Mexican-style chicken flautas combine crispy, golden tortillas with a succulent filling of tender shredded chicken, vibrant peppers, and aromatic spices.
I first had this dish at a friend’s house, and I was hooked.
I spent months experimenting with different flours for flautas, herbs, and meats.
I held taste tests with friends and family until I found the best possible combination of ingredients.
Here’s my flautas de pollo recipe broken down into steps so you can easily recreate it whenever the craving for Mexican cuisine hits you.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Number of Servings: 16 flautas
For the chicken filling:
- 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1/2 white onion
- 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon salt
For the flautas:
- 12 corn tortillas
- 1 tablespoon oil
- Water, as needed
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 avocado
- Fresh cilantro
- Mexican crema or sour cream
- Salsa verde or salsa rojo
- Shredded cheese
- Put the chicken, cloves, bay leaf, salt, and pepper in a pot. Add water so it completely covers the chicken. Bring the pot to a boil on high heat, then reduce and let it simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes until the chicken reaches 165 degrees. Then, move it to a bowl and let it cool enough to touch. Once the chicken is cool, use forks and shred it.
- Add oil to a small skillet and heat on medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes and onion and cook for five minutes. Stir so the onions don’t burn. Cook until the onion is softened and the tomato is reduced.
- Pour the mixture into the shredded chicken and stir to combine.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
- Line the baking sheet with paper towels. Wrap a few tortillas (no more than five) in a paper towel and microwave for 10 to 20 seconds so they are soft. Repeat this with all tortillas.
- Put about one tablespoon of shredded chicken on one end of the flour tortillas and roll to make a flauta shape. Secure with a toothpick. Repeat until you use all the tortillas and cooked chicken.
- Add oil to a pot and heat on medium-high heat.
- Add the chicken flautas into the hot oil using tongs. It’s best to add in batches of four to six and fry until they turn golden brown and you have crispy flautas. Flip once or twice to ensure the chicken flautas fry evenly.
- Move the fried flautas to the baking sheet and place them in the oven to keep warm until all the flautas are fried.
- Remove the toothpicks and serve with shredded lettuce, salsa verde, salsa roja, your favorite hot sauce, diced avocados, and cheese.
Here’s what to keep in mind when making a chicken flautas recipe:
- Make sure to carefully watch the flautas when frying. How much time they spend in oil determines their softness/crispiness.
- If you want to avoid using oil, bake chicken flautas in the oven for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.
- Don’t overdo the flauta filling. Spread it evenly to get a tight roll without the filling coming out of the ends.
- Spread out the chicken flautas in the pan. They shouldn’t touch for the best results.
- Place the chicken flautas in a bowl lined with paper towels to drain out the oil before moving to the oven to keep warm.
- Serve chicken flautas straight away. They are best when hot.
- Experiment with making the flautas with different garnishes, sides, and fillings. For example, serve it with a healthy salad, pico de gallo, or a slaw if you want a healthy meal.
- You can use store-bought rotisserie chicken if you’re short on time. You can also use any leftover chicken you have.
- Cook chicken until it reaches 165 degrees. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature .
Nutrition Facts Per Serving
- Calories: 119kcal
- Total Carbs: 10g
- Protein: 8g
- Fat: 3g
- Fiber: 2g
- Net Carbs: 5g
Mexican Style Chicken Flautas Ingredients and Substitutions
Here’s which ingredients and substitutions work best with chicken flautas:
- Chicken - Use chicken breasts or chicken thighs. Chicken thighs are juicer and add more flavor to the dish.
- Onion - You can use white or yellow, but white onion gives the flautas a sweet taste.
- Garlic and bay leaf - Add more flavor to the chicken base.
- Oil - Make sure to use frying oil for Mexican flautas. You need oil with a high smoke point. For example, try canola oil, corn, avocado, or vegetable oil.
- Tomatoes - Add more flavor and moisture.
- Jalapeno - This is a common Mexican food ingredient and adds a little spice. In case you want more spice, choose serrano pepper.
- Tortillas - Use corn tortillas so the flautas don’t fall apart. Flour tortillas also work well.
- Toppings - You can experiment and use your favorite ingredients. For example, sour cream, salsa verde, hot sauce, cheese such as queso fresco or cotija cheese, and shredded lettuce all work great.
Which toppings you use also depends on what kind of Mexican flautas you make.
For meat flautas, use ground beef or pork, shredded beef or pork, onion, salt, cumin, taco seasoning, chicken, cheese, salt, and chile powder.
For vegetarian flautas, use cheese, cilantro, black bean, taco seasoning, shredded lettuce, cumin, garlic, onion, salt, and pepper.
What’s the Difference Between Flautas and Taquitos?
The difference between flautas and taquitos is that taquitos are smaller and are made with small corn tortillas.
Flautas are bigger and can be made with corn tortillas or flour tortillas.
Another difference between these is in their origin. Flautas are from Mexico, but there are claims that taquitos are from San Diego, California.
Both flautas and taquitos are tightly rolled and fried, and these are often used interchangeably because they are very similar.
“Flautas shouldn't be confused with taquitos which are essentially the same thing but made with different tortillas. Both mean rolled taco.”
- The Josh Elkin, YouTube Channel
Can I Bake Flautas?
Yes, you can bake flautas. If you opt for baking, put the rolled tortillas on a lined baking sheet and bake on medium heat for about 20 minutes until they turn golden brown and crispy.
You can also air-fry the flautas. Preheat the air frier to 400 degrees and arrange the flautas in a single layer seam side down.
Fry for about five minutes, flip, and fry for two more minutes.
Also Read: How to Make Grilled Baked Potatoes
Are White or Yellow Tortillas Better for Flautas?
White tortillas are better for flautas. They are more tender. White tortillas also have more moisture, which makes them more pliable and easier to roll. There’s a lower chance they’ll break.
Why Do My Tortillas Break When I Make Flautas?
Your tortillas break when you make flautas because they aren’t properly hydrated. This makes it difficult to roll without the tortillas cracking. Make sure to moisten them before rolling. Spray the tortillas with water to keep them flexible and prevent cracking.
Your Ticket to Flavorful Chicken Flautas
Mexican-style chicken flautas are one of the best authentic Mexican dishes you can have. You can buy cooked chicken and corn tortillas, so all you need to do is fry and stuff them.
Serve with fresh pico de gallo, sour cream, queso fresco, and your favorite veggies.
Even if you roll and fry the tortillas perfectly, the chicken flautas will taste bad if your meat is bad quality, so make sure to get quality chicken.
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