These Chicken Flautas are a quick and easy dinner recipe that only take 10 minutes to prepare! This flautas recipe uses canned chicken (no one will ever know your secret!), dried seasonings, cream cheese, salsa, and shredded cheese for a fast dinner that everyone will love.
We love to dip these chicken flautas in this copycat Cafe Rio dressing and garnish the flautas with shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, and sour cream. Yum!
Chicken Flautas Recipe
This recipe for chicken flautas is one of those super simple dinner recipes that are much needed on those busy weekdays.
It's not completely homemade, but rather a semi-homemade dinner, with some easy ingredients that really cut down on the prep time.
These chicken flautas use canned chicken. Yes, I said canned chicken! I promise you that no one will ever guess how easy these are to make. No need to worry about precooking chicken or picking up a Rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. Canned chicken has a long shelf life so this is one of those dinners that you can always have on stand-by.
This 7 can chicken taco soup is another way to use up canned chicken.
What You'll Need
Making these chicken flautas is so easy. All you need are some easy ingredients!
- Canned Chicken - Don't let this scare you! I love the Kirkland brand of canned chicken that you can get at Costco. It's high quality chicken and the shelf life is amazing on it. A Costco membership is worth it just for their canned chicken. Be sure you drain the chicken and flake it with a fork before using it.
- Cream Cheese - Light or regular fat cream cheese can be used.
- Salsa - Any salsa you want!
- Shredded Cheese - Any cheese you like. I prefer to shred cheese from a block but the bagged shredded cheese will also work.
- Cumin, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Chili Powder - Some easy dried seasonings is all you need.
How To Make Chicken Flautas
Only 10 minutes of prep time needed and they're so simple to make.
Drain & Flake Canned Chicken : Prepare the canned chicken before starting. I use a colander and dump the chicken into it so the juices are all drained. Add the chicken to the mixing bowl and shred it up with a fork.
Cream Cheese : Make sure the cream cheese is nice and soft before using it. Otherwise, you can end up with chunks of cream cheese that will be hard to mix in with the rest of the ingredients. I put the cream cheese into the microwave for about 30 seconds before adding it into the mixing bowl.
Flautas Mixture : Combine all the ingredients together into the mixing bowl and stir well.
Make the Flautas : Put a few tablespoons of flauta mixture onto each tortilla and roll up. Place seam side down on the baking sheet. Spray the tops with cooking spray and sprinkle with some kosher salt on top, if wanted. Cook according to directions until nice and crispy.
My Tips For Success
I have a few tips that will help you make this in your own kitchen at home.
- Spray The Tops With Cooking Spray - In order to get that really crispy flauta exterior be sure you spray them with cooking spray. This helps the flour tortilla get really crispy while baking. It will mimic that fried crunch that we all love.
- Toppings - Take these flautas to the next level and serve them with sour cream, guacamole, shredded lettuce, and pico de gallo. It really makes the flautas even more delicious!
- Softened Cream Cheese - Make sure that the cream cheese is softened before adding it into the mixing bowl. If it's too cold, it will be harder to mix in smoothly with the other ingredients. I place the cream cheese (unwrapped obviously) onto a microwave-safe plate and microwave it for about 30 seconds before using it. This way it's nice and soft and mixes in perfectly smooth.
- Canned Chicken - The recipe is written for the canned chicken. If you choose to use shredded cooked chicken or a Rotisserie chicken then you may have to adjust the seasonings depending on taste and if the chicken is seasoned or not. The best canned chicken is the Kirkland brand from Costco. So if you have a membership there then be sure to grab a pack!
There are so many ways to change up this recipe! Make it different each time or experiment with different ideas and see what your family likes.
- Make It Spicy! : Use shredded pepper jack cheese. Add some extra chili powder or add red cayenne pepper. Add some diced jalapeño into the chicken flauta mixture. Use hot salsa.
- Flavored Cream Cheese : Instead of using regular cream cheese try using the jalapeño cream cheese or the chive and onion cream cheese.
- Use Corn Tortillas : I would not advise this because corn tortillas don't turn out as well as using flour, but if you want to, use corn tortillas instead.
- Make It Lower Carb : Use the Carb Balance flour tortillas or gluten-free flour tortillas.
- Cheese : Use any shredded cheese you want!
Serving Suggestions For Chicken Flautas
We love to dip these flautas in some sour cream and guacamole and garnish them with shredded lettuce and pico de gallo.
How To Store Leftovers
Store leftover flautas in a covered container, in the fridge, for up 3-4 days.
When you are ready to eat simply heat them up in the microwave OR you can throw them in the air fryer to crisp them back up again.
Can I Freeze Chicken Flautas?
Yes you can freeze chicken flautas! Prepare as directed (do not cook) and double wrap the uncooked flautas in tin foil and freeze for up to 3 months. I place the double wrapped foil flautas inside a gallon-sized freezer safe Ziploc bag for extra protection.
I would image you can also freeze these cooked. Let them in the fridge and either crisp them up in the air fryer or bake them in the oven until they are warmed and crisp.
More Easy Mexican Inspired Recipes You'll Love
- Honey Lime Chicken Taquitos - Honey + lime is the perfect match for these tasty and crispy oven baked chicken taquitos.
- Green Chili Corn Chicken Enchiladas - Shredded chicken, fiesta corn enchiladas topped with an easy green chili enchilada sauce.
- Fiesta Avocado Salad - A delicious side dish with chunks of avocado, tomato, and black beans with an easy citrus olive oil dressing.
- Southwestern Corn - An easy side dish with frozen corn, tomatoes, and cilantro.
- Fiesta Chicken Casserole - A family friendly easy casserole recipe with salsa, corn, chicken, cheese, beans, and rotini pasta noodles.
Quick & Easy Chicken Flautas
- 2 cans (12.5 oz each) chicken drained & flaked
- 6 oz cream cheese softened
- 1/3 cup salsa
- 1 cup shredded cheese any variety
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- 12 8" flour tortillas
- Heat oven to 400°. Prepare a cookie sheet by lining with parchment paper or tin foil, or you can spray the pan with cooking spray.
- Combine drained and flaked chicken, cream cheese, salsa, cheese, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder into a mixing bowl. Stir together until well combined.
- Spread 3 tablespoons (a large spoonful) of chicken mixture onto a tortilla. Roll up tightly and place seam side down on a cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas. *If you use smaller tortillas then you won't need the full 3 tablespoons of filling, so adjust accordingly.
- Spray the tops of the flautas with cooking spray. Don't soak them but you want them to have a decent coating of cooking spray so they will get really brown and crispy. I also like to sprinkle some kosher salt on top of the sprayed flautas, but this is totally optional.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until they reach desired crispness that you want. Let cool for about 5-10 minutes before serving so the filling can cool and come together. Serve with dips of your choice (sour cream, salsa, guacamole).
Recipe has been updated with new pictures and more helpful text in August 2021