The Best Chicken Tacos Ever

5 from 34 votes

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Introducing the best chicken tacos ever. An easy chicken taco recipe made with chicken thighs, plus a simple onion & cilantro topping. This is our all-time favorite chicken taco recipe. They taste like they just came off a food truck!

Everyone in your family will love this recipe — they’ll gobble it up, AND it only takes a few minutes. You’ll be the star of dinner!

chicken tacos in two tortillas in bowl with cilantro and lime wedges
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An Easy Chicken Tacos Recipe

These tacos are super simple in the fact that they are only made with some chicken meat (that is super delicious and full of flavor) and a simple onion and cilantro topping on corn tortillas. Give the whole thing a squeeze of lime before you eat them, and that’s a wrap! I feel like keeping them simple is what makes them taste like they are straight off of a food truck (you might also call them a street taco), because you’ll just pick them up and eat two. They aren’t fussy, they don’t have a lot of layers, and they are so full of flavor. You could add a bit of avocado or a sprinkle of cotija cheese, but those aren’t really needed. Keep it simple, friends!

lime wedges, cilantro, red onion, chicken and tortillas on white tray

Why chicken thighs are awesome for tacos:

  • Boneless skinless chicken thighs are the moist and flavor-packed version of their chicken breast counterparts. They don’t dry out, and I LOVE using them.
  • They tend to be a lot less expensive than chicken breasts, which is always a win.
  • Boneless skinless chicken thighs do have a bit more fat on them, but you can trim any visible fat before using and they’ll still be moist when cooked.
  • Here’s a hilarious article from Epicurious about their love of all things chicken thighs, if you need further convincing.
  • Instant Pot Lovers: Here’s my favorite Instant Pot Chipotle Chicken Taco Meat recipe for you. SO good.

Have I convinced you yet to try them? Seriously, just get a pound (for a couple of bucks) to make this recipe, and that will be enough to get you on team chicken thigh. So easy to use and full of flavor!

woman holding chicken taco made with two tortillas

Tips and tricks for making the best chicken tacos:

  • The two tortillas aren’t a must, but it helps to keep everything in. When you just use one tortilla they seem to break and fall apart.
  • If you don’t want the topping too spicy, you can remove the seeds from the jalapeno or omit it all together.
  • The lime for serving isn’t optional; it really makes the dish!

Because these chicken tacos are so simple and easy to make, feel free to add a side of chips and salsa and guacamole plus some fun drinks (I recommend some fresh homemade lemonade for this recipe)! You’re going to feel like you are eating out while sitting in your own kitchen.

How much chicken do I need for tacos?

This recipe makes 4 servings, and I get one pound of boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Feel free to adjust the amount of chicken you purchase depending on how many people you’re serving (and if you have too much, it does make great leftovers!).

chicken tacos ingredients on white tray

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a good side dish for tacos?

So many options for taco side dishes. I like to serve cilantro lime rice, fresh pico de Gallo or refried beans. Quick, easy, and so delish!

How do I make perfect tacos?

Now, this is a great question. I firmly believe in the power of warming the tortillas in the skillet so they get a little toasty and maybe even a little crisp around the edges. It’s a MUST, and you have to try it out if you’ve never heated yours up. I also like to double layer my tortillas so it keeps all the toppings in better without tortilla breakage. Finally, a sprinkle of lime is absolutely necessary to bring everything together and really add a kick of freshness.

Can tacos be healthy?

Um, totally! You’ve usually got some sort of protein and veggie, and these tacos use corn tortillas, which are slightly healthier than flour. They’re packed with all sorts of wholesome goodness, so go ahead and add this to your “healthy meals” roster.

What do I put inside tacos?

You can literally put whatever you want inside tacos — that’s the beauty of these little customizable wraps! For this recipe, I kept things simple and added some chopped onion, cilantro, and jalapeno with a little lime juice, salt, and pepper. It was DIVINE! You can also add cheese, sour cream, and any other veggies you like.

More taco recipes:

If you’ve tried my favorite chicken taco recipe or any other recipe on Bless this Mess, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some pictures of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories AND add your photo to your comment so that other can see your creation

two chicken tacos on a white and blue plate
5 from 34 votes

The Best Chicken Tacos Ever

Introducing the best chicken tacos ever. An easy chicken taco recipe made with chicken thighs, plus a simple onion & cilantro topping. This is our all-time favorite chicken taco recipe. They taste like they just came off a food truck!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

For the chicken:

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

For the topping:

  • 1/3 cup finely chopped red or sweet onion
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 finely chopped jalapeño
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper,, to taste
  • 1 lime,, cut into 8 pieces
  • 16 small corn tortillas for serving

