Shredded Chipotle Chicken Tacos

5 from 3 votes
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Shredded Chipotle Chicken Tacos are bursting with complex and delicious flavors. They are easy to whip up, smoky, savory and just outright delicious. Similar to tinga chicken. Use rotisserie chicken to cut the cooking time in half!

Shredded Chicken with chipotle sauce in a taco shell. On a green plate with avocado and cheese.
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Why Make These Shredded Chipotle Chicken Tacos

Chipotle chicken tacos are easy, use simple ingredients and everyone who tries them cannot get enough. This is my most requested recipe from my husband along with my Enchilada Casserole or Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken.

They are similar to a chicken tinga taco which is my favorite taco at our local Taco Tuesday spot in town. Deep complex smoky flavors and you can add lots of different topping combinations to change it up. Make them your way – you will LOVE these. If you’s like yummy vegetarian option, consider my Crispy Black Bean Tacos. They are super tasty.

Ingredients Notes

Chipotle Chicken Tacos ingredients on a counter in small bowls and measuring cups.

All other ingredients and measurements can be found in the recipe card towards the bottom of this post. 

Chicken Breasts. Rotisserie also works great if you want dinner QUICK! Otherwise use cooked, shredded chicken breasts,

Seasonings. Garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, chili.

Olive Oil. Neutral in flavor, high quality oil to cook the chicken breasts & for the chipotle sauce

Chipotle Peppers. In adobo sauce. You can also make my Santa Fe Salad with chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.

Lime. Or lemon. Just some citrus for the sauce.

Tortilla. Corn or flour!

Optional Toppings: tomatoes, avocado, corn, sour cream, cilantro, bell peppers, chopped onions, cotija cheese.

All other ingredients and measurements can be found in the recipe card towards the bottom of this post. 

Steps To Make Shredded Chicken Tacos

Steps to make this recipe in a blender and on a skillet.

Step One. If you are cooking your own chicken, read on. If using rotisserie chicken, shred the chicken and move to step two.

Heat a skillet with oil on medium to low heat. Clean chicken breasts. In a small bowl mix seasonings together and rub all over chicken on both sides. If breasts are really large, cut them in half to cook faster.

Preheat oven to 375º. Brown all sides of chicken for about 3 min each side. Once all sides are browned, stick into the oven in an oven safe dish (I use a cast iron skillet for this entire process). Bake for 15 – 19 minutes or until internal temp of chicken is 165º. Let the chicken rest then shred.

Shredded chicken tacos with chipotle sauce, pickled onions on a green plate.

Step Two. In a food processor, add chipotle peppers, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, chili, lime or lemon, honey, garlic clove, olive oil, water, cilantro. Give it a taste, add more honey or salt if desired. Set Chipotle Sauce aside.

Step Three. Toss the chipotle sauce into the shredded chicken and mix well, you can reheat the chicken in the same skillet used before on medium to low heat for about 4-5 minutes just to bring the chicken and sauce to heat. Warm tortillas of choice, shredded chipotle chicken onto warmed tortilla and top with any optional toppings of choice.

Shredded Chicken with chipotle sauce in a taco shell. On a green plate with avocado and cheese.

Ingredient Substitutions & Variations

Chicken. You can also use cubed chicken breasts or thighs if needed.

Chipotle Peppers In Adobo. This is a main ingredient to the recipe. There isn’t much for a substitute on this ingredient. You could use tomato paste and chipotle powder seasoning but it will have a slightly different flavor.

Honey. You can also use maple syrup to balance out the sauce for the chicken tacos.

Recipe FAQ’s

Can I use lemon instead of lime?

Yes, either one will work, I have tried both!

How long do these Chipotle chicken tacos keep?

These will last in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You can freeze shredded chicken for up to two months.

Are these Chipotle Chicken Tacos good for meal prep?

Yes! Just keep the toppings and tortillas off until you are ready to eat. Save the shredded sauced chicken in a different container.

Can I use rotisserie chicken?

