Crispy on the outside, with flavorful chicken and melty cheese on the inside, you can’t beat the taste of these delicious Air Fryer Taquitos! This recipe is so easy to make with pulled rotisserie chicken. It only takes 15 minutes to toss together and 8 minutes to cook these tasty taquitos!

taquitos stacked up on plate with diced tomatoes and cotija cheese on top

When I first moved to San Diego, I was introduced to taco shops. A concept I had not grown up with in Oklahoma. We were more of the Taco Bell and Taco Bueno kind of place. As a college student, taco shops were a great spot to get a giant burrito at a great price.

This is also where I learned about rolled tacos. Essentially the same thing as taquitos, rolled tacos are exactly what they sound like, tortillas with taco filling rolled up and usually fried.

To make a healthy version of these rolled tacos, or taquitos, I decided to bust out my trusty air fryer and make air fryer taquitos. I filled them with rotisserie chicken, tossed with taco seasoning and green chilies, then mixed in plenty of pepper jack cheese to make a flavorful, cheesy filling with a hint of spice.

Rolled up and cooked to golden perfection in the air fryer, these taquitos are so delicious, so cheesy and even better when dipped in homemade guacamole or chipotle sauce! You can enjoy them for an easy dinner, with a side of Mexican rice, or serve them as a party appetizer!

ingredients for air fryer taquitos on white wood board

Ingredients

  • Cooked, shredded chicken – for this recipe, I used chicken pulled from a cooked rotisserie chicken from Costco. This helps the recipe come together super quick. You can also use my easy instant pot shredded chicken recipe to quickly pressure cook chicken breasts and shred them for these taquitos.
  • Olive oil – or another neutral-flavored oil to cook the onions.
  • Onions – a half cup of either yellow onion, or red onion, will work for this recipe.
  • Diced green chiles – these canned chilies are found in the Hispanic section of most grocery stores, near the salsas and hot sauce. They usually come in two varieties, mild or hot, pick whichever spice preference you like.
  • Cilantro – for a fresh flavor and a pop of bright green color, I like to add fresh chopped cilantro to the filling. If you have an aversion to cilantro, you can simply leave it out.
  • Taco seasoning – click the link for my easy homemade seasoning mix, that’s full of flavor! You can mix it up with pantry staples like chili powder, cumin, onion powder and garlic powder, in just 5 minutes. You can also purchase pre-made taco seasoning on the spice aisle at the grocery store.
  • Pepper jack cheese – I love using this cheese in the taquitos for a pop of spice. You could also use sharp cheddar, or monterey jack cheese, if you prefer.
  • Flour tortillas – for this recipe, you’ll want 6 inch flour tortillas, generally labeled “fajita” tortillas. If using “soft taco” size tortillas, that are bigger, this recipe will make 8-10 taquitos, instead of 12 taquitos. You can also use corn tortillas, which are traditionally used for taquitos, whereas flour tortillas are more often used to make flautas.

Instructions

I’ve included step by step photos below to make this recipe super easy to follow at home. For the full detailed recipe instructions and ingredient quantities, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

  1. Cook the onions. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on the stove over medium-high heat. Once hot, add diced onions and cook for 4 minutes.
  2. Season and heat up the chicken. Add cooked, shredded chicken to the skillet with the onions. Season with taco seasoning, fresh chopped cilantro and diced green chiles.
  3. Combine everything. Stir to combine the ingredients and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the cheese. Turn the heat on the stove off, add shredded pepper jack cheese and toss it with the chicken mixture.
  5. Assemble the taquitos. Wrap a stack of tortillas in damp paper towels and microwave for 60 seconds. This will make them easier to roll up. Starting with one tortilla, place 3-4 tablespoons of the cheesy chicken mixture in the middle of the tortilla. Roll the tortilla up tightly over the mixture, then set it aside.
  6. Repeat to make the remaining taquitos. Continue filling and rolling up the remaining tortillas, until you’ve made 12 chicken taquitos.
  1. Air fry the taquitos. Preheat an air fryer to 400°F. Place the taquitos, seam-side down, in an even layer in an air fryer basket, with enough room around each one for the air to circulate. Spray with cooking spray, then air fry at 400°F for 4-5 minutes.
  2. Flip and cook again. Open the air fryer, use tongs to flip the taquitos, spray with cooking spray again, then cook at 400°F for an additional 4-5 minutes. You will have to cook the taquitos in batches, unless you have a giant air fryer. In my 5.8 quart air fryer, I was able to fit 6 taquitos, so I could cook all 12 in two batches.
cooked taquitos stacked up on plate, topped with diced tomatoes, cilantro and cotija cheese

