Aug 2, 2016

Mexican Chicken Street Tacos

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
The seasoned chicken thighs are topped with a mix of cilantro, onion, jalapeño and lime and served in corn tortillas.
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With it’s close proximity to California, Mexican cuisine is everywhere. Living in Los Angeles you can find any type of taco you can ever dream of but I love these reliable street tacos because they are typically cheap and they can be found at just about every food truck, stand or shop. These Mexican chicken street tacos can be seasoned and marinated ahead of time. They come together quickly.

Mexican Chicken Street Tacos

More About Street Tacos

The stand I visit most frequently is set up outside the Whole Foods in Venice off Lincoln. Whenever I get groceries and they are set up, I stop and get several street tacos for eating on the sidewalk or in my car and a burrito to go to heat up and press in a skillet the next morning!

Street tacos are the authentic, yet simple tacos that you can get from street stands – they consist of various cooked meats with a topping on small corn tortillas. What these tacos lack in crazy toppings they make up in flavor. The seasoned chicken thighs are topped with a mix of cilantro, onion, jalapeño and a squeeze of lime served on small corn tortillas.

chopped seasoned boneless skinless chicken thighs

Ingredients in Chicken Street Tacos

Chicken thighs

When I make street tacos, I use chicken thighs as a filling because they are much more flavorful than chicken breasts and they are a cheaper cut. Chicken thighs are also much more juicy and tender than chicken breasts. They don’t dry out when they’re cooked.

Corn tortillas

I use two tortillas per taco for this particular type of taco because they are so small and thin; doubling them up makes them more durable. This is the way they are traditionally served.


For this recipe I use a blend of garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, paprika and salt. The seasoning blend adds a bit of spice and bright red flavor to the chicken.


Yellow onion has strong flavor and is the main component of the topping for the chicken street tacos. It is like a pico de gallo without the tomato.


Cilantro has a complex, citrusy flavor which pairs well with the spice of the chicken.


While jalapeño is classic in this topping, it can be easily substituted with serrano a similar pepper with great flavor.


The lime adds a bit of acidity and brightness to this recipe.

Mexican chicken street tacos with onion salsa and limes

Steps to Making Chicken Tacos

Step 1

Mix together the spices then season the chicken all over.

Step 2

Cook the chicken in a cast iron pan or skillet until cooked through

Step 3

Let stand to absorb the juices then chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces and set aside.

Step 4

Stir together the onion, cilantro and jalapeño and stir in lime juice and season with salt.

Step 5

Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat and top two mini tortillas on top of each other then warm the tortillas on both sides. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

Step 6

Top the warmed tortillas with a spoonful of the chicken and the onion mixture. Serve with extra lime wedges on the side.

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

Mexican Chicken Street Tacos

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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Serves 4


  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • cups diced yellow onion
  • ½ packed cup cilantro, diced
  • 1 tablespoon diced jalapeño
  • Juice from one medium lime
  • 20 mini corn tortillas
  • Lime wedges, for serving


  • In a small bowl whisk together the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne and ¼ teaspoon of salt until combined then season the chicken thighs on all sides.
  • Heat a medium sauté pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Sauté the chicken until cooked through and lightly browned, about 8 minutes.
  • Remove to a cutting board and let stand for about 10 minutes. Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl stir together the onion, cilantro and jalapeno. Season with lime juice and remaining salt.
  • Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat and top two mini tortillas on top of each other then warm the tortillas on both sides. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
  • To serve: Top the warmed tortillas with a spoonful of the chicken and the onion mixture. Serve with extra lime wedges on the side.



Rate + Review


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Recipe Rating

  1. 5 stars
    Such a good weeknight dinner recipe! The chicken is super flavorful with the spice combo. I add tomato to the cilantro & onion topping to make it more of a pico. Can’t wait to try more recipes!

  2. 5 stars
    Amazing. Shared with my Small Group and they kept coming back for more. I share this with everyone I can.

  3. 5 stars
    I would’ve never thought to use chicken thighs!! The chicken is soooo moist!! This entire recipe was PERFECT!! Everyone in the house LOVES it!! I’ll definitely be making this again!!

  4. 5 stars
    These tacos are fabulous and I even forgot to add the lime. We have a favorite authentic Mexican restaurant down the street and my husband commented that there’s no need to go anymore because these are as good as theirs.

