Monday, July 23, 2012

Baked Chicken and Spinach Flautas

If you've read some of my blog posts, you know that if a dish has chicken and spinach in it, more than likely I will make, devour, love and rave about it. These baked chicken flautas are no exception. And they're baked, not fried! Bonus!

I found this recipe from Pinterest, and made them a few weeks ago, with slightly disappointing results. They were dry, the flavors did not meld together, and it just tasted.... disconnected. They weren't horrible, but they weren't great. I was determined to salvage the recipe and with just a few tweaks, I sure as sugar did!

These flautas also freeze beautifully! I made them on a day off from work when I was already being productive in the kitchen making some freakin' fabulous lasagna and while I was waiting for the sauce to simmer, it was a great use of my time to make these. It didn't take long at all, and they were frozen solid within 30 min of being in the freezer. 

I am so glad that I premade these especially since I worked Fri-Sat-Sun, which usually renders me a pile of useless mush on the couch when I come home. Travis was able to put these into the oven and with a very husband-proof "flip only once after 10 minutes" instruction, we had dinner shortly after I got home on Friday. I was able to sink into the couch while dinner cooked away and I loved every minute of the hands-off preparation.

Which one of these is not like the other....?
I suppose they are not technically authentic flautas, which are also known as taquitos. Traditionally they are just beef, veal or chicken filled without much else- sometimes beans- rolled in corn tortillas and fried. I haven't had flautas made by someone who is following a traditional family recipe, but these sure beat anything I've had from the freezer section or any Mexican restaurant! Plus, baking is definitely more healthy than frying, and more hands off, so the lazy in me will choose baking over frying any day.

Baked Chicken Flautas

very adapted from Healthy-Delcious

1 very large chicken breast, about 1-1.5 pounds in weight
    (Alternatively, use 1 pound ground chicken)
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1.5 teaspoons black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1.5 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1.5 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon McCormick's Chicken Grill Mates spice mix
1 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well
2 heaping tablespoons low fat sour cream
2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or Mexican blend)
12-15 flour tortillas (6 inches in diameter)
Cooking spray

Poach chicken in boiling water until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Drain and shred. (If using ground chicken, brown in skillet and drain fat.) Add cooked, shredded chicken to a large mixing bowl, and add the rest of the ingredients except the tortillas and mix well.

Bring your oven to 400º while you roll the flautas.

Microwave the tortillas in a ziplock bag or original wrapper for about 30 seconds so they are pliable. Pull out a tortilla and store the rest in the bag while you work. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of filling onto the edge of tortilla closest to you, roll forward, press down gently to make a slightly flat side where the seam is, which will help keep it from unrolling. Place on parchment paper seam side down, and repeat until you're out of either tortillas or filling, whichever comes first. Spray the flautas with cooking spray on all sides. Bake in the 400º oven for 20 minutes total, flipping once at the halfway point to ensure even browning.

Let cool slightly before chowing down- they'll be really hot! Serve with salsa and your other favorite Mexican fixin's.

*If you're freezing for a future meal, roll them up and put them on parchment like you're going to bake, just put in the freezer instead of the oven. They should be frozen shortly- then transfer to a ziplock freezer back for storage up to a month. To cook from frozen, still bake at 400º, just for a few minutes longer on each side.

**They do keep well for lunch the next day, just cool completely in an open container in the fridge before packing. Putting warm flautas in a ziplock bag will trap the evaporating moisture and make the tortillas super soggy.


  1. Hi, I can't wait to try this recipe. I love the idea of able to freeze these. I don't have McCormick's Chicken Grill Mates spice mix, what can I substitute with?
    And can I substitute sour cream with yogurt?

  2. Hi Sandrine! Thanks for stopping by! I think using some plain greek yogurt would work wonderfully, though personally I have trouble with it's grittiness. If you like the taste of it, go for it! I didn't really taste much of the sour cream anyway- it's more to keep everything moist and bound together. Some low fat cream cheese or even ricotta would probably work well too.

    As far as the Grill Mates- it was a total last minute decision to add that in, and it doesn't have anything in it that you probably don't already have around your kitchen. The ingredients label says it has: onion, black pepper, red pepper, sage, salt, garlic, brown sugar, and paprika. Considering that the recipe already has many of those in the ingredients list, I don't think you'll miss anything leaving it out. I might just recommend adding a pinch extra of the spices in the ingredients list so the flautas are seasoned correctly.

    I hope this helps- if you make them with the yogurt and they don't turn out well, please let me know! Happy cooking :)

  3. Hi Jordyn,
    I finally made these and froze them. We knew we are going to have a busy night after trick or treat we would be starving. And these flautas were SOOOOO DELICIOUS!
    Thanks for the great make ahead recipe.

    BTW, I was nervous about the yogurt and cave in and bought sour cream :)


    1. I can't blame ya one bit about the sour cream! Sometimes I am in the mood to be flexible about ingredients and am OK if something doesn't turn out delicious the first time, but others I would rather be safe and stick so something that has already been tested to be good. I'm so glad your family enjoyed them and I hope you all had a wonderful Halloween!


Leave some love!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Site Design By Designer Blogs