Easy 20-Minute Chicken Tinga Tacos

Easy 20-Minute Chicken Tinga Tacos – FAST, super easy, and the super juicy chicken has AUTHENTIC smoky chipotle FLAVOR!! When you’re craving tacos, these are the tacos to make! Great for busy weeknights!!

Easy 20-Minute Chicken Tinga Tacos - FAST, super easy, and the super juicy chicken has AUTHENTIC smoky chipotle FLAVOR!! When you're craving tacos, these are the tacos to make! Great for busy weeknights!!

Craving authentic-tasting Mexican food but you’re no where near Mexico? This recipe for chicken tinga tacos is just the thing to satisfy your craving.

The tacos are easy, ready in 20 minutes, and jam packed with smoky and fresh flavors all in one. The ingredients are all easily and readily available in most any grocery store so that you can literally be eating tacos in 20 minutes.

What Is Chicken Tinga

Chicken tinga is shredded chicken that simmers in a tomato and chipotle-based sauce. So easy but so incredibly flavorful.

It tastes like a shredded chicken taco where the chicken is smothered in a tomato-ey, chipotle-esque sauce. I don’t find there to be much heat, but rather smokiness and earthiness from the chipotles.

Easy 20-Minute Chicken Tinga Tacos - FAST, super easy, and the super juicy chicken has AUTHENTIC smoky chipotle FLAVOR!! When you're craving tacos, these are the tacos to make! Great for busy weeknights!!

How To Make Chicken Tinga

To a  high-speed blender add a can of fire-roasted tomatoes, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, adobo sauce, onion, garlic, cumin, oregano and blend. That’s all there is to the sauce.

Transfer the sauce to a skillet to warm it, add shredded chicken, stir, and get ready to load it into tortillas. Easy peasy.

I used 3 chipotles and a generous tablespoon of adobo sauce and neither I nor my daughter found the chicken tinga to be spicy.

However, use one chipotle if you’re very sensitive to spices, two if you’re probably average, and 3+ if you don’t find anything (other than eating a habanero like an apple) to be spicy which is the camp we’re in.

If you find the earthiness or smokiness of the chipotles or the acidity of the tomatoes to be a bit much, add 1 or 2 teaspoons of sugar to mellow the sauce. As with any kind of tomato-based sauce like when making spaghetti sauce, I find a tiny bit of sugar can be very helpful.

Rotisserie Chicken Is Your Friend

In order to keep this a very fast, easy, and weeknight-friendly meal, I recommend using rotisserie chicken.

If you have leftover chicken on hand or want to cook the chicken yourself, go for it. I went the major convenience route and picked up a rotisserie chicken.

Easy 20-Minute Chicken Tinga Tacos - FAST, super easy, and the super juicy chicken has AUTHENTIC smoky chipotle FLAVOR!! When you're craving tacos, these are the tacos to make! Great for busy weeknights!!

What Else Goes In The Tacos

Tacos are such a personal thing but suffice to say red onions, cilantro, and lime juice are almost mandatory.

From there, add avocado, cheese such as cotija, panela, or queso fresco. All are sold in mainstream grocery stores but feta could work in a pinch.

You could add pickled radishes or your favorite pickled vegetables, add a side of rice and beans, or whatever you love with your tacos. For me, it’s lots of cilantro, lime juice, and a margarita.

More favorite Mexican recipes:

  • One Skillet Beef Taco Pasta – An easy recipe that’s ready in 20 minutes, made in one skillet, and loaded with Mexican-inspired flavors! A family favorite that’s great for busy weeknights!
  • Instant Pot or Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef – Learn how to make authentic-tasting barbacoa beef in your Instant Pot or slow cooker!! EASY, tastes BETTER than a restaurant, and is a dinnertime WINNER!!
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  • Taco Stuffed Avocados – Like avocados? Then you are going to LOVE these taco STUFFED avocados with ground beef, CHEESE, and more!! EASY, ready in 15 minutes, a family favorite, and perfect for busy weeknights!!
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Easy 20-Minute Chicken Tinga Tacos - FAST, super easy, and the super juicy chicken has AUTHENTIC smoky chipotle FLAVOR!! When you're craving tacos, these are the tacos to make! Great for busy weeknights!!

Easy 20-Minute Chicken Tinga Tacos

Easy 20-Minute Chicken Tinga Tacos – FAST, super easy, and the super juicy chicken has AUTHENTIC smoky chipotle FLAVOR!! When you’re craving tacos, these are the tacos to make! Great for busy weeknights!!

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Ingredients:

  • one 15-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 to 3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce, or to taste
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 to 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
  •  3 cups cooked shredded chicken (I highly recommend a rotisserie chicken)
  • 15 small corn tortillas, lightly charred or warmed
  • red onions, diced small for garnishing
  • cilantro, minced for garnishing
  • cotija cheese, crumbled for garnishing (panela or queso fresco may be substituted)
  • lime wedges, for garnishing

Directions:

  1. To the canister of a high-speed blender, add the first 7 ingredients, through oregano, and blend on high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Notes – I used 3 chipotles and a generous tablespoon of adobo sauce and neither I nor my daughter found this to be spicy but use 1 if you’re very sensitive to spices, 2 if you’re probably average, and 3+ if you don’t find anything to be spicy which is the camp we’re in.
  2. To a large skillet, add the olive oil, sauce from the blender, and simmer it over medium-high heat for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until the sauce is lightly bubbling and has slightly reduced and thickened. Tip – If you find the earthiness or smokiness of the chipotles or the acidity of the tomatoes to be a bit much, add 1 or 2 teaspoons of sugar to mellow it.
  3. Add the chicken, stir to coat, and cook for about 3 minutes, or until completely coated and warmed through.
  4. Place tortillas one by one over the flame of a gas stove for about 10 to 15 seconds per side, or as desired. For an electric stove, heat in a skillet until warmed though.
  5. Add chicken to each tortilla and evenly garnish with red onions, cilantro, cotija, lime juice, and serve immediately. Extra chicken will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days.
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5 comments on “Easy 20-Minute Chicken Tinga Tacos”

  1. This sounds delicious and I know we’ll love it as the sauce has some similarities to the barbacoa–I think have just enough leftover chipoltes in adobo to make it!

    • Sounds like a perfect way to finish up the second half of the adobes! If I had planned ahead and made this recipe and that one in close succession, I could have done the same haha! If you love the barbacoa I’m sure this will go over well too. Keep me posted!

  2. I have been gone so my fridge was embarrassingly bare and this was the first thing I thought of to make today. I had my leftover Chipotles in Adobo in the freezer and they were just fine for the sauce. Loved this as much as the barbacoa! Jon is always up for anything resembling a taco!

  3. I have been gone so this was the first thing I wanted to make yesterday. I had put my my leftover chipotles in the freezer (thinking they would work in a blended sauce ) and they were just fine. We loved this as much as the barbacoa!!

    Rating: 5

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