This is the BEST Chicken Taco Recipe you’ll find! Enjoy juicy, tender chicken in a spicy sauce with melty cheese and a crispy corn tortilla.
This delicious Chicken Taco recipe will give you the BEST tacos you’ve ever made at home! Chicken breasts are simmered in a rich, spicy sauce for a tender and unbelievably juicy filling. Onions, garlic, jalapenos, and chipotles are all used to impart loads of interest. All this mouthwatering flavor is then warmed on a hot griddle in a corn tortilla for super crispy, amazing tacos!
These tacos are easy to make ahead of time and work well as a part of a meal prep routine. You can easily adjust the level of spice by reducing the peppers or limiting the amount of sauce that makes it onto the taco, too. This easy chicken meal will definitely become a staple in the menu rotation!
Chicken Taco Ingredients
Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll need for this chicken taco recipe. For exact measurements, keep scrolling down to the printable recipe card.
- Chicken Breast – Boneless, skinless. Chicken thighs or tenders can also work, but their cooking times would likely need to be decreased. If your chicken has the skin on, remove before cooking to avoid an excess amount of fat in the sauce.
- Avocado oil, Taco seasoning, Enchilada sauce, and Chicken broth or water – Packaged taco seasoning is fine to use, or you could use this Homemade Taco Seasoning. You can also make your own Homemade Enchilada Sauce to use as well.
- Onion, Garlic, Jalapenos, Chipotle peppers – These simmer in the sauce with the chicken, but they are discarded before assembling the tacos. They add a TON of flavor, and you don’t even have to dice everything up!
- White corn tortillas – You can use yellow corn tortillas or flour tortillas if you prefer, but we prefer the flavor and look of the white corn tortillas the most.
- Cheese – Cotija, Monterey Jack, Colby, even Cheddar can be used if you prefer it. Store-bought blends of Mexican cheeses can be a simple way to add flavor without a lot of effort.
How to Make the BEST Chicken Tacos
It’s easy to make the most flavorful tacos of your life! Here’s a step-by-step guide for these spicy, juicy, crispy tacos.
Take a 4-quart dutch oven and warm it over medium heat. While that is heating up, pat your chicken breasts dry, sprinkle them with taco seasoning, and rub to cover all sides.
Sear & Simmer
Pour the avocado oil into the hot dutch oven and sear the chicken. This should take about 3-4 minutes on each side for the chicken to become golden brown. Pour in the enchilada sauce, broth (or water), onion, garlic, jalapeno, and chipotle peppers. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then place the lid on the dutch oven. Reduce the heat to low and allow the chicken to cook 20 minutes.
Flip & Simmer
After 20 minutes, remove the lid and flip the chicken breasts with a pair of tongs. If it looks like too much liquid has evaporated, pour in an additional 1/4 cup of broth or water. This won’t affect the taste, but it’ll just make sure we have a good amount of sauce.
Place the lid back on and allow the chicken to simmer another 5-10 minutes more. When the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, turn heat off.
When the chicken is done, remove the onion, garlic, and peppers from the pot and discard. Shred the chicken. Depending on your preferred level of spice, you can return the chicken back to the sauce or set it to the side. The sauce is quite spicy, so you can spoon just a little of the sauce over the chicken if you don’t like very spicy food.
Assemble & sear tacos
Finally, heat a large griddle or skillet to medium-high heat. Grease the skillet well so the corn tortillas are coated. Add the tortillas to the cook top, top with cheese and chicken, carefully fold over and cook on each side until golden brown. Immediately sprinkle with flakey sea salt and serve!
We love these tacos served with a fresh guacamole or avocado crema, salsa, and sour cream. This Roasted Tomatillo and Jalapeno Salsa would add an extra kick for those who love even more heat! This Homemade Pineapple Salsa is great for balancing out the spice for those who like it a bit milder.
You can store these tacos in an airtight container in the fridge up to 4 days. They can be stored assembled as a taco, or you can store the taco meat separately and assemble fresh tacos later.
