These chicken tacos are warm flour tortillas filled with diced marinated chicken, lettuce, pico de gallo, avocado and cheese. A quick and easy dinner option that’s easy to customize to your tastes, and is perfect for feeding a crowd.
Chicken tacos are a popular recipe for good reason – the combination of warm and zesty chicken and tortillas with fresh toppings just can’t be beat. This is the ultimate speedy dinner for those nights where you just don’t know what to make!
How do you make chicken tacos?
Start by preparing the marinade for the chicken, which is a blend of taco seasoning, olive oil and lime juice. After the chicken soaks in the marinade, cook it then dice it into bite sized pieces. Place the chicken into warm tortillas along with shredded lettuce, grated cheese, pico de gallo and slices of avocado. Serve immediately and enjoy.
Tips for the perfect tacos
- The chicken should sit in the marinade for at least 10 minutes, but if you have the time, it’s even better to let the chicken marinate for a longer period of time. You can keep your chicken in the marinade for up to 24 hours.
- I like to use my homemade taco seasoning for this recipe instead of the kind that comes in a packet. It takes just minutes to make and is full of flavor.
- You can saute, grill or broil your chicken thighs. I typically grill my chicken, either outdoors in the summer, or indoors on a grill pan during the colder months.
- Leftover cooked chicken stays fresh in the refrigerator for up to 4 day.
- You can freeze the chicken for later use. Either freeze the raw chicken in a bag of marinade, then thaw and cook, or freeze the cooked chicken.
- I love the fresh flavor that the pico de gallo adds to these tacos. You can buy pre-made pico de gallo at the store, or make your own.
- Serve your tacos with a side of pinto beans and rice for a complete meal.
Chicken Taco variations
There are many ways you can switch up the ingredients in this recipe to suit your preferences.
- Protein: Instead of chicken thighs, try chicken breast, ground chicken, ground turkey, shrimp or steak.
- Tortillas: Swap out the flour tortillas for corn tortillas or crispy taco shells.
- Cheese: I typically use a blend of cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses. Other great options include cotija cheese, a Mexican style cheese blend or colby jack.
- Spicy: If you prefer your tacos with a kick, add some crushed red pepper flakes or ground chipotle pepper to the marinade.
What can you add to tacos?
The toppings listed in this recipe are just a suggestion. You can add as many toppings as you like to customize these tacos to your tastes.
- Refried Beans
- Pickled Jalapenos
- Green onions
- Black Beans
- Sauteed Peppers
- Red Onions
- Sour Cream
- Pinto Beans
How much chicken do you need for tacos?
You can count on needing approximately 3 ounces of cooked chicken per person that you’re planning to feed. The chicken can be diced or shredded, depending on the formulation that you’re using. This assumes that each person will eat 2-3 tacos on average.
Once you try these tacos, you’ll find them making their way onto your regular dinner rotation. They’re just that good!
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For the chicken
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning homemade or store bought
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- salt and pepper to taste
For the tacos
- 8 small flour tortillas warmed
- 1/2 cup shredded lettuce
- 1 cup pico de gallo
- 3/4 cup shredded cheese
- 1 avocado peeled, pitted and sliced
For the chicken
- Place the taco seasoning, olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper in a bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Add the chicken thighs to the bowl and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes or up to 24 hours.
- Remove the chicken thighs from the marinade. Heat a grill, grill pan or skillet over medium heat. Place the chicken on the grill or in the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes per side or until cooked through.
- Let the chicken cool slightly then chop into bite sized pieces.
For the tacos
- Place 1 tablespoon of lettuce into the bottom of each tortilla. Divide the chicken evenly among the tortillas, then top with pico de gallo, cheese and avocado. Serve immediately.