Chicken Tinga Tacos

These tacos are low on effort, full on flavor. Tender and juicy pulled chicken nestled in a warm corn tortilla and topped with queso fresco, chilis and avocado. Pure bliss!

These tacos are low on effort, full on flavor. There is so much to love about them, I don’t know where to begin. Let’s start with fun. I love putting out a big stack of warm tortillas, the steaming chicken tinga, and lots of little bowls of optional toppings, and watching people dig in. Second is scalability. With barely any additional effort, I can double this recipe for parties. It is such a crowd pleaser, even the kids love it. Finally, the chicken freezes beautifully, making it a great do-ahead meal- just thaw in the fridge and then pop in a pan on the stovetop to rewarm.

The recipe is medium-spicy. You may adjust the heat according to your preferences.

Tomatos Onions

Shredded Chicken

Make Ahead Mid-Week

Chicken Tinga Tacos

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Servings: 6


  • 1 small white onion sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves chopped
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper or 1 canned chipotle, seeded and chopped**
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 ½ pounds chicken breast, thigh, or a mix
  • 1 14 oz can of tomato puree or sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil
  • Corn Tortillas
  • Optional for serving: Lime wedges chopped cilantro, chopped white onion, crumbled queso fresco, jalapenos, avocado


  • Sauté the onion in the olive oil until softened, about 4-5 minutes.
  • Add salt and pepper, the garlic, cumin, chipotle, coriander, and oregano and cook about 2 minutes more.
  • Add the chicken and when it is browned and starting to get a little too hot, pour in the tomato puree and a little bit of water (maybe 1/3 cup) and stir it around to partially submerge the chicken. Cook, partially covered, until the chicken is just cooked through, about 15 minutes. Remove the chicken and let it rest until cool enough to handle.
  • Shred the chicken and return it to the pot. Add the vinegar, and cook for another 10 minutes until everything comes together nicely and the sauce is thickened. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and ground black pepper if needed. Finish with the maple syrup or honey.
  • Serve it with warm tortillas and any toppings that you like.

Tips & Tricks

**If spicy is not your thing, omit the chipotle and use a smoked paprika instead. You’ll get the smoky chili flavor without the heat.

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