Chicken Flautas

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These crispy chicken flautas are filled with juicy seasoned chicken mixed with sour cream, chilis, salsa, and cheese. I bake mine in the oven instead of frying, and they come out hot and flaky, perfect for dipping or loading with toppings on Mexican night!

Why go out when you can eat in? I’ve been putting homemade spins on my favorite Mexican menu items, and it’s the best. After these flautas, try my easy chicken fajita bowls and these hands-free Instant Pot chicken carnitas tacos.

Flautas arranged on a serving platter with a bowl of dipping sauce. Slice jalapenos, lime wedges, tomatoes, and cheese are placed near the platter.


 

These baked chicken flautas have the juiciest filling rolled up in a crispy tortilla shell. Every bite is creamy, spicy, cheesy… all the adjectives to describe something DELICIOUS. They’re bursting with seasoned shredded chicken wrapped up with salsa, sour cream, Mexican cheese, and zesty green chilis.

A quick Google search reveals that the name “flautas” translates to “flute” in Spanish, which makes sense. I’ve always thought of flautas as the longer, crispier cousins of taquitos, another one of my Tex-Mex favorites. You’re going to love how easy it is to recreate this Mexican classic in your oven!

Why I Love This Crispy Chicken Flautas Recipe

Creamy chicken filling. I stuff my flautas with a simple filling of shredded chicken, sour cream, zesty green chilis, and lots of cheese, like a crispy fried version of an enchilada. They’re the perfect Mexican appetizer to get a fiesta started!

Baked, not fried. Traditionally, it takes a skillet full of oil to get flautas golden and crispy. I’m here to tell you that perfectly browned, flaky-crisp flautas are possible in the oven! Baking requires a fraction of the oil and WAY less mess.

Quick to make. This easy chicken flautas recipe takes 45 minutes from start to finish, plus the time it takes to roast the chicken. I’m also no stranger to making this recipe with leftover boneless baked chicken when I have some on hand. A rotisserie chicken works great, too!

Versatile. Crispy chicken flautas are an easy appetizer, and they’re also great to turn into a meal with our favorite taco-style toppings. If you ask me, there’s really no wrong way to demolish a plate of chicken flautas.

Chicken flautas ingredients with text labels overlaying each ingredient.

Ingredients You’ll Need

In a nutshell, Mexican flautas are made by rolling seasoned chicken inside soft tortillas, and frying in a skillet until they’re nice and crispy. My homemade version needs only a few easy ingredients to get this flavor party started! 

Check out some notes here, and scroll to the recipe card for a printable list with the exact amounts.

  • Chicken – I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs and rub the chicken with a simple seasoning blend of olive oil, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper before roasting.
  • Salsa – This can be your favorite store-bought salsa, or you can use homemade salsa.
  • Sour Cream – If you don’t have sour cream, try substituting plain Greek yogurt or creme fraiche.
  • Green Chilies – These can be canned or freshly chopped. If you’re using fresh chilis, I recommend jalapeño, serrano, or poblano peppers.
  • Taco Seasoning – I always have a jar of homemade taco seasoning in the pantry. Like the salsa, feel free to pick up a packet of taco seasoning from the store.
  • Shredded Cheese – I like to use a Mexican cheese blend, or you can freshly grate some cheddar.
  • Tortillas – I use 8” flour tortillas, but corn tortillas also work. 

Can I Use Another Filling?

Absolutely. You can swap the shredded chicken for any shredded or ground meat you’d like. I have a recipe for oven-baked pork flautas already, and I’m dying to try a variation with pork carnitas or juicy beef machaca. Just stir your choice of meat into the filling in place of the chicken.

There’s also the option to make vegetarian flautas by replacing the meat with beans, lentils, chickpeas, or a plant-based meat alternative, like tofu (try stuffing these with sofritas!).

Six chicken flautas stacked over a bed of shredded lettuce on a plate.

How to Make Chicken Flautas

Ladies and gents, it’s time to wrap and roll. But first, if you’re not using pre-cooked chicken, you’ll need to get your chicken for your flautas roasting in a hot oven. It’s very quick! The whole recipe is pretty straightforward, even if you’re new to making a Mexican recipe.

  1. Roast and shred the chicken. First, you’ll need to season and roast the chicken for about 20 minutes, until it’s cooked through and shreddable. I recommend letting the chicken rest before you shred it, this way the juices redistribute.
  2. Make the filling. Afterward, combine sour cream with salsa, green chilies, taco seasoning, and cheese. Add your shredded chicken and stir.
  3. Assemble. Now, you’ll roll the filling tightly inside the tortillas like little cigars. Set the rolled flautas on a wire rack placed over a baking sheet and brush the tops with oil.
  4. Bake. Bake the flautas at 425ºF for 20 minutes until they’re browned and crispy.

