (this makes them easier to roll).
  • Place about 2 1/2 - 3 Tbsp of the chicken filling in a line on one tortilla.  Top with a sprinkle of Monterey jack cheese and a couple of jalapeño slices (if using). Starting with the bottom edge, roll the tortilla up towards the top, rolling it up into a cigar-like log shape.
  • Place taquito on prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining tortillas, filling, and cheese. Lightly spray with cooking spray.

Bake

  • Bake for 12-14 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.

Make avocado cilantro ranch

  • While the taquitos are baking, add avocado, cilantro, lime juice, and ranch dressing to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

Serve

  • Serve garnished with minced cilantro, diced avocado and avocado cilantro ranch dressing if desired.

Notes

  1. Recipe makes 16 taquitos (and could probably make a bit more, you'd just need more tortillas), and serves approximately 4 people (with each person having 4 taquitos).
  2. Original recipe called for water, which I like to replace with reduced sodium chicken broth, as reflected in this updated recipe.
  3. Corn tortillas can be used in place of flour.
  4. Chicken filling could probably be cooked in the Instant Pot, I just haven't tested it to tell you the specific cook time. If you experiment, let me know how it goes!

Even Crispier Taquitos:

  1. Assemble taquitos as directed.
  2. Bake in a 450°F oven, for 9-10 minutes.  Flip taquitos over and bake another 3-5 minutes until golden brown.

Frying Directions:

  1. Assemble taquitos as directed.
  2. Heat about 1/2 – 1 inch of vegetable, canola, avocado, or peanut oil in a large deep skillet, over MED heat.
  3. While the oil is heating up, add some paper towels to a baking sheet and top that with a wire cooling rack.  Set this relatively near your stove.
  4. Test the oil by either using a candy/frying thermometer (you’re looking for 350°F), or tearing off a small piece of a flour tortilla and adding it to the oil. 
  5. If the tortilla sinks to the bottom and doesn’t bubble, the oil isn’t ready yet.  If it gets golden brown really quickly, the oil is too hot.
  6. When the oil is ready, add 4-5 taquitos at a time into the hot oil, seam side down.  Fry for about 1 1/2 minutes per side, or 3 minutes total, until golden brown and crispy.
  7. Set aside on the cooling rack and repeat with any remaining taquitos.

Air Fryer Directions:

  1. Assemble taquitos as directed.
  2. Air fry in a single layer at 400°F for about 12 minutes, turning over halfway through.
  3. If your air fryer basket won’t fit all 12 in a single layer without overcrowding, split the cooking process up into 2 batches.

Nutrition

Calories: 1274kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 63g | Fat: 81g | Saturated Fat: 29g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 21g | Monounsaturated Fat: 23g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 219mg | Sodium: 2984mg | Potassium: 1331mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 2576IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 599mg | Iron: 7mg