by Dina Polyashov

Chicken Tacos

Dina's image
Dina Polyashov

Chicken Tacos with juicy grilled chicken breasts coated in a flavorful spice rub, then served in warm tortillas with your favorite toppings. This dish is so simple, yet so delicious!

For a complete fiesta, serve this chicken taco recipe with this tasty street corn salad and homemade refried beans in Instant Pot.

Chicken Tacos on a plate with guacamole to the side.

Hi, I am Dina and I run the blog SimplyHomeCooked.com. Like many other people, I absolutely love delicious and effortless meals.

There are so many tasty ways to enjoy chicken tacos, like these pressure cooker chicken tacos, buffalo chicken tacos and even tacos with ground chicken. Now try this chicken taco recipe that is made in a cast-iron skillet and covered in a smoky, spicy rub with a bit of citrus tang.

These delicious tacos are marinated in a mixture of cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, oregano, black pepper, and salt, along with fresh garlic, lime juice, and olive oil. The chicken soaks in all that flavor for a few hours before the cutlets are grilled. Flour tortillas filled with juicy chicken, pico de gallo and homemade guacamole, make this a simple and delicious dinner that’s perfect for weeknight cooking. The whole family will love it!

Homemade Chicken Taco Seasoning

This chicken taco seasoning uses some common spices found in your pantry. When it comes to spice mixes, it’s both cheaper and healthier to make your own, so give this one a try, or make your own version that fits your taste buds. This taco seasoning recipe is also great on grilled chicken and other proteins. You can even use it in chicken enchiladas!

Ingredients for This Chicken Taco Recipe

  • Chicken: Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are the healthier way to enjoy these. But chicken thighs will work too.
  • Oil: Olive oil works great, but you can use another oil if you like.
  • Spice mix: Cumin. Smoked. Paprika. Chili powder. Oregano. Ground black pepper. Salt.
  • Marinade: Fresh garlic and a splash of lime juice.
Ingredients for Chicken Tacos including chicken breasts, flour tortillas, oil, lime, cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, oregano, and smoked paprika.

How to Make Chicken Tacos

  • Prep: Slice the boneless, skinless chicken breasts into thin cutlets. Then place the sliced chicken into a large bowl.
  • Season: To make chicken taco marinade, add cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, oregano, black pepper, salt, garlic, lime juice, and olive oil to the bowl.
  • Marinate: Mix everything together, then cover the bowl and let the chicken marinate for about  2-3 hours in the refrigerator.
  • Grilled Chicken: Now rub a cast iron skillet with a little bit of olive oil. Cook the chicken over medium-high heat for about 3-4 minutes.
  • Turn the chicken over: Then flip the chicken over and cook for another 3-4 minutes. You want to make sure the chicken is fully cooked through. Use a meat thermometer to check chicken doneness. It should reach about 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cut the Grilled Chicken: Chop the cooked chicken into cubes for the tacos.
  • Serving: Serve tacos with warm flour tortillas and your favorite toppings. These are great with red onion, cilantro, guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream (drizzled on top), or even peach salsa.

Tips and Variations

  • Char the tortillas: If you have a gas stovetop, use tongs to lightly char the outside of your flour tortillas for extra flavor.
  • Don’t skip the oil: The oil is important for keeping the chicken from sticking to the pan, as well as helping the spice mix and marinade to soak into the meat.
  • Cut the chicken to an even thickness: When you slice the chicken breasts into cutlets, make sure the thickness of each is about the same for more even cooking and better distribution of spices.
  • Adjust the spices: Make this dish spicier, saltier, or tangier by tweaking the spices, garlic, and lime juice. If you like less salt or heat, adjust these ingredients to your preference.
  • Use up the leftovers: If you have extra, you can use it up in other ways, like serving it with some pressure cooker black bean soup. A refreshing avocado salad or Mexican bean salad is also delicious.
Closeup of Chicken Tacos with some cilantro and pico de gallo in the background.

Storing, Freezing, and Reheating

Store: Store leftover chicken in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Perfect for weekday lunches.

Freeze: Place any leftover cooked chicken in a freezer bag. It will last for about 2 months.

Reheat: Warm up the chicken on the stovetop in a pan just enough to keep it from getting dry. Then assemble your tacos for a great meal!

More Mexican-style Recipes

Chicken Tacos

Chicken Tacos

Chicken Tacos with juicy grilled chicken breasts coated in a flavorful spice rub, then served in warm tortillas with your favorite toppings. This dish is so simple, yet so delicious!
Print Save Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Marinating Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 8 Tacos
Calories: 226kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp oregano dried
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken breast
  • 8 flour or corn tortillas for serving
  • Pico de gallo for serving
  • Guacamole for serving (optional)
  • Red onion, sour cream, cilantro, lime for serving (optional)

Instructions

  • Start off by slicing the boneless skinless chicken breast into thin cutlets. Then place the sliced chicken into a large bowl.
    Chicken Tacos
  • Now add the cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, oregano, black pepper, salt, garlic, lime juice, and olive oil.
    Chicken Tacos
  • Mix everything together, then cover it and let the chicken marinate for about 2-3 hours in the fridge.
    Chicken Tacos
  • Now rub a cast iron skillet with a little bit of olive oil (just to coat). Cook the chicken at medium-high heat on both sides for about 3-4 minutes.
    Chicken Tacos
  • Then cut the cooked chicken into cubes and serve with warm flour tortillas. Tip: If you have a gas stovetop, use tongs to lightly char the outside of your tortilla for extra flavor.
    Chicken Tacos
  • Now load up your chicken tacos with your favorite toppings. We love to add red onion, cilantro, guacamole, pico de gallo, and sour cream. But you can add whatever you like.

Store: Store leftover chicken in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Perfect for weekday lunches.

    Freeze: Place any leftover cooked chicken in a freezer bag. It will last for about 2 months.

      Reheat: Warm up the chicken on the stovetop in a pan just enough to keep it from getting dry. Then assemble your Chicken Tacos for a great meal!

        Notes

        • Char the tortillas: If you have a gas stovetop, use tongs to lightly char the outside of your flour tortillas for extra flavor.
        • Don’t skip the oil: The oil is important for keeping the chicken from sticking to the pan, as well as helping the spice mix and marinade to soak into the meat.
        • Cut the chicken to an even thickness: When you slice the chicken breasts into cutlets, make sure the thickness of each is about the same for more even cooking and better distribution of spices.
        • Adjust the spices: Make this dish spicier, saltier, or tangier by tweaking the spices, garlic, and lime juice. If you like less salt or heat, adjust these ingredients to your preference.
        • Use up the leftovers: If you have extra, you can use it up in other ways, like serving it with some Instant Pot refried beans and Instant Pot black bean soup. A refreshing avocado salad or Mexican bean salad is also delicious.

        Nutrition

        Serving: 1taco | Calories: 226kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 613mg | Potassium: 403mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 515IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 2mg
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        dina polyashov

        About Dina Polyashov

        Dina is a self-taught cook and photographer based in Washington. She spends most of her time keeping up with her three little girls along with developing wholesome and easy recipes for her food blog Simply Home Cooked.

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