You can freeze this taco meat or these assembled tacos! Taco meat, once completely cooled, can be stored in a freezer bag up to 6 months. Make sure to include some of the juice–That will help make sure the meat won’t dry out when you are reheating your leftovers.
To freeze assembled tacos, first lay them (completely cooled) on a baking sheet and freeze for 2 hours. Transfer to a freezer bag and eat within 3 months. If you’re concerned about freezer burn, wrap 2 tacos at a time in multiple layers of plastic wrap. This way you can pull out one serving at a time without worrying about everything sticking together.
If frozen, allow your tacos to thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating. To reheat a large amount of tacos, place them on a baking sheet and cook for 5-10 minutes at 350 degrees F in the oven. For super crispy tacos, reheat them in the air fryer on 350 for 3-5 minutes.
You can reheat these in the microwave as well (preferably at 50% power in 30 second bursts), but you will lose any crunch in the shell.
If you love these chicken tacos, you’ll love these other chicken recipes!
- Cheesy Jalapeno Chicken Soup – This soup is packed full of flavor and is a huge hit at potlucks!
- Chicken Enchilada Skillet – When you’re craving enchiladas but want a quick, easy meal ready in about 30 minutes, this is perfect!
- Air Fryer Stuffed Chicken Breasts – These tender, juicy chicken breasts are crispy on the outside and filled with a creamy, slightly spicy stuffing!
- Chicken Bacon Ranch Chaffle Sandwich – Our favorite sandwich but on a keto-friendly chaffle! The grilled chicken breast is beautifully juicy and full of flavor.
- Keto Chicken Skillet with Bacon Cream Sauce – This tender chicken is swimming in a creamy, cheesy sauce and topped with deliciously crispy bacon… Perfect!
FAQ’s about Chicken Tacos
Yes, if you prefer flour tortillas, they work in this recipe, too!
The best cheese usually comes down to preference! Crumbled or grated cotija may arguably be the most traditional cheese, but Monterey Jack, Colby, even Cheddar are often used for tacos, too.
No, you can use pretty much any chicken cut for tacos! We love chicken breasts because they are lean and are easily available. Most bone-in cuts would require extra cooking time + time to remove the meat from the bones while boneless chicken thighs would require about 5 minutes less cooking time.
The Best Chicken Taco Recipe
For the Taco Meat
- 2 tbsp avocado oil
- 2 lbs chicken breast
- 1 package taco seasoning 1 ounce
- 1 can enchilada sauce 10 ounces
- ¼ cup chicken stock or water
- 1 onion quartered
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 jalapeno peppers seeded
- 2 chipotle peppers
For the Tacos
- 16 white corn tortillas
- 2 cups cheese your preference
- flakey sea salt to finish
To Make the Meat:
- Heat the oil in a 4-quart dutch oven over medium heat. Sprinkle the chicken breasts liberally with the taco seasoning, and be sure to cover all sides.
- Sear the chicken for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown.
- Add the enchilada sauce, broth, onion, garlic, jalapeno, and chipotle peppers. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Place the lid on the dutch oven and reduce the heat to low. Allow the chicken to cook 20 minutes.
- Remove the lid and using tongs carefully flip the chicken breast. If too much liquid has evaporated add ¼ cup additional broth or water.
- Allow the chicken to simmer over low heat covered for 5-10 more minutes until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F and shreds easily with a fork.
- When the chicken is done remove the onion, jalapeno, garlic, and pepper from the pot. Shred the chicken and toss it in the sauce if desired (it will be spicy, so you may want to spoon the sauce over it versus tossing ALL of the sauce on the chicken)
To Make the Tacos
- Heat a large griddle or skillet to medium-high heat. Grease the skillet well so the corn tortillas are coated. Add the tortillas to the cook top, top with cheese and chicken, carefully fold over and cook on each side until golden brown. Immediately sprinkle with flakey sea salt.