These shredded chicken tacos are packed with flavor and so simple to make! All you need is a few simple ingredients and about 30 minutes of your time for the perfect taco night with family and friends!
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🌟Why this recipe works
This shredded chicken tacos recipe is so delicious and easy to make for any home cook. The chicken breasts are cooked until tender and then shredded, making them the perfect texture for tacos.
The addition of chili powder, cumin, and salsa gives these tacos a great depth of flavor with the shredded chicken. And, the best part? These tacos can be on your table in just 30 minutes!
It's the perfect Mexican meal for families on a budget that can be served for lunch or dinner. And, because the chicken breasts are poached and then sauteed in the frying pan, there's very little cleanup required!
The recipe uses pantry ingredients that you likely already have on hand, making it a great weeknight meal. You can also store the mixture to make fresh tacos whenever you want for meal prep. And if you have an extra chicken breast you must try my creamy Ruth Chris stuffed chicken recipe.
If you love Mexican food, this recipe is a keeper! Not only is it delicious and straightforward, but it's also affordable, and kids love it, which is always a bonus! Don't forget to check out my delicious dorito casserole and my chili lime shredded beef recipe with full of mexican flavors.
🍽 Key Ingredients
These shredded chicken tacos are easy to cook and only require a few simple ingredients.
Chicken - Use boneless skinless chicken breasts for poaching to make it easier to shred them into strips.
Vegetables - Onion and garlic are sautéed together to create a flavorful base.
Seasoning - To give the chicken flavor, we use a combination of chili powder, cumin, and oregano.
Salsa - You can use homemade salsa with fresh tomatoes or store-bought salsa.
A substitute for chicken breasts is skinless chicken thighs for this recipe. You can also use a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store if you're short on time.
- Add a teaspoon of store-bought taco seasoning or try my easy homemade taco seasoning to the shredded Mexican chicken for more flavor.
- Add a can of black beans or corn to the mixture.
- Try using ground beef or pork in place of the chicken.
- Serve this chicken mixture on corn tortillas instead of hard taco shells.
🔪 How to make
These shredded chicken tacos are irresistibly satisfying and so easy to make and can be on the table in about 30 minutes by following these simple cooking instructions.
- Finely dice the onion and garlic.
Step 1 - Poach the chicken breasts
Place the chicken breasts in a saucepan, and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer for 10-12 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celsius).
Step 2 - Shred the chicken
Transfer the chicken to a cutting board or bowl, and shred it with 2 forks.
Step 3 - Make the marinade
Heat the oil in a skillet and sauté the onion for 3 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Then add the oregano, cumin, chili powder, and salt, cooking for 1 more minute.
Pour in the salsa, mixing thoroughly to it warm up.
Then add the shredded chicken and mix it in with the sauce.
Step 6 - Finish and serve
Simmer the taco mixture for 2-3 minutes and serve with corn tortillas.
Toppings - I like to top my tacos with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, fresh chopped cilantro, a squeeze of lime, sliced avocado, shredded cheese, or sour cream.
💭 Cooking tips
Keep an eye on the internal temperature of the chicken
I use a kitchen thermometer to check the temperature, as overcooked chicken will be dry.
Add water to the mixture.
You may need to add a few spoons of water to the mixture if it's too thick.
📖 Recipe Variations
Three delicious taco recipes in one! These are just a few ways you can change up this recipe to suit your taste. If you like sour cream, check out my recipes with sour cream.
Spicy shredded chicken tacos
Add a diced jalapeño or two to the mixture for a little extra heat and swap the salsa for enchilada sauce.
Shredded chicken tacos with mango salsa
Using fresh mango salsa instead of tomato sauce-based salsa gives tacos a tropical feel that balances well with the chicken and spices. You can find mango salsa in most grocery stores and buy one fresh ripe mango to slice on top of the tacos.
Shredded chicken tacos with cream cheese
Give your chicken mixture a creamy, cheesy texture by swapping the salsa and using 1 package of cream cheese and 1 cup of cheese. Mix both with the shredded chicken, sauteed onions mixture, and spices - and enjoy!
🥗 What to serve with
Mexican shredded chicken tacos pair well with a number of sides, including rice, beans, and salad. For a lighter meal, serve them with sauteed vegetables or a side of fruit.
Rice is a versatile grain that can be used in a number of dishes, including as a side for shredded chicken tacos. Try making this simple cauliflower rice dish as an alternative to starchy rice.
🙋 Frequently asked questions
What kind of cheese goes on tacos?
There are a variety of cheeses that go well on tacos, including cheddar, jack, and pepper jack. For a more flavorful cheese, try crumbled cotija or queso blanco.
How do you keep the shredded chicken moist?
There are a few ways to keep the shredded chicken moist. One way is to add a little chicken broth or water when tossing the shredded chicken in the mixture, and another way is to not overcook it when poaching it.
🧊 Storing and ♨️ Reheating
Shredded chicken taco mixture tastes even better the following day once the flavors have infused and can be stored in the fridge or freezer.
Fridge - Transfer the chicken taco mixture to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to four days.
Freezer - Freeze the chicken taco mixture in a freezer-safe container for up to four months. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
Reheating - When you're ready to eat the stored taco mixture, reheat it with a little chicken broth or water to moisten it up. You can reheat it in the microwave at 1-minute intervals until piping hot in a microwave-safe bowl or on the stove in a skillet.
🍳 Related Mexican Recipes
If you like my chicken shredded tacos recipe you should try one of my delicious mexican recipes on your next meal.
Check out my collection of stuffed chicken breast recipes for more ideas.
👪 Serving size
This shredded chicken taco mixture will give you enough portions to make 6 tacos, or you can scale it to make more and store some for making fresh tacos another day.
It's an easy recipe to make ahead and have on hand for a busy week or to share with friends at your next taco night. Try my spicy shrimp tacos recipe or my 15 minute pulled pork tacos made with leaftover pulled pork for your next mexican party, soo yummy!
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Try one of my quick, easy, and affordable dinner recipes for your next family meal! And if you have any questions, I'm here to help!
Easy Shredded Chicken Tacos
- Place the chicken breasts in a saucepan, and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer for 10-12 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celsius).
- Transfer the chicken to a cutting board or bowl, and shred it with 2 forks.
- Heat the oil in a skillet and sauté the onion for 3 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Then add the oregano, cumin, chili powder, and salt, cooking for 1 more minute.
- Pour in the salsa, mixing thoroughly to it warm up. Then add the shredded chicken and mix it in with the sauce.
- Simmer the taco mixture for 2-3 minutes and serve with tortillas and your favorite toppings.
- Top the tacos with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, fresh chopped cilantro, a squeeze of lime, sliced avocado, shredded cheese, or sour cream.