I have this rockin’ recipe for Shredded Chicken Street Tacos that I’ve just been sitting on and sitting on. And so, I decided to try it and oh, my, oh, my. It was perfection. And now I’m hungry again.
Look, I’m freakin’ hungry. So, let’s get down to business, shall we?
I am in a Mexican Street Food mood. No, really.
Like I pulled-up at an actual street food vendor the other day and had this AWESOME burrito and now I’m preoccupied with the idea of making my own street food at home.
Conveniently, I have this rockin’ recipe for Easy Shredded Chicken Street Tacos that I’ve just been sitting on and sitting on.
Before you get started making tacos, check out these 10 Hacks for the Perfect Taco. This will save you some time, and make your tacos turn out BEST!
What’s the Difference Between a Soft Taco and a Street Taco?
Street tacos are usually smaller than regular tacos. That makes them easier to hold in one hand and eat while you’re walking down the street.
Are Street Tacos Crunchy or Soft?
SOFT! Street tacos are typically served on a soft tortilla. However, if you prefer a crunchy tortilla on your taco, feel free to serve them that way.
How to Make this Easy Shredded Chicken Street Tacos Recipe
If you’ve ever been hankering for a chicken taco, this might be the easiest way to satiate that need. I prefer to bake my chicken, keeping it as healthy as I can – and as hands-off as I can. So, once you get your seasoning on it, you just bake the chicken for about 45 minutes at 350ºF (if you’re using breasts–for thighs, bake at 400ºF for 35 to 45 minutes) or so and you’re ready to cuddle that chicken with some tortillas! Woohoo!
However, maybe you’d like to just come home to tacos – and I’m here to tell you, this same recipe will work well in the slow cooker, Instant Pot and even a frying pan.
Making Shredded Chicken for Tacos in the Slow Cooker:
- Is it safe to cook raw chicken in a slow cooker? Yes – just make sure it’s cooked all the way through, just like you would if you’re baking the chicken.
- Do you cook chicken before putting in slow cooker? No. Just put the raw chicken in.
- How long do you cook the chicken in the slow cooker? 3 to 4 hours on high, or 6-7 hours on low.
Making Shredded Chicken for Tacos in the Instant Pot:
- Is it safe to cook raw chicken in the Instant Pot (paid link)? Yes – it’s something I do quite often and it makes the whole process so fast and easy!
- Do you cook chicken before putting in the Instant Pot? No. Just put the raw chicken in.
- How long do you cook the chicken in the Instant Pot? 8-10 minutes on High Pressure for fresh chicken. For frozen chicken set it for 10-12 minutes on High Pressure. Natural release.
Making Shredded Chicken for Tacos in the Frying Pan:
- Just toss it in the pan with your olive oil and spice mixture, then cook for 2-5 minutes over medium-high heat on each side until it’s cooked all the way through. It’s best to use an instant read thermometer (paid link) and make sure the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165ºF.
What’s the Best Tortilla for Tacos?
I often get asked: Are corn tortillas better for tacos? and: Can you use corn tortillas for soft tacos?
Corn tortillas are my favorite, specifically white corn tortillas. They’re light in flavor, heat up nicely and they are tasty. I like flour tortillas for burritos (obviously) and sometimes just for fun, but I do prefer corn tortillas for this taco recipe.
How do You Heat Corn Tortillas for Tacos?
You can pop your tortillas in the microwave with a moist paper towel for 15 to 30 seconds. Or, if you want to make something everyone will love, you can pan fry them with a little olive oil for about 2 minutes on each side. This will give you a little tiny bit of wonderfully crispy and chewy experience.
How do You Keep Corn Tortillas Soft for Tacos?
Take a minute to heat your tortillas and that will make them soft for tacos. When they’re cold, that’s when they loose their flexibility. Once you have them warmed, place a kitchen towel over them to help them retain their heat before you serve them.
What Do You Put on Shredded Chicken Street Tacos?
Here are just a few things to put on shredded chicken street tacos:
- Corn tortillas
- Flour tortillas
- Diced onions
- Diced tomatoes
- Salsa (mild or spicy)
- Pico de gallo
- Sour cream
- Avocado slices
- Tomatillo sauce
This recipe doesn’t call for hardly any ingredients for garnish, but they can make or break it for me. So, what do I like to put on my chicken tacos?
If we’re just doing a quick taco lunch, I like adding lettuce, cherry tomato slices, a dab of sour cream, and some shredded cheese, if it’s handy.
