Skip store bought or deep fried taquitos! These easy Air Fryer Taquitos have a cheesy chicken filling and are perfect for an easy dinner! Great for Taco Tuesday, Cinco de Mayo or any day of the week.
Crispy air fryer chicken taquitos are so delicious and calorie-friendly! For only slightly over 100 calories each they have a great serving of lean protein and just the right amount of lower calorie cheesy goodness. It's an easy air fryer recipe.
If you've never had taquitos they are corn tortillas with chicken and cheese filling, rolled up and fried to a crispy outside texture. These air-fried taquitos are a great way to enjoy a quick meal with fewer calories and the same delicious flavors!
What makes this skinny?
- No deep frying. Traditional taquitos have a crispy exterior thanks to deep fryer cooking. These use the circulating hot air of the air fryer to make crispy corn tortillas.
- Using shredded chicken breast. This lean protein is perfect for a low calorie diet.
- Reduced fat shredded cheese. All the cheesy goodness with fewer calories!
Recipe Ingredients Notes
Corn tortillas. You'll use 12 medium size (about 5-inch diameter) corn tortillas. They can be yellow corn or white corn tortillas. The tortillas should be around 50 calories per tortilla.
Shredded chicken breast. For calorie savings using shredded chicken breast is the lean choice. You can purchase the chicken already shredded, shred rotisserie chicken or use one of our Mexican chicken options (see Variations below).
Shredded chicken thigh or mixed chicken will also work but will have more calories.
Salsa. Use restaurant-style salsa (smooth instead of chunky) for this recipe. It will be mixed with the chicken and chunky salsa won't coat the chicken as well and will add bulk to the taquitos.
Reduced-fat shredded cheese. One cup of reduced fat shredded cheese will be used. You can use a Mexican blend, cheddar or Monterey jack.
Olive oil spray. This will coat the outside of the taquitos before cooking to give that crispy exterior that make the so good. Non stick cooking spray can also be used.
Dipping or Topping Ideas
The homemade chicken taquitos are delicious on their own but fun to dip or add favorite toppings too. Here are some ideas for dipping:
- Light sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
- Pico de gallo, hot sauce or taco sauce
- Chopped fresh cilantro
How to make Air Fryer Taquitos
STEP 1. Preheat air fryer
Preheat the air fryer to 375 degrees.
STEP 2. Assemble the taquitos
Place the tortillas between two damp paper towels and heat them in the microwave for 2 minutes (photo 1).
While the tortillas are warming, stir together the shredded chicken and salsa in a mixing bowl (photo 2).
Place about 2-3 tablespoons of the salsa chicken down the center of each tortilla (photo 3). Top with 1 ½ tablespoons of the shredded cheese (photo 4).
Fold one side of the tortilla over the cheese and chicken, then roll up the tortilla (photo 5). Secure the end of the rolled taquitos in place with a toothpick, if needed.
STEP 3. Air Fry
Place taquitos in the air fryer basket seam down (or tray) leaving space in between (cook in a single layer) (photo 6). NOTE: you may need to cook in multiple batches depending on the size of your air fryer, to keep from overcrowding.
Spray all the taquitos in olive oil spray and cook for 5 to 8 minutes, until golden brown (photo 7).
Use Mexican shredded chicken. Our Instant Pot Mexican chicken would work great in this recipe. If you use it skip the salsa because the chicken is already cooked in salsa. Drain the chicken before adding it to the tortilla as excess moisture can cause corn tortillas to tear.
Copycat Chipotle Chicken. This recipe would be delicious in the homemade taquitos. Instead of cutting the chicken, shred it with 2 forks OR place in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix for 30-60 seconds to shred it (Pro Tip!).
Use leftover chicken. This is a great dish to use up chicken from another meal!
Air fryer beef taquitos. You can use prepared ground beef (with some Mexican seasoning or taco seasoning) or our Slow Cooker Barbacoa. Be sure to drain any excess moisture before assembling the taquitos. The calories will be higher if using beef instead of chicken.
Want a vegetarian option? Swap in black beans or refried beans instead of chicken.
BBQ Chicken taquitos. Swap in low-sugar low-calorie barbecue sauce instead of salsa for a totally different flavor.
Air fryer cooking. Every brand, size and type of air fryer cooks slightly differently. Be sure to monitor during cooking and and adjust time as needed.
The homemade taquitos are best enjoyed right after cooking. To store: allow the homemade air fryer chicken taquitos to fully cool before adding to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Pop back into the air fryer to crisp up before serving.
How to Freeze:
Place cooled taquitos on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in the freezer for 1-2 hours until frozen.
Place in a plastic freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. NOTE: flash freezing first prevents them from sticking together in the bag so any amount can be used.
Frequently Asked Questions
The step of warming the tortillas with a moist paper towel in the microwave before starting is key. This makes them warm and pliable. If you skip this step they will crack.
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