We all know that weekday rush to put some semblance of nutrition on the dinner table in a reasonable amount of time. Monday through Friday means work, school, traffic, activities, homework, stress. Stress.
Raise your hand if you wanna stress about what to eat! Anyone? Hullo?
Right. Me neither. Pinterest has yielded, yet again, another tasty and quick we-have-too-much-crap-to-do-and-are-trying-to-avoid-the-Taco-Bell-drive-thru recipe. Taquitos!
Stop. Do not eat the taquitos rolling under the obscure heat lamp at the gas station next to the mystery hot dogs. Don’t even think about buying the giant box of pre-fried taquitos that’s on sale in the freezer aisle in the grocery store. Have you ever read the nutrition label on those things? You need a PhD to pronounce the first 5 ingredients. Bad. I made the filling for these ahead of time the other day and then took just a few minutes to roll up the tortilla shells, brush with a tiny bit of olive oil, and bake when we got home from all our after school/work running around.
I used queso fresco all crumbled and yummy. You could use whatever cheese makes you happy- pepper jack, a cheddar/jack blend, shredded sharp cheddar cheese- the queso fresco was mild and melted with the cream cheese to give the filling a nice creamy texture.
If you’re making the filling ahead of time, stir in your cooked chicken, cover, and here is where you’ll refrigerate this filling for later. Otherwise, lightly oil a 9X13 baking dish, preheat the oven to 425, and get ready to roll.
Line your rolled up taquitos in the prepared baking dish and lightly spray with cooking spray. I do not have cooking spray, so I just lightly brushed mine with olive oil. Sprinkle with a tiny bit of kosher salt. Bake for about 15-20 minutes. The end result will be crispy and golden. Serve with salsa, sour cream, and/or guacamole. I made a great big green salad and we enjoyed this a quick & simple weeknight meal.
Baked Chicken Taquitos
3 ounces of lowfat (Neufchatel) cream cheese
1/4 cup salsa verde
the juice from half a lime
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 green onions, finely chopped
3-4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 cups of shredded, cooked chicken
1 cup shredded cheese (queso fresco, pepper jack, sharp cheddar, your preference)
small flour or corn tortillas (I used a mid-sized flour tortilla)
a pinch of kosher salt
cooking spray or a little olive oil for lightly greasing the pan and brushing the tortillas)
To cook the chicken: place 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts in a saucepan and just cover them with water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and continue cooking for about 15 minutes- until the chicken is cooked all the way through. Remove from the pan and let it cool. Shred it with a fork and set aside.
For the filling: In a large bowl using a hand mixer, blend together the cream cheese, salsa verde, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, and garlic. Using a spatula or a large spoon, fold in the green onions and the cilantro. Then add the cheese and the chicken. Stir until well combined.
To assemble and bake: Preheat the oven to 425 and lightly spray a 9X13 pan with cooking spray or brush with oil. Fill the lower third of each tortilla shell and roll tightly. Line the stuffed and rolled tortillas in the prepared pan. Lightly spray with cooking spray or brush with oil, sprinkle with kosher salt, and bake for 15-20 minutes, until crispy with the edges lightly browned.