These skillet chipotle chicken tacos make for a quick and easy weeknight meal that’s packed with spicy flavor and then topped with a cooling Mexican crema.
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This post was originally published on June 1st, 2016 and updated September 28th, 2017.
Tacos. That’s usually all someone needs to say to catch my attention. Tacos are delicious – pure and simple. I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who doesn’t like them. They’re so versatile – there really is no one way to make a taco. You can take any combination of fillings and toppings, wrap them in a tortilla, and call it good. I like to make tacos at home, order them in a restaurant, or grab a couple from a food truck. One of my favorite recipes to make at home is these Skillet Chipotle Chicken Tacos with Mexican Crema. They make for an easy and flavorful weeknight meal. The only real challenge for me is not to completely stuff my face with these things.
The first step is to make the Mexican Crema and then let it chill in the fridge so the flavors can marry. You can make it 20 minutes or 4 hours ahead of time. Either way, it makes the perfect topping. Simply combine 1 cup of sour cream, the zest of 1 large lime, the juice of 1 large lime, one clove of grated garlic, 1 tsp. agave nectar (or honey), and a pinch of salt in a bowl and stir. I highly recommend grating the clove of garlic versus mincing it. That way you get the garlic flavor, but no overpowering chunks. This can be done with a microplane zester or small grater. You will also use the microplane to zest the lime. The combination of the lime zest and lime juice makes for a really vibrant and refreshing crema.
The next thing to do is start chopping ingredients for the taco filling. This includes mincing 6 cloves of garlic and one small white onion (yellow or red onion work as well). The garlic and the onion really bump up the flavor in these chicken tacos. Next, chop all of the toppings so they will be ready when the tacos are done. Slice an avocado into pieces, cut 4-5 radishes into think slices, and roughly chop 2 cups of fresh spinach and 1 cup fresh cilantro.
Now to start cooking the tacos: Heat 1 Tbsp. of vegetable oil to medium high heat in a skillet. After the oil is heated, add the garlic and onions and saute until fragrant (about 4-5 minutes). Then, add 1 1/2 lb. of boneless, skinless chicken breasts along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add 1 tsp. of cumin and 1/2 tsp. Mexican oregano to the chicken as well. Mexican oregano is kind of a citrus-y spice that goes really well in Mexican dishes. I recommend using it if you can find it. You may be able to find it at your local grocery store or Mexican market. Feel free to use regular oregano if you’d like. Saute the chicken for 3 minutes on each side. Deglaze the pan with 1/4 chicken stock if the chicken starts to stick to the bottom of the pan. Mince 1-2 chipotles in adobo very finely and add them to the chicken (use only 1 for less spice). If you like even more spice, you can add some of the sauce that the chipotles are packed in. Add 1 8 oz. can of tomato sauce and 1/2 cup of chicken stock. To round out the spice, add 1 Tbsp. of agave nectar (or honey).
Cook the chicken breasts in the sauce on medium high heat for 10 minutes. At this point, you can take two forks and shred the chicken breasts into pieces. Simmer the shredded chicken in the sauce for an additional 5 minutes. If the sauce has gotten too ‘thick’, feel free to add another 1/2 cup of chicken stock. Adding stock or some other liquid is a great way to thin out a sauce and bring it to your desired consistency. After the chicken is fully cooked (make sure there is no pink color remaining in the chicken), you can taste the sauce and adjust any of the flavors to your liking. Too spicy? Add more sugar. Flavors not popping? Add more salt and pepper. Not spicy enough? Add more chipotle.
The last things you’ll want to do is to heat a can of black beans and some tortillas on your stove top. You can use re-fried beans or pinto beans, but I find that the black beans work well with these chicken tacos. You can use corn or flour tortillas. They’re both equally delicious.
Now to assemble: Take your heated tortillas and top them with the black beans, chicken, chopped spinach and cilantro, radishes, and avocado. Last but not least, drizzle the chilled Mexican crema over the top. Squeeze some fresh lime over the whole thing for another pop of fresh flavor. The most important part comes next: Stuff your face with tacos.
You know what tacos love? This Roasted Poblano and Avocado Everything Sauce!
These skillet chipotle chicken tacos make for a quick and easy weeknight meal that's packed with spicy flavor and then topped with a cooling Mexican crema.
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 small white onion
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp Mexican oregano
- 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
- 1-2 chipotles in adobo
- 1 Tbsp agave nectar
- salt adjust to taste
- pepper adjust to taste
- 1 can black beans
- 1 package tortillas - corn or flour
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 1 cup fresh cilantro
- 4-5 radishes sliced thinly
- 1 avocado sliced
Add 1 cup sour cream, the zest and juice of 1 large lime, 1 clove grated garlic, and pinch of salt to small bowl. Mix together and chill in fridge.
Mince 6 cloves garlic and 1 small onion. Chop all of the taco toppings - spinach, cilantro, radishes, avocado.
Heat 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil in skillet on medium high heat. Add garlic and onions and saute until fragrant. About 4-5 minutes.
Add the chicken to pan along with pinch of salt and pepper.
Add 1 tsp. cumin and 1/2 tsp. Mexican oregano to chicken.
- Sear on both sides for 3 minutes.
De-glaze pan with 1/4 cup chicken stock.
Add 1-2 minced chipotles in adobo (depending on how spicy you like them). Add additional adobo sauce if you'd like more spice.
Add 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce and 1/2 cup more of chicken stock.
Add 1 Tbsp. agave nectar, honey, or sugar to balance spice.
- Cook chicken on medium heat for 10 minutes. Shred chicken with two forks and continue to simmer for 5 more minutes.
- Heat can black beans according to package instructions.
- Heat tortillas in pan on stove top.
- Assemble tacos and top with Mexican crema.
If sauce is too thick, add more chicken stock.
If sauce is too thin, continue to cook until it reduces.
Honey or sugar can be used in place of agave nectar. Add more sugar if tacos become too spicy.