A Homemade Kitchen: Creamy Chicken Taquitos
A Homemade Kitchen series includes recipes that feature homemade versions of your favorite store-bought meals, snacks, treats, condiments and more. Homemade is better for your budget, body, and taste buds.
My little brother was pretty much fueled by frozen chicken taquitos this past summer. What else do teenage boys eat when there’s no one home to feed them lunch? Now that he’s back in school and has access to an array of fresh, tasty, healthy cafeteria foods (sarcasm!), I imagine the taquitos have begun to gather freezer burn.
This got me thinking about how many people rely on freezer foods to feed themselves when they’re usually super easy to make. Take these taquitos as an example. All you do is prep, combine, and roll the ingredients up in tortillas then bake. Or you can hold off on the baking and freeze for those days when you’re too busy or lazy to make something. Or for when your kids are home for a school break and need to feed themselves. You can easily double the recipe to make a large freezer batch. If you wanted to make things easier for yourself, grab a rotisserie chicken at the store for this recipe. Or, if you’re really into homemade, roast your own chicken and make your own tortillas. To amp up the health factor go with whole-grain tortillas, switch the cream cheese to neufchatel cheese (1/3 less fat), and finely chop whatever fresh veggies you have on hand to add to the filling. You could even go vegetarian and swap the chicken for beans. As we’ve learned in culinary school, a recipe is simply a guideline. You don’t have to follow it exactly. Add or subtract what you like and don’t like and follow your instincts.
What are your favorite freezer foods? (I know you all have one!)
Taste: Much, much, much more flavorful than the store-bought freezer taquitos.
Texture: The tortilla is beautifully crisp while the filling is meaty and creamy. The addition of cream cheese to the taquitos is just magical.
Ease: All you do is mix the ingredients together, roll them up in the tortillas, and bake.
Appearance: Like little bundles of deliciousness.
Pros: Tastier and healthier than the store-bought variety, can be frozen.
Would I make this again? I’ve got some in the freezer!
Creamy Chicken Taquitos
Yield: 12 taquitos
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl combine cream cheese, salsa, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, onion powder, garlic, cilantro, roasted red pepper, green onion, chicken, and shredded cheese. Mix thoroughly until well combined.
Briefly heat the tortillas in the microwave to make them soft and pliable, about 20-30 seconds. Place a tortilla on a work surface. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons filling down the middle. Roll the tortilla up tightly around the filling. Place seam side down on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Spray with tops lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt.
At this point you can freeze the uncooked taquitos by chilling the entire baking sheet in the freezer until taquitos are solid, about 30 minutes. Transfer to an airtight container and store in freezer for up to 2 months.
Bake 15-20 minutes (a few minutes longer if frozen), until crisp and golden around the edges.