Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Healthified Chicken and Spinach Flautas Recipe


For some reason during both of my pregnancies I craved and continue to crave Mexican food. I've heard from several other moms that this is the case for them too, leading me to believe it's a fairly common craving. I wonder why this particular ethnic food appeals to those of us experiencing gestation? Regardless of the answer, there is nothing better than some delicious Mexican food, especially when I can make it myself and "healthify" things a bit. 


Take taquitos for instance. They're delicious little devils, but they're often fried and consist of mostly tortilla, with little filling. These homemade flautas on the other hand are similar to taquitos, except that they are larger (allowing you to increase the meat/veggie to tortilla ratio) and baked. So, while I'm not claiming that they are fat free or the healthiest possible dinner out there, they are certainly milestones ahead of the alternative. And, when you have a craving for less-than-healthy taquitos, these will more than satisfy. They taste a whole lot better. So, without further adieu, I give you the recipe: 


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 16 ounces chicken broth
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin 
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 small can of diced green chiles (4.5 oz) 
  • 3 cups of baby spinach, chopped
  • 5 burrito-size four tortillas (9 or 10 inches) (you can opt for whole wheat, I used white flour tortillas)
  • 6 ounces of melting cheese (I used colby jack, but you can use Mexican blends or whatever you prefer)
  • Olive Oil cooking spray

**Optional: Salsa, sour cream (or greek yogurt), hot sauce, etc. for serving**

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 F. 
  2. Put thawed chicken in a deep sided saute pan and cover with chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the liquid and shred it (the easiest way to do this is to throw the chicken in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment for on medium speed for about 45 seconds). Mix together the chicken and seasonings. 
  3. Pour out all but 1/4 a cup of the cooking liquid. Add the green chiles and spinach and cook over low heat for 2-3 minutes, or until the spinach is wilted. 
  4. Cut the tortillas in half. Spray one side of the tortilla with cooking spray and lay this side face down on a greased baking sheet. Spoon 1/10th of the chicken (about 1 tablespoon) on the non-sprayed side and along the long edge of the tortilla (where you made the cut). Repeat with the spinach/chile mix. Sprinkle some grated cheese (if desired). Roll the tortilla up, starting with the straight edge. Place seam-side down on an oiled baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas. 
  5. Sprinkle some extra cheese across the top of the flautas, and bake for 10 minutes. Then turn over and bake for another 10 minutes, or until crispy. 
  6. Remove from oven and let the flautas cool. Serve with sour cream, salsa, hot sauce, or whatever your heart desires (they're also extremely flavorful and don't need any side sauces). 

Chef's Notes
  • I originally found this recipe on Pinterest. It comes from the healthy-delicious blog and I modified things a bit to my own liking. For instance I chose to use green chiles instead of jalapenos (thanks to pregnancy heartburn) and reduced the amount of salt because I found the original just a little too salty. 
  • I paired this with a salad and some chips and salsa it was an awesome meal. You could also do something a little more traditional and go with beans and rice as a side dish. 
  • I like to double or even triple this recipe for lots of left overs. My husband eats them like crazy so we rarely have to freeze them, but they freeze well and would make for a great future meal. 
As always, if you try this recipe let me know what you think! 


  1. are you mexican? because This is the first time I read or Heard someone saying mexican food is something different than nachos or burritos!! I'm mexican and this looks exactly like the original recipe but (as you said) healthier ,we usually just fry the tacos, but bake them in the oven with cheese on the top makes it sound so much better!

    1. Nope! I'm as white as can be, haha! I wish I was though. I LOOOOVE Mexican food!

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