There are always some tacos around here (and not necessarily just limited to taco Tuesday). This is the one we keep coming back to more often than others. Chicken Tacos!!
Perfected seasoned and well marinated tender juicy chicken is all you need to make this taco dinner a huge HIT!
There is no magic formula here. Simple, good food you don’t mind eating every single time. These are chicken tacos, Mexican street style! The one similar to what you get at all the Mexican food trucks and street stands…
Seriously, we eat a lot of tacos. Maybe one day you will hear all about it. There is so much you can put in between that fold of a tortilla, and not just limited to Mexican theme. Our Korean Bulgogi Tacos show that.
Sometimes we go all out with the most popular Mexican Birria Tacos, dunking them in consommé.
Today though, we are talking about the most basic, yet very deliciously satisfying, tacos out there. Simple chicken tacos with minimal toppings. You will nod your head with satisfaction when you bite into this one.
We Love These Chicken Tacos For Good Reasons
1. The chicken is marinated in the best marinade, which we have perfected for years. No bland meat here. Plenty of seasoning that gives you those delicious bites.
2. This recipe cooks in just 10-15 minutes max, whichever method you choose to cook the chicken. Grill, use your indoor cast iron griddle, or even bake.
3. You can prep and marinate the chicken ahead of time, and cook it in bulk to feed a large crowd, or use it for meal prep.
4. You can use this cooked chicken in various ways. It not only goes in tacos, but you can make burritos, burrito bowls, tostadas, nachos or taco salads. All yum…
5. You can present this meal as a “build your own taco” theme to the crowds. No need to serve anyone. They can choose whatever toppings they want and build their own chicken taco. We will give you toppings suggestions later in the post.
What are Mexican Street Style Tacos?
Street style tacos are what you would typically get at Mexican street style vendors, selling from their food trucks, stands or small shops. They are smaller than the conventional tacos you get in stores, and are mostly corn tortillas, either white or yellow.
These mini corn tortillas can be stuffed with various cooked meats, with simple toppings of onion and cilantro, or some kind of salsa, and a good splash of lime. They are cheap street food enjoyed as a quick meal.
Very often you see the filling served on two small corn tortillas instead one, just to make them sturdier to eat.
What Cut of Chicken To Use For Chicken Tacos?
We highly recommend boneless skinless thighs for these Mexican street style chicken tacos. Once marinated well, they give you juicy and tender bites.
Saying this, if you are fan of white meat, chicken breast can work here, but since it’s not as fatty it won’t be as juicy.
You can butterfly the chicken breast, and that cuts down the cooking down and helps retain the moistness.
Chicken Taco Marinade
Taco marinade is the most important element in this recipe. This is the one that sets these chicken tacos apart from the rest. This is the one that makes the chicken delicious without skimping the seasonings. It adds lots of tang, spice and herbs.
Our chicken taco marinade is an olive oil and lime juice base with Mexican staples of cilantro and jalapeño, along with all their earthy spices like cumin, oregano, red chili flakes and chili powder (we use ancho chili powder, but you can use regular chili powder in its absence). And enough salt and pepper, of course.
Street Style Chicken Taco Recipe
1. Make the marinade: Mix all of the marinade ingredients in a big bowl, then add chicken thighs to marinade.
2. Marinate chicken for longer time for maximum flavor: Toss the chicken thighs well with the marinade. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate to marinate for at least 1 hour, preferably at least 6 hours. You can marinate the chicken overnight, but don’t marinate for more than 24 hours. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to cooking.
3. Cook the chicken: Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet or non stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, place chicken thighs and cook undisturbed 6-7 minutes per side, or until cooked through and lightly browned.
4. Rest the chicken: Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes. Cut the chicken into bite-sized chunks.
5. Assemble the tacos: Heat a large griddle or skillet over high heat and warm the tortillas on both sides. Serve the warm tortillas topped chopped chicken along with your desired toppings, and plenty of lime juice.
1. Preheat a grill over medium-high heat (about 425°-450°F).
2. Grill the chicken for about 5-6 minutes per side, or until chicken has cooked through. Transfer to a plate, cover with foil and let it rest for 5 minutes.
