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Chicken Tinga Tacos – Why You’ll Love them
- This Chicken Tinga Tacos recipe is super easy; it’s a 30-minute dinner recipe.
- They’re tender, saucy, and packed with BIG flavors.
- It’s a make-ahead recipe that’s fantastic for meal prep; it’s also freezer-friendly.
- These tasty tacos are perfect for parties and gatherings.
- You get to serve these tasty tacos with fresh guacamole or pico de gallo!
Chicken Tinga – how to prep ahead
Aside from its pure deliciousness, this chicken tinga recipe’s greatest virtue is its ease of preparation. Prepare the saucy chicken filling in advance on Sunday, and you’ll have a few fabulous meals ready to go for the busy week ahead.
- Buy your pantry ingredients ahead of time; items like chipotle in adobo sauce are often found in the ethnic aisle of major grocery stores.
- On meal prep day, sauté the aromatics and puree the sauce according to recipe instructions.
- Either cook and shred your own boneless chicken breasts/thighs, or use rotisserie chicken for simplicity.
- The chicken tinga filling can be completely made in advance several days ahead of time. Either keep in the fridge or use freezer containers to freeze for up to several weeks.
- Alternatively, tinga sauce can be frozen alone; just add cooked chicken when ready to serve.
- For best results, reheat desired amount of chicken tinga taco filling on stovetop, right before use (if frozen, defrost in fridge overnight.)
chicken Tinga Tacos
Commonly Asked Questions
The term “tinga” implies torn or shredded meat. Tinga de pollo, or chicken tinga, is precisely Mexican style shredded chicken. This chicken is then stewed in a spicy tomato-based sauce and used to fill tacos, tostadas, enchiladas, etc.
Tinga sauce is commonly a tomato-based sauce that includes chipotle, adobo sauce, onions, garlic, oregano, and cumin.
Yes, this chicken tinga recipe is gluten-free. It’s also dairy-free, if you omit cheese in the garnish. This recipe is super healthy without sacrificing flavor.
Pro tips for the best chicken tinga tacos
- Use boneless skinless chicken thighs for the most tender results. Whether you choose to bake or boil them, chicken thighs are the most forgiving choice, even if you accidentally overcook them a bit.
- That said, rotisserie chicken is always a time-saving option for shredded chicken.
- Give your corn tortillas a minute of heat on the skillet, for that crispy-charred restaurant flavor.
- Serve with this easy guacamole or super fresh pico de gallo, for a phenomenal burst of flavors.
- Bonus tip: to soften the bite of freshly chopped red onions, simply sprinkle them with fresh lime juice. This will also elevate the flavors of your garnish immensely.
More to cook and eat
- Carne Asada Tacos Recipe – carne asada is ultra tender and flavorful! Can be made in advance.
- Crispy Baja Fish Tacos with Creamy Lime Sauce – learn how to make these San Diego style fish tacos, crispy and creamy and full of flavor.
- 30-Minute Healthy Taco Casserole – all your favorite flavors in a healthy weeknight casserole the family will adore.
- Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe – feel great about making your own super-easy taco seasoning to have on hand anytime you want!
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Chicken Tinga Tacos (Meal Prep, Freezer Friendly)
- 2 TB olive oil
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp oregano
- 2-3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
- ½ cup regular chicken broth
- 1 10oz can diced tomatoes & green chiles, with juices
- 4 cups cooked, shredded chicken*
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Mini corn tortillas* or tostadas for serving
- Garnishes: homemade guacamole, pico de gallo, chopped cilantro, chopped red onion, cotija or queso fresco, fresh lime wedges
- Sauté: In a large pan, heat olive oil on high just until hot. Add onions, stirring for 3 minutes until tender. Add garlic, cumin, oregano, and stir 1 minute or just until fragrant.
- Simmer: Add chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and chicken broth to the pan. Stir to combine well. Cover and simmer 5 minutes.
- Blend: Use rubber spatula to transfer sauce into a blender. Blend just until sauce is smooth. Transfer sauce back into the pan; swirl a bit of water into bottom of blender to capture all of the sauce.
- Finish: Add chicken to the pan and cook on medium-low heat just until fully warmed though. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve: Serve chicken tinga over mini corn tortillas (or tostadas) with desired garnishes for a street taco style meal.