Shredded Chicken Tacos Made Easy

Shredded Chicken Tacos Made Easy, 3.8 out of 5 based on 157 ratings
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Rating: 3.8/5 (157 votes cast)

Shredded chicken tacos seasoned Mexican style, just like the taco shops in San Diego. Stuffed with lettuce, cheese and tomatoes. Add rice and beans, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, hot sauce… whatever you like and you’ve got a great Mexican dinner!

Shredded Chicken Tacos Plate 1Ingredients: Shredded Chicken

1 1/2lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs ( about 4-5 )

4 cups water

1 teas. salt

1/3 teas. pepper

1/2 teas. garlic powder

1 teas. onion powder

2 teas. chili powder

1 teas. dry oregano

1/4 teas. cumin powder

Method: Shredded Chicken

Shredded Chicken CookingShredded ChickenThoroughly wash your chicken and then simply add all of the ingredients to a medium to large skillet, or,  sauce pan big enough to hold everything. Bring it to a boil and boil for about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low to medium low and simmer for about 30 minutes with the lid cracked. You’re looking for a nice little bubble.

After about 40 minutes, most but not all of the liquid should have evaporated and the chicken should be falling apart when poked with a spoon or spatula. Go ahead and shred it with your spatula or spoon and remove from heat to cool slightly. It should look like the picture. It’s ready for tacos.

Note: If there is still a lot of liquid left simply take the lid off and turn the heat to high. This will boil off any excess liquid but be sure to watch it closely. You don’t want to dry it out.

Ingredients: Shredded Chicken Tacos

shredded chicken

10-15 corn tortillas ( 6in.)

1/2 head lettuce ( shredded )

1 tomato ( small dice )

6 oz. shredded cheddar cheese ( or whatever you like )

3-4 cups oil ( for frying )

wood toothpicks

Method: Shredded Chicken Tacos


Shredded Chicken Tacos Assembly 1Shredded Chicken Tacos Assembly 2Shredded Chicken Tacos Assembly 3Shredded Chicken Tacos FryingAdd your oil to a medium size skillet to fill about a 3/4 in. up the side and heat to 350 degrees. Carefully place 1 tortilla at a time into the hot oil and fry for about 5 to 10 seconds a side. All you’re doing at this stage is getting the tortillas pliable. Remove and stack them on a plate. After all of your tortillas are done, flip the whole stack over to allow the excess oil to drain evenly.

These can be done while your chicken is cooking.

When your chicken and tortillas are ready, add about 2 to 3 tbsp. of the shredded chicken across and just above the center of a tortilla and fold it over. “Sew it up” with 2 toothpicks as shown in the picture. Continue until all of your tacos are done.

Note: Turn the heat on your oil down to low while you’re assembling the tacos. Heat it back up just before you finish with your tacos.

Once your tacos are done, place 3 or 4 into the hot oil (350) and fry for about 2 to 4 minutes a side or until they turn the color of corn chips ( golden ).  Remove and drain on paper towels or a cooling rack. Removing the toothpicks is easier while they’re still hot, right out of the fryer is easiest but be careful, they’re hot!

Now, just open them up and add your toppings! Add beans and rice and make it a meal.

Shredded Chicken Tacos Plate 2The crunchy shells, the spicily flavored chicken topped with “salad fixings”, whats not to love, these are awesome shredded chicken tacos! Rice and beans added to your plate… reminds me of the drive-thru or walk-up window at most any taco shop in San Diego. Enjoy!! HAPPY COOKING!


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Shredded Chicken Tacos Made Easy — 150 Comments

  1. VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    Hi David! I want to thank you for your amazing recipe! My seven year old has aspergers so getting him to eat new foods can be a trial. But we recently got a book from the library, Dragons Love Tacos, and it inspired him. He started eating soft tacos with shredded beef. But after a couple of weeks, he said he wanted to try hard tacos just like the book!

