You don’t have to travel to Mexico to get a good taco and a good taco is made even better when you can get it fast. These 15 minute chicken street tacos don’t disappoint; they’re full of bold flavors that come together in a pinch because it starts with precooked chicken that I made earlier in the week. If you’re into meal prepping and can take the time to prepare vegetables on the day you cook chicken, then you can reduce this recipe’s prep time down even further.
15 Minute Chicken Street Taco Ingredients
- Fully Cooked Chicken Breasts
- Corn Tortillas
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Ground Cumin
- Ground Cayenne Pepper
- Garlic Cloves or Jarred Minced Garlic
Start by slicing or chopping the onions, jalapeño, and cilantro. Then, set these aside until it’s time to build the tacos.
Next, I will create a little seasoning mixture or what may be considered a very light sauce to pour over the chicken when heating it up. There’s not a lot of volume to this “sauce”, which is why I hesitate to even call it that. Besides adding flavor, what little liquid that is used here is just enough moisture to help move the seasonings over all of the surfaces of the strips chicken.
I’ll mix extra virgin olive oil, fresh squeezed lime juice, cumin, and cayenne pepper, then set them aside until my chicken is prepared and my cast iron skillet is hot. Our family loves spicy foods so I’m using a fair amount of heat in this one, but you can feel free to adjust the cayenne pepper to your own level of taste or even omit it completely if you prefer a mild tasting taco instead.
You can either use minced garlic from a jar or fresh garlic cloves that you press in a garlic press. While I’m open to the jarred garlic in a hurry, I’m not a fan of lime juice in a bottle and will always choose fresh squeezed lime juice every time. You just can’t beat that fresh citrus flavor taken straight from the lime.
Once the wet and dry ingredients are mixed, I’ll set them aside to work on the items that need to be heated.
Now, the base of these tacos starts with tortillas. I’m using Mission Corn Tortillas here but one could certainly opt for flour tortillas instead. Ideally, a nice homemade tortilla would be the way to go, but like I said before, it’s a busy night. So, store bought tortillas will have to suffice.
It’s time to heat up the tortillas. There are several ways that this can be done.
- Microwaving the tortillas between damp paper towels for a few seconds.
- Holding the tortillas with tongs over an open flame, which gives it a smoky charred flavor, but is not without risk of something going awry.
- Wrapping the tortillas in foil and placing in the oven.
- Heating them up in a lightly greased cast iron skillet. This is, by far, my personal favorite as that it adds a ton of flavor to the store bought tortillas with less risk of burning them since they aren’t directly over a fire.
Once heated, the tortillas can be kept warm by wrapping them in foil and placing between two warm plates or covering them with a warm towel.
As I previously stated, I’m using fully cooked chicken breasts that I pan seared the other day, This is a huge time saver. All I need to do now, is reheat the chicken in a cast iron skillet. The well seasoned cast iron skillet will add a bit of flavoring that a nonstick skillet just can’t reproduce.
Since the meat had already been seasoned with salt, I’m omitting it from this recipe. Instead, it’s simply a matter of warming this chicken through with a few additional spices and flavors that are mixed together to create the “sauce”. This mixture of olive oil, lime juice, garlic, cumin, and cayenne pepper is then poured over the sliced chicken breasts. Almost immediately upon hitting that hot cast iron skillet, the air is filled with the delicious aroma of something very tasty. I’m not sure about you, but this is where my mouth begins to water!
Depending on how hot your skillet is, the chicken and seasoning mixture won’t need to be heated long – maybe a couple of minutes just to heat them all through. Just give them a gentle stir in the pan ensuring the seasoning mixture has completely coated the chicken strips and the meat is fully heated. Finally, the chicken is removed from the skillet, layered onto the warm tortillas, and topped with onions, cilantro, jalapenos, and a squeeze of lime.
Traditional chicken street tacos are most often served on two corn tortillas because corn tortillas will often tear once moistened by sauce or salsa. Once that happens, they can easily fall apart under the weight of all those delicious toppings. Now, they are typically topped with onion, cilantro, and salsa, but here are some things you can serve with your tacos instead:
- Pico de Gallo
- Shredded Cheese
- Sour Cream
- Hot Sauce
You can also serve these chicken street tacos with:
- Black Beans
- Refried Beans
- Mexican Rice
- Chips and Homemade Salsa
- Chile con Queso
If you enjoyed these 15 Minute Chicken Street Tacos, then you’ll love some of our other favorite recipes!
Cheesy Pico Tequila Chicken
Easy Baked Chicken Spaghetti
Fast Chicken Pho
15 Minute Chicken Street Tacos
- Cast Iron Skillet
For the Chicken
- 4 cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts Sliced in ½ inch slices
- ¼ c olive oil extra virgin
- 2 tbsp lime juice freshly squeezed from ¼ of a large lime, reserving the remaining lime for serving
- 2 tbsp cumin
- 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 onion sliced or diced
- ¼ c cilantro chopped
- 1 jalapeno sliced
- 16 mini street taco corn tortillas or 8 large tortillas
- Slice onion and jalapenos, chop the cilantro, and set aside.
- Mix olive oil, lime juice, cumin, cayenne pepper, and minced garlic in a bowl.
- Slice the fully cooked chicken breasts.
- Heat tortillas in lightly greased cast iron skillet then set aside.
- Heat sliced chicken breasts and seasoning mixture in a cast iron skillet until thoroughly heated through.
- Layer sliced chicken over warmed tortillas and top with onions, cilantro and jalapeno. Serve with remaining lime wedges.