Chicken Taquitos Without the Deep Fryer

This week one
of my friends sent me a link to a recipe for air fryer Chicken Taquitos. I love crispy and crunchy, but am trying to eat cleaner and keep my weight from rising. I have a Instant Pot Duo Crisp + Air Fryer, so decided to give this recipe a try the same day. I already had most of the ingredients recommended, so the choice was a no-brainer.

Preparation was easy. Mix the filling, roll into the tortillas, and cook. The filling isn't a traditional one. It's a mix of cooked chicken, cream cheese (I bought lite), Pepper Jack cheese and seasonings - and it uses flour tortillas. I believe corn tortillas are traditional. However, I think flour tortillas work better when you're not deep frying. 

There were a few things I will definitely change next time.  I honestly do not like store bought taco seasoning mix.  Instead I make my own from scratch.  Even then, I found 3 T too much. The seasonings overpowered the other more subtle flavors. I am going to seriously reduce it next time and I'll update this post when I have the balance of flavors right. 

The other issue for me was my air fryer.  Because it is an Instant Pot, it is round in shape with two tiers.  It was hard to cook the taquitos with this set up. The top layer crisped faster than the bottom layer.  And I could only do part of them. It was difficult to separate them enough. I ended up finishing the last 2 in the oven by baking and honestly, they came out just a good, so I may do them in the oven next time. 

Instead of brushing with oil, I sprayed the taquitos. I had Avocado Oil spray so used that and it worked well. You could also use Olive Oil spray, or brush them lightly with a healthy oil.  There are refillable oil sprayers, but they do have a tendency to clog, so be sure to read the directions on how to maintain them. 

Last but not least, even though they are crispy, they are not the same as ones that are deep fried. They are drier, so need side garnishes such as Pico De Gallo, Salsa, Avocado, Sour Cream or thick yogurt, etc., so finish them off. 

Enjoy!  And be sure to check back for any changes.

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Chicken Taquitos Without the Deep Fryer
Makes 10 taquitos

Ingredients - 

2 C                Diced cooked chicken
4 oz.              Lite Cream Cheese
1 C                Pepper Jack Cheese, grated
1/4 C             Pico De Gallo (best fresh. If you can't find it in the store make your own)
3 T                Taco Seasoning (See below to make from scratch, but I found it too strong)
3 T                Your favorite store bought salsa
10                  6 inch flour tortillas
Olive or Avocado oil either to brush on or spray

Homemade taco seasoning (again - I found this too much seasoning as it over powered the milder ingredients) - 1 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/3 tsp each garlic powder and onion powder, 1/4 tsp paprika, salt and pepper. About 3 T.

Instructions - 

Combine chicken, cream cheese, pepper jack cheese, pico de gallo, taco seasoning, and salsa in a bowl. Mix gently until fully combined. Lay the 10 tortilla out. Place 1/4 cup of filling on each about 1 inch in from the side and shape into a log. Fold the 1 inch edge over and tuck in, then roll the taquito into a tight cylinder with edge of tortilla down so it doesn't unroll. Brush or spray all 10 taquitos with oil, making sure all sides are coated. Air fry or bake until crispy and filling is hot, then serve with your favorite sides.

Air fryer - Preheat the air fryer to 380℉ and spray the air fryer basket with nonstick cooking spray. Add as many taquitos to the air fryer basket as you can without them touching and cook for 7 minutes. Cook in batches if necessary. 

Oven - this was a last minute thought for me when the 2 layer air fryer I had didn't work well.  I believe I pre-heated the oven to 375 and baked them for 7-10 minutes.  I will confirm this the next time I make them.