If there’s a bigger deal happening, I’ll pull out all the stops and make homemade guacamole, put out all my salsa options, add some sliced avocado, whip up some pico de gallo, make some refried beans and tex-mex rice – and let my guests assemble their own tacos.
How to Season Shredded Chicken for Street Tacos
Seasoning shredded chicken to make street tacos is not some special trick. You’re going to use some “typical” chicken seasoning like ground cumin, chipotle (although you can skip this if you don’t like spicy), cayenne pepper (you can skip this, too, but even just a dash is so wonderful), salt and black pepper. Garlic is another tasty addition I strongly recommend (it adds such a fantastic zing), along with jalapeno, if you’re interested in that bite.
If I’m making a ton of tacos for a big event or party, a few days beforehand, I’ll make up my homemade taco seasoning and save myself a bit of time when I’m actually cooking it up.
What’s the Easiest Way to Shred Chicken for Tacos?
There’s no “one way” to shred chicken. The most popular way seems to be the fork. But, my favorite way to shred chicken is to place the cooked chicken into a high-sided bowl and attack it with my hand mixer. This method really works, it’s fast and I get pretty consistent shredding.
Whether you’re using your boneless skinless chicken thighs, whole or half-breasts, or tenders (as in this recipe), the hand mixer will shred that chicken in minutes. The only requirement is to debone that chicken before you go at it with the mixer. And if you don’t want chicken juice everywhere, you will want to use a high-sided bowl, for sure.
Hacks to Make Chicken Tacos
- First, you’re going to want to use tongs to remove the chicken from the juice after you shred it. There’s a lot of juice and while juicy chicken is delicious, no doubt, you are going to be sad if you have a soggy mess. So, tongs are a good idea. If it’s still too juicy, you may want to put your shredded chicken in a collandar and let it drain for a few minutes.
- You can use chicken breasts, if you prefer, but chicken thighs are going to give you a more juicy, flavorful experience. Keep in mind that if you do choose to go with breasts, you will want to add some kind of additional “liquid”. This could be cilantro lime juice sprinkled over it, sour cream, or olive oil, otherwise, it’s going to be too dry.
- Make sure you warm your tortillas before serving – they’re more likely to crumble and fall apart if you don’t. And that’s just a sad experience all the way around.
- You can absolutely make this a gluten-free recipe by using gluten-free taco shells and a gluten-free chili powder. Particularly good for anyone that enjoys a taco, but you can’t usually get a gluten-free one anywhere but home.
- Do not cook your chicken using high heat. That’s going to dry it out. If your oven runs hot, turn it down a bit and make an attempt to flip the meat, cooking it for an equal number of minutes per side. Keep it at a medium high heat – never high.
- While there are loads of different kinds of tacos, street tacos are TYPICALLY made in two ways: shredded chicken and flank steak (or skirt steak) carne asada street tacos. My family loves shredded chicken. That’s just a fact. But if you want to make a more unique twist, try making something using the same base meats, but then add a different flavor using little touches like cotija cheese or buffalo sauce.
Video of Making Shredded Chicken Street Tacos
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Shredded Chicken Street Tacos
I have this rockin' recipe for Shredded Chicken Street Tacos that I've just been sitting on and sitting on. And so, I decided to try it. Oh, my, oh, my. It was perfection. And now I'm hungry again.
- Corn tortillas
- Shredded lettuce, but not much
- Diced avocado, if desired
- Lime wedges
- 2-3 sprigs Cilantro
- Jalapenos, if desired, which I do not
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 medium white onion
- 1½ tspn paprika
- 1½ tspn cumin
- 1 1/2 tspn chipotle
- 1/2 tspn cayenne
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 tblspn Olive oil
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Wash chicken thighs and slice into tenders and place in a bowl. Set aside.
- Combine paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, cayenne, and chipotle.
- Mix spices with olive oil, onions and garlic.
- Pour spice/oil mixture over the chicken tenders and mix together thoroughly,
- Spread on a baking sheet in a single layer.
- Place chicken in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until completely cooked.
- Remove chicken from oven, and place in a large bowl.
- Using a hand mixer, shred chicken (this actually works).
- Warm tortillas in a hot skillet for a few seconds on each side, until they kind of bubble up and are hot.
- Fill each tortilla (FYI--I like to layer my tortillas 2-3, because then they don't fall apart) with chicken, a small amount of lettuce, onions, avocado, jalapenos, and a squeeze of lime.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 249Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 92mgSodium: 495mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 4gSugar: 2gProtein: 20g
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