Each bite of these Flautas de Pollo or Chicken Rolled Tacos is bursting with tender chicken, perfectly complemented by the crispy texture of the tortilla. This tasty appetizer is a must at any Mexican party!
Flautas de pollo are a popular Mexican dish that consists of tortillas that are filled with shredded chicken, rolled into a cylindrical shape, and then deep-fried until they are crispy and golden brown.
They are known in English as chicken rolled tacos and are typically served with toppings such as guacamole, sour cream, and salsa. In Mexican restaurants in the US, those rolled tacos are often accompanied by a side of rice and frijoles refritos (refried beans).
In Mexico, flautas de pollo are typically served as a snack or appetizer. They are often sold by street vendors or served in casual restaurants topped with shredded lettuce, consomé tomato sauce, crema, and queso fresco.
While chicken flautas are the most common, you can also find beef (like my taquitos rancheros), pork, and vegetarian flautas in some places.
- Tortillas: I strongly recommend using store-bought corn tortillas to make the flautas, homemade tortillas sometimes are too thick. So, find a brand of tortillas that are as thin as possible to ensure your flautas will be amazingly crispy.
- Chicken: You can use your favorite chicken cut, from breast to thighs, or even drumsticks.
- Aromatics: Onion and garlic to cook the chicken.
- Vegetables (optional): To cook and flavor the chicken you can use any type of vegetables you prefer, from carrots to celery, to potatoes, or leek.
- Herbs & spices: You can use your favorite fresh herbs and spices to flavor the chicken. Cilantro, epazote, thyme, bay leaves, and oregano are the most common and popular options.
- Vegetable oil: For frying, use your favorite type. I like to use sunflower oil.
- Salt: Use any type of salt you prefer.
- TOPPINGS: I topped my flautas de pollo with lettuce, fake guacamole, pico de gallo, and queso fresco. Feel free to add other toppings like Mexican crema or avocado slices.
How To Make Flautas De Pollo
Place chicken breast in a pot along with aromatics, herbs, and spices. Cover with enough water and bring to a boil.
Cook chicken until nicely tender, this will take from 40 to 60 minutes.
Remove the chicken and place it in a bowl. Allow to lightly cook down, then shred it using two forks or your hands.
Top Tip: For shredding chicken easily and fast, use an electric mixer. Place warm chicken breast in a mixing bowl and mix on low speed until nicely shredded.
Heat a cast iron skillet or a comal and heat up the tortillas until nicely soft and pliable.
Place tortillas between a kitchen towel to keep them warm and soft.
Now, place a tortilla flat on a plate or your kitchen countertop. Add shredded chicken to the middle and roll the tortilla tightly around the filling, making sure it is snugly wrapped.
Secure the flauta with a toothpick or place it seam-side down to prevent the filling from coming out. Repeat the steps with all tortillas.
Fry the rolled tacos
Fry enough oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.
Working in batches, fry the Mexican chicken flautas on all sides until nicely golden and crispy.
Remove the fried flautas from the pan and place them on a plate lined with kitchen paper towels to remove excess oil.
If you secured the chicken rolled tacos with toothpicks, remove them carefully.
Serve the flautas with your favorite toppings, read below for suggestions of toppings and accompaniments for Mexican chicken flautas.
- Use chicken leftovers. You can use leftover rotisserie chicken to make this recipe. Turkey leftovers are also a good option!
- Use corn tortillas: Corn tortillas are traditionally used for chicken rolled tacos because they hold their shape better and provide a nice crispy texture when fried.
- Warm up the tortillas: To prevent the tortillas from cracking when rolled, warm them up in a microwave or on a skillet before assembling the flautas.
- Roll the tortillas tightly: Roll the tortillas tightly around the filling to prevent them from falling apart during frying.
- Secure the flautas: Insert a toothpick or small wooden skewer through the middle of the flauta to keep it closed while frying.
- Pay attention to the oil temperature: You can use a thermometer to make sure the oil is at the right temperature (350°F) for frying.
