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Chicken Tinga Tacos (Meal Prep, Freezer Friendly)

Chicken Tinga Tacos are tender, saucy, and teeming with flavors the whole family will love. You’ll have these chicken tinga tacos on the table in just 30 minutes!

Chicken Tinga Tacos on a plate
Chicken Tinga Tacos come together in just 30 minutes.

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 taco
Chicken Tinga filing can be made in advance. .

chicken Tinga Tacos
Commonly Asked Questions

What does Tinga actually mean?

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.

What is Tinga sauce made of?

Tinga sauce is commonly a tomato-based sauce that includes chipotle, adobo sauce, onions, garlic, oregano, and cumin.

Is Chicken Tinga gluten-free?

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

  1. 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.
  2. That said, rotisserie chicken is always a time-saving option for shredded chicken.
  3. Give your corn tortillas a minute of heat on the skillet, for that crispy-charred restaurant flavor.
  4. Serve with this easy guacamole or super fresh pico de gallo, for a phenomenal burst of flavors.
  5. 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

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chicken tinga tacos

Chicken Tinga Tacos (Meal Prep, Freezer Friendly)

5 from 67 ratings
Chicken Tinga Tacos are tender, saucy, and teeming with flavors the whole family will love. You'll have these chicken tinga tacos on the table in just 30 minutes!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: Amy Dong



  • 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.
    chicken tinga ingredients
  • Simmer: Add chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and chicken broth to the pan. Stir to combine well. Cover and simmer 5 minutes. 
    chicken tinga tacos sauce
  • 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. 
    chicken tinga tacos sauce
  • Finish: Add chicken to the pan and cook on medium-low heat just until fully warmed though. Add salt and pepper to taste. 
    chicken tinga tacos in skillet
  • Serve: Serve chicken tinga over mini corn tortillas (or tostadas) with desired garnishes for a street taco style meal. 
    chicken tinga tacos


*Baked or boiled skinless/boneless chicken thighs are the most tender option. Store-bought rotisserie chicken will work also. 
*To char corn tortillas: individually heat both sides of tortillas on hot pan (no oil needed.) Place warm tortillas in tortilla warmer or on a plate covered with clean, damp towel. 
*To soften the bite from freshly chopped red onions, sprinkle generously with lime juice and let sit while you prepare the recipe. The lime juice softens the edge from onions and provides a citrus flavor. 
*See original article for meal prep and freezer options. 
*Nutrition facts are for the chicken tinga filling and does not include your choice of tortillas or garnishes. 
*If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating ♡

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 212kcal | Carbohydrates: 10.3g | Protein: 24.3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1.2g | Cholesterol: 49.6mg | Sodium: 1652.4mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3.3g
Course: Dinner, Main Dish
Cuisine: Mexican American
Diet: Gluten Free
Method: Stovetop

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Recipe Rating


    • Luke
    • 5 stars

    Yum, these chicken tinga tacos were so good!! I loved the flavourful meat it was just so tasty. This will defo be getting made again 🙂

    • Silvia
    • 5 stars

    Every time I have rotisserie chicken leftovers I like making tinga, so easy and fast to prepare and the chipotle is so amazing with it.

    • Katie Crenshaw
    • 5 stars

    This came out perfect. The tinga sauce was incredible. I garnished with some homemade pico de gallo and it was DELICIOUS!

    • Emily
    • 5 stars

    I really liked the seasonings on these tacos. They are going to become one of my favorite freezer meal prep meals.

    • Tammy
    • 5 stars

    These sound and look so delicious! I love that you can easily store them away too and have it ready to go whenever. Just loving all these!

      • Amy Dong

      So glad you love these!

    • Leslie
    • 5 stars

    This is everything you could want in a Mexican recipe! I love the flavors in this and even better that it’s a quick recipe!

      • Amy Dong

      Super easy!

    • Marie
    • 5 stars

    Yum these chicken tinga tacos were finger-licking good!! I loved how saucy the meat was and it was just so flavorful. I have a feeling the family will request these again and again!

      • Amy Dong

      Yay, chicken tinga tacos on repeat!

    • Lauren Michael Harris
    • 5 stars

    Chicken tinga tacos are my favorite kind of tacos. This recipe was super flavorful and I will definitely make them again and again!

      • Amy Dong

      Thank you, Lauren!

    • Freya
    • 5 stars

    So yummy and easy to make! I used your lime juice tip on the red onions and it really helped to mellow their flavour!

      • Amy Dong


      • Amy Dong

      So happy to hear that!

    • Colleen
    • 5 stars

    We love chicken tinga at our house and this recipe was perfect. I will make it again for sure!

    • Jenny
    • 5 stars

    A taco with shredded dark chicken meat and red sauce sounds wonderful. I enjoyed the recipe and will make it soon. Thank you!

    • Jere Cassidy
    • 5 stars

    I had no idea what Tinga Taco was all about so I am glad to find this recipe. This is such an easy recipe and love you can use a rotisserie chicken.

    • Laura

    I clicked Jump to Recipe but it didn’t. I can see everything else but the actual recipe. What am I doing wrong?

      • Amy Dong

      Laura, it is working now 🙂

    • Bernice
    • 5 stars

    Your photos make me want to reach right in and grab a taco! Seriously though, Chicken tinga is one of my favourite guisados and yours is spot on for flavour.

      • Amy Dong

      This is a family favorite, 100%

    • Ramona
    • 5 stars

    This recipe looks wonderful and it’s such a great idea specially for entertaining or picnics. I can’t wait to give this a try.

      • Amy Dong

      It’s super delish for gatherings!

    • Jan
    • 5 stars

    finger licking good

      • Amy Dong

      Thank you!

    • Jamie
    • 5 stars

    So flavorful and delicious!

      • Amy Dong

      Thanks, Jamie!

    • Jill
    • 5 stars

    Love this recipe, the tinga tacos are so flavorful!

      • Amy Dong

      Yay, so glad you liked these!

    • Jeri
    • 5 stars

    My entire family loved these chicken tinga tacos, and I loved that I had dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes!

      • Amy Dong

      Yay! 🙂

    • Keri
    • 5 stars

    Loved these chicken tinga tacos.

      • Amy Dong

      Thank you, Keri!

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