    He likes shredded beef and pork bar b que style, so I decided I needed a chicken recipe. Beef is getting really expensive. We lived in southern California for a number of years so I knew what the end result should be like… Succulent and full of flavor, but not overly spiced.

    I searched thru many recipes but nothing looked right. I finally found your website and was ecstatic with what I saw. Simple favors, easy method. I was nervous about the thighs. They can be too fatty for me, but chicken breasts dry out so easily. I stuck to your recipe and added one chicken breast half way thru the cooking time so it wouldn’t over cook. I even started with the thighs frozen and just increased the cooking time.

    This is hands down the best shredded chicken taco recipe I have ever made! I have been telling people about it and passing them on to your site. It’s really hard to get great Mexican in upstate NY, unless you make it yourself.

    • VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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      Hi Katherine,

      I’m glad you found me and thank you so much for your high praise!

      I know how hard it can be to get kids to try new things, especially if they have aspergers. I have a friend with two autistic children and know getting them to try new things is like “pulling teeth.”

      I’m so happy your seven year old enjoyed them. I’ve also heard how hard it is to find quality Mexican food back east.

      I really appreciate you telling everyone about my site. I hope they’ll enjoy it and find some things to try as well :-)

      Thanks again and Happy Cooking!

  2. VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

    I’ve been searching for a good shredded chicken taco recipe, and this one was better than I had even anticipated! I used white meat instead of dark, but followed the recipe pretty much exactly otherwise. It was a huge hit with my family, and one I expect we’ll be using again and again.

    • VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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      Hi Nancy,

      That’s great! I’m so glad you and your family liked it and nice call with the white meat instead of dark. I do that sometimes too!

      Hope to see you back to try more stuff :-)


  3. VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

    I want to thank you for the recipe. Your recipe is the best recipe for tacos I have found. The only change I have made, is that I use the fresh ingredient/seeds in place of the powder.
    Yes, this recipe beats the “authentic” Mexican restaurant tacos. For some reason, I did remember the crispy fried style for preparing tacos, however, other recipes make the steps for preparing a crispy shell too hard and time consuming.
    I have used the recipe to make batches to freeze.

    This recipe make my life easier to serve restaurant style food in less time without feeding my family processed foods.
    The use of toothpicks are genius!!!

    • VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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      Hi P. Mendoza,

      Thank you for your comment, it’s awesome!! I like your idea of using all fresh ingredients, it sounds delicious!

      I freeze them too when I make big batches… that way it only takes a few minutes to put together. A word of caution for anyone reading this… Do not thaw and fry, the shells will fall apart, cook from frozen :-)

      I agree with you about the toothpicks, I can’t imagine trying to fry without them.

      Thanks again and Happy Cooking!

  4. VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    I wanted this to work so bad! I love Mexican food, and homemade tacos sounded excellent! The chicken turned out great and looked fabulous, but when I went to assemble the tacos it turned into a mess. I went by the instructions and dipped the corn tortillas into hot oil but found they turned mushy after only a couple of seconds. Is this normal? The toothpicks wouldn’t hold them together. I finally improvised by putting the chicken mixture into a dry tortilla and holding it folded over into the hot oil, but this seemed very dangerous. I hate that it didn’t work, yours look fabulous!

    • VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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      Hi Lisa,

      Sorry to hear it didn’t work for you and I agree the way you fried them is dangerous, I don’t recommend that method.

      A few things come to mind:

      Maybe the oil wasn’t hot enough or they weren’t cooked long enough.

      When you place your corn tortilla into the hot oil it will sink and then slowly rise to the surface and float. When it floats and starts to boil rapidly count to 5 seconds or so after it starts to boil rapidly. Flip it over, it should float immediately so count to 5 or so again. Then transfer to a plate.

      Follow these steps for every tortilla and they should come out fine.

      If the tortillas are just “dipped” into the oil and then removed they’ll become mushy causing them to tear.

      Hope that explains things and that you’ll try again :-)

      Sorry for the mix up,

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