  5. Been making this recipe for more than a year and never had a chance to tell you how much we love it ❤️❤️❤️
    Since we eating kosher and we can’t find kosher My husband is dreaming about chicken taco like a used to eat in the street .
    Your recipe made it happened.
    Every-time We making and a success.
    Thanks again 😘😘

  6. I have made many, many tacos in my lifetime. This recipe is simplicity at its best! These Chicken Street Tacos are phenomenal. My husband wanted Carne Asada Street Tacos for his family birthday celebration this year, and I have a favorite recipe for those, but I wanted to offer guests a choice between beef or chicken, or to enjoy both flavors like I did that day. I love that these tacos have a dry rub rather than a marinade. The recipe has just the right amount of spices to make the chicken the star of the taco, but the toppings compliment the flavor of the chicken. Next time, I plan to make a large batch of the spice rub and store it in my pantry to have it on hand for a very quick preparation anytime we want chicken tacos. I almost always use chicken thighs for most chicken dishes unless there is a very good reason to use breast meat, so I am totally with you on the choice of thighs for this recipe. A cast iron pan is the way to go if you have one … the chicken had a nice sear but remained very moist. I am going to use the leftover chicken for some quesadillas tonight. With the flavor of this chicken, I know the quesadillas will be great! Thank you, Kylie, for this terrific recipe. It has quickly become a family favorite!

  7. I made this recipe over Memorial Day and it is outstanding. Easy to make, I did grill as I had a crowd and I warmed up later and served from a crock pot. The topping is easy and fantastic with the chicken and warmed tortillas. Our guests loved, complimented and devoured. This is a keeper!

    • Hi Dede!

      While I don’t see why the chicken could not be made in a crockpot it will definitely be more of a pulled chicken. For a large group I would recommend grilling the chicken as the best option.

      Hope you enjoy the recipe!

  8. These tacos are amazing, a new go to meal! I use double the amount of seasoning listed for 3 chicken thighs, fyi. Not sure how much the thighs weigh because I don’t have a scale, but I’ve made these twice and that seems to be the perfect ratio for me.

  9. Things that are great about this recipe:
    -The chicken is super tender when you cook it this way (nothing worse than dry meat in tacos)
    -So easy, even the worst cooks (me) can execute perfectly
    -Very inexpensive and quick to prepare
    -Makes great leftovers + you never get sick of these tacos
    -All your friends will be impressed

  10. I cooked these for my boyfriend and I and he literally can’t stop raving about them. I’m addicted to my local taco truck in Seattle and gave these a try. Best street tacos ever!

  11. So stinkin’ good! I don’t care if it’s authentic, overly authentic, or not authentic at all. We have made this multiple times and it’s one of the very few recipes I don’t have to tweak. Yes…self professed tweaker! Thanks for all the deliciousness!!! Prepping it again, right now!

  12. Do you have any authentic street fish taco recipes? My girlfriend has been eating fish tacos from all over Oregon and California and can’t find any that taste authentic to her…..we’re both pretty obsessed with fish tacos, I must say…..I also love crab and shrimp or prawn tacos….YUM!
    Thank you

  13. I just want to say THANK YOU for not suggesting CUMIN in your recipe. Living in LA I’m sure you know cumin isn’t a spice used in Mexican food. I loved the flavor of these tacos. With my husband being stationed in NY it’s so hard to find good tacos. These were perfect.

    • Not trying to attack you personally Ms. V, but it peeves me a bit when people are quick to make uninformed blanket statements.

      Cumin most certainly is used in authentic Mexican cuisine. It’s just that it’s used way, way more abundantly in Tex-Mex style food because Tex-Mex uses cumin as one of the main flavorings (a whole lot of Tex-Mex style dishes contain a decent amount of cumin), so many people come to associate cumin with Tex-Mex and not traditional Mexican food, even though it is indeed used in the latter. In traditional Mexican fare it’s used much more sparingly as subtle supplemental flavor, not nearly as pronounced as in Tex-Mex. It is commonly found in many recipes for mole and red chile sauce for tamales, as well as more regional dishes, like cortadillo norteno and gallina boracha, as well as many other recipes.

      And of course, as with the cuisine from any country, the culinary styles vary by region. Cumin is commonly found in many dishes in the Northern regions of Mexico, but is hardly used, if at all in the Southern regions. Hope this helps.

  14. I was wondering if anyone had a reciepe for beef tounge tacos they make some really good ones in a taco truck down the street from my place and wanted to try and make them at home but I can’t find I the right reciept. Can you help?