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How to Make Healthier Baked Chicken Flautas

Audrey is a cook who loves creating new flavors by tweaking recipes to include healthier ingredients.

Baked Chicken Flautas

Baked Chicken Flautas

Baked Chicken Flautas

I am a recipe collector. My main focus is finding recipes that are "classics" and then revamping them to make them healthier.

Not that I am a food snob by any means—I just like to make sure I'm creating food at home for the most part that is a healthier version of something that we love to eat.

I was fairly skeptical about this recipe that I found on Cooks.com because I could not believe that you could truly achieve a great flauta without deep-frying it—or at the very least, pan-frying it!

However, with a little revamping on my own, I have found that this recipe is not only quick and easy, but it is absolutely delicious. It is definitely a healthier version of a tried and true Latin American dish.

Ingredients

  • Canola or olive oil (or vegetable spray)
  • 3 whole chicken breasts split, boned, skinned
  • 1 cup picante sauce
  • 4 tablespoons or more chopped green onion
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 8 (7-8 inch) flour tortillas, heated
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese (use lower fat/lower calorie cheese)

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees to heat tortillas.
  2. Heat tortillas while the chicken is cooking. Stack or wrap in foil. Heat in a 350-degree oven for about 15 minutes. (OR heat tortillas in a microwave: wrap stack loosely in paper towels. Cook on high heat for about 1/2 to 1 minute.)
  3. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a large cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with vegetable spray.
  4. Pound chicken to 1/2 inch thickness. Brush with oil; then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill over hot coals about 6–8 minutes or until just cooked through, turn once partway through.
  5. Cut chicken into 1/4-inch strips/slices. Combine chicken, picante sauce, green onion and cumin. Mix well.
  6. Spoon about 1/2 cup chicken mixture down the center of warmed tortillas. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of cheese on top.
  7. Roll tightly. Place seam-side down on the pan. Secure each flauta with 1 toothpick to hold together.
  8. Lightly spray with cooking spray or brush with olive or canola oil lightly.
  9. Cook 18-20 minutes or until crisp. Remove toothpicks.
  10. Serve with guacamole, sour cream, lettuce, and salsa or picante sauce.

Suggested Substitutions and Additions

No recipe would become one of my favorites if I couldn't mess with it! I've already found the following things are great changes or additions.

By the way, the recipe did not call for spraying the tops of the flautas or brushing on a little oil, but I found it made them crispier that way.

  • Use thin corn tortillas instead
  • I used homemade pico de gallo instead of picante sauce
  • I used thick, thick, thick picante sauce!
  • Use leftover shredded turkey instead of chicken breast
  • Use shredded beef instead of chicken breast
  • Substitute mashed black beans for the meat
  • Substitute mashed pinto beans for the meat
  • Use shredded pork roast for the chicken breast
  • Try shrimp, other shellfish or another firm white fish
  • Top flautas with red or green enchilada sauce
  • Substitute fontina or other cheeses for the cheddar or Monterey Jack

A great presentation for serving flautas is to cut them in half and then put salsa, guacamole or salsa in the center in a small mound or small bowl. Fan out the flautas in a star shape around the center (see photo below).

Fan out the flautas in a star shape around the center.

Fan out the flautas in a star shape around the center.

Summing It Up

Flautas are a great dinner menu item. Serve them with freshly cooked pinto or black beans cooked whole (rancho beans) and homemade Spanish rice! You'll have a hit for a meal.

They also make a fantastic appetizer. Make smaller ones or cut into halves or thirds and stack up. Watch them disappear!

This recipe is so simple that I made it up in about 10 minutes flat. I cooked the chicken breast on a George Foreman grill, and it took just a few minutes to be perfectly grilled.

Shredded meats of any kind or beans are equally good in this dish just as substituting thin corn tortillas worked great.

In short, let your imagination be your guide and enjoy!

This is one super easy fix to an already delicious snack or dinner menu item. It has definitely become one of my favorite healthy recipes.

healthy-recipes-baked-chicken-flautas

Great Sauce for Flautas

© 2010 Audrey Kirchner

Comments

Michal from Miami, Florida on January 12, 2012:

I am definitely going to try this recipe! yummy!!

