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Make your own restaurant-style chicken tacos at home. They are easy to make, perfectly crunchy, and SO delicious!
One of the main dishes we have at our Mexican family get-togethers is crispy chicken tacos.
Fortunately, these shredded chicken tacos are easy and yummy!
I like to cook all my Shredded Chicken in advance, divide it, and put it into freezer bags. Then I just pull out a bag in the morning, let it thaw throughout the day, and have it ready to cook in time for dinner.
These are the BEST chicken tacos, loved by the entire family. They taste just like the chicken tacos found at your local Mexican Restaurants – crunchy and delicious!
How to make chicken tacos
Making these easy chicken tacos is beyond simple.
FILLING. Prep the chicken by adding shredded chicken, green chiles, cheese, salt, and pepper to a bowl. Mix.
FRY. Add vegetable oil to your pan and turn to LOW/MEDIUM heat. Add some chicken to the middle of your corn tortilla. Then grab with your tongs.
Rock back and forth when the oil is ready until the taco can lay down without opening up.
ENJOY! Take the taco out when both sides are cooked. Lay it on a plate lined with a paper towel to help drain the oil. Add any toppings such as shredded lettuce and tomatoes and/or extra cheese.
There are simple ways to prep for this chicken tacos recipe.
Chicken. Cook up a boneless skinless chicken breast or use boneless skinless chicken thighs. Another idea is to purchase a rotisserie chicken and shred it.
Instant pot shredded chicken. I love my crock pot, but sometimes I need something quicker. Enter the instant pot. Cook chicken from a thawed or frozen state in just minutes.
- Add 2-3 pounds of chicken to the pot, sprinkle on your seasonings of choice, and top with 1 cup of chicken broth (or water).
- Seal the lid. Set “Pressure Cook” to HIGH and set the timer for 10 minutes (12 minutes if the chicken is frozen). Allow it to naturally release for about 5 minutes then quickly release the valve and remove the lid.
- Shred with a fork and the chicken will be ready to use in the tacos. Any extra can be frozen for another meal.
This best chicken taco recipe can easily be changed up.
Soft tacos. For soft chicken tacos with this same chicken mixture, heat up the chicken, salt and pepper, and green chiles in the microwave. Add the cheese before filling the soft flour tortillas.
Flavor variations. Change up the flavor of these tacos, by adding different spices and cheeses. My mom likes to make them with just shredded chicken, salt, pepper, oregano, and cheese.
Other possibilities include cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, or cayenne pepper.
Our favorite chicken taco toppings include shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, extra cheese, and green onion slices. You could also add:
- fresh cilantro or sliced avocado
- sour cream or Greek yogurt
- freshly squeezed lime juice
- Pico de Gallo
- Homemade Salsa
Serving + Storing Tips
We have so many favorite recipes that we like to serve with this shredded chicken taco recipe, but here are some of our favorites:
STORE. Keep homemade chicken tacos in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
To reheat. The best way I have found to reheat chicken tacos is in an air fryer. If you don’t have one, I suggest broiling them in the oven on both sides.
There are a few factors that create rubbery chicken including undercooking, not enough moisture, too much fat, and poor chicken quality (“white striping” which are white fatty strips that run parallel to the muscle fibers).
Corn tortillas can tear when rolled, especially if they are old. To help keep this from happening you can warm them up along with a damp paper towel in the microwave. You can also flash fry them in the oil for a second or two on each side, then fill, fold, and re-fry. We like to use Kroger brand corn tortillas which don’t crack easily and don’t require flash frying first.
The chicken filling can be the same. The difference is that taquitos are rolled while tacos are folded which leaves space for other toppings to be added.
For More Taco Recipes, Check Out:
Chicken Tacos Recipe
- 2 cups shredded, cooked chicken
- 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
- 1 (4-ounce) can green chiles
- salt and pepper to taste
- vegetable oil
- 8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
- In a medium bowl, combine chicken, cheese, green chiles, salt and pepper, and mix.
- Fill a large saucepan with about ¾ inch oil. Heat over medium heat to 375°F.
- Add ¼ cup of chicken mixture to the middle of a corn tortilla, then fold like a taco and grab with your tongs. Rock the taco back and forth in the oil until it can lay down without opening, then place into the oil on its side.
- Cook for 2–3 minutes on each side. When both sides are cooked, remove from oil and place on a paper towel–lined plate to drain. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling.
- Add your desired toppings to fill the tacos before serving.
- Soft Tacos: Combine the chicken, chiles, salt and pepper and heat in the microwave, then add the cheese. Serve with toppings in soft flour tortillas.
- Rolled Tacos: You can roll these instead of making them in a taco shape—when rolled, they are called flautas.
- Meat: Switch up the chicken for other meats like shredded beef (the same as our Pot Roast recipe) or pork (the same as our Kalua pork recipe).
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.