This Baked Chicken Tacos recipe is made with shredded chicken, taco seasoning and shredded cheese - it's easy to prepare and perfect for a party or crowd
Take #TacoTuesday to the next level with these baked chicken tacos. They’re great for a crowd, already heated and crunchy and ready for toppings. They’re simple and easy to make with cooked shredded chicken, cheese and customized toppings.
These baked chicken tacos are not only ideal for Taco Tuesday, but also Cinco de Mayo coming up this weekend! Take them with you to potlucks and dinner parties. You can enjoy them as an appetizer or a meal. And I found that both kids and adults really enjoy these!
Why is this the best chicken taco recipe?
- It’s so easy to make and the chicken stays so succulent!
- They are great to make for a crowd.
- You can make the chicken filling ahead of time.
- They are really versatile and you can load them with your favorite taco toppings.
How do you make baked chicken tacos
To start, line up the tacos in a 9″ x 13″ baking dish and bake them in the oven for 5 minutes. This helps to crisp them before adding the chicken mixture and cheese.
While the tacos are in the oven, use a bowl to combine the chicken with canned diced green chiles, taco seasoning and lime juice. You can use rotisserie chicken or boiled chicken breast or any leftover chicken. It may look like too much taco seasoning at first, but you’ll notice once everything is baked, it’s just right. Feel free to eyeball the seasoning though.
Now you’ll want to stuff the chicken mixture into the pre-baked taco shells. Three cups of chicken should be plenty for 10-12 tacos, so fill them up and then top them with any shredded cheese you like. The Mexican blends at grocery stores work well, or simply shredded cheddar and shredded monterey jack,
I love the idea of the melted cheese on the shredded chicken. I found the kids like it better too because everything pretty much stays put in one place. Thank you cheese for holding everything together! And when it comes out of the oven, hit it with some freshly chopped cilantro to give it a fresh flavor!
And now you’re ready for the DIY taco bar of your dreams. It will entail a little less assembly (no fallen chicken on the floor) and a lot more topping fun! When it’s just the fam eating these, I keep the toppings simple with pico de gallo, sour cream and shredded lettuce (shredduce as we call it!)
If we’re having a big gathering I also add these toppings to the tacos:
- Guacamole or diced avocados
- Refried beans or regular
- Salsa verde
- Greek yogurt
- Shredded cabbage (white and purple)
More is more!
Tips for making baked chicken tacos
- Use taco shells with flat bottoms if you can find them. They’re not always easy to find. But they sure are life savers for this recipe because they stand up nicely in the baking dish without anything tipping over. I didn’t use them and still managed fine, but they definitely help!
- Bake the shells for 5 minutes before stuffing them with the chicken mixture. I learned this tip from The Cookie Rookie and it really helped keep the tacos crisp even after baking and sitting around for a couple hours.
- Drain the diced green chiles if they contain too much water. The chicken mixture will need a little liquid to help dissolve the taco seasoning. But if you find that the green chiles have too much liquid from can, be sure to drain them before mixing in. We’re looking for a couple tablespoons of liquid only.
- Customize the taco stuffing before baking. You can add some refried beans or baked beans along with the chicken mixture or on their own to add more texture and flavor.
- Leave room for toppings. That’s the best part, right? So don’t get carried away with the chicken mixture and cheese. Fill them about halfway to the top, and that should leave plenty of space for the toppings, especially since the cheese will melt down.
Frequently Asked Questions
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. If possible, buy organic chicken that has been raised without antibiotics.
Are chicken tacos healthy?
Each of these baked chicken tacos come in at around 200 calories, so they are a great option if you are managing your weight. Load them full of healthy toppings like avocado, refried beans and a big helping of shredded lettuce.
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 tortillas.
There’s something about baked chicken tacos that’s more special than regular tacos. The shredded cheese with the chicken mixture creates this soft and melty inside that pairs well with the crunchy taco shell. And then there’s still room for toppings to customize each taco. This is such a fun recipe to take to a potluck or to enjoy with friends and family.
For more tacos recipes:
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Baked Chicken Tacos
- 10-12 taco shells
- 3 cups cooked shredded chicken
- 4.5 ounces canned diced green chiles
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 2 cups Mexican blend cheese shredded
- 2 tablespoons cilantro chopped
- Shredded lettuce for serving
- Pico de gallo for serving
- Sour cream for serving
- Preheat the oven to 400° F and spray a 9"x13" pan 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 cheese.
- Bake for 10 minutes, until tacos are start to brown and the cheese is melted.
- Serve immediately with shredded lettuce, pico de gallo and sour cream, or your favorite taco toppings.
- 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.