Baked Chicken Tacos

5 from 13 votes

This Baked Chicken Tacos recipe is made with shredded chicken, taco seasoning, and shredded cheese. It's so easy to prepare and perfect for a party or crowd!

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These Baked Chicken Tacos are so easy–and SO good! Just mix up the chicken filling, stuff the taco shells, add cheese, and bake. Then it’s just a matter of adding toppings and eating them! Let’s make baked chicken tacos!

12 baked chicken tacos in a baking pan garnished with fresh cilantro.
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Recipe at a Glance

Cuisine Inspiration: Mexican & American
Primary Cooking Method: Oven
Dietary Info: Gluten Free (with gluten-free taco shells)
Key Flavor: Savory and mildly spicy
Skill Level: Easy

  • Fast, simple, and easy: With a short list of ingredients, a small amount of prep work, and 25 minutes total recipe time, baked chicken tacos are a winner all around!
  • Perfect for leftovers: The next time you have leftover chicken, baked chicken tacos will take care of it! Or sometimes, if I know I’m having chicken for dinner one night, I’ll make extra to tuck away for these baked chicken tacos later on in the week. Easy!
  • Make-ahead potential: The baked chicken taco meat can be mixed together beforehand and refrigerated a couple of days ahead of time, which makes prep even easier when it comes time to cook them! 
  • Family-friendly: Baked chicken tacos are one of those on-constant-repeat dinner recipes that everyone loves.

Ingredients to Make Baked Chicken Tacos

Ingredients for recipe: green chilis, taco seasoning, shredded cheese, shredded chicken, lime, taco shells, cilantro.
  • Taco shells: Grab the hard taco shells found at the grocery store. If you can find the ones with flat bottoms, even better–they stand up really well in your baking dish without toppling over.
  • Chicken: You’ll want cooked, shredded chicken. This is a great use for leftover chicken, or grab a cooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.
  • Green chiles: You want one can of diced green chiles. Pay careful attention to the amount of liquid–you want a little liquid to dissolve the taco seasoning, but no more than 2 tablespoons total. If you find your can of green chiles has more liquid than that, drain off the excess.
  • Lime juice: Use fresh lime juice which adds bright, vibrant flavor to your baked chicken taco meat.
  • Taco seasoning: Use your favorite brand or make your own taco seasoning.
  • Cheese: I like to use a Mexican cheese blend, but you can use shredded cheddar if that’s what you have.
  • Add beans: For more flavor and a boost of protein and fiber, add refried or black beans along with the chicken mixture. For a vegetarian baked taco, you can even omit the chicken entirely and just use beans.
  • Beef it up: Use cooked ground beef in place of the chicken.
  • Add tomatoes: Mix in a can of diced tomatoes for added texture and flavor. Just be sure to drain it first!
  • Use salsa instead of green chiles: You can substitute the diced chiles with salsa or pico de gallo, but make sure there is no more than 2 tablespoons of liquid in the mixture.
  • Swap the tortillas: Feel free to swap the crunchy taco shells for corn or flour tortillas. Warm them for a couple of minutes in the oven or microwave so they’re pliable, then assemble and bake as directed, until crispy.
  • When it comes to toppings, the sky’s the limit: However you love to top tacos is the right way to top these baked chicken tacos! Add diced tomato, onion, shredded lettuce, avocado, jalapeños, sour cream, cilantro, pico de Gallo, guacamole, salsa … the possibilities are endless.

How to Make Baked Chicken Tacos

Just grab some crunchy taco shells and line them up in a baking dish. Then, you fill them with shredded chicken mixed with yummy taco seasoning and green chiles. Sprinkle cheese on the top, then slide them into the oven and bake until warm, melty, and crunchy taco perfection. After that, it’s just a matter of piling them high with any toppings you want!

Prepare the Shredded Chicken Filling

  1. In a medium bowl, mix the chicken, diced green chiles, lime, juice, and taco seasoning.
  2. Toss together until the chicken is evenly coated with the spices.
2 image collage of chicken and seasonings in a bowl before and after tossing together.

Stuff and Bake Chicken Tacos

  1. Arrange the taco shells in a baking dish and bake for 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from the oven and fill the shells halfway with the chicken.
  3. Top with the shredded cheese.
  4. Bake until the shells start to brown and the cheese is melted.
4 image collage baking recipe in a rectangular baking pan: 1- hard taco shells arranged in pan, 2- chicken filling added, 3- shredded cheese added to each toco, 4- after baking.

