These Easy Chicken Tinga Tacos feature shredded chicken in a smoky chipotle sauce that’s ready in only 30 minutes! (gluten free, low carb, paleo)
Chicken tinga tacos! I bet you can’t say that five times fast without getting hungry. It’s nearly impossible. I’ve tried.
Okay, so now that you’re officially hungry, let’s talk about these babies.
What is chicken tinga?
Chicken tinga is a Mexican dish from Puebla made from shredded chicken cooked in a smoky and slightly spicy tomato-based sauce. It’s often served in corn tortillas as tacos, but can also be used in quesadillas, tostadas and even burrito bowls.
This recipe is a super quick and easy version of the traditional chicken tinga. If I were making everything in this recipe 100 percent authentically, I would probably roast my own tomatoes and cook a few of the ingredients separately before combining them to make the sauce. But by the time dinner rolls around and everyone is home and ready to eat, I’m usually tired and don’t have the energy to do that.
Instead, I’m taking a few shortcuts and using canned fire roasted tomatoes and my blender to help make this chicken tinga as flavorful as can be without having to spend lots of time in the kitchen. Here’s what I do.
How to make quick and easy chicken tinga tacos
- First, make the sauce by adding the diced tomatoes, chipotle peppers, oregano, garlic, salt and onion into a large blender. Blend until smooth.
- Next, fry the sauce in a large skillet or (SAUCEPAN?) over medium-high heat with a little olive oil. This will help deepen the flavors and fully cook the raw onion and garlic in there.
- Lastly, add in some shredded chicken and toss it with the sauce until the chicken is fully coated. Reduce the heat to low and cook it for 10 more minutes to help all the flavors meld with the chicken. This will also reduce and concentrate those flavors, which is always a good thing.
Tip: If you don’t have shredded chicken on hand, you can use store-bought rotisserie chicken and shred it yourself of you can make your own following this recipe here. I love making a double or triple batch of shredded chicken so I can have it on hand to use in recipes like these chicken tinga tacos or in quick lunch salads or breakfast omelets.
Like this taco recipe? You may also like these!
- 1 15-ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 1 large white onion, roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 pounds shredded chicken (about 5 1/2 to 6 cups)
- corn tortillas, flour tortillas or lettuce cups
- queso fresco, cotija cheese or feta cheese
- diced onions
- chopped cilantro
- Add diced tomatoes, chipotle peppers, oregano, garlic, salt and onion in a large blender. Blend until smooth.
- Heat a large skillet (skillet with high sides) over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and blended tinga sauce. Cook for 10 minutes.
- Add shredded chicken and toss with sauce until fully combined. Reduce heat to low and for 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce will thicken and reduce a little during this time.
- Remove from heat, taste and season with more salt if necessary.
- Serve chicken tinga in warm corn tortillas, flour tortillas or lettuce cups. Top with cotija cheese, diced onions and cilantro.
Nutritional information is only for meat and sauce. It does not include tortillas and toppings since nutritional information will vary greatly depending on the tortilla you use and your preferred toppings.