Crispy Sheet Pan Baked Chicken Taco Meat

5 from 1 review

This smoky and Crispy Sheet Pan Baked Chicken Taco Meat creates tender bites of chicken thigh with the use of lime, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, and more savory spices that are perfect to wrap up in tortillas.

This smoky and Crispy Sheet Pan Baked Chicken Taco Meat creates tender bites of chicken thigh with the use of lime, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, and more savory spices that are perfect to wrap up in tortillas.

Crispy Sheet Pan Baked Chicken Taco Meat

Nothing beats taco Tuesday, am I right? Okay, perhaps any day with tacos is special and glorious in its own right, too. This crispy chicken taco meat will be certain to up your festive meals no matter what day of the week it is — that’s for sure. It’s a go-to for us when life gets just a little bit crazy (which is a lot of the time) and I need a fast throw-it-in-the-oven meal.

There’s a marinade period involved, but even that’s quite flexible. Once you mix up the marinade — super easy, might I add — you throw your chicken thighs in a sealable bag with the marinade for anywhere from 1 to 6 hours. It’s great for those “Oh, shoot, I don’t have dinner figured out and it’s 4:30 p.m.” evenings, or you can get your marinade situated between afternoon errands or during your lunch break.

This smoky and Crispy Sheet Pan Baked Chicken Taco Meat creates tender bites of chicken thigh with the use of lime, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, and more savory spices that are perfect to wrap up in tortillas.

Between cilantro and lime, two of my absolute favorites for Tex-Mex-inspired dishes, and a mix of garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika, and salt and pepper, the chicken thighs develop such a rich and satisfying flavor with this marinade. Plus, I love how thighs bake in the oven and get a nice crispness to the outside, while remaining tender in the middle. Make sure you keep an eye on them, though, because overcooked thighs will lead to dry meat, and nobody wants that!

This smoky and Crispy Sheet Pan Baked Chicken Taco Meat creates tender bites of chicken thigh with the use of lime, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, and more savory spices that are perfect to wrap up in tortillas.

Do you have to flip chicken thighs in the oven?

Some recipes may call for flipping the thighs while they cook, but this recipe really allows them to get nice color and crispy texture around the full exterior of the thighs, so it’s not required.

How do you cook boneless skinless chicken thighs?

They’re super easy! Especially if you bake them in the oven. Let the meat marinade between 1 to 6 hours. When the chicken’s all flavored up and ready, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F., and brush a sheet pan with olive oil. Place the marinated thighs on the pan evenly spaced out, and roast until the sides are crisp and golden and the inside is fully cooked, about a half-hour. Slice them up into bite size pieces, and enjoy on tortillas with all your favorite taco toppings!

Are chicken thighs bad for you?

NO! I hate that thighs have gotten a bad rap over chicken breast just because they’re dark meat. I’m here to proclaim they are healthy and nutritious — although, they do have a higher amount of fat and calories than breast meat. But! They’re still considered a source of lean protein and are considerably low-calorie and -fat compared to some meats. And. They. Taste. So. Good. So, enjoy yourselves and get the thighs, friends.

This smoky and Crispy Sheet Pan Baked Chicken Taco Meat creates tender bites of chicken thigh with the use of lime, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, and more savory spices that are perfect to wrap up in tortillas.

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This smoky and Crispy Sheet Pan Baked Chicken Taco Meat creates tender bites of chicken thigh with the use of lime, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, and more savory spices that are perfect to wrap up in tortillas.

Crispy Sheet Pan Baked Chicken Taco Meat


  • Author: Melissa Griffiths - Bless this Mess
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 10 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  • Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 1x

Description

This smoky and Crispy Sheet Pan Baked Chicken Taco Meat creates tender bites of chicken thigh with the use of lime, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, and more savory spices that are perfect to wrap up in tortillas.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon garlic (about 3 cloves), minced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped

For serving

  • 12 six-inch corn tortillas, heated
  • Chopped salsa (tomatoes, bell pepper, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, and salt to taste)
  • Additional toppings, like sour cream, hot sauce, lettuce, or diced tomatoes, optional

Instructions

  1. Place the chicken in a large (gallon) resealable bag.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, garlic, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper.
  3. Pour the mixture over the chicken in the bag. Work the chicken a bit so that it is all evenly covered.
  4. Add the cilantro to the bag, and seal the top of the bag, removing as much air from the bag as you can. Rub the marinade all over the chicken.
  5. Place the bag in the the fridge, and let the chicken marinade for 1 to 6 hours.
  6. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Brush a rimmed large baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  7. Remove the chicken from the marinade, and place it on the baking sheet, spacing it evenly apart.
  8. Roast in the hot oven, until the bottom and sides are golden and crisp, and the thickest parts of the chicken are cooked through, about 30 minutes.
  9. Let the chicken rest for 3 minutes before slicing into strips.
  10. Serve in warm tortillas with your toppings of choice.

Notes

  • You can use boneless skinless chicken leg and thigh meat for this recipe — just adjust the cooking time as needed (the smaller cuts of meat will cook faster).
  • Don’t overcook your chicken. Check for doneness with an cheap instant read thermometer. Avoiding overcooking the chicken is the key to not drying it out.
  • Category: dinner
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: American, Tex-Mex, Mexican

Keywords: baked chicken, chicken tacos, chicken thigh recipe, tacos, easy dinner

This smoky and Crispy Sheet Pan Baked Chicken Taco Meat creates tender bites of chicken thigh with the use of lime, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, and more savory spices that are perfect to wrap up in tortillas.

This smoky and Crispy Sheet Pan Baked Chicken Taco Meat creates tender bites of chicken thigh with the use of lime, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, and more savory spices that are perfect to wrap up in tortillas.

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This smoky and Baked Chicken Meat for Tacos creates tender bites of chicken thigh with the use of lime, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, and more savory spices that are perfect to wrap up in tortillas.

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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.

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