Hey there, foodie friend! Are you in the mood for something absolutely mouthwatering that's as much a joy to make as it is to devour? Well, today is your lucky day because I'm about to share an easy chicken tacos recipe that’s so delicious and straightforward it will turn your kitchen into the most popular Mexican eatery in town. Just imagine the tangy, aromatic flavors that make every bite an explosion of taste. That’s not all; this recipe is so simple, you might just name every Tuesday 'Taco Tuesday.'
1 - Why You Will Love This Recipe
Are you a sucker for dishes that fuse simple preparation with a riot of flavors? This easy chicken tacos recipe is your dream come true! With aromatic spices, zesty fresh ingredients, and succulent ground chicken, these tacos are an instant hit with the whole family. The best part? It’s a complete meal wrapped in a crunchy taco shell!
2 - The Best Meat For This Recipe
- Recommended Meat For This Recipe
We're using ground chicken for this recipe, and trust me, it’s the perfect choice. Its mild flavor lets our spice blend shine while its texture blends beautifully with the other ingredients. If you’re buying locally, opt for fresh ground chicken with a good mix of lean meat and a bit of fat to ensure juicy, flavorful tacos. Online shoppers, don’t fret! Quality ground chicken is available on platforms like ButcherBox and Thrive Market. Look for sustainably raised, antibiotic-free options.
- Other Meats You Can Use For This Recipe
- Ground Turkey: If you're looking to switch things up a bit, ground turkey is a fantastic alternative. It has a slightly different flavor profile but works well with our seasoning mix. Cook it the same way as you would the ground chicken, and prepare for a taste adventure.
- Ground Beef: Looking for a twist? Ground beef tacos are equally delish. Cook it the same way you would with ground chicken and get ready for a treat.
3 - Tools Needed
- 10-inch Nonstick Skillet: A large skillet is essential for browning our meat and veggies, as well as simmering our savory sauce. You need one that's non-stick to ensure easy stirring and cleaning.
- Wooden Spoon: This humble tool is essential for breaking up the meat into small clumps, stirring, and incorporating the ingredients.
- Food Processor: While not compulsory, a food processor makes chopping the onions and bell peppers a breeze, saving you time and energy.
4 - Seasoning
The heart of this easy chicken taco recipe is in its homemade taco seasoning. With a blend of paprika, ancho chili powder, cumin, oregano, and a dash of cayenne pepper, it’s a symphony of flavors that will leave you reaching for more.
5 - Cooking Methods
This recipe uses simple cooking techniques. First, there’s sautéing, which mellows our onions, peppers, and garlic, coaxing out their natural sweetness. Then, we brown our chicken on medium-high heat to lock in flavors and achieve a delightful texture. Lastly, a quick simmer lets our seasonings meld with the tomato sauce, creating a savory, drool-worthy filling.
6 - Cooking Tips
For the best chicken tacos, chop your veggies finely for an even distribution of flavors. Don't skip preheating your oven for crisp taco shells. When sautéing, remember to stir occasionally to prevent burning and stick to medium heat for the perfect caramelization.
7 - Storage Instructions
- In the Fridge
Cool your chicken mixture before transferring it to an airtight container. It will last for 3-4 days in the fridge. Perfect for those lazy evenings when you need a quick meal!
- In the Freezer
To freeze, place the cooled chicken mixture in a freezer-safe container. It can be stored for up to 3 months. Tacos on demand? Yes, please!
- Best Way to Reheat This Recipe
Thaw your chicken mixture in the fridge overnight. Reheat it on low heat on the stovetop, adding a splash of chicken broth to prevent it from drying out. Warm up your taco shells in the oven for a few minutes, and you’re good to go!
8 - Side Dishes
A vibrant cilantro lime rice or some fluffy Mexican rice can turn your taco feast into a hearty meal. Love greens? Opt for a zesty Mexican salad or some refried beans for a dash of protein. And, who can say no to some crunchy tortilla chips dipped in salsa verde?
Final Take Away
This easy chicken tacos recipe is a showstopper that marries convenience and flavor. Whether you're a seasoned cook or a beginner, this recipe promises a meal the entire family will adore. So, put on your apron, roll up your sleeves, and let's create some taco magic!
- 2 lbs ground chicken
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 units yellow onions
- 2 units bell peppers of different varieties (any color)
- 4 units garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 2 teaspoon ancho chili powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup cilantro
- 12 units taco shells your choice of soft flour tortillas, corn tortillas, or hard shell.
- 2 cups shredded lettuce or red cabbage (optional)
- 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend (optional)
- Get started by preheating your oven to 325°F - it’s taco night and we want our shells warmed up to perfection.
- While the oven heats up, break out your food processor. Roughly chop the onions and bell peppers, then toss them into the food processor along with the peeled garlic cloves. Pulse until they are finely chopped but not pureed. This saves you from the tears of chopping onions and the time it takes to finely chop everything.
- Next, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the processed onions, bell peppers, and garlic. Let them cook, stirring occasionally, until they become soft and start to gain a bit of color. This should take about 10 to 15 minutes. Let the aroma fill your kitchen and whet your appetite for what's coming.
- Now, add the ground chicken, paprika, ancho chili powder, cumin, oregano, optional cayenne, and salt. Crank up the heat to high, and get stirring! You want to break the chicken into small pieces with your spoon, cooking until it is partially done - about 5 minutes should do it.
- It's time to add the tomato sauce. Stir it in, then reduce the heat to low. Let everything simmer, stirring occasionally and further breaking down the chicken into smaller pieces. After about 12 to 15 minutes, your chicken should be cooked through.
- Stir in the fresh chopped cilantro to add that essential freshness and vibrant taste. Do a quick taste test and adjust the seasoning if necessary. The best tacos are always tailored to your own liking.
- Meanwhile, get those taco shells out of the package and lay them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 6-7 minutes, or until they’re crisp and slightly golden.
- Spoon your deliciously seasoned ground chicken mixture into the shells, and serve with your favorite toppings like shredded lettuce or red cabbage, a sprinkle of cheese, or even a dollop of sour cream. Let everyone build their own tacos – it's half the fun!
Frequently Asked Questions
A chicken taco is a popular Mexican dish that consists of a tortilla filled with seasoned, cooked chicken, and other ingredients such as lettuce, onions, cheese, and salsa. This dish is versatile, allowing for a wide range of toppings and variations.
Chicken tacos originated from Mexico, like all taco variations. They are a popular street food and are widely enjoyed across many different cultures due to their flavorful filling and the ability to customize with a variety of toppings.
Chicken taco seasoning typically includes spices like chili powder, ground cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, paprika, and salt. Some people also like to add a little cayenne pepper for a kick of heat. This combination gives your chicken that delicious, traditional Mexican flavor.
Chicken tacos can be a healthy meal option, depending on how they're prepared and what ingredients are used. Using lean chicken and plenty of fresh vegetables for your toppings can make your tacos a balanced and nutritious meal. However, remember that adding excessive amounts of high-calorie toppings like cheese and sour cream can increase the calorie content.
Chicken tacos can be part of a weight loss diet as they can be low in calories and high in protein, especially when using lean ground chicken and lots of veggies. You can make them even healthier by using whole grain tortillas and limiting high-calorie toppings.