Chicken Taquitos (Great Way To Also Use Up Leftover Turkey Or Other Meats)

Prep Time
Cook Time
1d 6h 25m
Ready In

"These taquitos are a great way to use up that leftover chicken, Thanksgiving turkey, pork or beef that you may have in your fridge. I make these often to recycle leftovers and my family loves them. They are not only good to be served for dinner, but are superb served as an appetizer for any celebration. I have also made these using leftover shrimp which is also a hit with my family."

Original recipe yields 6 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (181.7 g)
  • Calories 315.2
  • Total Fat - 8.4 g
  • Saturated Fat - 3.9 g
  • Cholesterol - 89.5 mg
  • Sodium - 268.8 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 43.1 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 6.3 g
  • Sugars - 1.9 g
  • Protein - 18.7 g
  • Calcium - 338.8 mg
  • Iron - 2 mg
  • Vitamin C - 10.4 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.1 mg

Step 1

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.

Step 2

Add the onion, jalapeno, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 3 - 5 minutes. Add the taco seasoning mix. Add the chicken (or other leftover meat) turning to evenly distribute all ingredients. Taste for seasoning and adjust with taco seasoning mix and black pepper.

Step 3

Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt if necessary and/or add extra taco seasoning mix and/or black pepper (I normally don't add salt if I've added enough taco seasoning mix.)

Step 4

Turn off the heat and transfer to a large bowl.

Step 5

Once cool, stir in the cheese, tomatoes, and cilantro. Set aside.

Step 6

Stack tortillas on a microwave-safe plate, cover with a damp paper towel, and microwave in 30-second increments until they're warm and pliable, about 1 minute. (This will keep them from breaking when rolling.)

Instead of the microwave method to soften the tortillas, I find that steaming them by stacking the tortillas in a bamboo steamer with sheets of wax paper in between each works great.

Step 7

Set a tortilla on a cutting board and place 1 - 1 1/2 tablespoons of the chicken filling in the middle. Roll into a thin cylinder and seal it shut using a toothpick or trimmed wood skewer. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling.

Over time and practice, I find that using a toothpick is not necessary, as long as you place the tortillas seam-side down in the hot oil. Once the seam is fried the edge stays shut with no issues of meat coming through.

Step 8

Line a large plate with paper towels. Pour 1 1/2 cups of the oil into a large skillet (if the oil isn't at least 1/2 inch deep, add another 1/2 cup) and warm it over medium heat until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the oil reads between 350 - 375 degrees Fahrenheit. (Drop in a small piece of tortilla and if bubbles surround it the oil is ready).

Step 9

Add 2 - 3 taquitos to the pan and fry, using a couple of forks or slotted metal spatula to help turn the taquitos until they are crisp and brown on all sides, about 3 minutes.

Step 10

Transfer the taquitos to the paper towel-lined plate, sprinkle with a little salt, remove the toothpick, and set aside to cool. Repeat with the remaining taquitos.

Step 11

Serve with salsa and sour cream (if desired) on the side.

NOTE: In my area it is no longer easy to find Chi-Chi's taco seasoning mix, therefore I order it from Amazon. I prefer Chi-Chi's over many other brands, but you can use whatever you prefer. Note that Chi-Chi's measures about 1/2 - 3/4 ounces for each package vs. other brands which measure approximately 1 1/4 ounces. Therefore is using Chi Chi's a full package is what you would use in this recipe.

Tips & Variations

No special items needed.



We loved this recipe. We didn't add the jalapeno for personal tastes. These are so much better than what you can get in the frozen section. Thank you for a great recipe.

review by:
(30 Jan 2019)