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These homemade taquitos are made with real, fresh ingredients + crisped up quickly in the air fryer for a healthier take on the crunchy, delicious, freezer-style classic!
Air Fryer Taquitos Recipe
This recipe is such a fun one! Who doesn’t have fond memories that include good ole freezer taquitos (and a host of other freezer appetizers)?! I’ve even found myself tempted to grab a box of frozen taquitos as an adult, but the long list of ingredients keeps me from following through with that.
These taquitos have all of the really delicious flavor and crunch of the classic freezer-to-oven taquitos, but contain just 4 really simple ingredients. The method of cooking also sets these apart: we’re air frying these taquitos to let them crisp (the crunch, after all, is what makes a taquito a taquito!), as opposed to deep frying. Overall, this version is a much fresher, delicious version of the classic!
Ingredients Air Fryer Taquitos
As mentioned above, this recipe calls for just 4 ingredients! As written, the recipe yields 16 taquitos, so if you’re looking for more than that, be sure to adjust ingredient amounts accordingly! Here’s exactly what you’ll need:
- Shredded chicken – to start, you’ll need about 1½ cups of cooked and shredded chicken. If you’re looking for an easy recipe for shredded chicken, take a look at our Instant Pot shredded chicken recipe + our slow cooker shredded chicken recipe.
- Shredded cheese – in addition to the chicken, you’ll also want to grab 1¼ cups of shredded cheese. Monterey jack + cheddar both work great here!
- Taco seasoning – a mild taco seasoning will add a signature Tex-Mex flavor to the taquitos! We used a ½ teaspoon of sea salt, a ½ teaspoon of chili powder, a ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder, a ¼ teaspoon of onion powder, a ¼ teaspoon of cumin, and a ¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper. Alternatively, if you’d like to use 2 teaspoons of a premade taco seasoning blend, feel free to do that!
- Corn tortillas – you’ll also want to grab 16 “street taco”-size corn tortillas. These tortillas are about 4 inches in diameter. Don’t stress if yours are a little larger or a little smaller, though — the main thing is that we just don’t want full-sized tortillas for our taquitos!
How To Make Air Fryer Taquitos
The process truly could not be simpler! Here’s how you’ll do it:
- Preheat the air fryer.
- Make the Filling – combine the shredded chicken, shredded cheese, and taco seasoning in a bowl.
- Warm the Tortillas – warming the tortillas first is KEY to making sure they are pliable and don’t break when rolled! To warm them, we recommend stacking the tortillas on a plate (or another microwave-safe surface) and microwaving them for 15 seconds. Flip, then microwave for an additional 15 seconds.
- Fill the Taquitos – working one at a time, spray (or brush) each tortilla with oil, then flip it over and fill with about 2 tablespoons of chicken filling, then tightly roll the tortilla and press down on it to help seal it. Place the taquito seam-side-down in the air fryer basket, then repeat for the remaining 15 taquitos.
- Air Fry – cook at 380°F for 7-8 minutes, then flip the taquitos and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, until browned and crisp.
Air Fryer Variations
The air fryer you use will make a difference here! We tested in both a Cosori air fryer and a Ninja air fryer. The Cosori air fryer has a 5.8 QT square basket and was able to fit 16 taquitos, while the Ninja air fryer was only able to fit 10 taquitos due to the circular design of its basket.
Another difference was that the Ninja cooked the taquitos just a few minutes faster since it has a slightly higher wattage (1750 vs 1700) than the Cosori. If your air fryer has a higher wattage, you’ll want to cook the taquitos on the lower range of the cooking time listed.
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Air Fryer Taquitos Frequently Asked Questions
The beauty of an air fryer is that it cooks things *so* quickly! These taquitos need a maximum of 12 minutes total (7-8 minutes on one side, and then 3-4 more minutes once flipped).
Because we’re looking for really crispy taquitos, we don’t recommend stacking them. If you’re making more than 16 taquitos (or your air fryer doesn’t hold all 16 at once), you’ll want to work in batches rather than stack!
We’ve found that if you press down on the seam once the taquito is tightly rolled, that’ll really help to seal it. It’s also super important to put the seam-side-down in the air fryer.
These taquitos are best enjoyed right out of the air fryer, but if you’d like to store them in the fridge and warm them up to enjoy later, that’s totally fine too! To reheat them, you can either re-crisp them in your air fryer for 2-3 minutes, or you can microwave them for about 90 seconds. We recommend enjoying your leftover taquitos within 4 days of making them.
Sure! If you want to freeze your taquitos, go ahead and fully cook them in the air fryer, let them cool completely, and then freeze in either a large freezer-friendly Ziplock bag or an airtight container. To warm your taquitos from frozen, simply lay them on a baking sheet and pop them in a 400°F oven until warmed through (about 10 minutes) or in your air fryer for about 5 minutes!
For the taquitos:
- 1 1/2 cups shredded chicken from a rotisserie chicken or about 3/4 pound of cooked chicken breast or thighs
- 1 1/4 cups finely shredded Monterey jack or cheddar cheese
- 2 teaspoons taco seasoning*
- 16 street taco-sized 4.5 inch corn tortillas
- Spray oil or 2 teaspoons of olive oil
For the dipping sauce:
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup salsa
- Preheat the air fryer.
- Combine the shredded chicken, shredded cheese, and taco seasoning in a bowl.
- Stack the tortillas on a plate (or another microwave-safe surface) and microwave for 15 seconds. Then, flip and microwave for an additional 15 seconds.
- Working one at a time, spray (or brush) each tortilla with oil, then flip it over and fill with about 2 tablespoons of chicken filling, then tightly roll the tortilla and press down on it to help seal it. Place the taquito seam-side-down in the air fryer basket, then repeat for the remaining 15 taquitos.
- Air fry at 380°F for 7-8 minutes, then flip the taquitos and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, until browned and crisp.
- For the sauce, blend the sour cream and salsa until fully combined, then serve alongside the taquitos.
- If you don’t have taco seasoning on hand, you can use 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp ground black pepper instead
Can you bake these?
Melissa Guevara says
Hi Christianne! You can absolutely bake the taquitos. I recommend brushing the outside with a little oil, then baking at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through. ~Melissa
I would love to send you some pictures. Even after microwaving the prescribed 15 second on a side my corn tortillas fell apart upon rolling. Massive fail! I ended up leaving them plat and cooking with the chicken on top.