These shredded chicken tacos will give you a new way to make chicken and shake up taco night all in one easy recipe. Here, chicken breasts are cooked in a flavorful tomato sauce. Then it’s shredded and added back to the sauce until it soaks it all up.
We serve the shredded chicken on flour tortillas, with diced tomatoes, crumbled queso fresco, diced onions, sour cream and chopped cilantro. Other topping ideas include fresh salsa, corn, black beans, shredded cheese, lettuce, or use your favorite topping!
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Chicken tacos ingredients
- Chicken – Use skinless, boneless chicken breast.
- Seasoning – A mix of chili powder, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, and black pepper flavor the sauce and ultimately the shredded chicken.
- Oil – The oil is used to brown the chicken. We prefer a neutral oil, like canola, but use your favorite.
- Pantry – From the pantry you will need tomato sauce and taco shells. Use hard taco shells or soft tortillas, or offer both and let everyone choose their favorite.
- Make a seasoning mix instead of standing over the skillet measuring out ingredients. Add the chili powder, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin and black pepper to a small bowl, stir to combine.
- After browning the chicken do not wash the skillet. Make the sauce in the same oil the chicken was browned in.
- I like to add the water to the empty can of tomato sauce and give it a swirl, that way I get every drop out.
- Use an instant read thermometer to make sure the chicken breast is at least 165°F at the thickest part of the largest piece.
- An easy way to shred the chicken is to use two forks. Hold the chicken down with one and use the other to shred.
Serving and Storing
Serve the shredded chicken with tortillas or hard taco shells and your favorite taco toppings. And, if you’d like a great cocktail to go with your dinner, try this homemade margarita.
Store leftover chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
You may also like Mexican-inspired recipes:
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Shredded Chicken Tacos
- 1 tablespoon Chili Powder
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- ½ teaspoon Onion Powder
- ½ teaspoon Cumin
- ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
- 2 tablespoon Canola Oil
- 1 pound Chicken Breast boneless and skinless (2 breasts)
- 8 ounces Tomato Sauce
- 8 ounces Water
- Hard or Soft Tortillas for serving
Make the homemade taco seasoning
- Add the chili powder, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin and black pepper to a small bowl, stir to combine.
Brown the chicken
- Heat the oil in a large, non-stick skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the chicken. Cook for about 3 minutes per side.
- Remove the chicken from the skillet and set on a plate or pan. Don’t worry that it’s not cooked all the way through; it will finish cooking in the sauce.
Make the taco sauce
- Do not wash the skillet.
- Set the skillet back over medium heat. Add the tomato sauce, water and prepared seasoning mix, stir well to combine.
- When the sauce comes to a simmer return the chicken to the skillet. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes.
- Keep the sauce at a simmer. Turn the chicken about half way through the cooking time, and stir occasionally.
- Make sure the chicken is at least 165°F at the thickest part.
- Remove the chicken from the skillet and continue cooking the sauce, covered on low heat. It should be barely at a simmer.
Shred the chicken
- Place the chicken on a cutting board or pan and shred using two forks.
- Return the chicken to the skillet and cook a few minutes until warmed through and most of the sauce is absorbed. Stir occasionally.
- Serve the shredded chicken with tortillas or hard taco shells and your favorite taco toppings.
This is a great recipe with tons of flavor!
I substituted tomato sauce with blended stewed tomatoes because that was all I had. I also added two cloves of garlic. I used thighs vs breast bc that’s what I had in the fridge, but after shredding the chicken I cooked a little longer in the sauce since the thighs are so must more moist than breast’s and they needed time to soak up the flavor.
My family devoured it. The whole meal was gone! We topped with shredded lettuce, cheese, a tomato, onion & cilantro trinity seasoned with salt pepper and lime, and a Chuy’s knock off Creamy Jalapeño Ranch sauce. It was better than any restaurant chicken tacos we’ve ever had!
I love chicken thighs they’re super flavorful! Thank you for your kind review, and I’m really glad your family enjoyed it.