Do you love having tacos on your weekly menu? Why not try taquitos? They are just like tacos but they are a lot more fun to assemble. These baked chicken taquitos are a fun and healthy spin on comfort food. This is a great recipe to use up leftover chicken or any other lean protein. Registered dietitian Jamie Walker, RDN, LD, shares how to create a baked version the whole family will love:
Typically, taquitos are rolled up and deep fried. This baked version is a much healthier option that is still full of flavor. I use corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas, for less saturated fat. The amount of salt in the recipe is much lower than getting takeout or fast food. If you are on a salt-restricted diet, lower the amount of salt used in the recipe. There are many variations you can do with this recipe depending on what you have on hand. You can use lean ground beef, lean ground turkey or ground chicken, shrimp, or even black or pinto beans to make a vegetarian version. Kids will love to help roll up the taquitos too!
Topping your taquitos
Add some fresh, bright toppings and you have yourself an easy weeknight meal. Try topping your serving with chopped onion, chopped bell or jalapeno peppers, avocado or guacamole, cilantro, salsa, wedges of fresh limes for squeezing on top, hot sauce, low-fat sour cream or plain Greek yogurt. Make a fun “taquito bar” where everyone can add the toppings they like.
Fake-out fried food
If you love the golden crispiness of fried food, it can be hard to resist! Cooking foods in oil adds more fat than many other cooking methods. The good news: many recipes can be adapted to be baked or air-fried without sacrificing taste or texture. Dishes like these do well adapted for baking or air frying:
- Lighter eggplant parmesan
- Breaded zucchini
- French fries: try potato, sweet potato, butternut squash, carrot or parsnip versions
- Crispy breaded chicken or fish (aim for whole grain bread crumbs)
Consult with a registered dietitian
If you’re struggling with creating a healthy eating plan that you can stick with, a registered dietitian can help. The Lake Health Nutrition Counseling team is here to help you achieve better nutrition and help manage health conditions that can be improved with diet for long-term positive impact on your health.
Your physician might refer you to nutrition counseling to help with gastrointestinal problems, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, food allergies or intolerances.