Can I Bake the Chicken?
You can bake the chicken, although you won’t get the char marks that add to the flavor. Bake on a sheet pan at 425°F for 30 minutes (or until cooked through and crisp on the edges).
Mexican street style tacos are typically topped with only onion and cilantro and served with lime and some kind of hot sauce. They’re absolutely delicious in this simple form, as the main flavor punch comes from the well seasoned chicken. Saying that, you can always load them with these other topping suggestions.
- Diced avocado is always best with chicken.
- Diced tomatoes
- Pico de gallo
- Any of your favorite salsa
- Mexican cheeses like cotija, queso fresco, or Monterey jack cheese.
- Shredded lettuce
- Sour cream
Tips for Making Chicken Street Tacos
- Marinate the chicken for a longer time so the flavors have time to penetrate the meat, and tenderize it as well. Marinating it for just an hour won’t give you the same flavor punch.
- Use chicken thighs, as those are the best for this recipe.
- Make sure your griddle or grill is hot enough to get good char marks, and sear the meat beautifully.
- Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before chopping it into bites. If you cut it immediately it might loose some of the juices.
- If you are filling these chicken tacos with more toppings than just onion and cilantro, we suggest using regular sized tacos, as they will hold more toppings better than small street style tacos.
- To hold more meat on the tacos, use two tortillas instead of one, so they don’t tear while eating.
This chicken taco meat is great as leftovers, and refrigerates and freezes well. You can use the same chicken taco meat in your future meals in various different ways.
To refrigerate: Place the chicken in an airtight container, and refrigerate for up to 4-5 days.
To freeze: Let the chicken cool completely in the fridge, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container or freezer bag. Freeze and use within 3 months for best quality. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
To reheat: Microwave the chicken for 2 to 3 minutes, or until full heated through. Alternately, you can heat in a medium-hot skillet for 3-5 minutes until fully heated through.
Make this easy taco recipe, Mexican Street Style Chicken Tacos!! They highlight the well seasoned chicken bites, and are so addictive with just a splash of lime and a little onion and cilantro.
Go authentic Mexican style. Go easy, with tons of flavor the next time those taco cravings hit hard. Try our chicken taco recipe, which we have been eating for ages around here.
Lets us know how you like it. Taco time is good time. Taco time is family time. Taco time is fun, happy times.
Mexican Street Style Chicken Tacos, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4-5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1/2 jalapeño, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp ancho chili powder (you can sub it with chili powder)
- 1/2-1 tsp red chili flakes
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs or chicken breasts
- 12-18 mini street style corn tortillas or flour tortillas, warmed up
- lime wedges
- red onion, diced
- cilantro, chopped
- pico de gallo
- diced avocado
- Mix in all the marinade ingredients in a big bowl and add chicken thighs to marinade. Toss the chicken thighs well with the marinade. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate to marinate for at least 1 hour, preferably at least 6 hours. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to cooking.
- Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet or non stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, place chicken thighs and cook undisturbed 6-7 minutes per side, or until cooked through and lightly browned.
- Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes. Cut the chicken into bite-sized chunks.
- Heat a large griddle or skillet over high heat and warm the tortillas on both sides.
- Serve the warm tortillas (see note 1) topped with chopped chicken, along with your desired toppings, and plenty of lime. (Mexican street style tacos are typically topped with only onion and cilantro, and served with lime.)
- Preheat a grill over medium-high heat (about 425°-450°F).
- Grill the chicken for about 5-6 minutes per side, or until chicken has cooked through. Transfer to a plate, cover with foil and let it rest for 5 minutes.
- Assemble tacos.
- You can serve these tacos with single tortilla, or double it up on tortillas for single serving. When you serve the meat on two tortillas, they can hold more meat without tearing.
Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 461Total Fat 30gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 23gCholesterol 155mgSodium 717mgCarbohydrates 16gFiber 4gSugar 2gProtein 36g
Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.
Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.
Never miss a recipe!
Join the GypsyPlate mailing list and get easy dinner recipes right in your mailbox. From homestyle comfort food to exotic dishes from around the world.