Chicken and Cheese Taquitos

Chicken and Cheese Taquitos
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And just like that…. I’m back to my childhood again! I always have to give some props to my mom for what she did for us growing up. Four kids, all in sports and not all of us in the same location. Driving miles and hours back and forth, and she still had a homemade dinner for us on the table when we got home. Ok, sometimes a home-cooked meal just wasn’t in the forecast. In those cases… bring on the frozen taquitos! These were always my favorite, ready out of the freezer in just minutes and always satisfying to all four of us kids.

In the real world today, I don’t always have time to cook dinner for myself on a nightly basis. Making a meal ahead of time, or even days ahead of time, is such a huge time saver! And so…. bring on the taquitos!

I decided to use cannellini beans for some extra protein in this recipe. Cannellini beans are definitely my bean of choice, but I think this recipe would work just as well with back beans instead. I also used a can of Bush’s Chili Beans since this saves me some time. If you haven’t tried Bush’s Chili Beans yet, you should definitely give them a try. They don’t require draining or soaking – and a great sauce is already inside! These chili beans are convenient, already full of flavor, and are also gluten free (all wins for me). I throw the beans into a pot over medium to medium-low heat just until they are heated through. After turning down the heat, I throw in the chicken and extra ingredients and then the cheese – stirring until the cheese is melted and the mixture thickens slightly. Take the pot off the heat, and get your tortillas ready to assemble!

Chicken and Cheese Taquitos

Depending on your type of tortillas, you may need a bit of trial and error when it comes to rolling them up. If you don’t have an issue with rolling, wonderful! If you do, know you’re not alone. As I write this, I am still yet to find a gluten free tortilla that tastes great and isn’t too dry (at least to my liking and taste buds). But seriously, every time I try to roll one up they crack right down the middle! Bummer. But that’s ok, because with a little practice there are a few things you can do to prevent this from happening to you:

Pick a different type of tortilla – I like the taste of corn tortillas, but sometimes flour tortillas fall up a little better than them. This recipe works great with both, so choose whichever one you like best!

Make sure your tortillas are warm – don’t try to heat all of them up at once, the ones at the bottom will start to cool off before you can roll them. Heat 2-3 at a time, wrapped in a damp paper towel, for 15-20 seconds. Place a small spoonful of filling inside each. Work quickly, but carefully, and they should be pliable enough to roll up.

Brush with oil – right after you roll one up, place it in the pan seam-side down and brush with a little olive oil. This will keep your taquitos moist until they go in the oven, but will also help brown the tops a bit as they cook.

Once they are rolled up with the filling inside, place them on a middle rack in a 425℉ oven for 20-25 minutes. If you want to freeze them, let them cool completely in the refrigerator and then place in a re-sealable freezer bag and pop them into the freezer for later use. When ready to eat, just reheat them in a 400℉ oven for about 15 minutes and enjoy!

Chicken and Cheese Taquitos

These taquitos are easy to make, don’t take a very long time to prep, and really do freeze beautifully! I usually make a whole batch for myself and freeze them for lunch, dinner, or even a quick snack whenever I want. But don’t judge me when I say I’ll eat these for days in a row until they are gone!

Chicken and Cheese Taquitos

Yield: Makes 18-20 Taquitos

Author: Zest and Lemons

Chicken and Cheese Taquitos

Ingredients

  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 1 can Bush’s Chili Beans (I use cannellini beans)
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 cup Colby Jack or Mexican style cheese, shredded
  • 1 package small (gluten free) corn or flour tortillas
  • Olive oil
  • Sour cream (optional for serving)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425℉. Line a rimmed baking sheet or large 9x13 brownie pan with foil, set aside.
  2. Empty the full can of chili beans into a medium size pot (including the sauce inside). Cook over medium to medium-low heat until heated through, stirring occasionally.
  3. Turn the heat down to low. Add the shredded chicken, lime juice, and cilantro and stir gently to combine. Then stir in the shredded cheese until melted and combined. Turn off the heat.
  4. Wrap 2-3 tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave on a plate for 15-20 seconds. Carefully pull one out, place a small spoonful of the filling mixture across the bottom third of the tortilla (being careful not to go all the way to the edge), and then gently roll it up.
  5. Place seam-side down in the baking sheet or pan, with the long side of the taquito being right against the shortest edge of the pan. Lightly brush with a little olive oil so that most of the taquito is coated.
  6. Repeat with the other heated tortillas, placing them all in a row next to each other.
  7. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until all the taquitos are rolled up and brushed with olive oil, or until you use up all of the filling.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the tortillas have crisped up and are lightly golden brown (the outsides will continue to harden and crip up as they cool.
  9. Cool for 5-10 minutes, then serve with sour cream or your choice of dipping sauce.
http://www.zestandlemons.com/chicken-and-cheese-taquitos/

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