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on June 20, 2011:

Dolores - Thanks for the read and indeed, I usually throw in whatever I have on hand!

Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on June 19, 2011:

Hi, Audrey - looks like a great meal, inexpensive, and delicious and I like how you included variations. It seems like you could use leftovers or whatever is on hand - my favorite type of meal. Voted up!

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on January 23, 2011:

Thanks Blair for stopping by - and good idea on the low-carb tortillas to enhance the baked chicken flautas!

Blair Rockefeller from Atlanta, Georgia on January 22, 2011:

Great recipie. I'm eating lower-carb, low-fat, meals. I'll use this recipie with low-carb tortilla's

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on July 27, 2010:

Thanks for stopping by BR - I'm so glad you do - and I hope you find them delicious!

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on July 25, 2010:

Thanks for stopping in, chiquita! These are my favorites too although most Mexican goes on my great list! Love that these are so SIMPLE and actually did as advertised - lower cal, lower fat and all that jazz - and GOOD!

Holle Abee from Georgia on July 25, 2010:

Yum! We love flautas and eat them often at our favorite Mexican restaurant. Thumbs up!

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on July 25, 2010:

Thanks for stopping by, KKG - hope you like it!

Susan Hazelton from Sunny Florida on July 25, 2010:

Your recipe looks and sounds delicious. I'll have to try it. Thanks for sharing.

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on July 24, 2010:

I do too Sandy - enjoy!

Sandy Mertens from Wisconsin, USA on July 24, 2010:

Now I'm hungry. I love all Mexican food. Yum!

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on July 24, 2010:

Thanks, Pamela - glad you liked it!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on July 24, 2010:

Audry, That recipe is a keeper for me. It sounds wonderful. Thanks.

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on July 23, 2010:

Thanks so much for stopping by, msannec - and hope you enjoy whatever variation you make!

msannec from Mississippi (The Delta) on July 23, 2010:

Mmmmm, sounds delicious! I can't wait to try this. Thanks for sharing, great hub.

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on July 23, 2010:

GLS - Thanks so much for stopping by - I think you'd love them if you tried them!

Crewman6 - Thanks to you, too for stopping in. And you are right on about revamping it!

Suziecat - Thanks for dropping by, too - me, too! I loved the ones I made with leftover turkey breast, too so now I'll have something good to do with leftovers at Thanksgiving!

suziecat7 from Asheville, NC on July 23, 2010:

I'm always looking for new ways to cook chicken. Thanks.

Crewman6 on July 23, 2010:

They look delicious, I can hardly wait to try them! I love food with so many options- you can pretty much match it to whatever food you're hungry for.

Great job.

G L Strout from Ohio, USA on July 23, 2010:

Thanks! I had never heard of these before but I want to try them.

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on July 23, 2010:

Thank you Journey for stopping by - they are fabulous! Hope you get to try them.

Nyesha Pagnou MPH from USA on July 23, 2010:

Wow, these look really good! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on July 23, 2010:

Minnetonka Twin - I made them for dinner one night last night and they were fabulous for lunch! Thanks so much for stopping by.

Faye - Thanks so much for stopping in!

HH - I have a hard time staying out of the kitchen - it is one of my favorite places to be! Thanks for commenting, dear!

Hello, hello, from London, UK on July 23, 2010:

A lovely and tasty recipe but I must get you out of the kitchen. Somebody please looked the door when Audrey is not in it. No I wouldn't do it when you are in it.

benny Faye Douglass from Gold Canyon, Arizona on July 22, 2010:

Thank you Audrey, for a very tasty and healthy recipe. thank you for sharing. Godspeed. creativeone59

Minnetonka Twin on July 22, 2010:

I know what I'm having for lunch tomorrow. I think this recipe looks fabulous! Rated up and useful and awesome.

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on July 22, 2010:

Prasetio - You always say the kindest things! Now if I wasn't married and wasn't an old lady....thanks very much for your kind words. These are really tasty and think you could do a lot of stuff with them to improvise!

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on July 22, 2010:

I like your presentation. It raise my appetite and makes me hungry,LOL. I believe this food really healthy. Good combination between chicken and other ingredients. I also love the video. Thumbs up for you. I never regret to vote this Up. Good job, my friend.

Prasetio