Food

Shredded Chicken Taco Recipe

at a glance
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 12 tacos

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Spicy, tender, sheet-pan, shredded chicken tacos are SO quick and easy to make, they’ll be a family favorite in no time!

Sheet pan with cooked shredded chicken tacos topped with chopped cilantro, quarters of fresh lime, and a small, wooden bowl with creamy dipping sauce.

Why is this Easy Chicken Tacos Recipe the best on the whole internet? 

My love for tacos runs DEEP, and these tacos are no exception! They actually remind me of these frozen tacos I used to eat when I was in college (except these are much tastier and made with fresh ingredients). Nonetheless, hello nostalgia!

This chicken taco recipe is the easiest to pull together, and they all bake on one sheet pan. SHEET PAN TACOS! Seriously, anytime I can make dinner all on one sheet pan, I’m in. It’s genius. Then there’s the seasoned chipotle sauce that really gives these tacos a punch of flavor with just the right amount of kick for this spice-loving gal (don’t worry if spice isn’t your thing, you can easily adjust this level). 

Chicken Taco Recipe Ingredients 

To make these super flavorful tacos, here’s what you’ll need:

Chicken taco ingredients on a marble surface with ingredient labels written in white letters.
  • Corn Tortillas – for the taco shell, you’ll need 12 corn tortillas. 
  • Olive Oil – to keep the tortillas pliable and also help them crisp in the oven, you’ll need 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • Shredded Chicken – 1 pound of shredded chicken breast makes up the filling for these tacos (I made mine in the Instant Pot using this method, but you could also use a slow cooker or other method to cook the chicken and shred it, or use shredded rotisserie chicken).
  • Cheese – these tacos wouldn’t be complete without cheese. You’ll use 8 ounces of shredded Monterey Jack cheese.
  • Chipotle Peppers – the main spice component of the sauce comes from 1 4-ounce can of chipotle peppers in adobo.
  • Lime Juice – a ⅓ cup of lime juice gives a fresh, citrus flavor to the sauce (juice of about 3 limes, plus an extra for garnish if you’re a “squeeze of lime to finish” kind of person). 
  • Cumin – a ½ teaspoon of ground cumin adds a beautifully warm depth of flavor.
  • Salt – a ¼ teaspoon of sea salt brings the flavors of the sauce together. 
  • Sour Cream – a ½ cup of sour cream serves as the base to the creamy dipping sauce.
  • Cilantro – a taco really wouldn’t be complete in my book without a sprinkle of cilantro for garnish. 

Ingredient Modifications

This recipe is seriously perfect as it stands, but it is also versatile to meet whatever craving you have for tacos. Here are some ideas:

  • Swap the protein – use shredded pork, barbacoa, or ground beef in place of the shredded chicken. 
  • Make it dairy-free – use a vegan shredded cheese and dairy-free sour cream. 
  • Cut the spice – if you don’t want your tacos to be too spicy, simply cut the adobo in half and only add it to the sour cream. For the chicken, make the sauce with an additional ½ cup of sour cream, lime juice, and cumin. 

How do you make chicken tacos?

Assembling these tacos only takes minutes, and it all happens on the sheet pan (for super easy clean up). Here’s how you’ll make them:

Top down view of Nutribullet container with red adobo sauce blended.
Sheet pan with three rows of three corn tortillas. Each tortilla is topped on one half side with shredded chicken.
Upper left corner of sheet pan with three open-faced chicken tacos on corn tortillas with cheese and one corn tortilla folded in half with metal spatula pressing it down.
Glass bowl with shredded chicken coated in adobo sauce with fork sitting in the chicken mixture.
Sheet pan with three rows of three corn tortillas. Each tortilla is topped on one half side with shredded chicken and shredded cheese.
Small, glass bowl with half adobo, spice mixture and half sour cream with spoon dipped in mix.
Sheet pan with three rows of three corn tortillas drizzled with olive oil.
Sheet pan with three rows of three corn tortillas. Each tortilla is topped on one half side with shredded chicken and melted shredded cheese.
Hand holding shredded chicken taco and dipping it into creamy dipping sauce.
  1. Preheat the oven – to 350℉.
  2. Blend the sauce – to the blender, add the chipotle peppers + sauce, lime juice, cumin, and sea salt. Blend on high until combined and smooth. 
  3. Make the filling – in a medium size bowl, add your shredded chicken and half of the adobo sauce and mix until the chicken is evenly coated.
  4. Rub the tortillas – lay the tortillas out on the baking sheet (they may overlap a little, and that’s ok!) and drizzle with olive oil on both sides. 
  5. Fill – on one half of each of the tortillas, add a spoonful of the chicken mixture and a sprinkle of cheese.
  6. Bake – bake the open faced tortillas with chicken and cheese for 5 minutes (your cheese will just start to get melty).
  7. Fold the tortillas – using a spatula (if you value your fingertips at all), fold the tortillas in half over the melted cheese to make your taco (the cheese should be melted enough to hold the shell closed), flip the tacos, and bake for an additional 10 minutes. 
  8. Make the dipping sauce –  mix the remaining half of the blended adobo sauce with the sour cream until combined. 
  9. Remove from oven – once finished baking, remove the tacos from the oven, garnish with cilantro and lime wedges (if desired).
  10. Serve and enjoy! – serve alongside the dipping sauce and enjoy the taco goodness!