Optional toppings

When you order rolled tacos, or taquitos, at a taco shop, they usually come piled up with toppings. If you’d like to replicate this at home with these air fryer chicken taquitos, add any, or all, of the optional toppings on top of the taquitos, right before serving them.

Variations

To make beef taquitos, either use cooked taco seasoned ground beef, or use leftover beef birria or carne asada. To make ground beef for this recipe, add 1/2 pound of ground beef to a large skillet on the stove over medium high heat. Cook until the beef is browned, then drain any grease. Add 1 tablespoon taco seasoning and 1/4 cup water. Simmer for 5 minutes, then use in the taquitos, in place of the cooked chicken.

To make vegetarian taquitos, either make cheese taquitos, bean and cheese taquitos, or soyrizo taquitos.

For the soyrizo taquitos, cook and crumble 8 ounces of soy chorizo, then use it in place of the chicken.

To make cheese taquitos, simply omit the chicken and onions. Toss 3 cups of shredded pepper jack cheese and 1 cup of crumbled cotija cheese with the diced green chiles, cilantro and taco seasoning. Use this as the filling.

To make bean and cheese taquitos, replace the chicken with one 15 ounce can of black beans.

taquitos stacked up on a plate topped with guacamole and diced tomatoes

Recipe tips

  • Always make sure that the taquitos are wrapped up tightly before cooking them in the air fryer. If they’re not tightly wrapped, they’re likely to come open while cooking in the air fryer.
  • If your taquitos are not crispy, try cooking them for an extra 1-2 minutes per side. Also don’t forget the step of spraying the taquitos with cooking spray before cooking them. This will help them get browned and crispy on the outside.
  • If you don’t have an air fryer, you can make this recipe in the oven. Preheat the oven to 425°F. If your oven has a convection setting, I recommend using that. Place the taquitos on a foil-lined baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray. Bake in the preheated oven for 6-7 minutes. Remove the taquitos from the oven, flip, spray with cooking spray and cook for an additional 6-7 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • To make gluten free chicken taquitos. You can use corn tortillas or these gluten free tortillas. They’re made with rice flour and are more pliable than corn tortillas, making them easier to roll up over the cheesy chicken filling, without ripping the tortillas. If using corn tortillas, you’ll always want to heat them up in the microwave before preparing the taquitos to make them more pliable, and less likely to rip when they’re rolled up.
  • To make spicy chicken taquitos, use hot green chilies and add 2-3 teaspoons of hot sauce to the filling. You can also cook a minced jalapeno or serrano chili with the onions to amp up the spice level!
  • This recipe makes 12 taquitos. You can easily double the recipe by clicking the 2X button in the recipe card below. Uncooked, prepared taquitos can be stored in a freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Storage tips

Uncooked, prepared taquitos can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days before cooking.

Cooked taquito leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator, in an airtight container for up to 5 days. I recommend reheating them in the air fryer at 400°F for 2-3 minutes per side.

