Grilled Chicken Taco Recipe


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  • Yield : 24 Tacos
  • Servings : 8-12
  • Prep Time : 45m
  • Cook Time : 5m
  • Ready In : 60m

Grilled chicken tacos are probably one of the easiest recipes to make but one of the most authentic, capturing so much of the Mexican flavors. If you’re only experience with chicken tacos came from Taco Bell or another fast food restaurant, think again.  These are going to give you something new to crave several times a week.

My favorite way to eat grilled chicken tacos is to have a stack of warm homemade tortillas right next to the grill, then as the meat comes off, it gets chopped or shredded and put straight into the waiting tortilla.  Top this with some fresh pico de gallo, some guacamole (if you like) and a sprinkling of finely grated cotija cheese. It’s the way we did them in Southern California and it’s a great way to enjoy a Mexican fiesta with friends and family all talking and laughing as we’re gathered around the grill.

The marinade for the chicken is made up of the trifecta of chicken seasonings, chili powders, lime juice and cumin.  If you’ve ever wondered how some Mexican restaurants get that unique flavor in their chicken, it’s probably from the cumin.  I think I put cumin on chicken every time I’m making a Mexican dish.  Just don’t overdo it. Marinading in the lime will help to tenderize your chicken and it gives it a nice crisp and fresh flavor.


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 lbs chicken breast or thighs, boneless and skinless (your preference)
  • 2 dozen corn tortillas (I recommend homemade)
  • 4 Medium tomatoes
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 2 medium yellow or white onions
  • 1/4 of a lime
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup grated queso fresco or cotija cheese
  • Guacamole (optional)
  • Sour Cream or Crema (optional)
  • Hot Sauce (optional)


Step 1

Put the olive oil, lime juice, chili powder, cumin and garlic in a blender and mix at a medium speed until the garlic is minced and the ingredients are mixed.

Step 2

Place the chicken piece in a large ziplock back and cover with the marinade. Seal and work the marinade around all of the chicken. Let marinade in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes and up to overnight.

Step 3

Grill the chicken using your preferred method. I like it on the outdoor grill best, but I will use my George Foreman grill if I'm in a hurry. Once it's cooked through, remove and let sit for 3-4 minute.

Step 4

Cut into 1/2" cubes. For a different texture, you can pull apart or shred the chicken as well.

Step 5

Chop the tomato, onion and cilantro into 1/8-1/4" bits and combine in a bowl then squeeze the lime over the bowl and season with the salt.

Step 6

Stir and let it sit in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Cool and crisp is best.

Step 7

Warm your tortillas. I usually put them in a ziplock bag and steam them in the microwave for about 30-45 seconds. If you're making homemade, they will come of the grill and go straight into the towel-lined tortilla warmer.

Step 8

Place a warm tortilla on your plate Lay out a good amount of grilled chicken, but remember, you have other toppings.

Step 9

Garnish with a couple spoons of Pico De Gallo and then sprinkle some cheese on the top. I usually use about 1-2 teaspoons per taco, but feel free to adjust to taste.

Step 10

If you like, add the guacamole or sour cream along with your favorite hot sauce.

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