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Chicken Tinga Tacos

Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Dairy Free
  • Gluten Free
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Big Kids Plate
Toddler Plate

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Why we love it:

Tinga is a chipotle tomato sauce that is soon to be your favorite – and is almost always served with dressed chicken. Using chipotles is less work than starting from dried chilies but you still get the depth of smoked chili flavor. If you want to level up with a homemade Mexican sauce, this is your time to shine.


  • 114 pounds Chicken Breast
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt (divided)
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 Red Onion (divided)
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 2 Chipotle Peppers In Adobos
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 12 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1 15-ounce can Crushed Tomatoes (try the fire-roasted type)
  • 8 Corn Tortillas
  • 1 Avocado
  • 6 ounces Queso Fresco
  • 4 cups Spring Mix Salad Greens
  • 4 Tablespoons Salad Dressing
  • 1 Lime

Cooking Instructions

  • 1. CHICKEN

    Dice the chicken into ½” cubes and place in a small pot. Add ½ teaspoon of kosher salt and cover with water. Bring to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 12 - 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Set aside.

  • 2. SAUCE

    Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Reserve about a ¼ of the diced onion for topping. Remove the chilies out of the chipotle sauce and mince them too.

    Heat a large skillet over medium heat; add the oil and onion. Sauté for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more. Stir in the chipotles, a ½ teaspoon or so of the chipotle sauce, oregano, and cumin, and stir for 1 minute. Add in the can of tomatoes, and ½ teaspoon of salt. Bring to a simmer and cook for 7 minutes.


    If desired, place the tomato mixture in a blender and blend until smooth. Or you can use a stick blender and process until it’s smooth. If you don’t want to, you can leave the sauce chunky or mash a little bit with a potato masher or fork.


    Lift the chicken out of the poaching liquid and shred it. Add it to the sauce. If desired, you can also strain the water and add up to ½ cup of the liquid to thin out the sauce. Simmer for 1 - 2 minutes.

  • 5. TACOS

    Warm the tortillas in the oven or over a gas flame for about 60 second until pliable. Fill with chicken and sauce, top with sliced avocado, crumbled cheese and reserved red onion.

  • 6. SALAD

    Wash and dry lettuce. Toss with salad dressing to taste.

  • 7. SERVING

    Serve tacos with sliced lime and salad on the side.

Check out our new features!


    make sure your tortillas are 100% corn
    beans, mushrooms, ground turkey or chicken or beef, tofu, assorted roasted veggies
    use leftover chicken from another recipe, or even use store bought rotisserie chicken
    if you make the sauce and grill some fish, flake that into the tortillas and spoon the sauce over top
    any shredded or crumbled cheese of choice is great - jack, cheddar, blends
    you can omit if it’s a pain to get the jar, try adding a few dashes of hot sauce for heat and a ½ teaspoon of Worcestershire or soy sauce for the depth of flavor
    whatever you enjoy
    flour and crunchy also work

Kid Friendly Version

Big Kids Plate
Toddler Plate

How to Tweak This Recipe for Kids:

  • Chipotle can be spicy, so you can reduce the amount or omit until after removing the kids’ mushrooms and sauce portion, then stir it in for the grownups
  • Assemble tacos with things they like inside!

For Toddlers

  • Slice the tortilla or wrap it with avocado
  • Add fruit or raw veggies
  • Don’t serve queso fresco, since it’s a fresh cheese it’s better to wait until after 1 year old, you can add shredded or diced cheddar

For Choosy Eaters

  • If they prefer, make a quesadilla in the toaster oven or sauté pan with cheese and tortillas
  • Add some avocado, mashed, for dipping if preferred
  • Keep some of the shredded chicken plain, serve in or out of a taco or quesadilla
  • Add fruit or raw veggies on the side

Prep Ahead & Use It Up

  1. You can make the sauce and stir in the chicken too – or not
  2. Poach and shred the chicken

Culinary Skills

Don’t waste the chipotle! After you open the can, divide the chilis and sauce up into tablespoon or so sized bundles. Wrap in plastic wrap or silicone bags, or ice cube trays and freeze for later. 

Double the sauce and remove half before adding the chicken. Freeze it for next time and it will be a very fast and easy meal.

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