Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Baked Spinach and Chicken Taquitos (Slow Cooker Option)

Happy New Year, everyone! As often happens, the blog took a back seat to school last term. No matter! It's a new year and a new day, so time to get back to cooking.

For you, I have a fun and delicious finger food: taquitos! Taquitos are often fried, but these are baked. If you're trying to eat healthy for the new year, you've got a good recipe to start with.

Notes: I modified this recipe for my taquitos. You'll notice that these are freezer friendly, which is great. I made enough filling to make two batches, so I might try freezing some. So far I've just made one round.

I made my filling in the crockpot. If you wanted to cut down on your prep time, you could use a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. As long as you have about three cups of shredded chicken, you're good.

Make sure your tortillas are warm or at least room temperature. If they're too cold, they'll crack when you try to roll them.

2 lbs chicken tenderloins (see notes)
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 onion
2 heaping tablespoons chili powder
2 heaping tablespoons cumin
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
Hot sauce to taste
1 package of 12 taco-sized tortillas (corn or flour will work)
2 cups baby spinach leaves
1 to 1.5 cups shredded cheese (I used colby jack)
Cooking spray

If using a crockpot to make the chicken, slice the onion and lay the slices in the bottom of the slow cooker. Lay the chicken on top and the season the chicken with salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, paprika, and hot sauce. Pour the diced tomatoes on top. Set the slow cooker on 8 hours on low.

When the filling is ready, heat the oven to 425. Roughly chop the spinach. Shred the chicken with two forks. Mix the spinach, chicken, and cheese (I mixed it right in the slow cooker) until combined.

To assemble the taquitos, place a small amount of the filling (about 2 tablespoons) toward the bottom of the tortilla in the center. Roll it up and put the taquito seam-side down on a baking sheet (the baking sheet needs to be lined with non-stick foil or parchment paper). When you've rolled all the taquitos, spray them lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt.

Bake for 15 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

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