It’s March Madness around our house. I love the NCAA basketball tournament about as much as I love the college football playoffs. The tournament started last weekend and as usual, there were some pretty big upsets. Lucky for me my number one pick is still in, but two of my Final Four teams lost, so I’m walking on shaky ground. We do a family bracket every year and invite friends and family to participate. We don’t play for more than bragging rights which doesn’t mean too much since apparently I won last year; I don’t even remember. So much for tooting my own horn.
I love watching the games with the family while we eat lots of good vittles like these finger food taquitos. I love taquitos. We ate them all the time when I was a kid, but my mom didn’t make them. We ate them out of a box, crispy, fried and delicious. We would bake them in the oven and dip them in sour cream and bottled green taco sauce. I loved those tasty little treats, but I never thought I’d learn how to make them, seemed too difficult. They were like tamales, best left to the experts.
Fast forward to today’s healthier eating style where eating our favorite foods a la low-fat is not only easy to do but super tasty! This baked version takes a little extra time but is really very simple and the results are amazing: crispy “fried-like” texture without all the extra oil. I fill them with a lower fat Mexican cheese and a creamy chicken filling that you’re going to love. You could absolutely use this filling for tacos or burritos or layered with corn tortillas to make layered enchiladas. And the fun begins when you dip them in a variety of sauces or salsas. Try Fresh Pineapple Salsa, Mango Salsa, Salsa Verde or my Cilantro Lime Ranch Dressing. So tasty!
- Baked Cheesy Chicken Taquitos
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
- 8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 cups shredded chicken breast
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (I use Better Than Bouillon chicken base)
- 18 (6-inch) corn tortillas
- 1 cup crumbled queso fresco or reduced-fat shredded Monterey jack or cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Heat oil in a large skillet placed over medium high heat. Add red onion, red bell pepper, jalapeno and cook for 2-3 minutes or until vegetables are soft and onion is translucent. Add cream cheese, cilantro, lime juice, cumin, chili powder and salt; stir to combine. Add the shredded chicken to the remaining sauce in skillet and stir to combine. Remove from heat.
- Bring chicken broth to a simmer in a skillet or pot wide enough to hold tortillas. When broth simmers, dip tortillas briefly, one at a time, just to soften, 1 to 2 seconds. Lay tortilla on a work surface and spread 1 to 2 tablespoons chicken mixture over bottom third. Top with a tablespoon of cheese and roll up tightly. Place seam side down on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Spray or brush tortillas lightly with oil. Bake at 425 degrees F for 12-15 minutes or until crisp and lightly browned. Serve immediately.
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