Chicken · dinner

Chicken Tinga Tacos

I love people. People exhaust me. I am always with people, therefore I am always exhausted. Do you remember proofs in geometry? Used to teach it (funny since I’m not a fan of it). But I just essentially applied the transitive property (más o menos), proving to myself that perhaps geometry is not pointless for the general population after all! Must share this news with daughter right away.

I share this, not because it has anything to do with chicken tacos, but because it has everything to do with why this blog is neglected. We have been eating some good stuff around here, and I so want to share the inspiration! Most of the good food is thanks to a cookbook a friend loaned me – Half Baked Harvest Super Simple. I had some kombucha explode onto the cookbook, and I’m not sad I had to replace her copy and keep it for myself. There’s only one recipe I made that was bleh so far, and that could have easily been due to this chef’s error.

In addition to the meals in the cookbook being delicious, they’re all pretty quick and easy too (thus the “Super Simple”). You still have time to hit up the grocery store real quick and make these tacos for Taco Tuesday dinner tonight! Here’s the deal – the enchilada sauce you choose makes a big difference. The first time I made these tacos, I used enchilada sauce that comes in a pouch – I think this one pictured below, but it could have been the Frontera brand. The second time I made these, I used Whole Foods brand enchilada sauce. So spicy!! Too spicy for all of us, and I like a bit of spice. If you use the pouch, you need to use a pouch and a half, which is a little awkward. Or use two and add some extra chicken/use one and less chicken… The chipotle peppers are what make these “Tinga”. They add smoke, not spice.

Use tortillas of your choice – I really like white corn tortillas for these if you can find them. For the pineapple salsa, I use half of a fresh jalapeño. I don’t love pickled things. Just my personal preference. I’ll include both in the recipe.

five tacos assembled in a line on a teal cutting board with condiments of pineapple, cilantro and lime in the background

Chicken Tinga Tacos

Course Dinner
Yield 6 servings


For the tacos

  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 pinch kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ cups red enchilada sauce (see note above)
  • 1 or 2 avocado(s), mashed
  • 8-12 tortillas, warmed
  • 4 oz crumbled feta or queso fresco

For the pineapple salsa

  • 2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
  • 2 tbsp chopped pickled jalapeño peppers OR ½ fresh jalapeño seeded and chopped fine
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 pinch sea salt


For the tacos

  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the chicken, onion, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring the onion and turning the chicken occasionally, until the chicken is browned all over and the onion is fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Stir in the enchilada sauce and the chipotle peppers. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and tender enough to shred, about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, and using two forks, shred the chicken directly in the pan.

  2. To serve, spread the mashed avocado over the tortillas, dividing evenly, and add the chicken on top. Top with salsa, if desired, and crumbled cheese.

For the pineapple salsa

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the pineapple, jalapeño, lime juice, cilantro, and a pinch of salt. Use the salsa right away or refrigerate it in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

What do you think?