This post may contain affiliate links, view our disclosure policy.

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 on a white tray topped with lettuce, tomato, and guacamole.

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. 

Horizontal picture of chicken flautas with a bowl of salsa.

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.

Ingredients needed to make flautas.

How to make flautas with step by step pictures.

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. 

A flauta being dipped into some sour cream.

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!

Variation Ideas

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!

Close up shot of flautas on a white tray with cheese.

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. 

Serve with some easy mexican rice or instant pot cilantro lime rice on the side. 

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. 

Tray of flautas with a bowl of salsa and sour cream on the side.

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. 
Chicken flautas on a white tray topped with lettuce, tomato, and guacamole.
Together As Family Logo

Quick & Easy Chicken Flautas

Author Jessica
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 flautas
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. 


  • 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).



Tortillas : I used 8" flour tortillas and got 12 flautas. If you use smaller tortillas then you will have more flautas. It just depends on how big or small you want the flautas to be. 
Chicken : Don't be scared of the canned chicken. It's what makes these flautas so quick and easy to make, and you honestly can't even tell.
If you are totally against the canned chicken you can always use about 3 cups of shredded chicken or some rotisserie chicken. But again, this recipe is written for the canned chicken which is already flavored and salted. So you may have to adjust things if not using canned chicken. But try the canned chicken just once! It may just surprise you. 
Cream Cheese : 6 oz of cream cheese is almost all of an 8 oz block of cream cheese. I've experimented with using the entire bar of cream cheese, but it's just way too much. So yes, not using it all annoys me too, but 6 oz is the perfect amount. You could also try using flavored cream cheese like the chive & onion or jalapeño cream cheese for some spice. 
Cheese : Use any kind you want. I use either Colby Jack or Cheddar cheese. If you want some spice then use Pepper Jack Cheese. 
Make It Spicy! : Add some cayenne red pepper. Use pepper jack cheese. Add additional chili powder. Use hot salsa. 
This recipe has been updated in July 2021 with two additions to the recipe. I have been making these for years and found that adding onion powder and chili powder really make them that much better. So the addition of 1/4 teaspoon of chili powder & onion powder is new and I highly recommend it. Omit those two spices if you prefer the original recipe with just the cumin and garlic powder. 


Calories: 218kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 463mg | Potassium: 128mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 357IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 119mg | Iron: 1mg

Did You Make This Recipe?

I'd love to see it! You can share it with me on @togetherasfamilyblog and follow on Pinterest @together-as-family-blog-recipes or Facebook @togetherasfamilyblog for more!

Recipe has been updated with new pictures and more helpful text in August 2021


Did you love this recipe?

Make sure to comment below so we can chat about it! Or follow on your favorite social network for even more family recipes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. Andrea Shippy says:

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! It was a big hit with my husband and girls. The only thing I did different was put in shredded chicken because I didn’t have any canned.

    1. Allie Rollinson says:

      This was good and a remake. Perfect weeknight supper as it was fast and easy to make. I did double the spices and the salsa. We topped with white cheese dip and salsa.

      1. Together as Family says:

        Thanks for your comment! I love the idea of tipping with white cheese dip!

  2. Rebekah Bottcher says:

    I made this last night and my family loved them !

  3. Margaret Carlson says:

    These are delicious! A word to the wise
    When I first read the recipe I noted the cream cheese amount and made a mental note. Well, my mind not being what it use to be I used the whole 8 oz ??‍♀️
    A little filling oozing out so we used a knife and fork. I’ll get it right next time.

  4. This is amazingly wonderful. Will share and make many more times. Thank you ❤️

  5. 5 stars
    I am so excited to try all of your recipes. I feel like I’ve hit the jack pot with tons of recipes that even my pickier than most children will love. I just made this one and can’t wait to EAT IT. Thank you so much for all this goodness!

    1. Together As Family says:

      Thank you for being here. I hope you find some good stuff!

  6. We loved these – way better than store bought.
    I used only one can of chicken and added one can of black beans. Next time I will add a can of diced green chiles. ?

    1. Together As Family says:

      I love the idea of adding black beans. Yum! If only my kids would eat beans… haha 🙂 So happy to hear you love these! Thanks for the review and comment. I appreciate it.

    2. Oooh I wondered if green chilies would be a great addition!?!

      1. Together as Family says:

        Green chilies would be a great addition!

  7. I made these tonight and loved them! Will definitely make them again. The only thing I will change is the amount of cream cheese. I love cream cheese and thought that would be the best part of this recipe, I may even cut the amount in half. Just my opinion. My husband isn’t a fan of cream cheese, but he loved these… go figure. Lol

  8. 5 stars
    YUMMY! We just had these for lunch and they are delicious. First time using canned chicken, too. Thank you!

  9. Kerri Gastineau says:

    5 stars
    Such an easy and delicious recipe. Family Favorite!!

  10. Loved these! I actually did half as your recipe calls and half plain canned chicken and taco seasoning for my picky family and I loved both. I was wondering if you know what the temp and time would be to do in the air fryer.

  11. 2 stars
    I really was hoping I’d like this recipe but…. my family wasn’t impressed & neither was I. The fluatas tasted very bland and not much flavor at all. If I were to make this again I would spice it up or add double the salsa. I think I’d even use rotisserie or freshly shredded chicken and add some sautéed diced onions & garlic. I used medium salsa which I thought would give it more of a kick but maybe I should’ve tried hot? It is an easy recipe to make though.

