Chicken Tinga Tacos


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I dare you not to say Chicken Tinga Tacos over and over and over again. Doesn’t it make you giggle?

Chicken Tinga Tacos from (@whatsgabycookin)

Shredded chicken cooked in the most crazy delicious spiced sauce on the planet and then stuffed in a taco…. Ummm yes please. The Tinga sauce is pretty much out of this world. You’ll want to slather it on top of everything – rice, quinoa, pasta, vegetables, you name it, it works on just about everything! But when it’s folded up in taco and topped with some avocado to balance the sauce, it’s absolute perfection.

Chicken Tinga Tacos

5 from 3 votes


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 yellow onion small dice
  • 2 cloves garlic roughly chopped
  • 1 large tomatillo husk removed, rinsed, and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • One 14.5-ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped chipotles plus 2 tablespoons adobo sauce
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt


  • Corn or flour tortillas
  • Avocado diced
  • 1 white onion diced
  • Cilantro roughly chopped
  • Scallions sliced
  • Cotija crumbled
  • Lime wedges


  • Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add chicken thighs and cook until well browned, about 6 minutes. Flip thighs and continue to cook until other side is lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate, leaving fat in pan, and set aside.
  • Add onions and garlic to the same Dutch oven and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions have browned around the edges, about 5 minutes. Add tomatillo and cook until browned around the edges, about 4 minutes. Add oregano and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, chipotle, and adobo sauce and stir to combine. Remove from heat.
  • Transfer sauce to a blender and puree until smooth. Pour sauce back into pan, stir in chicken stock and bay leaf, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Nestle chicken thighs in sauce, reduce to a simmer, and cook until chicken is fully cooked and easily shredded, about 15-20 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and let sit until cool enough to handle. Remove sauce from heat and discard bay leaf.
  • Pull chicken meat into strips. Stir chicken into sauce and cook over medium heat until warmed through, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt to taste.
  • Warm the tortillas over an open flame to char, prep the white onion, avocado chopped cilantro, sliced scallions, crumbled cotija cheese, and lime wedges for serving
  • Spoon chicken into warm tortillas and top with avocado, onion, cilantro, and cotija cheese. Serve with lime wedges.

Photo by Matt Armendariz / Food Styling by Adam Pearson / Recipe by What’s Gaby Cooking

** This post is brought to you by Nestle Purina/Fancy Feast. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that allow me to create new and special content like this for What’s Gaby Cooking**

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Recipe Rating


  1. Heather Christo

    Gorgeous new site and no joke- I was just making chicken Tinga tacos for my kids AS I OPENED THIS!! Great minds think alike 🙂

  2. Averie Sunshine


    The tacos look pretty snazzy too!

  3. Elen @ Elen G

    Congratulations on the new site, Gaby. Everything looks fabu!

  4. Julie @ Table for Two

    LOVE the new site, girl!! Congratulations! It’s so clean and vibrant and so very Gaby!! xoxo

  5. Monika

    The new website looks and feels really good and easy to navigate.
    The tacos sound delicious. I think my two cats would be very glad to lick the plate clean – but they have to suffice with the Fancy Feast!! Great combo for the girls!!

  6. The Foodie Chef

    Love the new site! The recipe looks yummy too! I must try it 🙂

  7. Liz @ Floating Kitchen

    New site looks FAB! Yeah! And gimme all of these tacos STAT!

  8. Toni

    These sound wonderful, these will be great for the game day weekends.

  9. Heather Mulholland

    You’re right Tinga Tacos did make me giggle lol. Love the colours and photography in the first photo.

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  11. Lynn | The Road to Honey

    That name. . . I still can’t stop giggling. Giggles or not, these tacos look mighty tasty. And topped with avocado . . I think I have entered taco heaven. I’ll take 2 with my margarita. . .on the rocks, please!

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    […] Lasagna NACHO BAR! Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos Grilled Fish Tacos Poblano Chicken Tacos Chicken Tinga Tacos Chipotle Salmon Tacos Carnitas Tacos Poblano Chicken Enchiladas Carnitas Skillet Nachos   […]

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    […] have fish tacos, steak tacos, carnitas tacos, spicy shrimp tostadas, chicken tinga tacos, chipotle salmon tacos but NO shrimp tacos!! What’s happening here. That’s changing today […]

  14. Mariel

    Yummmm! Any ideas on how to convert this to a slow-cooker process?

  15. Sandra

    I recently discovered your blog and I really love it! You have so many recipes that I can’t wait to try. Thanks for all of the hard work!

  16. Ru

    I made these over the weekend and they were a hit! I increased the amount of chicken thighs because the recipe makes a lot more sauce and I wanted to balance out the sauce to chicken ratio. I also added a little extra cheese 🙂 – this is a great make-ahead meal and I will be making this again and again. Thank you Gaby

  17. Gillian

    I made this recipe tonight and it is so good! That sauce is amazing, definitely will be on repeat!

  18. Vanessa

    How long do you recommend letting the chicken cook in the sauce?

  19. Michelle

    Yum,yum,yum, These are so delicious. I am afraid they will be gone by the time my kids get home. Everything I have cooked on your site has been amazing. I am obsessed with your food,

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    […] a dinner party tonight! I’m so excited to make a few of my favorite dishes including these tacos and this side dish. Having some sort of get together on a Friday is always the nicest way to start […]

  21. Barbara

    Any tips for preparing this in advance? Hosting a taco night and was hoping to make these in advance…just wondering how far in advance? Would they freeze well?

  22. Matt

    Hi! If I’m using chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs would you still brown them first or do you think they will dry out?

    • Gaby

      you can skip browning them off first! Would still be delish

  23. McKenzie Kramer

    Hey Gaby! Making these tonight for Cinco de Mayo, but I don’t have tomatillo. Could I just throw a little salsa verde in at some point as a replacement?

  24. Carolyn Ciccarone

    5 stars
    This chicken was delicious- I haven’t cooked a lot with tomatillos but making this sauce was pretty easy- I enjoyed it nice and smooth from the blender. The process of browning the thighs and then braising and shredding made it very moist- just enough spice from the smoky adobo. It’s nice to add your own toppings, so everyone got just what they wanted! I’ll make again for sure. I did use 2 packs of chicken and doubled it. Also had a skinny margarita to go with it.

  25. Amy

    5 stars
    This is my new favorite way to eat tacos! Soooo yummy! I will definitely add this in regular rotation for dinner. What’s Gabby Cooking never disappoints!

  26. Rachel

    5 stars
    These are just as great leftover as they are the night of! Will definitely be making them again and again!