5-Ingredient Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos
With 5 simple ingredients, you can make crispy homemade chicken taquitos OR flautas in the air fryer! A deliciously cheesy chicken & bean filling—rolled up into corn tortillas for air fryer taquitos, or flour tortillas for air fryer flautas. Perfect for a quick party appetizer or a fun twist on taco night.
Air Fryer Taquitos vs. Flautas
Traditional taquitos are small rolled tacos made with corn tortillas, whereas larger taquitos with flour tortillas are called flautas. You can use this recipe to make either taquitos or flautas in the air fryer—or try them both!
Are taquitos better with flour or corn tortillas?
Corn tortillas are the traditional choice for taquitos, but they can be difficult to roll without cracking. Since I prefer flour tortillas anyway & they were easier to roll, I made most of my air fryer taquitos with flour tortillas. (So they’re technically flautas, but they turned out amazing!) It’s up to you—I recommend starting with whichever tortillas you enjoy eating most!
Ingredients for Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos
- Shredded Chicken. Homemade taquitos are a great way to use up leftover chicken or pulled rotisserie chicken, or you can make shredded chicken at home with breasts or thighs. You can really fill your air fryer taquitos with any meat you want, so feel free to use ground beef or pulled pork instead of chicken—or omit the meat to make vegetarian taquitos with a bean & cheese filling!
- Salsa. An easy source of flavor & seasoning that makes these taquitos so juicy. Keep it mild or use a spicy salsa if you like a kick!
- Refried Beans. Most taquito recipes use only chicken or beans, but I love the flavor & texture of both together. If you’re not a fan of refried beans, you can use black beans instead, or omit the beans altogether. For vegetarian taquitos, use extra beans to substitute for the chicken.
- Mexican Cheese. A shredded Mexican cheese blend is a simple option to add lots of flavor, or you can use shredded cheddar and/or Monterey Jack. Feel free to add more cheese if you love extra-melty taquitos like I do!
- Tortillas, Corn or Flour. You can make these air fryer chicken taquitos with corn or flour tortillas—just make sure they’re “taco size” (6-8 inches in diameter). Use corn tortillas for traditional taquitos, or flour tortillas for flautas that are easier to roll without tearing.
- Sour Cream. Instead of using toothpicks to hold your taquitos together, add a dab of sour cream as “glue” to seal each tortilla after rolling! (Or use refried beans for a dairy-free option.)
How do you keep corn tortillas from cracking when making taquitos?
Most store-bought corn tortillas tear easily because they’re stiff & low in moisture, but fresh corn tortillas tend to be more pliable. So look for fresh corn tortillas if you can find them, or make your own homemade corn tortillas for an easy option that’s extra-fresh!
To prevent your corn tortillas from tearing, warm them up in the microwave to make them more pliable before rolling into taquitos. Once you’ve rolled a few corn taquitos, I recommend air frying them as soon as possible, before the tortillas cool too much.
How to Make Homemade Taquitos in the Air Fryer
1 Make the Taquito Filling
Combine shredded chicken, salsa, refried beans, & cheese in a large bowl. (Or use any meat you want—or no meat!)
2 Warm Corn Tortillas
If you’re using corn tortillas, wrap 1-2 tortillas in damp paper towels & warm them in the microwave for 20-30 seconds before rolling your taquitos. (You can skip this step if using flour tortillas.)
3 Fill & Roll Taquitos
Scoop 2-4 tablespoons of the filling along one edge of the tortilla and roll it up tightly, being careful not to overfill. Seal the inside edge of the tortilla with sour cream (or refried beans), then set aside with the seam side down. Repeat until you have a small batch of 4-6 taquitos or flautas ready to air fry.
4 Prepare the Air Fryer
Preheat the air fryer to 400°F (200°C). Once preheated, place a single layer of homemade taquitos in the air fryer seam side down, leaving space between for them to crisp up. Spray the tops with cooking spray to help them brown.
5 Air Fry Until Crispy
Air fry chicken taquitos for 5-7 minutes at 400°F, then check every 1-2 minutes until they’re as crispy as you’d like. (No need to flip halfway unless you want to—that’s why the air fryer basket is perforated!) You can keep air fried taquitos warm in the oven on low heat (175°F or 80°C) while the other batches cook.
