Chicken Tinga Tacos

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Chicken Tinga Tacos are going to be your new go to dinner!

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, taco salad, 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

Author: Gaby Dalkin
4.8 from 5 votes
Shredded chicken cooked in the most crazy delicious spiced sauce on the planet and then stuffed in a taco is absolute perfection.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 8 people


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 yellow onion small dice
  • 2 cloves garlic roughly chopped
  • 1 large tomatillo husk removed, rinsed, and roughly chopped
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 14.5-ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped chipotles plus 2 tablespoons adobo sauce
  • ½ 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.


The avocado will contrast nicely and tone down the spices. You can also add sour cream to your taco.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 222kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 63mg | Potassium: 495mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 47IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 2mg
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Photo by Matt Armendariz / Food Styling by Adam Pearson / Recipe by What’s Gaby Cooking

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  1. 5 stars
    Made last night with chicken breasts (sliced them thinner) and put over nachos! To say this chicken is amazing is an understatement! My kids loved it too, which is a hard feat these days hah.

  2. 5 stars
    These are just as great leftover as they are the night of! Will definitely be making them again and again!

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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?

  6. 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?

  7. 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?

  8. 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,

  9. 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

  10. 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!

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