Chicken Tacos is a quick way to get your midweek taco fix! Shredded Mexican chicken that comes with its own sauce, a homemade chicken taco seasoning does double duty to flavour the chicken AND make the taco sauce.
This is an easy chicken taco recipe loaded with big, punchy Mexican flavours. No marinating, no fussing with a separate sauce, no need to go overboard with toppings. The only question is – soft tortillas or old school taco shells?? ?
This Chicken Taco recipe is intended to be a QUICK recipe with a 2-in-1 chicken plus taco sauce so there’s no need to make a separate sauce.
Tacos always seem to be pitched as a quick ‘n easy dinner. Though cooking the meat might be fast, we need to factor in the extra time to make all the taco fixings: pico de Gallo, guacamole or Avocado Sauce, pickled cabbage, taco sauce, cheese sauce…..
We’re bypassing all of that with this Chicken Taco recipe. Because the chicken is flavoured generously and comes with a sauce, this means:
✅ No need to make a separate sauce of any kind. But if you’re so inclined, dig deep to find the strength to pull a tub of sour cream from the fridge….
✅ Taco toppings can be kept simple. I chopped a tomato, onion, lettuce and onion.
BUT having said that, nobody ever complains about too many taco topping options, so don’t let me hold you back!!
This is a 2-1 chicken taco filling PLUS taco sauce recipe!
Chicken Taco Seasoning
Here’s what goes in my quick chicken tacos:
- simple homemade Chicken taco seasoning – made with cumin, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder and oregano, the same taco seasoning I use for Beef Tacos and Quesadillas. There’s quite a lot, but we need it because it’s used to season the chicken AND make the sauce. Add cayenne pepper for a hit spiciness;
- garlic – it goes in everything around here!
- lime juice – loads of sub options here – the main purpose is to turn the spices into a loose paste to coat the chicken. Orange juice or another fruit juice is an excellent sub, lemon juice or even water;
- chicken – boneless skinless chicken thighs is always my first choice because it’s so much juicier than breast with just a fraction more calories;
- chicken broth/liquid stock and tomato paste – to make the sauce.
The chicken taco seasoning does double duty to flavour the chicken AND the taco sauce
How to make Chicken Tacos
- Coat chicken in taco seasoning rub. No need to marinate – it adds little to this recipe because we’re shredding the chicken
- Sear and shred – or chop. I like to shred because the chicken strands hold more sauce = juicier eating experience ?
- Into the same pan, add broth and tomato paste. Scrape and simmer, toss chicken back in;
- Stuff into taco shells and devour.
Because this is by no means an authentic Mexican chicken recipe, being that the seasoning is a total copycat of Old El Paso (minus preservatives and artificial flavours), the stuffing vehicle of choice here is good ole crispy corn taco shells. You won’t see them anywhere in Mexico…. but we love them anyway!
Today’s Chicken Taco recipe is the quicker version of this Mexican Shredded Chicken which is made with a Chipotles in Adobo based sauce, and does not require marinating like this Mexican Grilled Chicken Tacos (a homestyle version of Sinaloa Chicken, a traditional Mexican recipe).
There’s room for all 3 tacos in my life, but today’s recipe is the one I make most often because I don’t need to plan for it. I usually have all the spices and other ingredients (because taco shells – crispy or otherwise – can always be found somewhere in the dark depths of my pantry), toppings are adaptable and it’s high returns for low effort.
You know I’m a big fan of these type of recipes! – Nagi x
In the mood for Mexican?
I have a few here around here…. just a few… ??
- Beef tacos – old school ground Beef Tacos or slow cooked Mexican Shredded Beef
- Other Chicken tacos – Mexican Shredded Chicken and Marinated Grilled Chicken
- Mexican Pulled Pork – Pork Carnitas, big reader fave!
- Fajitas – Chicken and Beef
- Fish Tacos – marinated and grilled (also try this same recipe with prawns/shrimp)
- Taco fixings – pico de Gallo, Salsa sauce, guacamole or Avocado Sauce, pickled cabbage, taco sauce, cheese sauce
- Browse all Mexican recipes
Also, don’t miss Mexican Fiesta – a fiesta menu, starters, mains, sides and dessert!
Chicken tacos recipe
Watch how to make it
Quick Chicken Tacos - WITH sauce!
- 700 g / 1.2 lb chicken thighs , skinless boneless (or breast)
- 1.5 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 cup (250ml) chicken broth, separated (liquid stock)
HOMEMADE TACO SEASONING:
- 3 tbsp lime juice (Note 1)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- 2 tsp EACH garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano
- 3 tsp EACH cumin powder, paprika
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (adjust spiciness to taste, can skip)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Taco shells or tortillas , warmed per packet directions
- Diced tomato , onion, avocado, coriander/cilantro leaves
- Shredded lettuce
- Shredded cheese
- Sour cream
- Place Taco Seasoning ingredients in a bowl. Add 2 tbsp of the chicken broth and mix to form a loose paste.
- Add chicken, turn to coat.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cook chicken for 3 minutes on each side until lightly seared. (Reserve marinade dregs in bowl)
- Remove chicken into a shallow dish.
- Return skillet to stove, reduce to medium. Add remaining chicken broth, tomato paste, sugar and scrape in any marinade left in the bowl. Mix to dissolve, scraping base of pan, and bring to simmer
- Meanwhile, shred chicken with forks, or chop (don't worry if raw inside).
- Return chicken into sauce, toss and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes until sauce reduces to a thin syrup consistency (add water if reduces too fast). Adjust salt to taste.
- Transfer chicken and all sauce to serving bowl.
- Warm taco shells or tortillas.
- Stuff with chicken, making sure it's soaked with the sauce.
- Top with tomato, avocado, onion, coriander, lettuce and sour cream. Devour!
Life of Dozer
Dozer with his friends and a lady in black (yours truly! ?). Between all the cooking/shooting/filming and Dozer, there is not much white in my wardrobe…..