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!
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.
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/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!
Our Favorite Chicken Tacos
I’ve posted a few recipes using boneless skinless chicken thighs here on Bless this Mess, but I wanted to tell you a bit more about them and why I think that you should use them for this chicken tacos recipe.
- 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 thigh, 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!
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Simple & quick chicken tacos made with chicken thighs, with an easy onion & cilantro topping. Served on a corn tortilla, this is our all-time favorite chicken taco recipe. They taste like they just came off a food truck.
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 one lime
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lime, cut into 8 pieces
16 small corn tortillas for serving
- 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 the chicken. Cook for 12-14 minutes, turning once, until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan and let it rest for 10 minutes.
- 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.
- 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 jalapeño or omit it all together.
- The lime for serving isn’t optional, it really makes the dish!
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Skillet
- Cuisine: Mexican
Keywords: easy chicken taco recipe, how to use chicken thighs, chicken thighs dinner idea, food truck tacos recipe
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.
This chicken taco recipe hitting the spot? You might also like these chicken recipes:
- Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowls (Instant Pot or Slow Cooker)
- Instant Pot Chipotle Chicken Taco Meat
- Easy Chicken Enchiladas
- The Best Chicken Tostada Recipe
- The Best Baked Chicken Legs
I can’t wait for you to make these tacos, 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!