Creamy Chicken Taquitos Pie

Today’s recipe was created out of sheer necessity.

I was taking a meal to a friend who was under the weather who prefers gluten-free meal options, so I decided to make my Creamy Chicken Taquitos with corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas.

I purchased my ingredients and then life got in the way for a couple days before I was able to make the taquitos.  I got to the point where I was rolling the taquitos and every single tortilla split and crumbled up into a mess.  I was horrified, knowing I couldn’t possibly take these to my friend!  I had no idea if the couple of days were enough to dry out the package of tortillas that much or if corn tortillas are just persnickety like that.  Regardless of the why, it was time to get creative.

Thankfully, I had a couple disposable foil pie plates in my pantry and decided to pivot and make the taquitos into a pie instead!  When made into taquitos, this batch fills 2 gallon sized freezer bags so I was planning to take one and keep one at home.  In this case, it made three 9-inch pies - two for my friend and one for me!

The kids had a surprisingly hard time buying into their beloved taquitos in pie form, but I thought it was just as good and a fun change of pace.

Creamy Chicken Taquito Pie

3 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts

8 oz of cream cheese (regular or 1/3 less fat), softened

¾ cup salsa

Juice from 1 lime (about 1 tbsp)

1 tbsp chili powder

1 ½ tsp ground cumin

1 ½ tsp onion powder

6 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

20-25 flour tortillas, 6-inch fajita size

Additional cheese, it top (optional)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add the chicken (frozen is ok!) and boil until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes (up to 30 minutes if the chicken is thick or frozen).

Move the cooked chicken directly from the pot (let the excess water drip off) into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

Mix on low speed until the chicken is evenly shredded.

Add everything else (except the tortillas).  Mix on low again until all the ingredients are evenly combined.

Lightly spray three 9-inch pie plates with cooking spray.  Line the bottom of each pie plate with corn tortillas (they can overlap). Spread a layer of chicken filling over the tortillas.  Top with more tortillas and another layer of chicken filling until the filling is used up.

Top with a final layer of tortillas and sprinkle with cheddar, if desired.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 30-45 minutes or until heated through.  Pies can be frozen prior to baking, thaw first or adjust baking times as needed.