Stovetop Method

If you’d prefer to cook your flautas the old-fashioned way, by deep frying, that’s also easy enough. While you’re filling and rolling your flautas, heat about ½ inch of oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat. To keep the flautas from unrolling, secure them with a toothpick before you fry them.

When the oil hits 375°F, fry the flautas in batches until they’re browned on all sides, about 1-2 minutes. Carefully lift them out with tongs or a slotted spoon and transfer them to a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Keep the flautas warm in the oven until you’re ready to serve.

Overhead view of crispy chicken flautas on a round platter, garnished with lime wedges, sliced jalapeños, and fresh cilantro, surrounded by small bowls with more garnishes.

What Do You Eat With Flautas?

I like my chicken flautas with a squeeze of fresh lime and dipped in salsa or enchilada sauce. They’re such a tasty appetizer at parties! As a meal, I’ll serve flautas with a side of fiesta rice or cumin rice and a family-style salad, like this quinoa Southwestern salad or this grilled Mexican corn salad.

But everyone knows that when you’re serving these as a meal, the best part is the toppings! Traditionally, flautas are served with garnishes like shredded lettuce, fresh cilantro, sliced jalapeños, diced tomatoes, sour cream, and queso fresco. Feel free to get creative.

Do you eat flautas with your hands?

Hands are the way to go! As an appetizer, flautas are so easy and satisfying to pick up and bite into the same way you’d eat a Southwest egg roll. Of course, you can use a fork and knife if you’d prefer to eat them that way, or if you’re serving with lots of toppings.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between flautas and enchiladas?

Flautas and taquitos involve stuffing, rolling, and frying tortillas until crispy. Meanwhile, enchiladas are stuffed, rolled, and baked under sauce and cheese, more like a casserole.

Why are my flautas falling apart?

Your flautas shouldn’t fall apart as long as you don’t overfill them, and make sure to place the rolled tortillas seam-side-down on the wire rack for baking. If you’re frying flautas on the stovetop, stick a toothpick into the tortilla to secure it.

Can I make them in the air fryer?

Yes! Preheat the air fryer to 385˚F. Place 4 flautas in the air fryer, or as many as it fits without overlapping or touching, with the seam side down. Set the timer for 8 minutes. Halfway through, flip the flautas and continue cooking until they are golden and crispy.

Chicken flautas arranged on a serving platter with a bowl of tomato salsa.

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

Place any leftover chicken flautas in an airtight container to keep in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze them for up to a month. Reheat them in the oven straight from frozen. The best way to reheat crispy flautas is to pop them back into the oven at 350ºF until heated through. Or, use a skillet on the stove.

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Chicken Flautas

These easy chicken flautas are filled with juicy seasoned chicken mixed with sour cream, chilis, salsa, and cheese. Mine are baked in the oven instead of fried, and they're just as crispy!
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients 

For the Chicken

  • pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

For the Flautas

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Instructions 

  • Prep. Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Season the chicken. Rub the chicken with salt, pepper, smoked paprika, cumin, and olive oil and arrange it on the baking sheet.
  • Roast. Roast the chicken for 20 minutes or until cooked through.
  • Rest and shred. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes and then shred it.
  • Make the filling. In a large bowl, mix together the salsa, sour cream, green chilis, taco seasoning, cheese, and chicken.
  • Assemble. Divide the chicken mixture between the tortillas and roll each tortilla around the filling into a cigar shape.
  • Bake. Set a wire rack over a baking sheet and place the flautas seam side down on the wire rack. Brush the flautas with oil. Bake the flautas for 20 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
  • Serve. Remove the flautas from the oven and let them rest for 5 minutes before serving them with sour cream, queso fresco, salsa, etc.

Nutrition

Serving: 2flautas | Calories: 468kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 99mg | Sodium: 1.805mg | Potassium: 633mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1.036IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 482mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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2 Comments

  1. Harriet Edwards says:

    Could you make these in an air fryer?

    1. Katerina says:

      Hi!
      Yes! Preheat your air fryer to 385˚F. Place about 4 flautas in the air fryer – or as many as it fits without them overlapping or touching – with the seam side down. Set the timer for 8 minutes. Halfway through, flip the flautas and continue cooking until they are golden and crispy.