*Baked as directed will result in a not-crispy-but-holds-its-shape soft taco. If you want a crispier taco, flip again after step 7 and bake for an additional 10 minutes. 

*If you don’t want your tacos to be super spicy, omit the adobo sauce and instead mix your chicken with a ½ cup of sour cream, lime juice, and cumin.

Hand holding shredded chicken taco and dipping it into creamy dipping sauce.

If you happen to have any leftover tacos (although there usually aren’t ever any left to spare in my house), store them in an airtight container in the fridge and eat within 3-5 days. 

Mine barely last long enough to cool enough to eat them once removed from the oven because eager hands are ready to eat! But they’ll last in the fridge for up to 5 days. If you’re prepping in advance, you could make the sauces and mix up the chicken and store in a lebled container, then assemble and bake them the day of.

These chicken tacos reheat really easily in a saute pan (over medium heat) or re-crisped in the oven (350℉ for 10 minutes–5 on each side).  

Close up picture of shredded chicken taco with one bite taken out. Sheet pan of shredded chicken tacos blurred in the background.
Q How much chicken do I need for tacos?
A

I found that 1 pound of shredded chicken breast was the perfect amount for this recipe.

Q Can the recipe be adjusted for chopped chicken?
A

Sure! The recipe calls for shredded chicken for the texture and ease of filling the tacos, but you could also use finely chopped chicken and the tacos would seal up just fine.

Q Does taco seasoning work on chicken?
A

I love the adobo, lime, and cumin sauce for its acidic and spicy flavor. You could definitely use a more traditional taco seasoning on the chicken if you prefer. I would mix it with some sour cream to add some creaminess and keep the chicken moist.

Q How long does it take to make these shredded chicken tacos?
A

The process and assembly is actually really quick and easy (especially if your chicken is already prepped and shredded. Start to finish, it should take you roughly 30 minutes or less (about 10 minutes to prep and assemble your ingredients plus 15-20 minutes of bake time).

Q Are chicken tacos healthy?
A

They sure can be! When I think of healthy foods, I often refer to the quality of ingredients being used. When buying chicken, I prioritize buying free-range, organic chicken to avoid antibiotics, trace hormones, and pesticides. These chicken tacos have a nice balance of high quality ingredients–including lean protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates.

Q What toppings go with healthy chicken tacos?
A

These chicken tacos are delicious with the creamy adobo sauce, a sprinkle of cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. They would also be great topped with this black bean and corn salsa or this mango salsa for a sweet and citrusy contrast. You’ll also never find me eating tacos without a side of guacamole.

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Best Shredded Chicken Taco Recipe

By: Cassy Joy Garcia
No ratings yet
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Servings: 12 tacos
Spicy, tender, sheet-pan, shredded chicken tacos are SO quick and easy to make, they’ll be a family favorite in no time!