Yes, just skip the seasoning or only use half of the seasoning since rotisserie is well seasoned and sometimes salty.

Recipe Tips

  • Add the chipotle sauce a little at a time. Chicken will vary on how much it absorbs of the sauce. You may have some leftover sauce, or you might not! Rither way is great.
  • Choose your favorite toppings. I like to do chopped white onions or pickled onions, cotija cheese, cilantro and avocado. You can also try roasted corn or diced pineapple as well.
  • Make this less spicy by using mild chipotle peppers or using a bit less than the recipe calls for.

Storage Tips For Shredded Chipotle Chicken Tacos

Store shredded chipotle chicken in an airtight container for up to three days in the fridge. You can freeze the chicken in an airtight container or ziplock bag. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating in a microwave or a pan set over medium heat until steaming.

Other Easy Dinner Recipes To Try

If you loved this recipe let me know! Also, follow me on Instagram & Pinterest for even more fun recipes to make you feel good from the inside out. Thanks for being here.

Chipotle Chicken Tacos on a green plate.
5 from 3 votes

Easy Chipotle Chicken Tacos

Chipotle Shredded Chicken Tacos bursting with complex, delicious flavors. Easy to make, smoky, savory and outright delicious.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • small food processor or blender
  • large skillet

Ingredients 

  • 1-1½ lb chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, or rotisserie chicken
  • ½ tsp cumin, *see notes for seasonings
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • 8-10 small tortillas, *flour or corn

Chipotle Sauce

  • cup chipotle peppers , in adobo sauce
  • 1 ½ tbsp honey, *see notes!
  • 3 tbsp cilantro
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ¼ cup lime or lemon juice, about 2
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup water, *to thin the sauce
  • ½ tsp salt

Instructions 

  • If you are cooking your own chicken, read on. If using rotisserie chicken, shred the chicken and move to step three.
    Heat a skillet with oil on medium to low heat. Clean chicken breasts, in a small bowl mix seasonings together and rub all over chicken on both sides, if breasts are really large, cut them in half to cook quicker. 
  • Brown all sides of chicken for about 3-5 min each side. Preheat oven to 375º. Once all sides are browned, stick into the oven in an oven safe dish (I use a cast iron skillet for this entire process). Bake for 15 – 19 minutes or until internal temp of chicken is 165º. Let the chicken rest, then shred.
  • In a food processor, add chipotle peppers in adobo, lime or lemon juice, honey, garlic clove, cilantro, water, olive oil, pinch of salt & pepper.
  • Toss about 3/4ths of the chipotle sauce into the shredded chicken and mix well, you can reheat the chicken in the same skillet used before on medium to low heat. Warm tortillas of choice, layer sauced, shredded chicken onto warmed tortilla and top with any optional toppings of choice. 
    *Add more chipotle sauce as needed, all chicken will vary on how it absorbs the sauce. Some shredded chicken will have more moisture than others.

Notes

*if you are using precooked rotisserie chicken from the deli, you can skip the seasoning or cut everything in half, rotisserie is typically very seasoned. 
*add some extra honey if you want a more mild flavor. Feel free to add honey to taste. Be sure to taste the Chipotle Sauce as you go.  

Nutrition

Serving: 2tacos | Calories: 640kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 18g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 987mg | Potassium: 468mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 186IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Bailey
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Course: dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 4
Calories: 640
Keyword: 30 minute, easy dinner
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4 Comments

  1. How do I measure the chilpotle peppers in adobo sauce? Or do I try to scoop out peppers and not the sauce? About how many peppers is it?

    1. Hi Laura ! Depending on your level of spice tolerance, I like to use the adobo sauce with the peppers, it’s typically about 2 to 3 peppers and a little sauce for 1/4 cup. Use a bit less if you’re sensitive to spice.

  2. 5 stars
    These were excellent. Spicy, saucy and just great. Will make again soon!

  3. 5 stars
    These are so good! Absolutely one of my favorite tacos!!