You can also store uncooked, prepared taquitos in the freezer and cook them directly from frozen anytime within 3 months. When cooking frozen taquitos in the air fryer, simply add 2 minutes to the cooking time, so they’ll need to cook for 5-6 minutes per side in a preheated 400°F air fryer.

taquitos rolled up on plate topped with cotija cheese, diced tomatoes and guacamole
cooked taquitos stacked up on plate with guacamole and chipotle sauce
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Air Fryer Taquitos

Crispy on the outside, with flavorful chicken and melty cheese on the inside, you can't beat the taste of these delicious Air Fryer Taquitos! This recipe is so easy to make with pulled rotisserie chicken. It only takes 15 minutes to toss together and 8 minutes to cook these tasty taquitos!

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup yellow onion, minced
  • 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken, from a rotisserie chicken, or click the link for an easy Instant Pot recipe
  • 4 ounce can diced green chilies
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning, click link for homemade recipe
  • 2 cups pepper jack cheese, shredded
  • 12 six-inch flour tortillas, "fajita size"

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on the stove over medium-high heat.
  • Add the minced onion, cook for 4 minutes.
  • Add the cooked, shredded chicken, diced green chiles, cilantro and taco seasoning to the skillet, stir everything together and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the pepper jack cheese.
  • Stack up the tortillas and wrap them in damp paper towels. Microwave for 60 seconds.
  • Place 3-4 tablespoons of the mixture in the middle of a tortilla and roll it up tightly.
  • Repeat until all of the taquitos are filled and rolled up.
  • Preheat an air fryer to 400°F.
  • Place the taquitos in an air fryer basket seam-side down, with enough room around the taquitos for air to move.
  • Spray the taquitos with nonstick cooking spray, then cook at 400°F for 4-5 minutes.
  • Open the air fryer, use tongs to flip the taquitos, spray with cooking spray and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes.
  • You will have to cook the taquitos in batches, unless you have a giant air fryer. In my 5.8 Quart Air Fryer, I was able to fit 6 taquitos, so I could cook all 12 in two batches.
  • Once all of the taquitos are cooked, serve them with salsa, sour cream, chipotle sauce or guacamole for dipping.

Notes

  • Always make sure that the taquitos are wrapped up tightly before cooking them in the air fryer. If they’re not tightly wrapped, they’re likely to come open while cooking in the air fryer.
  • If you don’t have an air fryer, you can make this recipe in the oven. Preheat the oven to 425°F. If your oven has a convection setting, I recommend using that. Place the taquitos on a foil-lined baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray. Bake in the preheated oven for 6-7 minutes. Remove the taquitos from the oven, flip, spray with cooking spray and cook for an additional 6-7 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • To make gluten free chicken taquitos. You can use corn tortillas or these gluten free tortillas
  • To make spicy chicken taquitos, use hot green chilies and add 2-3 teaspoons of hot sauce to the filling. You can also cook a minced jalapeno or serrano chili with the onions to amp up the spice level!
  • To make beef, cheese, soyrizo, or bean and cheese taquitos in the air fryer, refer to the instructions above in the blog post.
  • This recipe makes 12 taquitos. You can easily double the recipe by clicking the 2X button above.
  • Uncooked, prepared taquitos can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days before cooking.
  • Cooked taquito leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator, in an airtight container for up to 5 days. I recommend reheating them in the air fryer at 400°F for 2-3 minutes per side.
  • Uncooked, prepared taquitos can be stored in a freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to 3 months. When cooking frozen taquitos in the air fryer, simply add 2 minutes to the cooking time, so they’ll need to cook for 5-6 minutes per side in a preheated 400°F air fryer.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 217kcal (11%)Carbohydrates 16g (5%)Protein 14g (28%)Fat 10g (15%)Saturated Fat 5g (25%)Polyunsaturated Fat 1gMonounsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 37mg (12%)Sodium 416mg (17%)Potassium 122mg (3%)Fiber 2g (8%)Sugar 2g (2%)Vitamin A 191mg (4%)Vitamin C 2mg (2%)Calcium 189mg (19%)Iron 2mg (11%)
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