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!

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

Best Chicken Tacos Ever

Taco Tuesday holds a strong place in my heart and in the hearts of my kids, but we have been in a major taco slump lately. The only thing I’ve been making is standard ground beef tacos, and while those are fine, they just aren’t all that exciting after eating for them the the millionth time.

I decided to get a little creative in the taco department and go for some amazingly flavorful but simple food truck-style chicken taco recipes. You guys, they turned out amazing! It only took about 12 minutes to get the chicken cooked, a few more minutes to get the tortillas hot, and then we just threw them together.

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!

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.

woman holding chicken taco made with two tortillas

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!).

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.

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.

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.

chicken tacos ingredients on white tray

Print

The Best Chicken Tacos Ever


  • Author: Melissa Griffiths-Bless this Mess
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4 1x

Description

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!


Scale

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 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

  1. 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.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Chop the rested chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  6. 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.

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.
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Skillet
  • Cuisine: Mexican
Nutrition Information: YIELD: 4 SERVING SIZE: 2 tacos
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 401.3 Fat: 11.1g Cholesterol: 106.5mg Sodium: 165mg Carbohydrates: 49.3g Sugars: 2.9g Protein: 28.5g Vitamin A: 24.6µg Vitamin C: 13.9mg

Keywords: easy chicken taco recipe, how to use chicken thighs, chicken thighs dinner idea, chicken thigh recipes,

Family Dinner Made Easy

Ready to Make Family Dinner EASY?

Get 60+ simple recipes sure to please even the pickiest eaters, plus 8-weeks of grocery shopping lists already planned for you. It’s time to breakup with the stress and guesswork of figuring out what’s for dinner!

Snag Your Copy!

Want To Save This Recipe?

best chicken tacos ever recipe ingredients pin

best chicken tacos ever recipe pin two tacos with lime wedges

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

This post was originally published in 2017, and has been updated and rephotographed in January 2020.

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!

Subscribers get access to Dinner Made Easy meal plans, exclusive recipes, giveaways, and behind-the-scenes updates​! Sign up for my newsletter or get a new recipe every day.


Subscribe Now

Share Your Comments

Want to share a photo of what you’ve made? Be sure to register or log in and then click the camera icon camera icon located at the bottom of the comment area.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
55 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jen

This was great!!! Added salt to the chicken and it was perfect.

Mindy

Can’t wait to try this! I’m curious if anyone has tried using their instant pot or an air fryer for this recipe? What temp/time did you use? How did it turn out?

Denice

Can you marinate over night and can you cook ahead. I’m throwing a birthday party and need to prepare as much as I can ahead of time. Thank you!

Kath

What if I have bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs? Will those work as well?
Thanks!

Jacquelyn A Mills

My family LOVED this recipe. That topping is delicious and can go on sooo many things!

Rich

Literally made my wife stop, look up, and say “Wow!” Thanks for a keeper recipe!

Bonnie

We’ve made this twice now; its so good! For me, the lime is not overpowering at all. We are using lime juice from a bottle and not actual limes. Tonight I am going to try this in the slow cooker. I’m not great with cooking so hopefully I don’t screw it up!

Mark

The family loved the recipe. I made one change by grilling the marinated chicken. Wife really loved the lime/onion topping. Thank you

Edyta

Looking forward to making these tomorrow night!

Jeanine

My fiance and I enjoyed these very much! I WILL be making them again, the exact same way, except I added salt to the thighs, I almost could have gotten away without ANY, with exception of the topping, as your recipe states. Thanks for sharing!

Who Noms the World

I made these last weekend for my birthday. I made pork shoulder tacos as the main dish, but one of my friends doesn’t eat pork, so I also made this chicken. And it was a huge hit. She loved them, as well as the other people who tried some of the chicken. Sooo full of flavor. Great recipe!

Emma

We love this recipe, really authentic easy tacos. I cooked them in the oven though as I found that easier!

Bless This Mess - About Me

I’m Melissa, and I want to help you feed your family wholesome food.

As a hobby farmer and mom of five, I’m all about keeping it simple in the kitchen. I want healthy meals that feed my family well, and then I want to get back to my (messy) life. Let’s work together to find something yummy for your dinner table.