Toppings For Chicken Rolled Tacos
Chicken rolled tacos (flautas) can be served in a variety of ways, depending on your preferences. Here are some suggestions for serving them:
- Various toppings and salsas, such as shredded lettuce or cabbage, salsa verde, pico de gallo, and queso fresco. You can also drizzle them with lime juice!
- In Mexico, flautas de pollo are often topped with cueritos curtidos and pickled red onions, both giving a tangy kick and texture to the dish.
- If you want to serve flautas de pollo for a party you can place a variety of salsas in small bowls for dipping the flautas into. I recommend guacamole salsa, creamy cilantro lime sauce, and this mild-spicy guajillo sauce.
- You can also serve them as a main meal with some sides like arroz rojo, frijoles puercos, or creamy spaghetti.
Flautas de Pollo freezes wonderfully before frying, so you can make a double batch and have them ready for those unexpected cravings or as a prep meal idea. Just follow the steps below:
- Arrange the uncooked flautas in a single layer on a baking sheet or tray and place them in the freezer. Make sure they are not touching each other.
- Allow to freeze for 1-2 hours or until they are nicely firm.
- Once the chicken rolled tacos are frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe container or bag, making sure to remove as much air as possible from the bag.
- Label the container or bag with the date and contents to keep track of them in the freezer.
- Store in the freezer for up to three months.
Cook from frozen
When you’re ready to cook your flautas de pollo, you can fry them directly from frozen in hot oil until they are crispy and golden brown.
You may need to adjust the cooking time slightly to ensure that they are cooked all the way through.
How To Bake?
To bake flautas de pollo, brush with oil a baking tray and arrange the rolled tacos in a single layer. Brush or spray oil over the flautas and bake in a preheated oven at 400°F (200°C) for 10-15 minutes, flipping them halfway through.
Where Did Flautas Originate?
Flautas originate in Mexico where they are a common street food and are enjoyed throughout the country. The word “flauta” means “flute” in Spanish, and the dish is named after the long, cylindrical shape of the tortillas.
More Tacos Recipes
Have you tried this flautas de pollo recipe? Rate it and leave a comment below to let us know how it turned out!
Flautas de Pollo (chicken rolled tacos)
- 20 store-bought corn tortillas
- oil for frying
- 2 lb chicken (bone-in chicken thighs or breast)
- 1 medium onion
- 2 celery sticks
- 1 large carrot
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 Tablespoon oregano
- 2 cloves garlic
- salt (to taste)
- Place chicken in a large stockpot along with onion, carrot, celery, garlic, bay leaves, oregano, and salt.
- Cover with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil.
- Cook chicken over medium heat until nicely tender (from 40 to 60 minutes).
- Remove the chicken and place it in a bowl. Allow to lightly cook down, then shred it using two forks or your hands.
make rolled tacos (flautas)
- Heat a comal or a cast iron skillet over medium heat and heat up the tortillas until soft and pliable.
- Place tortillas between a kitchen towel to keep them warm and soft so they will be easier to roll.
- Place a tortilla flat on a plate or your kitchen countertop. Add shredded chicken to the middle and roll the tortilla tightly around the filling, making sure it is snugly wrapped.
- Secure the flauta with a toothpick or place it seam-side down to prevent the filling from coming out. Repeat the steps to make all flautas.
- Fry about 1 inch of oil in a large pan over medium heat.
- Working in batches, fry the chicken flautas on all sides until nicely golden and crispy.
- Remove the fried flautas from the pan and place them on a plate lined with kitchen paper towels to remove excess oil.
- If you secured the chicken rolled tacos with toothpicks, remove them carefully then serve the flautas topping them with lettuce, pico de gallo, guacamole, and queso fresco.
- You can use leftover rotisserie chicken to make this recipe. Turkey leftovers are also a good option!
- Corn tortillas are traditionally used for chicken rolled tacos because they hold their shape better and provide a nice crispy texture when fried.
- Warm up the tortillas to prevent the tortillas from cracking when rolled.
- Roll the tortillas tightly around the filling to prevent them from falling apart during frying and secure them with a toothpick.