More Taco Topping Suggestions

Tips for Making The Best Baked Chicken Taco Recipe

  • Line up the shells down the middle, then fill in the sides: To squeeze the most tacos into your baking dish (while leaving a bit of space so they crisp up nicely), line up your taco shells in a row down the center, then fill in the sides with a few tacos shells going the other direction.
  • Bake the shells for 5 minutes before adding the chicken. I learned this tip from The Cookie Rookie, and it really helps keep the taco shells crisp.
  • Leave room for toppings. That’s the best part, right? So leave room for them by filling your shells only about halfway with the chicken and cheese.
3 prepared baked chicken tacos on a small plate garnished with sour cream, tomatoes, and fresh cilantro with baking dish nearby.

What to Serve With This Baked Chicken Taco Recipe

Frequently Asked Questions

How to store & reheat baked chicken tacos?

I recommend eating them immediately after cooking, because the taco shells will get softer after a couple hours. However, it is possible to store and reheat leftovers! Just store any leftovers in an airtight container and place them in the fridge. To warm them back up, either place them in a 350°F oven in a covered baking dish until warmed through, or warm them in the microwave.

How long do baked chicken tacos last in the fridge?

They will last up to 2 days in the fridge, but the shells won’t be as crunchy.

What’s the best chicken to use in tacos?

I used chicken breast in this recipe, but you can use thighs if you prefer. For ease and convenience, you can buy packaged cooked, shredded chicken or a rotisserie chicken.

Should I use hard or soft tacos?

For my baked chicken tacos, I prefer to use hard shell as they add crunch and texture to each bite. If crunchy isn’t your thing, you can of course swap them for soft, taco-size tortillas.

3 prepared baked chicken tacos on a small plate garnished with sour cream, tomatoes, and fresh cilantro.

You’re going to love these baked chicken tacos! They’re fast and simple to make, perfect for easy family dinners, parties, and just anytime you’re craving a perfectly seasoned, crunchy taco. Whether you have leftover chicken you need to use up or are looking for a fast and yummy weeknight dinner recipe to add to your menu for the week, this recipe for baked chicken tacos is the answer!

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This baked chicken tacos recipe was originally published April 29, 2019 and has recently been updated with new photography, tips, and step-by-step collages to better help make the recipe.

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Baked Chicken Tacos

This Baked Chicken Tacos recipe is made with shredded chicken, taco seasoning, and shredded cheese. It's so easy to prepare and perfect for a party or crowd!
5 from 13 votes
Servings 4 servings
Course Entree
Calories 473
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
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Ingredients
  

  • Cooking spray
  • 10-12 taco shells
  • 3 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • 1 (4.5 ounce) can diced green chiles
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • Sour cream for serving

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange the taco shells in the pan and bake for 5 minutes.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the chicken, diced green chiles, lime juice and taco seasoning until everything is well mixed.
  • Spoon the chicken mixture evenly between the taco shells, filling them halfway full, then top with the shredded cheese.
  • Bake for 10 minutes or until tacos start to brown and the cheese is melted.
  • Serve immediately with chopped cilantro and your favorite taco toppings.

Notes

Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last up to 2 days in the fridge. However, the taco shells will get softer after a couple hours. I recommend eating them immediately after cooking.
Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is. However here are some common substitutes that would work well in this recipe.
  • Instead of shredded chicken, you can also use ground beef, ground turkey or even just prepared beans
  • You can substitute the diced chiles with salsa or pico de gallo, but make sure there is not too much liquid in the mixture.
  • If you don’t have taco seasoning, you can make your own by mixing together chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder and oregano. The first spices will have greater quantities and you can play around with the ratio as you like.
* Please note the nutrition label does not include any toppings.

Nutrition

Serving: 3tacos, Calories: 473kcal, Carbohydrates: 29g, Protein: 40g, Fat: 22g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 107mg, Sodium: 910mg, Potassium: 605mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 534IU, Vitamin C: 18mg, Calcium: 703mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine Mexican
Course: Entree

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Comments

  1. Michele says:

    My family loved these and I’m adding them to the rotation. I found crunchy taco shells with flat bottoms at the store – very convenient. To make the meal healthier I used veggies like portobellos and squash instead of chicken for half of them.

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Yay, I’m so happy your family loved them!! Portobellos and squash sound so yummy, what a great substitution!

  2. Linda kay says:

    Hello, so this sounds great but I get heartburn very easy. Using the green chili peppers would not be good for me so I looked up a substitute. I found you can use some chili pepper but I would not know how much to put so it wouldn’t be hot for me. I think I would just use mild taco seasoning and put that in the chicken. What do you think?

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Hi Linda, I would probably just skip the green chiles! The mild taco seasoning alone should give you plenty of flavor and just a hint of spice. Let me know how it goes!

  3. Elizabeth Peter says:

    These were so good and so easy!! i’m so glad i found your page! i meal plan with your blog open! 😬😬😬

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Thank you so much! I love that!