Ingredients  

  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound shredded chicken breast
  • 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese shredded
  • 4- ounce can chipotle peppers in adobo
  • cup lime juice juice of about 3 limes, plus extra lime wedges for garnish
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • cilantro for garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350℉.
  • Blend the chipotle peppers + sauce, lime juice, cumin, and sea salt on high until combined and smooth.
  • In a medium size bowl, add your shredded chicken and half of the adobo sauce and mix until the chicken is evenly coated.
  • Lay the tortillas out in an even layer on the sheet pan (they may overlap a little). Drizzle both sides with olive oil. Brush or rub the olive oil on both sides of the tortillas.
  • On one half of each of the tortillas, add a spoonful of the chicken mixture and a sprinkle of cheese.
  • Bake the open faced tortillas with chicken and cheese for 5 minutes (your cheese will just start to get melty).
  • Using a spatula, fold the tortillas in half over the melted cheese to make your taco (the cheese should be melted enough to hold the shell closed), flip the tacos, and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Mix the remaining half of the blended adobo sauce with the sour cream until combined.
  • Once finished baking, remove the tacos from the oven, garnish with cilantro and lime wedges (if desired).
  • Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

*Baked as directed will result in a not-crispy-but-holds-its-shape soft taco. If you want a crispier taco, flip again after step 7 and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
*If you don’t want your tacos to be super spicy, omit the adobo sauce and instead mix your chicken with a ½ cup of sour cream, lime juice, and cumin.
Meet the Author
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Melissa Guevara

Melissa spends the bulk of her time writing, managing our content calendar, and lending a hand in recipe shoots. She values time spent exploring outdoors with her family and baking all things sourdough.⁠
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  1. Casandra says

    Casandra —  03/24/2022 At 01:38

    The whole family loved the tacos and they were quick and easy.

    • Melissa Guevara says

      Melissa Guevara —  03/24/2022 At 19:19

      So glad to hear that! Thank you for taking the time to share with us! ~Melissa

  2. Ashley says

    Ashley —  03/24/2022 At 23:54

    Hello! Any ideas for substitutions for the adobe sauce all together for those who are spice-adverse? Thank you so much (and thanks for the great recipes)!

    • Melissa Guevara says

      Melissa Guevara —  03/25/2022 At 19:16

      Hi Ashley! You could always squeeze a lime in the sour cream for a lime-crema sauce or just use plain sour cream. Hope you enjoy! ~Melissa

  3. Carolyn says

    Carolyn —  03/25/2022 At 19:47

    These were fantastic! I used plain Greek yogurt in place of sour cream and accidentally mixed the chipotles in adobo sauce with the Greek yogurt and added that with the chicken. Stilled turned out good and my husband was obsessed with the sauce it made. Will be making again but the correct way next time. Thanks!

    • Melissa Guevara says

      Melissa Guevara —  03/31/2022 At 00:48

      What a happy mistake! The chipotles are delicious in the sauce if you can tolerate the additional heat. I am glad that you enjoyed! Thank you for taking the time to share with us. ~Melissa

  4. Brooke says

    Brooke —  03/26/2022 At 19:21

    Delicious fast recipe! Went lighter on adobo sauce as Cassy did on her Instagram stories so toddler could handle. Had great flavor without being overly spicy for our kiddo and my spice averse husband.

  5. Liz says

    Liz —  03/27/2022 At 17:53

    Delicious and simple!

  6. Felicia Alfaro says

    Felicia Alfaro —  04/11/2022 At 02:49

    the adobo mixture was simple and quick but made all the difference to shredded chicken! quick as well for a busy weeknight! will make this again!

    • Melissa Guevara says

      Melissa Guevara —  04/11/2022 At 19:28

      Thank you for taking the time to share with us! We’re so glad that you enjoyed. -Melissa

  7. Melissa says

    Melissa —  07/09/2022 At 23:15

    Hi! Can’t wait to make these; my friend sent it to me absolutely RAVING about them! One question: Why is the cook time over nine hours? Is that just a glitch?

    • Melissa Guevara says

      Melissa Guevara —  07/13/2022 At 11:05

      Hi Melissa! Thank you for bringing this to our attention! It is definitely not a 9 hour cook time. We have updated the recipe card to be accurate. Hope you enjoy! -Team F&F

  8. Lindsey says

    Lindsey —  07/16/2022 At 18:46

    I was curious if you used cooked corn tortillas or uncooked? We bought some uncooked tortillas from HEB and I just assumed they would cook in the oven. Was I supposed to cook them on a cook top before assembling?

    • Melissa Guevara says

      Melissa Guevara —  07/19/2022 At 10:55

      Hi Lindsey! We use cooked corn tortillas for this recipe. If you’re using an uncooked tortilla, I would heat in the pan for 10-30 seconds prior to assembling so that they are soft and pliable. Hope that helps! -Team F&F

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