Chicken Tacos

Make your own restaurant-style shredded Chicken Tacos at home. They are easy to make, perfectly crunchy, and SO delicious!

Chicken Tacos have become one of our go-to Mexican recipes. It’s definitely our #1 taco recipe, followed closely by Steak Tacos and Pork Tacos. But, who are we kidding?! All tacos are our favorite!

Six Chicken Tacos lined up on a plate.

restaurant-style Chicken Tacos

One of the main dishes we have at all of our Mexican family get-togethers is Fried Chicken Tacos.

Each of us makes it a little differently, but it’s something we always have and expect when we are having Mexican food at a Luna event, along with our famous Empanadas and Enchiladas.

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!

Shredded chicken in a bowl for shredded chicken tacos recipe.

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.

*Flash frying tip. If your corn tortillas are cracking easily, flash fry them in the oil for a second or two on each side, then fill and re-fry. We like to use Kroger brand corn tortillas which don’t crack easily and don’t require flash frying first.

Filling chicken tacos for frying.

Recipe Tips

Rubbery chicken. There are a few factors that create rubbery chicken including overcooking, undercooking, not enough moisture, and poor chicken quality (“white striping” which are white fatty strips that run parallel to the muscle fibers). 

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.

Taco Variations

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.

Rolled tacos. Roll these tacos instead of making them in a taco shape. When they are rolled, we call them Flautas. They taste great and are also perfect for serving as an appetizer at parties.

Flavors 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.

Topping Ideas + SERVING SUGGESTIONS

Our favorite fried Chicken Taco toppings include shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, extra cheese, and green onion slices. You could also add:

We have so many favorite recipes that we like to serve with this shredded chicken taco recipe, but here are some of our favorites:

Storing Tips

STORE. Keep 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.

Six easy Chicken tacos lined up on a gray plate.

For more taco recipes, check out:

Chicken Tacos Recipe

4.98 from 38 votes
Make your own restaurant-style shredded Chicken Tacos at home. They are easy to make, perfectly crunchy, and SO delicious!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 8 tacos
Calories 107 kcal
Author Lil’ Luna

Ingredients

  • 2 cups shredded, cooked chicken
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • 1 4 oz can green chiles
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • vegetable oil
  • 8 6 inch corn tortillas

Instructions
 

  • 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 degrees 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.

Video

Notes

Flash Fry. If your corn tortillas are cracking easily, flash fry them in the oil for a second or two on each side, then fill and re-fry. We like to use the Kroger brand of corn tortillas which don’t crack easily and don’t require flash frying first.
Taco Variations: 
  • 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). 
  •  

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About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    I usually try a new recipe for tacos every Tuesday, but after we had these my whole family asked that these be the tacos we have every week instead. Second time making them tonight and I woke up this morning and my first thought was TACOS!!!! They are SO good!!! Better than any restaurant taco. Definitely add the green chilies. Thank you for the recipe!!!!

    1. Oh that makes me so happy to hear! I’m so glad your family enjoys the tacos! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    Wow such simply and easy ingredients to pull together. Monday might come again before week is out.

    1. Haha! Yes! We’re all about simple, quick and delicious. No one will be mad if Monday comes around twice in a week, right? 😉

  3. 5 stars
    Made your salsa, then used that instead of the tomato sauce to make your Spanish/Mexican rice. Used my deep fryer the kids were so interested in the tacos and toppings (Guac, Sour cream, lettuce, tomato and more salsa) that I forgot about the rice. 🙁

    1. Oh I have done that a time or two… forgotten about a dish cooking! I feel you there. That’s a fun change to swap the salsa for the tomato sauce. I’m sure it would have tasted delicious! Hope the chicken tacos turned out yummy too.

  4. 5 stars
    These were so good! They were even good the next day heated in the air fryer (minus lettuce and tomato of course)

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