  12. I found your website a few weeks ago. I’m so glad I did. I made these Flautas tonight. They were delicious! So good! So easy! My entire family ate them up!

    1. Together As Family says:

      So happy to have you here! Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment 🙂

  13. Angela Lesperance says:

    5 stars
    This came out great! I am going to make it again for my mom and other family members next week!

  14. can you freeze them?

    1. Together As Family says:

      Freezing would work great with these, yes! I would freeze them uncooked.

      1. Carroll Laws says:

        would you still put the oven at 400 if they are frozen ? If so how long to cook them from frozen ?.

        1. Together as Family says:

          I would plan for anywhere from 3-10 minutes extra when baking from frozen. Sorry I don’t have a more exact time but I’ve never tried it myself and it depends on your oven, how many are on a pan, if they thawed before going in, etc.

  15. 5 stars
    Easy to put together & a big hit with the family! Thank yiu!!

  16. paula rudd says:

    will low fat/fat free cream cheese work?

    1. Together As Family says:

      Yes that will work just fine. Enjoy.

  17. 5 stars
    My husband and I tried these for a new snack. Absolutely delicious!! We only had corn tortillas so we fried them for about 20 seconds each side first. Thanks so much! Well done??

  18. 5 stars
    Was super easy and very tasty. Easy to make to your own tastes. I pretty much followed the directions except use Rotel tomatoes instead of salsa because we didn’t have salsa.

  19. 4 stars
    I made these tonight except I topped the filling into crunchy corn tostada shells and ran them through the air fryer for about 10 min. When there were 3 min left, I topped with more cheese and sliced jalapeños. It was delicious! We used a flavorful salsa in the mix and topped the finished tostada with salsa and some hot sauce. We will def make these again!

    1. That should say that I topped the filling “ONTO” a tostada shell, not into. These would also be great with fresh tomatoes, sour cream and a quick splash of lime on top!! My mind is racing with different ways to make these and still keep to your original recipe as much as possible. I love experimenting!

  20. I wonder if these would be tasty and crispy if you air fried them. What do you think?

    1. Together As Family says:

      Yes, definitely you can air fry them! I would do about 8-9 minutes, or less time, depending on your crispness preference.

  21. 5 stars
    What a surprise! I wouldn’t change anything. You can’t say that about many recipes. All that ate them enjoyed this dish.

  22. 5 stars
    These turned out great!! I had to make my own gluten free tortillas first so it wasn’t quick but it sure was tasty. The filling is delicious!

    1. Together as Family says:

      So glad to hear you liked it!

  23. Paula myers says:

    Great,easy, and delicious recipes. Thank you so much. Had none that never cme out good tasty

    1. Together as Family says:

      Thank you so much Paula!!

  24. 5 stars
    Thank you! These are very good!! Our 9 & 7 year old boys give them a 20!

    1. Together as Family says:

      A 20!! Thank you for your comment! So glad to hear your boys liked it!

  25. 4 stars
    these were so good! I didn’t have any salsa so I made a quick Pico de gallo and it worked out great! I served this with a sour cream/garlic powder/oregano dipping sauce and it was a hit!

    1. Together as Family says:

      That dipping sauce sounds delicious! Glad you liked the recipe!

  26. Trina Lyles says:

    I just made these with 1 pound cooked ground turkey and a can of black beans. It was excellent!!

    1. Together as Family says:

      Sounds delicious!! Thanks for your comment!

  27. Tried these for the first time today and the entire family actually agreed it was good. Next time though, we’re going to just use the inside filling as a “dip” and use tortilla chips to make it more of a chicken nacho type dinner. Everybody loved the crunchy end pieces of the tortillas, so we all thought it needed that extra crunch. Love adding avocado, corn, black bean, and mushroom with this! Thanks for a quick lunch/dip idea!

    1. Together as Family says:

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience with the recipe! Love the idea of using it as a dip!

  28. 5 stars
    my cream cheese had gone bad, so i substituted cottage cheese and full fat greek yogurt. i tend to do chaos cooking and just season/add sauces with my heart. i also used corn tortillas due to a wheat allergy. they of course did not hold their shape but were still super tasty! a very easy and quick pantry meal– will for sure be a part of the regular rotation!

    1. Together as Family says:

      I love chaos cooking! And what a great idea for the cream cheese substitute. Thanks for your comment!

  29. Jacki Dahl says:

    5 stars
    Easy & delicious. The tip about sprinkling sea salt on the top after spraying with Pam takes them to the next level. I know this because I made them once before and didn’t do the sea salt.

    1. Together as Family says:

      I’m so glad you liked it! The little things like that make such a huge difference.

  30. 5 stars
    First time doing this and it came out amazing! I’m so happy I searched for canned chicken!

    1. Together as Family says:

      I’m so glad you loved it! Thanks for commenting!

  31. 5 stars
    SO EASY! I didn’t have cream cheese on hand so I used lowfat cottage cheese and it turned out great. I’m sure it’s creamier and richer with the cream cheese, but this way was delicious and since it’s healthier I’ll probably just stick with it 🙂 I don’t know why I had canned chicken in my pantry but this was so easy I will make it a regular thing now. Thank you!