Sorry for the long title. I thought about eliminating the word "baked" but then I was worried you would immediately discard this recipe, knowing that taquitos are typically fried. Then, I considered taking out the word "ranch" but then you probably would have expected a little bit of a different taste. How about subtracting "chicken"? Well, I would've had all of you vegetarians highly disappointed when you actually read the recipe and saw chicken listed in the ingredients. So, what else was I supposed to do except force you into reciting a terribly lengthy title. It's almost a tongue twister. Almost. 😉
After creating this buffalo ranch dressing, I instantly knew I wanted to make a new variation of the ever-so-popular baked chicken taquitos. Keeping it simple, I decided to incorporate only a few ingredients so the buffalo flavor could shine through. But, I made the mistake of mixing in a little cream cheese with the buffalo ranch, which diluted the heat and flavor. The next time I made these, I left out the cream cheese and they were perfect! The blue cheese dipping sauce is optional, and not really needed, but it is a nice complement to the meal.
Baked Buffalo Ranch Chicken Taquitos with Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce
For the taquitos:
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2-3 boneless chicken breasts , cut into 1-inch pieces
- Seasoned salt
- 1/2 cup buffalo ranch dressing (homemade or store-bought)
- Hot sauce (optional)
- 2 Tablespoons chopped green onions
- 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 8-10 small flour tortillas
- Cooking spray
- Kosher salt
For the dipping sauce:
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/2 small yellow onion , finely chopped
- 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 1/4 pound crumbled blue cheese
For the Taquitos:
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, season with seasoned salt, and saute' until cooked through.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together the buffalo ranch dressing, optional hot sauce (to taste) and the green onions. Add the cooked chicken and cheese. Mix well.
- Heat 2-3 tortillas at a time for about 10 seconds in the microwave between two paper towels. Lay them flat on a clean surface and layer about 1/3 cup of the chicken filling on top of each tortilla. Roll the tortilla as tightly as you can, then place on a baking sheet, seam side down. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling. Spray lightly with cooking spray, then sprinkle with kosher salt.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately with optional blue cheese dipping sauce.
- **To freeze: Before baking, freeze the taquitos in a single layer on a baking sheet for about 20 minutes, then place in a labeled freezer bag and store up to 3 months. To bake a frozen taquito (no need to thaw first): Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and bake for 15-20 minutes.
For the Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce:
- Heat the milk in a small saucepan, bringing to a simmer over low heat. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and cook until soft. Sprinkle in the flour and cook for another minute. Slowly and carefully whisk the warm milk into the butter/onion mixture, and continue cooking and whisking until thickened. Season with salt and cayenne pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes, whisking occasionally.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese. Serve warm with the buffalo ranch chicken taquitos.
- Source: Sauce recipe adapted from Bobby Flay, via The Food Network