Go Back
+ servings
A row of cooked flautas on a bed of shredded lettuce all on a white oval platter.

Chicken Flautas

Course: Appetizer or Entree
Cuisine: Tex-Mex, Mexican
Keyword: easy Tex-Mex appetizer, how to make chicken flautas
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Chicken braising: 25 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 456kcal
Chicken Flautas are such a wonderful Tex-Mex / Mexican appetizer or entree. We highly recommend making the chicken filling with the homemade taco seasoning, but in a real pinch, you'll still get great results with shredded chicken from a rotisserie chicken and package store-bought seasoning.
Print Recipe


  • Large sturdy skillet (ie, cast-iron), or deep-fryer. Plus cover pot to cook chicken in.


  • 2 chicken breasts bone-in, skin on
  • 2 onions one quartered, and one chopped
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 oz green chiles or fresh jalapeno or serrano (see NOTES)
  • 3 tbsp taco seasoning preferably homemade (click link)
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 24 corn tortillas
  • 2 cups chihuahua cheese shredded, or Monterey Jack or cheddar
  • Vegetable oil for frying (see NOTES)
  • 1 cup iceberg lettuce shredded, for plating, optional
  • ½ cup Mexican crema or sour cream mixed with a little cream, for garnish, optional
  • 1 cup pico de gallo for garnish, optional
  • salsa for dipping, optional


  • Place chicken and quartered onion in a pot (that has a lid) and add enough water to cover by a couple of inches. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to LOW, cover, and gently simmer for 20 minutes. Use a spatula to carefully remove the chicken from the broth and place on a rack to cool.
  • Save about 1 cup of the broth. Remove the onions and save the remaining broth for another use.
  • When cool enough to handle, remove the skin from the chicken and then pull the meat from the bones. Use your fingers, or a couple of forks, to shred the meat. Set aside.
  • In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the chopped onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 4 to 6 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Add in the chilis and cook for another minute, stirring frequently.
  • Add the chicken, taco seasoning, and flour, stir until the chicken is completely coated. Add about ¾ cup of the reserved broth. Stir to incorporate. Continue cooking until the chicken is warm and a slight sauce has formed (there won't be a lot of sauce). Set aside.
  • In a cast-iron skillet, add a few tablespoons of vegetable oil and heat over medium heat until shimmering. One at a time, carefully add a corn tortilla to the hot oil, after about 1 to 2 seconds, use tongs or a fork to flip the tortilla, and cook for another 1 to 2 seconds (no more than 4 to 5 seconds total). Carefully transfer the tortilla to a cutting board lined with paper towels. Continue this process until all tortillas are softened.
  • If using a deep fryer, heat it up to 350°F. If using your cast-iron skillet, add more oil to it until it's about 1 to 2-inches deep. Heat to 350°F, using a candy thermometer to reach the correct temperature, if possible.
  • Meanwhile, place about 2 tablespoons of the chicken filling down the middle of each softened tortilla. Top with another couple of tablespoons of the shredded cheese. Roll the tortilla tightly and use a toothpick (1 or 2) to affix the edge of the tortilla to the body. (See Photo and/or video for reference).
  • Working in batches, place the rolled tortillas in the deep fryer (preferably with a basket) of cast-iron skillet with hot oil, and cook until crispy and lightly browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove, keep warm in a low-temp oven (200°F) and repeat with remaining tortillas.
  • If desired, serve the flautas warm over a bed of shredded lettuce, garnished with Mexican crema, pico de gallo, and salsa for dipping.



In a pinch, shred the meat from a supermarket rotisserie in place of simmering the chicken breasts.  In a real pinch, use pre-packaged taco seasoning.  The taste won't be as spectacular, but still yummy. 
Canned green chilis can be found in the Hispanic/Mexican section of most well-stocked supermarkets.  You can also use chopped fresh jalapeno or serrano peppers, however, these do carry more heat than the chilis.  If using fresh peppers, add them along with the onions so they will soften, too.  
The chicken filling can be made up to 3 days in advance. 
If you prefer flour tortillas, you'll need to shorten the frying period as they brown much more quickly. 
Flautas can be baked, however, we recommend using flour tortillas brushed with a little oil, then baked at 425°F for 12 to 15 minutes.  You can use corn, too, but you'll need to soften them first in a little hot oil (as we do in this recipe) before wrapping and baking.  Bake until crispy.
We prefer the flautas served hot or warm, but, they are still delicious even at room temperature. They can be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for several days.  


Calories: 456kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 324mg | Potassium: 274mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 234IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 1mg