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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.


  • 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!

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. .

Commonly Asked Questions

What does Tinga actually mean?

The term u0022tingau0022 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

  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 on a plate

Chicken Tinga Tacos (Meal Prep, Freezer Friendly)

5 from 87 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



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


*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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