These scrumptious chicken taquitos filled with chili-lime chicken, cheese and a sprinkle of corn, make for a wonderfully flavorful appetizer, or even a light meal. Quickly shallow-fried until golden and crispy, these taquitos come with a mildly spicy avocado ranch dipping sauce on the side, kissed with jalapeno!
Rolled Up Packages of Crispy Deliciousness
While chicken taquitos are a terrific offering to pass around as an appetizer to friends and family on game day or any fun gathering, I often times like to make a main meal out these rolled up packages of crispy deliciousness because they're filled with many of my favorite simple ingredients.
These taquitos have chili and lime seasoned chicken breast, a flourish of corn kernels, plenty of pepper jack cheese, and a whisper of cilantro all cozied up in a little rolled corn tortilla, quickly shallow fried until golden and crisp.
Served up with a side of mildly spicy avocado ranch dipping sauce flecked with jalapeno, I can very easily polish off a little plate of these and be a very happy camper, indeed! 😉
How to Make Chicken Taquitos with an Avocado Ranch Dipping Sauce
While these crispy chicken taquitos pack a lot of flavor, they're quick and easy to fill and lightly fry up.
And that mouthwatering dipping sauce? That's a breeze to whirl up to a super creamy consistency in the food processor!
For my chicken taquito filling, I like to use chicken tenderloins that I've season with lots of chili powder, lime juice and garlic. I then sear it off in a hot pan for a few minutes before filling the little corn tortillas. (You could easily substitute rotisserie chicken for that to simplify things, if you wish.)
Then, all that’s needed is some corn kernels and grated cheese (I love pepper jack for this recipe), plus a few fresh cilantro leaves and some soft corn tortillas, and then you're pretty much “ready to roll”!
Here's a peek at my chicken taquitos recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- First, I whirl up the mildly spicy avocado ranch dipping sauce in my food processor, and set that aside until I'm ready to serve my taquitos.
- Next, I season/marinate my chicken tenderloins briefly, sear them until cooked through, then finely shred or dice them for filling.
- To assemble my chicken taquitos for shallow frying, I place a lightly warmed corn tortilla in front of me, then delicately sprinkle on the chicken, corn kernels, cheese and cilantro in one row; I then roll upward, as tight as possible without breaking the tortilla. I place each finished taquito on its seam, on a tray, to hold until all are rolled.
- Next, I quickly shallow fry the chicken taquitos in batches, seam-side down, first for a few moments to seal the taquitos, then turn for even crisping on all sides. Once they're golden and crisp, about 2 to 3 minutes total, I remove them from the oil and drain on paper towels.
- I serve the them while hot with the avocado ranch dipping sauce.
Chicken Taquitos with Avocado Ranch Dipping Sauce
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: 24 taquitos
Nutrition Info: 431 calories (for 3 taquitos with 2 tablespoons dipping sauce)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Chicken Taquitos Ingredients:
- 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken tenderloins (or rotisserie chicken)
- Avocado oil (plus enough for shallow frying)
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Pinch or two black pepper
- Zest of 1 lime
- Juice of 1/2 lime (or whole lime, if not that juicy)
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
- 24 corn tortillas (I like to use Mission brand “super soft” variety)
- 1/2 cup frozen fire-roasted corn, thawed
- 1 cup shredded pepper-jack cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
Avocado Ranch Dipping Sauce Ingredients:
- 1 ripe avocado, roughly chopped
- 1 jalapeno, seeds and membrane removed, roughly chopped
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- Zest of 1 lime
- Juice of 1/2 lime (or whole lime, if not that juicy)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon granulated onion
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
- To prepare the avocado ranch sauce, place all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor, and process until completely smooth and well combined; set aside in the fridge until ready to serve with the taquitos.
- To prepare the chicken taquitos, add the chicken tenderloins to a bowl, and add to them a drizzle of the oil, the chili powder, salt, black pepper, lime zest and juice, plus the garlic, and toss to combine; marinate the chicken for about 15-20 minutes, if possible.
- Once marinated, place a large non-stick pan over high heat; once hot, drizzle in just a touch of oil, then sear the chicken tenderloins for about 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and cooked through; remove and set aside for a moment to cool.
- Once cooled, shred/dice the chicken into small pieces, and place into a small bowl.
- Heat the corn tortillas by wrapping about 12 of them in damp paper towels, and microwaving for about 45 seconds; keep the stack covered in the warm damp paper towels as you assemble the taquitos, to keep them soft and pliable; repeat with the remaining 12.
- Place a corn tortilla in front of you, and take a small sprinkle (about a tablespoon) of the shredded chicken, and add it in a line on the bottom of the tortilla; top with a small sprinkle of corn, cheese and cilantro leaves, and roll as tightly as possible upward.
- Place the taquito seam-side down on a baking sheet or tray to hold as you continue to roll the rest of the taquitos.
- Heat enough oil in a large non-stick pan to cover the bottom of the pan (about 1/4”); once hot, add a small batch of taquitos (2-4 depending on size of your pan) into the oil, seam-side down, and allow them to crisp and fry for about 1-2 minutes on that first side; turn the taquitos and allow them to crisp and become golden-brown on all sides; drain on paper towels, and repeat until all are fried.
- Serve hot or warm with the avocado ranch dipping sauce on the side.
Tips & Tidbits for my Chicken Taquitos with Avocado Ranch Dipping Sauce:
- Chicken tenderloins, or sub rotisserie chicken: Chicken tenderloins are that extra-tender part of the chicken breast, that little “flap” that comes attached to the meat. You can typically find these packaged next to the skinless, boneless chicken breasts—they sear up super quick in a hot pan. Or, to make things even more convenient, feel free to use shredded rotisserie chicken if you wish.
- Soft, small corn tortillas: I really like the Mission brand “super soft” corn tortillas. They're extra pliable and easy to work with, and when gently warmed with a damp paper towel, can be filled and rolled up without cracking/splitting.
- Cheesy options: The kick from pepper jack cheese is something I appreciate in these chicken taquitos, but feel free to use traditional jack cheese, or sharp cheddar, or even your own favorite meltable cheese.
- High heat oil for shallow frying: Avocado oil is my pick for higher heat cooking and shallow frying these days. It's a healthier choice and has a high smoke point. You can also use peanut oil or even your preferred variety of frying oil.
- Mildly spicy avocado ranch dipping sauce: I use a full jalapeno in this dipping sauce, but feel free to use less or more, depending on your personal preference. I recommend removing the seeds and membrane for texture, as well as for heat level—lots of spiciness is found in those parts!
Cook's Note: This recipe was originally published in 2014, and has been updated with even more love!