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Easy Chicken Tacos

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  25 min
  • Cook Time:  20 min
  • Calories: 304
easy chicken tacos on corn tortillas topped with shredded cheese, lettuce, tomato and avocado
Photography by Gayle McLeod

Taco night has never been easier! Our favorite fresh ingredients come together to make quick and easy chicken tacos.

The Best Chicken Taco Recipe

We’ve never met a taco we didn’t like. In fact, some of our favorite childhood memories are smelling the marrying of flavors from the taco truck and eagerly awaiting our turn for the perfect bite. And now, without having to use every dish in the kitchen, we’ve made the best chicken taco recipe! These chicken thigh tacos are filling, quick, and, even better, you might even have most of the ingredients on hand. Mouthwatering chicken is wrapped in warm tortillas and sprinkled with salsa, cilantro, and all your favorite toppings. It’s adaptable for all tastes, so we like to let the kids (and adults, too!) make their own – all you’ll need to do is marinate and cook the chicken, warm up the tortillas and place all the toppings out for friends and family to enjoy.

chicken, taco seasoning, olive oil, lime juice, tortillas, lettuce, cheese and pico in bowls to make easy chicken tacos

What is a Chicken Taco Made of?

While over time tacos have become more Americanized, traditional tacos hailing from Mexico are usually found in the form of shredded or chopped meats, topped with an array of fresh, delicious toppings such as cilantro, chopped white onion, and of course salsas like our Salsa Verde then wrapped in a fresh tortilla. In our chicken taco recipe, we’ll be using juicy, seasoned chicken thighs, pops of bright lime juice, and warmed tortillas. While we suggest a variety of toppings, we know chicken tacos are as unique as you are, so make it your own! Some of our favorites include:

  • Shredded cheeses like mozzarella, Monterey, or pepper jack cheese

  • Crispy romaine lettuce

  • Sliced avocado

  • Chopped red or white onion

  • Chopped cilantro

  • Pico de gallo or chopped Roma tomatoes

  • Sour cream

  • Lime wedges

lime juice being poured into a large bowl with raw chicken thighs, olive oil and taco seasoning
chicken thighs marinating in taco seasoning, olive oil and lime juice to make for easy chicken tacos

What Goes Well with Chicken Tacos?

Tacos are hearty enough to be a meal on their own, packed with delicious marinated meats and fresh veggies! But, to bulk up a meal, we like to add a side of Fresh Restaurant Style Salsa and Chips. Spice it up with Restaurant-Style Mexican Rice and Instant Pot Mexican Pinto Beans or Instant Pot Black Beans! Looking for a quick side? Try Elote (Mexican Street Corn). We also love a side of Cilantro-Lime Rice or for the kids, plain white rice always remains a favorite! Finally, we love to enjoy these easy chicken tacos with a refreshing Paloma or Margarita.

grilled chicken thighs resting on a baking sheet that were marinated in taco seasoning, olive oil and lime juice
chicken taco fixing in bowls including chicken, tortillas, lettuce, cheeses avocado, pico, cilantro, onion and sour cream

Making Your Chicken the Street Taco Way!

We provide three straightforward ways for you to cook your chicken for tacos. While this recipe isn’t only a chicken street tacos recipe, it does provide a guide on how to grill your chicken tacos to perfection. For grilling the chicken thighs, place them over high heat for 5-6 minutes, flipping only after you achieve those picturesque grill marks. Let them cook for another 4-5 or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Grilled chicken tacos are the most common, but this recipe for chicken tacos is versatile and delicious all year round which is why we’ve made it just as adaptable by using the stovetop or the oven. For the stovetop, heat a skillet (or cast-iron!) over high heat. When the pan is hot, add the chicken and cook for 5-6 minutes to create a sear. Flip and cook for another 4-5 minutes. For a flip-less method, go with the oven: preheat the oven to 425°F. On a rimmed baking sheet or baking dish, place the marinated chicken in a single layer. Let it bake for 20 minutes. Each method gives you that crunchy, flavorful exterior and moist interior for the best chicken tacos!

chicken tacos on corn tortillas topped with pico, cheese, lettuce and avocado on a sheet of parchment paper

How to Make Chicken Tacos

The smell of this chicken thigh taco recipe cooking might trick the family into thinking you’ve spent all day preparing this meal:

  1. Make the chicken taco marinade! Three pantry ingredients come together to make this delicious marinade for our chicken thigh tacos.

  2. Cook the chicken! Choose the method that works best for you: Grill, stovetop, or oven! We like grilling chicken for its added smokiness and its quickness (give or take 10 minutes!) but the other methods work well, too!

  3. Warm the tortillas! While your chicken is resting to lock in the juiciness, simply use a hot pan, and heat up your tortillas. Cover them with a towel to keep them warm.

  4. Assemble the chicken taco! Our favorite part is mixing and matching our toppings. This is a great way to get the entire family involved!

chicken tacos on corn tortillas topped with pico, cheese, lettuce and avocado on a sheet of parchment paper

Tools You’ll Need to Make Easy Chicken Tacos

Our Favorite Chicken Recipes

You’ve already had our chicken taco recipe. And, if you’re tired of boring ole chicken recipes, we’ve pulled together our favorite recipes so you’ll never have to make another flavorless chicken recipe again!

chicken tacos on corn tortillas topped with pico, cheese, lettuce, avocado and a dollop of sour cream on parchment paper

Taco’ Bout An Easy Dinner!

Simple and delicious, these easy chicken tacos are a weeknight dinner dream. Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

Easy Chicken Tacos

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  25 min
  • Cook Time:  20 min
  • Calories: 304

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 1 to 2 limes)
  • 12 (6-inch) flour or corn tortillas, warmed or toasted

For serving

  • shredded mozzarella, Monterey Jack, or Pepper Jack cheese
  • chopped or finely shredded romaine lettuce
  • 1 avocado, diced or sliced
  • finely chopped red or white onion
  • finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup pico de gallo or salsa
  • sour cream
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

Method

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the taco seasoning and oil. Add the chicken and toss to coat.
  2. Cook the chicken thighs:
    1. Grill: Preheat the grill to high. Reduce heat to medium, then add the chicken and cook until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F on an instant-read thermometer, about 5 minutes per side.
    2. Oven: Preheat oven to 425° F with a rack in the center position. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper. Place the chicken in a single layer on the prepared sheet pan. Bake until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes.
    3. Stove top: Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, add the chicken (you may have to work in batches). Cook until browned and the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F on an instant-read thermometer, about 5 minutes per side.
  3. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut into bite-sized pieces. Divide the chicken equally among the warmed tortillas.
  4. To serve, top each taco with cheese, lettuce, avocado, onion, cilantro, salsa, and sour cream. Serve the tacos with lime wedges for squeezing.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories304
  • Protein21 g
  • Carbohydrates23 g
  • Total Fat17 g
  • Dietary Fiber3 g
  • Cholesterol0 mg
  • sodium105 mg
  • Total Sugars2 g

Easy Chicken Tacos

Questions & Reviews

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  • Jenn

    These truly were so simple. I've never made tacos with chicken thighs and that was such a delicious choice, so moist and tender. Well done.

    Thanks Jenn, we are glad you enjoyed that and tried something new!