20-Minute Chicken Taco Recipe

There's a certain appeal to tacos that makes them perfect for any meal, at any time of day. Breakfast tacos with scrambled egg, bacon, potatoes, and cheese? Absolutely. Or how about a simple ground beef taco piled high with classic toppings such as lettuce, tomato, and a sprinkle of cheddar? It's a total classic. And while ground beef or carnitas tacos are certainly a popular choice for at-home meals and restaurant orders, chicken tacos can be just as easy and delicious.

Chicken tacos can sometimes get a bad rap, as they may not seem as flavorful as other options. Or, the chicken takes too long to cook. But we're here to change those opinions with the most delicious, tender chicken tacos recipe that only requires seven ingredients and a quick 20 minutes to make.

Our easy 20-minute chicken tacos recipe is truly as simple as can be. And really, there's a beauty in putting together a simple and delicious dish. Sometimes, you just need a no-fuss recipe that the whole family will love, and this is definitely one to put on the menu.

Gather the ingredients for this 20-minute chicken taco recipe

Part of the beauty of this recipe is that it only takes 20 minutes to put together plenty of chicken tacos for the whole family. The other bonus is that it only calls for simple, easy-to-find ingredients.

Get ready to make your chicken tacos by gathering all of the necessary ingredients. You'll need one 16-ounce package of boneless skinless chicken tenderloins, one package of taco seasoning, street taco style tortillas, one small red onion, two avocados, cilantro, and lime. The lime is optional here, but it adds a nice kick of citrus to the dish. 

We chose to keep the toppings for these 20-minute chicken tacos fairly simple to resemble a traditional street taco, only incorporating onions, avocado, and cilantro. But you can certainly add in other ingredients as toppings. If your family loves to add tomatoes, cheese, shredded lettuce, salsa, or sour cream to your tacos, feel free to add in anything else you love. 

Prep the vegetables for this 20-minute chicken taco recipe

Start off by prepping all of the vegetables and toppings for your 20-minute chicken tacos. Once your chicken is cooked, you'll want to serve it while it's hot. Prepping all of your toppings ahead of time will ensure they're all ready to grab once it's time to assemble the perfect taco.

First, dice up your red onion. We chose to use red onion for this recipe because of the distinct flavor it adds. For your cilantro, you'll want to gently wash it before mincing. Pluck the leaves off of the stems and dice the cilantro with a knife. 

For your avocados, dicing them up into small chunks adds such a great flavor to these tacos. Plus, it adds fantastic texture. To dice your avocado the easiest way, start by cutting your avocado in half and remove your pit. Use a sharp knife to score the inside meat of your avocado, but be sure not to pierce all the way through the skin. Run your knife down and across the avocado to make squares. Once cut, scoop all of the avocado out with a spoon. 

Can you make this 20-minute chicken taco recipe without taco seasoning?

This 20-minute chicken taco recipe calls for one package of taco seasoning, which is the easiest way to flavor and season the chicken for your tacos. However, if you don't have taco seasoning on hand at home, you can certainly still make this recipe.

Taco seasoning traditionally includes chili pepper, onion powder, salt, corn starch, and salt. It also may contain maltodextrin, vegetable oil, corn flour, citric acid, and sugar. It's a great option if you're in a pinch, but making your own can come together with a few simple spices. Plus, this way you can make it without maltodextrin, which is typically added to serve as a filler and preservative in packaged foods. 

To make your own taco seasoning, you can mix together garlic powder, onion powder, salt, sugar, cornstarch, chili powder, paprika, and black pepper. Mix to combine the ingredients until your seasoning is well balanced, and then use your mixture in place of a packet of taco seasoning.

Cook the chicken for this 20-minute chicken taco recipe

The main component of this 20-minute chicken taco recipe is, of course, the chicken. Nicely seasoned chicken can provide the perfect base for a delicious taco night. Plus, the chicken adds plenty of protein to your dish. 

The chicken for these tacos comes together in no time if you cut your chicken into smaller pieces. For this recipe, we chose chicken tenderloins because they're thin, and they cook fast. Using something larger, like a chicken breast, is definitely doable, but it will take longer to cook.

Once your chicken is cut up into smaller pieces for cooking, add one tablespoon of oil to a pan on medium heat. Add your chicken pieces and cook them on one side. Once cooked on one side, flip all of the pieces in the pan to continue cooking the other side. Add in your taco seasoning, along with salt and pepper if you'd like.

Dice up the chicken for this 20-minute chicken taco recipe

Once your chicken is fully cooked, move it from your pan to a cutting board. You can tell your chicken is done once there's absolutely no pink showing on the tenderloins. Uncooked chicken is easily susceptible to salmonella and can cause food poisoning, so it's important to cook it thoroughly.

If you have a meat thermometer handy, quickly sticking it into a piece of chicken to be sure it's at a safe temperature, a minimum of 165 degrees, is a fool proof way to make sure it's cooked.

Once your cooked chicken is on the cutting board, cut it up into smaller pieces for your 20-minute chicken tacos. We chose to cut our chicken into ½-inch diced pieces for our tacos, but you can keep the chunks bigger if preferred. You could also use this method of cooking the chicken for making burritos in larger tortillas, or use it for burrito bowls. The juicy, seasoned chicken is perfect for any dish. 

Assemble your 20-minute chicken tacos

Now, comes the fun part! The way you assemble your 20-minute chicken tacos is completely up to you. The possibilities are truly endless.

You can choose to warm up your tortillas by putting them in the microwave for 10 seconds, or heat them up in the oven. The street taco style tortillas work just as well served cold.

Dish up a spoonful of your seasoned chicken on each taco. Sprinkle red onion on top, add plenty of diced avocado, and then add a sprinkle of cilantro on top (unless you're one of those people who don't like cilantro). If you love lime, squeeze a wedge over the top of each taco to add citrus. Serve your tacos with your favorite salsa to keep things simple, or add in other toppings such as sour cream, cheese, and lettuce. We kept things simple with these easy 20-minute chicken tacos, but you could build a whole taco bar for your family using this chicken recipe if you have picky eaters in the house.

20-Minute Chicken Taco Recipe
4.6 from 7 ratings
Our easy 20-minute chicken tacos recipe is truly as simple as can be. And really, there's a beauty in putting together a simple and delicious dish.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Easy chicken taco recipe
Total time: 20 minutes
  • Street taco style flour tortillas
  • 1 16-ounce package boneless skinless chicken tenderloins (about 6)
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 2 avocados
  • 1 small red onion
  • Cilantro
  • 2 limes, if desired
  1. Start by prepping all of your vegetables. Dice the red onion and cilantro. Cut your avocados into small chunks. Cut your limes into small wedges.
  2. Cut chicken tenderloins into smaller pieces for quicker cooking. Turn stovetop to medium heat.
  3. Add one tablespoon oil to a pan. Cook the chicken pieces on one side. Once cooked, turn chicken in the pan to cook the other side, and then add the taco seasoning. Add salt and pepper to taste, if desired.
  4. Once your chicken is cooked, move it to a cutting board and dice into smaller pieces.
  5. Assemble your tacos by adding chicken to each tortilla. Top with diced red onion, avocado, and cilantro.
  6. Squeeze lime over tacos, if desired
Calories per Serving 160
Total Fat 10.9 g
Saturated Fat 2.0 g
Trans Fat 0.0
Cholesterol 15.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 10.5 g
Dietary Fiber 3.1 g
Total Sugars 0.8 g
Sodium 173.8 mg
Protein 6.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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