How To Make Quick and Easy Chicken Flautas

updated Mar 8, 2023
How To Make Chicken Flautas

Flautas are rolled tacos that are fried until golden and crispy. Here's how to make the very best ones.

Serves8

Makes16 flautas

Prep10 minutes

Cook20 minutes to 30 minutes

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Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

Hola! Vianney from South Texas here to share with you how to make the tastiest flautas filled with juicy shredded chicken. The filling can be made in advance, which means these babies come together in under 30 minutes. Served warm with plenty of shredded lettuce, tomatoes, crema, and avocado, flautas are a quick and easy dinner idea.

What Are Flautas?

Simply put, flautas are rolled tacos that are fried until golden and crispy. Their name is said to hail from the Spanish word for flute, and they can be found in most restaurants throughout Mexico. Their origins are not widely known, but the state of Sinaloa claims the flauta as one of their food specialties.

They are a very popular item at many restaurants in South Texas, and you can even find flautas in the freezer section of the grocery store. But why buy them frozen when homemade tastes so much better?

You can fill your flautas with anything your heart desires — beef, pork, grilled veggies, or shredded chicken (which we’re using here).

What’s the Difference Between Flautas and Taquitos?

They are the same dish. Some people call them taquitos or tacos dorados. Growing up in South Texas I was raised calling them flautas.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

3 Tips for the Best Chicken Flautas

  1. Make a double batch of chicken: You can make flautas with leftover roast chicken. But I cook the chicken until tender in a stockpot over medium heat, but you could also cook it low and slow in the slow cooker until it shreds easily. I often make a double batch to tuck away in my freezer, so that when my girls request flautas I can easily retrieve it and get started right away.
  2. Warm the tortillas to keep them from cracking: You’ll want to warm the corn tortillas to keep them from cracking as you roll. I like to heat a few at a time in the microwave wrapped in a damp paper towel.
  3. Don’t overstuff the tortillas: Once the tortillas are cool enough to handle, you’ll place the filling — one tablespoon is all you need — on one end, and roll securely so that it doesn’t fall out while frying. Secure your flautas using toothpicks.
Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

How Do I Serve Chicken Flautas?

With flautas, the two things that vary by region are the filling and the toppings. In most cases, the filling is made from pulled chicken or beef, your favorite Mexican chili pepper, or just cheese.

The toppings typically consist of shredded iceberg lettuce, sliced tomato, sliced avocado, sliced onion, sour cream, queso fresco or cotija, and your choice of your favorite salsa. At the end of the day, it’s up to you!

How To Make Chicken Flautas

Flautas are rolled tacos that are fried until golden and crispy. Here's how to make the very best ones.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes to 30 minutes

Makes 16 flautas

Serves 8

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the shredded chicken:

  • 2 pounds

    boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs

  • 1/2

    medium yellow onion

  • 1

    medium tomato, sliced

  • 2 cloves

    garlic

  • 2 teaspoons

    kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon

    ground cumin

For the flautas:

  • 16

    corn tortillas

  • Toothpicks

  • Vegetable oil, for frying

  • Shredded lettuce

  • Crema

  • Sliced avocado

Equipment

  • Dutch oven or stockpot

  • Saucepan

  • Tongs

  • Baking sheet

Instructions

Show Images

Make the shredded chicken:

  1. Place everything in a large pot. Place all the shredded chicken ingredients in a large pot.

  2. Cover with water. Add enough water to completely cover the chicken by 1 inch.

  3. Simmer until cooked through, about 20 minutes. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the chicken is fully cooked, about 20 minutes.

  4. Shred the chicken. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Shred with 2 forks and set aside.

Make the flautas:

  1. Prepare a baking sheet. Heat the oven to 200ºF. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.

  2. Warm the tortillas. Warm the tortillas on a comal or in the microwave to make pliable. If using the microwave, stack the tortillas on a plate and cover with damp towel. Microwave until pliable, 10 to 15 seconds.

  3. Fill the tortillas. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the shredded chicken onto a tortilla. Roll the tortilla up over the filling tightly, then secure with a toothpick so that the filling does not fall out during frying. Place on a plate and repeat with the remaining tortillas.

  4. Heat the oil. Add enough oil to a Dutch oven so that it comes up about 2 inches. Heat over medium-high heat until 375ºF.

  5. Fry the flautas. Using tongs and working in batches of 4, carefully slide the flautas into the oil and fry until golden-brown and crispy, flipping halfway through, 2 to 4 minutes total.

  6. Drain the flautas. Transfer the flautas to the baking sheet and place in the oven until all the flautas have been fried.

  7. Serve. Serve warm with shredded lettuce, crema, and avocado slices.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The chicken can be made in advance; refrigerate the shredded chicken with some of the cooking liquid to keep it moist.

Slow cooker: You can make the chicken in the slow cooker; it will take about 4 hours on low.

Storage: Leftover shredded chicken can be refrigerated up to 4 days or frozen up to 3 months. Leftover flautas can be refrigerated up to 4 days; reheat in a low oven.