Chicken Tinga Tacos

Do you Taco Tuesday? It’s such a fun concept but honestly, I can’t be as organized as that—I’m lucky if I even know it is Tuesday, but I’m more than thrilled to have tacos any night of the week! Especially when they’re these extremely flavorful and easy-to-whip-up Chicken Tinga Tacos. If you’re stressing about what to serve tonight, I’ve got you covered!

For some inexplicable reason, I only recently experienced the magic of Chicken Tinga. I’d seen it on menus for years but been too chicken (pun intended) to try it! But after that first spicy bite, I was hooked, even though I did have to drink about a gallon of water that night! Anyhoo, if you’re not in the know about the tinga, basically it’s a Mexican dish from Puebla that features shredded chicken cooked in a smoky and fairly spicy tomato-based sauce. It’s absolutely delish! And when you make it at home, you can control the amount of heat, which is good for spice wimps like me!!


And when I say that these are simple to make, I mean it. If you use already cooked chicken or even a supermarket rotisserie one, you can literally have the entire meal ready in under 30 minutes! Are we having fun yet?

Basically, all you do is make the spicy tinga sauce which takes about 15 minutes tops (and that includes having to peel and cut the onion and garlic) and then cook it with the shredded chicken for a few more minutes. Easy-peasy and done!

And while that’s happening you can cut up some tomatoes and scallions for topping, pull out some shredded cheese and sour cream if you like and warm or char your tortillas.


The chicken gets all tender and saucy with that zippy chipotle pepper bite that gets balanced out by the floury tortilla and whatever toppings float your boat.

Feels like a happy weekend meal but all on an ordinary weeknight!

Guys, we’re Taco Tuesday-ing it! Look, who finally managed to be trendy!


Chicken Tinga Tacos

Makes about 4 servings

You will need a blender or food processor for this.

Prep Time: About 30 minutes


  • 3 cups cooked shredded chicken (you can use a rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken or poach a few chicken breasts)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1-3 tablespoons pureed chipotles in adobo (just whizz a can in the blender or food processor and use the lower amount if you don’t want the mixture to be too spicy)

  • 3/4 cup crushed, fire-roasted tomatoes

  • 1/4 cup chicken stock

  • Pinch or two of kosher salt

  • Corn or flour tortillas for serving

  • Chopped scallions, chopped tomatoes, chopped onions, shredded cheese, sour cream, or anything other toppings you like (optional)

The Recipe

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat until the pan is hot. Add the oil and the onion. Cook for a few minutes, stirring often, until the onion is softened. Add in the garlic and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds. Add in the chipotle sauce and stir. Let cook for 1 minute. Then add in the tomatoes, stock and salt. Bring to a simmer and cook for 7 minutes.

  2. Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth. Return to the pan and place the heat on low. Add the cooked, shredded chicken and stir well. Let it cook for several minutes to heat it through.

  3. Meanwhile, heat the tortillas. I like to char them a bit over an open flame, but you could also just pop them into the microwave to heat them.

  4. Top the tortillas with the hot chicken mixture and serve with any number of toppings.


Note: Recipe adapted from The Minimalist Kitchen by Melissa Coleman. I tinkered a lot with these—make them your own.

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