Our house loves taquitos. It’s probably the most popular recipe around here. Everyone enjoys eating them and I really love that I can freeze them for quick easy meals later when I don’t have time to cook. Also, when we have nights where dinner doesn’t go as planned it’s nice to have something healthy to fall back on instead of ordering pizza.
This recipe is fairly easy but does take awhile to make and I usually make 2 batches at once – the nice thing about it is that you don’t have to do it all in one sitting. I often will mix up my filling and put it in the fridge for a day or two until I have time to assemble my taquitos. Which is why this recipe is great for anybody who doesn’t have a lot of free time to spend in the kitchen.
You’ll want to plan ahead for this recipe, since you’ll need some time to cook the chicken in the crockpot, and there is one CRITICAL tool you will need but may not have: a frosting/decorating bag. Right now, you might be thinking to yourself “I’ll just use a ziplock bag, it’s the same right?”. WRONG. Wrong wrong wrong-ity wrong. I can tell you from experience, that does not work! That bag will burst the first time you use it, every time. So don’t waste a ziplock bag, just buy a frosting bag, like this one. If you prefer the non-disposable ones you can try these cool silicone ones. I haven’t tried them yet, but I’m thinking they will do the trick.
If you don’t have a crockpot I highly recommend getting one. I love to cook with mine. I prefer to do larger batches so I will have leftovers, so my 6 quart is a perfect size. Though I am thinking about upgrading because look at this adorable Disney Pixar crockpot I just found! Guys, the settings knob is a rocket!
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I’m dying. Who wants to get me a birthday present? …. No? Ok fine, time to focus.
Slow-Cooking The Chicken
Now that we are ready, start by cleaning your chicken (trim off any fat or grisly bits and rinse), then toss it into the crockpot (bonus points if your crockpot is cute) – be sure NOT to skip the cleaning step because you don’t want to try to pick those bits out later, or worse, have to spit them out – yuck. Then drown that chicken in chicken broth. The whole goal here is to completely cover the chicken because any part that pokes out of the water might dry out somewhat and which makes your meat tough. If you don’t need all 2 cups of broth to cover your chicken, save it for later. Out of broth and still not enough liquid? Add some water. Just make sure that chicken is covered. Then set your crockpot to high for 4-6 hours or low for 8-10 hours.
Mixing Up Filling
Once your chicken is cooked, transfer it to your mixer bowl after draining off the liquid. Let your chicken cool a little. Then beat your warm chicken on low speed for 30 to 60 seconds, until the chicken is shredded well. It’s easier to shred when warm, but be careful of hot juice splashing out of the bowl.
Next, add in all of the remaining ingredients except the black beans (and the tortillas, of course) and mix again on low speed for a few seconds. Once your filling is mixed up well, fold in (gently turning or stirring in) the rinsed black beans. You can use your mixer to do this, but be careful not to over mix unless you like you filling blacked by smooshed bean paste. It will still taste good, but it looks awful. If you need a break, pop your filling into the fridge until you are ready to roll the taquitos.
Making the Taquitos
Let’s set up our workspace. You’ll want to be prepared because you need to keep everything warm while you roll your taquitos. Prepare your baking sheet (I like to line mine with parchment paper) and set everything close by so it’s handy and within reach: coconut oil cooking spray, a tall glass with your frosting bag inside and the top turned down, the warm chicken filling mixture, and a space for your tortillas. It’s best to have your filling warmish or at least room temperature, but not hot enough to burn your hands. That will make piping it through the bag easier – for your hands and it’s easier on the bag itself. If you have to squeeze hard to get cold filling through it, you’re likely to break your disposable frosting bag and your hands will hurt.
To fill your bag with filling mix, place the bag point end down into the glass and fold the top edge (wide end) down over the top of the glass. Use a big spoon to open up the bag. Spoon the filling into the bag, packing the filling down as you go. Pull the bag out of the glass by the top end that you folded down, now unfolding it. Holding the top end, twist the bag so the top is closed. If you are using a disposable bag, cut the tip off at the point where it’s about 1/2″ wide. The filling will come out slightly bigger than the hole you cut.
Now it’s tortilla prep time. When working with corn tortillas, you will need to heat them properly to keep them from breaking. Take a damp washcloth and wrap 8-10 tortillas in it. Then microwave for 2 minutes. CAUTION: they will be too hot to touch for a few moments when you take them out. Now is a good time to get your oven pre-heating to 425 degrees F.
Pipe your mixture onto a hot tortilla. Then roll it up. Be careful as the tortillas down the stack are still very hot. Roll your taquitos slowly, because the tortillas sometimes stick together. Place your rolled taquito on the baking sheet with the end of the tortilla on the bottom, pressing it gently to keep it from rolling away and unrolling your taquito. Lightly spray the top of it with coconut oil. It’s important to spray them immediately to help stop the tortillas from cracking. The oil also makes them crispier, yum! Fill up your tray and bake for 10-12 minutes.
You can them enjoy these fresh and hot or let the cool, then pack and freeze them for later. Make sure you let them completely cool before packing them for freezing.
A family favorite which can also be friendly to most any diet you might be on with just a few simple changes. Very yummy, and freezes well for quick & easy eating later!
- 4 large chicken breasts
- 1 15oz can chicken broth or about 2 cups
- 2 cups shredded cheese (omit for Paleo diet)
- 2 tbsp diced jalapenos, canned
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tbsp onion powder
- 1/2 tbsp dried cilantro or 1 tbsp of fresh cilantro finly chopped
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 24-30 corn tortillas (get or make Paleo tortillas if on a Paleo diet)
- 1 15oz can black beans rinsed, optional (omit for Paleo diet)
- disposable frosting/decorating bag or reusable bag - NOT a ziploc bag
- coconut oil cooking spray
Place cleaned chicken breasts in crockpot and add chicken broth (cleaning means to trim off all fat and grisly bits and rinse). The goal is to just cover the chicken. You can add a little more or less broth, as needed. If you use all of your broth and need more, just add water. Cook chicken on high for 4-6 hours.
Let the chicken cool a little, then use a mixer on low speed to shred the cooked chicken. This is easiest when it's still warm.
Mix in all the remaining ingredients, except the tortillas and black beans. Then fold in black beans, gently turning or stirring in so a not to squish the beans. You can use your mixer to stir them in, but be careful not to mix any more than needed or your black beans will be turned into paste.
Prepare your workspace: Set out a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, chicken filling, use a cup or drinking glass to hold a disposable frosting bag while you fill it with the chicken filling, and a can of coconut oil cooking spray. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
When using corn tortillas, you need to properly warm them to keep them from breaking. The easiest way is to dampen a dish towel or washcloth, wrap it around 8-10 tortillas and microwave for 2 minutes until hot (almost too hot to touch for a few seconds).
Spoon some of the chicken mixture into the frosting bag and snip off the tip at the point where it is about 1/2 inch wide. Pipe the filling onto the warm tortillas. Roll up your taquito, place it on a baking tray, and immediately spray with coconut oil. Spraying them right away helps to reduce further cracking. Repeat until the tray is filled.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until ends start to brown or are as browned.