This Shredded Chicken Tacos recipe is so easy to throw together and requires NO COOKING! Warmed corn tortillas are loaded with juicy, shredded rotisserie chicken then topped with a cilantro coleslaw. Pile on all your favorite toppings from fresh sliced avocado to soft and crumbly feta cheese. This easy dinner idea is perfect for those weeknights when you have little to no time to prepare dinner!
Chicken Taco Recipe
We all have those days when we’re too tired to cook dinner. When those times hit, I typically run to my 30-minute or less dinner recipes like this Easy Penne Pasta Bake and these Air Fryer Chicken Thighs, but when I don’t want to cook at all (yes that happens sometimes), I make these Shredded Chicken Tacos. Made with rotisserie chicken, these tacos are ready and on the table in 15 minutes! This easy healthy dinner is a huge hit in our house!
What Ingredients Are Needed?
The 7 ingredients you’ll need are:
- Rotisserie Chicken – shred the chicken and discard to skin and bones.
- Salsa – use your favorite brand of salsa and mix with the chicken. To add some spice, use a medium or hot salsa.
- Shredded Cabbage – make it easy on yourself and buy a bag of pre-shredded cabbage. You’ll find it in the salad ilse.
- Fresh Cilantro – adds a fresh taste with a hint of citrus. It pairs really well with the lime. juice
- Lime – a flavor enhancer mixed with the cabbage and cilantro.
- Olive Oil – used as a lubricant when mixed with cabbage, cilantro, and lime. To enhance the flavor, used a flavored olive oil.
- Soft Corn Tortillas – roasted corn flavor in every bite, use a quality tortilla when making these tacos.
How To Make Shredded Chicken Tacos
Here’s how easy it is to make these tacos:
- First, shred the rotisserie chicken into bite-sized pieces and place it in a large bowl.
- Add 1/2 cup of your favorite salsa and stir well.
- Place the bowl of chicken in the microwave and heat for 1-2 minutes, until warm.
- Stir well and set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, combine the shredded cabbage, chopped cilantro, olive oil, and fresh lime juice. Mix well and set aside.
- Grab the warmed soft corn tortillas and start putting together the tacos. Start with a layer of shredded chicken and then top with the cabbage-cilantro slaw. Finish the chicken tacos off with some of your favorite toppings. From start to finish, these tacos are ready to eat in 15 minutes total!
Have you ever been in the middle of eating a soft taco and corn tortilla breaks? It’s a messy and frustrating experience. When my kids were younger, they’d cry when their soft tacos broke. So I learned how to avoid soft corn tortilla breakage years ago. The key to them not breaking is to warm them. There are many effective ways to warm tortillas.
- Open Flame On A Gas Stove – my husband is the master of warming the soft tacos shells on the burner of our gas burner. If you have a gas burner, light the flame and char the taco shell flipping it over with a pair of tongs. The goal is to warm the tortilla so it is pliable.
- Grill – I feel way more comfortable warming my taco shells on the grill. Using the same concept as above, light the grill and char the tortillas until slightly charred and warm.
- Microwave – grab 3-5 tortillas and wrap them in a damp paper towel. Place them in the microwave and heat for 20-30 seconds until each tortilla is warm.
- Oven – this is how restaurants typically warm tortillas. Wrap 3-5 tortillas in a piece of aluminum foil. Set the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the stacks of tortillas for 15-20 minutes until the tortillas are warm.
- Skillet – When I’m in a hurry, I warm the corn tortillas in a skillet on the stove top. Add a little bit of flavored olive oil in the skillet and swirl the tortilla around until its well coated. Heat each side for 20-30 seconds and then start making the tacos.
Tips And Tricks To Make The Best Shredded Chicken Tacos
- Quality Tortillas – although I recommend using corn tortillas, you can use either corn or flour when making these tacos. Using a good quality tortilla will not only enhance the taste, but will make the tacos more durable. Using a good quality tortilla shell is a game changer. In this Best Corn Tortillas Article, you’ll learn about 8 brands that are worth trying out. I use Guerrero White Corn Tortillas and have no problems with breakage after warming.
- Meal Prep – this is the perfect recipe to use when meal prepping! You can easily double this recipe to eat on all week for lunches. Portion out the chicken into individual containers for perfect portion control.
- Toppings – the options are endless. These shredded chicken tacos remind me of baja tacos because of the shredded cabbage. I highly recommend using the cilantro cabbage as opposed to shredded lettuce to get the full effect and flavor of this particular recipe. Even if you aren’t a fan of cabbage, try this version. It’s absolutely delish. Here’s some ideas for some additional toppings:
- Cotija cheese – provides a creamy and velvety texture that softens even more when placed on the warm chicken.
- Feta cheese – a salty and tangy flavor that pairs well with the fresh lime.
- Mexican Street Corn – the creaminess of the cotija cheese mixed in the charred corn and incorporated with the mild spice of the jalapeno makes this topping irresistible.
- Fresh Avocado – an alternative to cheese and provides a fresh creamy flavor.
- Guacamole – contains only the freshest ingredients, is super easy and fast to make, and is heart healthy.
- Salsa – spice it up with a medium or hot salsa. Using flavored salsas also taste amazing, such as this peach salsa.
- Fresh Tomatoes – adds a fresh acidic flavor.
- Black Bean Dip -the juicy, plum tomatoes paired with black beans and zesty citrus lime juice tastes amazing on tacos.
- Jalapenos – adds an extra layer of hot and spicy.
Looking for some side dishes to pair with this chicken taco recipe? You’ll love these:
- Beans – Pinto Beans are a staple to any Mexican meal and this slow cooker version is full of flavor and super simple to make. No pre-soaking required…just get out the slow cooker and combine 4 simple ingredients.
- Rice – I like making rice in the Instant Pot. This Mexican Rice recipe is the most amazing side dish and it’s ready in just 15 minutes! It’s so easy and effortless, you’ll never want to revert back to the old-fashioned way of making it on the stove top. If you’re looking for a simple rice recipe, you’ll love this one.
- Salads – This Corn Salad recipe is fresh and bright loaded with fresh corn, spring salad mix, cherry tomatoes, sliced almonds, and dried cranberries. The Champagne Vinaigrette dressing gives this salad a burst of flavor!
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Shredded Chicken Tacos
- 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
- 1/2 cup salsa
- 6-8 corn tortilla, warmed
Cabbage and Cilantro Slaw
- 1 package shredded cabbage
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 3 Tablespoons lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- Combine all the Cabbage and Cilantro Slaw ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, combine the shredded chicken and salsa. Warm in the microwave for 1-2 minutes until warm.
- Warm the tortillas in the microwave, oven, grill, or stove top.
- To assemble the tacos, top each tortilla with 2 to 3 tablespoons of chicken and a spoonful of cabbage slaw.
- Add on your favorite toppings and serve.
Update Notes: This post was originally published in June 2013, but was re-published with updated step-by-step instructions, pictures, and tips in January 2020.