The Best Chicken Tacos Ever

4.98 from 41 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
4.98 from 41 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
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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: 4 of 16 small 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




98 Comments

  1. Tracy J. says:

    5 stars
    Just made this for a Father’s Day lunch and it got devoured! I made 6x the recipe and have almost nothing left. 😉 Thank you for an amazing recipe, I’ll be making this again and again!

    1. Melissa says:

      How did you cook that much?? I’d love to know! Thank you so much for coming back to leave a review!

  2. Sandra Maxwell says:

    5 stars
    I adjusted the chicken seasoning for the items I had on hand. Incorporating Chipotle and ancho Chile powder in place of paprika and chili powder. I also sliced the chicken into strips before adding spices and cooking. This is a simple and delicious recipe and look forward to subscribing.

  3. Heather M. says:

    5 stars
    Straight up delicious!! I tripled the recipe and cooked the chicken on my big blackstone griddle, let it sit for about 10 minutes and then sliced all of the chicken and served it over cilantro lime rice with an assortment of toppings like beans, guacamole, cheese, lettuce, diced tomatoes, salsa etc. My family went crazy over it. Thank you Melissa for another absolute winner!!

  4. Becky says:

    Made these for the first time tonight and they were amazing. That lime flavor took it up a notch from just regular tacos! Loved how easy and quick this meal was. I served with guacamole!

  5. Erin says:

    This was wonderful! Thanks for an easy recipe that I’ll be making again. I marinated the chicken for several hours, and served with guacamole. The topping recipe was great too!

  6. Marisa says:

    5 stars
    Wow! This turned out so good! Will be making again. So simple!

  7. Pamela V says:

    5 stars
    These are, by far the absolute best street tacos you’re ever going to have! My family loves them and are somewhat taco snobs! Give them a try if you don’t mind making them every time someone in your house wants tacos! ❤️🌮❤️🌮❤️

    1. Melissa says:

      I LOVE that! Thank you so much for coming back to let me know!

  8. Jen says:

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

  9. Mindy says:

    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?

  10. Denice says:

    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!

    1. Melissa says:

      I reduce the lime by half when I’m marinating that long, but yes, I’ve done it with success!