Instructions 

  • In a large zipper-topped plastic baggie or in shallow dish, add the chicken, all of the spices, lime juice, and oil. Close the bag and use your hands to mix everything together. If you are using a shallow dish, use tongs to work the spices evenly into the chicken. You can let this rest for up to a half-hour or work with it right away. I like to let it rest a minute to increase the flavor.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, add a tablespoon of oil to the pan and then add the chicken. Cook for 12 to 14 minutes, turning once, until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan and let it rest for 10 minutes. If you have an extra-large chicken thigh, you’ll need to cook them longer, so turn down the heat to medium and cook them until no longer pink (could take up to 25 minutes or 12 minutes per side).
  • While the chicken cooks, stir together the chicken taco topping by placing the chopped onion, cilantro, jalapeño, and the juice of one lime in a small bowl. Add salt and pepper, and stir to combine.
  • While the chicken rests, wipe your skillet clean with a warm rag or paper towels, and place the skillet back on the heat over medium-high to high heat. Place two tortillas (still stacked together) on the skillet and cook until the underside starts to char. Flip over and cook the other side (so the middle of each tortilla won’t be cooked against the skillet but it will get warm all the way though). Repeat with remaining tortillas.
  • Chop the rested chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  • To serve, place 1/8 of the chopped chicken in each set of tortillas (still two stacked together) and top with 1/8 of your onion mixture. Serve each taco with a wedge of lime to squeeze over the taco just before serving.

Video

Notes

  1. The two tortillas aren’t a must, but it helps to keep everything in. When you just use one tortilla, they seem to break and fall apart.
  2. If you don’t want the topping too spicy, you can remove the seeds from the jalapeño or omit it all together.
  3. The lime for serving isn’t optional; it really makes the dish!
  4. You can also bake or grill the chicken for this recipe.

Nutrition

Serving: 2 tacos, Calories: 411kcal, Carbohydrates: 51g, Protein: 28g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 0.02g, Cholesterol: 108mg, Sodium: 591mg, Potassium: 549mg, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 332IU, Vitamin C: 7mg, Calcium: 111mg, Iron: 3mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

This chicken taco recipe hitting the spot? You might also like these chicken recipes:

I can’t wait for you to make these Best Chicken Tacos Ever, try boneless skinless chicken thighs (if you aren’t already using them), and to thank me after you make this awesome meal. Enjoy, from my kitchen to yours!

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Recipe Rating




93 Comments

  1. Want to try this but am allergic to Jalapeños. Is there anything I could substitute for the jalapeños? This looks delish. Thanks!

  2. 5 stars
    Followed this recipe completely. Super easy and a great refreshing change to a packet of taco seasoning. I highly recommend making!

  3. 5 stars
    This really was the best thing I’ve eaten in a long time. I am not a cilantro person but this combination was amazing. I made no changes to the recipe except I fried my shells in oil the second time I made it and for me that was the missing piece. But this is going on my rotation! Thank you for an EPIC recipe.

  4. I used the recipe for the chicken today. I thought I didn’t have chili powder so I added cajun seasoning then saw the chili powder and added that too. I only used the juice from half a lime as it was all I had. I also added maybe a 1/4 tsp of sugar to cut the lime. The marinade was delicious on the chicken. Thanks.

  5. I made this for my husband and me for dinner last night. Had more chicken than a pound, so just adjusted spices accordingly, and have some left over. Grilled it for about 10 minutes–love the extra flavor that grilling gives the chicken! Skipped the squeeze of lime at the end, since the topping was so juicy, but DON’T DO IT! I regretted it because I thought the taco was dry…so next taco I will definitely add the lime juice at the end. Truly the best chicken tacos I’ve ever made!

  6. I made these for Cinco de Mayo. I had a left over basil pesto chicken breast that I made the other night. I shredded it and added some taco seasoning. I warmed the chicken breast up and added some lime juice. I made the salsa and did the street tacos on my stove top grill. My husband loved them! I did too! And I don’t even like cilantro! Will make them again!!!!

    1. OMG YOU DON’T LIKE CILANTRO……………………..WHAT IS LIFE WITHOUT CILANTRO,…….. CILANTRO IS A GIFT FROM THE GOD’S, LIKE BASIL. AS I AM ITALIAN / MEXICAN, I GET THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS……….OMG CILANTRO/ LIME AND TEQUILA FOREVER……………………..VIVA MEXICO! OH YA, AND I REALLY LIKE THIS RECIPE,SO ITS MEXICAN APPROVED !
      ¡LOS MEXICANOS MANDAN, LOS DEMAS BABEAN, SOLO HAY DOS CLASES DE PERSONAS EN ESTE MUNDO, LOS MEXICANOS Y LA GENTE QUE QUIERE SERLO !

  7. Made the chicken last evening and want to re-heat tonight for a family gathering. Do you have suggestion on best method to re-heat?

    1. I just reheat it with a little water in the a skillet, when the water is evaporated it’s warmed up nicely without sticking or drying out.

    2. Making this a week in advance for a surprise party. Can I freeze and reheat in a crockpot?

    3. Yes, it reheats very well! You might just want to add a little chicken broth or something to the slow cooker so it doesn’t dry it out.