6 Serve with Toppings
Serve your air fryer taquitos warm with your favorite rolled taco toppings: sour cream, guacamole, salsa, whatever you like!
Can I cook my taquitos in the oven instead of the air fryer?
You can use this same recipe to make oven baked taquitos or flautas—just bake them at 400°F (200°C) for ~8-10 minutes, flipping halfway. Bake on a wire rack to get them extra crispy!
Storing & Freezing Homemade Taquitos
- Refrigerate Leftovers. If you have leftover air fried taquitos, let them cool completely before storing in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. To reheat, just pop them back into the air fryer at 400°F (200°C) for 5-6 minutes (or heat in the oven until warmed through).
- Freeze Taquitos to Air Fry Later. After rolling, place uncooked taquitos seam side down on a baking sheet & freeze for a few hours. Once solid, transfer the frozen taquitos to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. You can reheat your frozen taquitos straight from the freezer—just bake or air fry at 400°F (200°C) for 7-8+ minutes, until crispy.
Air Fryer Party Food Ideas
For a snack or for taco night, I like to serve these air fryer chicken taquitos with air fryer tortilla chips & an easy salsa for a classic pairing. Or serve them with other easy appetizers with other fun finger foods like air fryer pizza rolls, air fryer egg rolls, or crab Rangoon for a crispy party food spread!
Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos & Flautas
Air Fryer Taquitos
- 8-12 oz shredded chicken, or pulled rotisserie chicken (2 cups)
- ½ cup salsa
- ½-1 cup refried beans, (optional) or black beans
- 3 oz shredded Mexican cheese, (¾ cup)
- 12-16 taco size tortillas (6-8-inch), flour or corn*
- sour cream, as "glue" to seal taquitos (or sub refried beans)
- cooking spray
Rolled Taco Topping Ideass
- sour cream
- shredded lettuce
- whatever you like!
How to make air fryer taquitos:
- Preheat air fryer to 400°F (200°C).
- In a large bowl, combine shredded chicken, salsa, refried beans, and cheese.
- If using corn tortillas: Heat corn tortillas between damp paper towels in the microwave for 20-30 seconds, until warm. (See notes section.) No need to do this with flour tortillas.
- Working with one tortilla at a time, arrange 2-4 Tbsp filling along one edge and roll up the tortilla tightly. (Careful not to overfill!) Seal with sour cream or refried beans as your “glue.”
- Repeat until you have a small batch (4-6) ready to air fry. Continue assembly while each batch cooks.
- Place homemade taquitos or flautas in the air fryer seam side down, leaving space between for them to crisp up. Spray the tops with cooking spray to help them brown.
- Air fry taquitos for 5-7 minutes, then check every 1-2minutes until crispy as desired. (No need to flip halfway unless you want to.)
- You can keep air fried taquitos warm in the oven on low heat (175°F or 80°C) while the other batches cook.
- Serve warm with your favorite rolled taco toppings!
- Yields ~12-16 air fryer taquitos or flautas, depending on size.
How to keep corn tortillas from cracking when making taquitos:
- Place 1-2 corn tortillas between damp paper towels and microwave ~20-30 seconds, until warm. (Or wrap in a damp paper towel and briefly heat in the oven.)
- Fill & roll up the tortilla while it’s warm, then seal with sour cream.
- For best results, air fry corn taquitos soon after rolling—once the tortillas start to cool, they’re more likely to crack. (I had more success air frying these in smaller batches of 2-3 at a time. )
- Use fresh corn tortillas if you can find them—they tend to be more pliable & won’t crack as easily. Or make your own homemade corn tortillas so they’re extra fresh!
Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos with Corn TortillasPer taquito, yields 16:
110 calories | 3g fat | 13g carbs | 1.5g fiber | 1g sugars | 8g protein
148mg sodium | 19mg cholesterol
Air Fryer Chicken Flautas with Flour TortillasPer flauta, yields 16:
190 calories | 7g fat | 22g carbs | 1.5g fiber | 1g sugars | 9g protein
389mg sodium | 19mg cholesterol