Shredded Chicken Tacos

It doesn’t have to be Taco Tuesday to make these Shredded Chicken Tacos.

Shredded Chicken Tacos

Have you ever played that game where people ask, “If you could only have one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?” I hate this game!! Why? Because I have too many favorite foods that I could eat every day for the rest of my life. But when I have been forced to choose, or otherwise be called a bad sport or a party-pooper, I default to tacos (so sorry pizza, pasta, grilled steak, chili…)

But I am not alone. I don’t think I know a single person who doesn’t love tacos. Back in the 1980s, a taco restaurant coined the slogan “Taco Twosday” to market two tacos for $.99 on Tuesdays, because it was the slowest day of the week: now, so many places all across the country celebrate Taco Tuesdays! At my house, we celebrate Tacos Any Day We Feel Like It, which is often and what we often have are these Shredded Chicken Tacos.

What makes these Shredded Chicken Tacos so special is that the meat is cooked IN the salsa, rather than just putting the salsa on top (though you know you can do that too, right?). All the salsa flavors coat the shredded chicken so the spicy, tangy flavor is in every bite. And then there is that burst of citrus from the final squeeze of lime. What an incredible combination!

Part of the reason I love tacos so much is because they are so many foods in one. You have the corn or flour tortillas, the cooked and or fresh raw veggies, the spicy salsas, and the star of the taco show: the delicious main filling. For me, that’s the shredded chicken in this recipe–the spices, the aromatics, the zing from the salsa, and the chicken broth that keeps it so moist and juicy. And these tacos are really great with a side of Refried Beans (which, sometimes, I even put inside the taco!)

Tortillas: Flour or Corn, Soft or Crispy

Corn tortillas have been around for a long, long time. It’s thought that Mexicans invented them during prehistoric times. Mexicans didn’t invent the flour tortilla until the 1500s-1600s…so you can see that these taco-holders have had plenty of time to form a healthy competition: some people swear by corn, and others by flour. And while we’re on the subject, some people love a crunchy taco and some love a soft one.

I don’t have this problem, because I love them all. In this recipe, a flour tortilla works great because it’s big enough for all the filling and pliable enough to roll the taco up. But that said, I’ve made these Shredded Chicken Tacos with the crunchy corn taco shells from the grocery store, too. The point is: it doesn’t matter. These tacos are going to be super delicious no matter how you serve them.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups boneless skinless chicken breasts (cooked and shredded)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic (minced)
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup chunky salsa (or salsa verde)
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth (more if needed)
  • Flour tortillas
  • 1 lime (juiced)
Shredded Chicken Tacos

How to Make Shredded Chicken Tacos

Step 1: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Step 2: Add the minced garlic to the skillet and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Shredded Chicken Tacos

Step 3: Stir in the shredded chicken, onion powder, chili powder, cumin, and kosher salt, mixing well to combine.

Shredded Chicken Tacos

Step 4: Pour in the salsa and chicken broth, and let the mixture simmer for about 5 minutes until heated through. If the mixture seems too thick, add a little more chicken broth to reach desired consistency.

Shredded Chicken Tacos

Step 5: Remove from heat and squeeze in the juice of one lime, stirring to incorporate.

Shredded Chicken Tacos

Step 6: Warm the flour tortillas in a dry skillet or in the microwave until they are soft and pliable.

Shredded Chicken Tacos

Step 7: Assemble the tacos by spooning the chicken mixture onto each tortilla, and add your favorite toppings such as shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, sour cream, and avocado.

Shredded Chicken Tacos

FAQs & Tips

How to Make Ahead and Store?

You can prepare the shredded chicken filling and store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months (thaw it overnight in the fridge); reheat the filling in a pan on the stove or in the microwave. We recommend the squeeze of lime just before serving.

What is salsa verde made of?

The main ingredient in salsa verde is the tomatillo, a small green fruit that looks like a tomato but is not (and it doesn’t taste like one, either–it’s more tart and a bit citrusy). Salsa verde also has jalapeno, lime, and cilantro in it–all things that are green, since “verde” means “green” (there are onions in there, too). Red salsa is usually a combination of fresh tomatoes and the ingredients used in the verde, though some people put green peppers and chiles in there, too.

Can you use rotisserie chicken for this recipe?

Sure. Any cooked and shredded chicken works–either the one you make yourself or the one you shred from a store-bought rotisserie chicken.

Shredded Chicken Tacos

Serving Suggestions

Let’s talk toppings–one of the greatest things about tacos! The usual suspects–shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, cheddar cheese, sour cream–they are all the best on top of a shredded chicken taco. But just because they’re the best, doesn’t mean they’re the only topping choices! Jalapenos, cilantro, different kinds of cheese (Pepper Jack? Cotija?) are awesome taco toppers. And just because your chicken is cooked in salsa, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put Homemade Salsa on the top, too (you definitely should!).

To round out your Shredded Chicken Taco meal, make some Baked Rice and this delicious Mexican Street Corn Salad…and then finish it off with some Tres Leches Cake for dessert (yum!!). But if you want a more casual vibe, a really fun thing to do is set up a taco bar, with your shredded chicken and all the toppings each in their own bowl, and then just add a couple of extra dishes to the party, like some tortilla chips with Queso and maybe even this Spicy Corn and Bacon Macaroni and Cheese

Shredded Chicken Tacos
Shredded Chicken Tacos

Shredded Chicken Tacos

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course dinner
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 servings
Calories 178 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 cups boneless skinless chicken breasts cooked and shredded
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup chunky salsa or salsa verde
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth more if needed
  • Flour tortillas
  • 1 lime juiced

Instructions
 

  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the minced garlic to the skillet and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
    Shredded Chicken Tacos
  • Stir in the shredded chicken, onion powder, chili powder, cumin, and kosher salt, mixing well to combine.
    Shredded Chicken Tacos
  • Pour in the salsa and chicken broth, and let the mixture simmer for about 5 minutes until heated through. If the mixture seems too thick, add a little more chicken broth to reach desired consistency.
    Shredded Chicken Tacos
  • Remove from heat and squeeze in the juice of one lime, stirring to incorporate.
    Shredded Chicken Tacos
  • Warm the flour tortillas in a dry skillet or in the microwave until they are soft and pliable.
    Shredded Chicken Tacos
  • Assemble the tacos by spooning the chicken mixture onto each tortilla, and add your favorite toppings such as shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, sour cream, and avocado.
    Shredded Chicken Tacos

Nutrition

Calories: 178kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 22gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 643mgPotassium: 523mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 446IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 30mgIron: 1mg
Keyword shredded chicken, shredded chicken tacos, tacos
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