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Juicy and flavorful Ground Chicken Tacos have everything you want in a taco: crisp lettuce, sharp cheddar cheese, fresh pico de gallo, and an abundance of spicy Mexican seasoning. With my own homemade taco seasoning, you can enjoy this lean chicken taco recipe in just 30 minutes!
If I’m ever struggling to come up with dinner ideas, I usually default to tacos. Not only are they delicious, but they use vegetables and seasonings I already have in my kitchen! And when I want something light, refreshing, and full of flavor, I go with ground chicken tacos.
Chicken is leaner than beef but just as delicious. It takes on spicy and earthy seasonings beautifully, and is beyond moist and juicy when prepared correctly. Paired with a bright pico de gallo and simmered in green tomatillo salsa verde, it’s become a staple of my summer menu.
I use several homemade recipes when making this chicken taco recipe: pico de gallo, taco seasoning, salsa verde, and pickled onions. You can go with the store bought alternatives to any of these, but it’s so much more rewarding (and cost effective, and delicious) when you make them at home!
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Ground Chicken – Compared to beef, ground chicken is less heavy and fatty. It has a slightly different texture — a bit softer and almost rubbery in comparison.
- Onion – Any variety works in this recipe: white, yellow, or red are equally delicious. Choose your favorite!
- Vegetable Oil – I like to use vegetable oil for its unassuming, neutral flavor. Canola, olive, and sunflower oil are perfectly fine substitutes.
- Taco Seasoning – This is a strong, warm blend of Mexican seasonings, including oregano and chili powder. When you prepare it at home, you can balance the spice, salt, and herbs per your preferences.
- Salsa Verde – A roasted blend of green tomatillos just like you’d be served at your favorite Mexican restaurant. It’s fresh, sharp, and easily homemade.
- Corn Tortillas – Soft, fresh corn tortillas are substantial enough to withstand these ground chicken tacos and toppings. Any flour tortilla, however, is an acceptable alternative.
- Garnishes – A fresh pico de gallo, handful of pickled red onions, shredded lettuce, and shredded cheddar cheese on top pies the whole dish together.
HOW TO MAKE GROUND CHICKEN TACOS
- Saute the Onion & Garlic. Heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers. First add the onions, sauteing for a couple of minutes until translucent and aromatic, and follow with the garlic. Stir fry for another 30 seconds and add just a pinch of salt for seasoning.
- Add & Season the Meat. Add the ground chicken and taco seasoning to the pan with the garlic and onion. Chop up with a spoon or spatula and stir until the meat browns.
- Stir Fry. Add the flour to the chicken mixture and stir for 1 minute before adding the salsa verde. Cook for another minute before lowering the heat and reducing for 10 minutes.
- Char the Tortillas. While the meat reduces, char the corn tortillas on an open flame or grill. Lay each on a plate.
- Fill, Plate, & Serve! Pile each tortilla with lettuce, ground chicken and salsa mixture, pico de gallo, and pickled onions. Serve right away and enjoy!
Is ground chicken healthy?
Chicken is one of the leanest, healthiest proteins you can consume. The same goes for turkey and other poultry. It has less fat and less cholesterol than beef, for example, which makes it an excellent choice for a healthier taco.
The rub, of course, lies with the method of preparation. Everything becomes less healthier when cooked in fat and oil.
We’re still using a small amount of oil and, at 186 calories, I’d consider this a relatively healthy dish.
How do you make ground chicken moist?
Don’t overcook it! That’s the secret to preparing chicken in any way, shape, or form. Stir fry until there’s no hint of pink remaining in the meat, and immediately begin to reduce. The meat will continue to cook but it will simmer in the salsa and seasonings, flavoring rather than drying.
As long as you follow the recipe to a T, your chicken won’t overcook.
Does taco seasoning taste good on chicken?
Absolutely! The homemade taco seasoning used in my ground chicken tacos is particularly well suited to all proteins: oregano, chili powder, garlic, and cumin are delicious in any savory recipe.
Regular store-bought taco seasoning generally tastes good with chicken as well.
This recipe post, originally published on Kevin Is Cooking August, 2019, has been updated with new content, photos and/or video in August, 2022.
Ground Chicken Tacos
- In a large skillet over medium high heat add the oil. When hot, add onions and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and stir, cook 30 seconds more. Season with pinch of kosher salt.
- Add the ground chicken and taco seasoning. Break up the meat with the spoon. Cook until chicken is no longer pink.
- Sprinkle the flour over the chicken and stir to cook for 1 minute. Add the salsa verde and stir. Lower heat and reduce for 10 minutes. Season to taste.
- Over a hot flame on the stovetop or on a grill, char the fresh, soft corn tortillas on both sides.
- Fill each taco shell with lettuce, salsa verde chicken filling, cheese, pico de gallo and pickled onions.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.