This is one of the few meals we make that every person in our family enjoys. Finding something the whole family loves, when you have five young children, is no easy task, and so it’s very satisfying when I make a meal that not only does every one eat, but I don’t have to plead/bribe/cajole anyone into eating their mandatory three bites before they can choose to make themselves something else.
You can definitely use whole cooked beans in this recipe, in fact, I love it that way and so does most of my family, but my 8 year old does not like whole cooked beans unless you mash them up. I’ve tried to explain that they are the same exact thing, but no, she will not eat it unless it’s mashed. It literally makes her gag in it’s whole bean form. She must be a consistency person. So even though Miss Annabelle (4 years old) loves a variety of whole cooked beans, if I want to get Elisabeth to eat some, I mash them before I put them in enchiladas, quesadillas or in this case, taquitos.
You can choose to use all chicken in place of beans if you don’t like beans, or you can use all beans in place of chicken if you don’t like chicken, or you can do a mix of both. I usually do both, but sometimes I don’t have chicken made up and so we do bean taquitos. Whichever way you choose will taste fabulous! I will usually throw all the ingredients in the blender, minus the chicken and cheese, and blend until it’s more creamy than chunky, then I’ll put it in a small mixing bowl and stir in the cheese (and optional chicken). You can use a potato masher to mix the ingredients if you prefer more chunks; my kids don’t, which is why I blend :).
You can also choose if you’d like to use corn or wheat flour tortillas. The ones pictured below are my whole wheat flour tortillas.
I’ve used both and really like both. There is a trick to getting your corn tortillas to roll nicely and not break. I will put 5 corn tortillas on a plate and microwave it for 30 seconds. Then I take a dish towel that I’ve just run under warm water from the sink, and squeezed a lot of the water out, and I set that on top of my warm tortillas. This will make your tortillas warm and moist and will help them stay together better…when they’re dry and cold, they crack and break. If you’ve tried this multiple times and still can’t get the hang of it, you could try switching to the La Tortilla Factory brand. Those tortillas seem to be more pliable.
Flour tortillas always turn out great. I like to use my own whole wheat flour tortilla recipe and that way I can roll them out to be the same size as corn tortillas. If you’re using store bought ones and can’t find the small tortillas, don’t worry because you can just cut the tortilla in half and roll it up that way; it’ll be longer then the corn tortillas, but they still work and taste great!
And if you’re like me and like to prep foods earlier on in the day when you have a minute to work in the kitchen in a stress-free environment (as opposed to right before dinner time when all the kids are home from school and everyone is needing you at once: “mom help me with piano, mom correct my homework, mom help me practice spelling words, mom I’m starving and need a snack!!!”) you can get the filling together before hand. Then all you’ll need is about 10 minutes to fill and roll these just before dinner while the oven is preheating and in they go for 10-15 minutes or until they’re crisp and the ends are golden brown.
Here is a picture of the whole wheat taquitos just before I put them in the oven. Don’t forget to give them a light spray with Pam; this will help with the crispness, and sprinkle them with salt.
Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos– adapted from Our Best Bites
4oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 C green salsa
1 tsp lime juice
1/4 t cumin
1/2 t chili powder
1/4 t garlic powder
3 T chopped cilantro (optional)
2 T sliced green onions (1-2 green onions)
1/2 C shredded cooked Mexican chicken
1 1/2 c cooked black or pinto beans, or 1 can
1 C grated cheddar or pepperjack cheese
about 16 small corn or whole wheat tortillas
Pam or other cooking spray
Heat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.
If your cream cheese isn’t softened already, unwrap it and heat it up in a bowl in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds so it’s soft and easy to stir. Add all ingredients except chicken and cheese to your blender and blend until creamy then transfer to a small mixing bowl and add in cheese and chicken. Or, you can mix the ingredients in a small mixing bowl with a potato masher, and lastly stirring in the cheese and chicken. (You can prepare up to this step ahead of time. Just keep the mixture in the fridge.)
You’ll want to warm up the tortillas, five at a time, for about 30 seconds in the microwave to keep them from cracking and then cover them with a warm, damp dish towel. If you’re still having problems, try using the La Tortilla Factory brand of corn tortillas, they’re more pliable.
Place 1-2 T of bean/cheese mixture on the lower third of a tortilla, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the edge.
Roll tight. Place on pan seam side down. Spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt. Place pan in oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown.
Makes about 16
Freezer Instructions: Prepare the taquitos through rolling them out and placing them on the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the freezer and freeze until solid, then transfer to a large freezer bag. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 425 and place the taquitos on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and crispy