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Grilled Chicken Tacos take minutes to prepare and each bite is packed with authentic flavor. The marinated chicken is topped with fresh avocado, onion and cilantro.

Grilled chicken tacos on a plate.
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Best Grilled Chicken Tacos

This recipe uses grilled chicken thighs for simple yet delicious grilled chicken street tacos. It is one of our favorite taco recipes and very frugal and easy to put together.

The flavor from the grill and the marinade is delicious. Everyone can choose their favorite taco toppings and it is a great meal in minutes!

Ingredients for Grilled chicken tacos.

Ingredients

For the Chicken: 

  • Boneless Chicken Thighs 
  • Limes (juiced) 
  • Olive Oil 
  • Chili Powder 
  • Paprika 
  • Salt 
  • Black Pepper 
  • Fresh Cilantro (chopped) 

Ingredients for Serving: 

  • Mini Corn Tortillas (street taco size) 
  • Large Avocado (chopped) 
  • Small Red Onion (diced) 
  • Fresh Cilantro (chopped) 
  • Limes (cut into wedges) 

How to make Chicken Street tacos:

  • Step 1. Combine the marinade ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, chili powder, paprika, salt, pepper and chopped cilantro. 
  • Step 2. Allow the chicken to marinate. Add in the chicken and marinade for at least 1 hour or up to overnight in the refrigerator.
Chicken in a bowl with seasoning.
  • Step 3. Prepare the grill. Preheat a grill over medium high heat (350 degrees Fahrenheit) and rub the grill grates with oil. 
  • Step 4. Grill the chicken. Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill the chicken for 3-4 minutes per side. The chicken needs to reach an internal temperature in the thickest part of the chicken of 165 degrees F.
Chicken on the grill.
  • Step 5. Allow to rest. Remove the chicken from the grill and let it rest for 5 minutes.  Dice the chicken into small pieces.  
Tortillas on the grill being warmed.
  • Step 6. Warm the tortillas. Place the tortillas on the grill and grill for 1-2 minutes per side to warm them through and are browned. 
Diced chicken on cutting board.
  • Step 7. Add chicken and toppings. When serving, double each tortilla. Top each set with the diced chicken, avocado, red onion, chopped cilantro and fresh lime wedges. 

Serving suggestions

Additional topping Ideas

  • Guacamole. Fresh guacamole is alway a popular option for topping.
  • Sour Cream. Dollop sour cream on the tacos for a creamy taste.
  • Pico de gallo. This simple recipe is very easy to prepare and adds tons of flavor.
  • Salsa. Try making homemade salsa and save a ton of money.
  • Shredded Lettuce. Top the tacos with shredded lettuce.
  • Radishes. Thinly slice radishes to top the street tacos with.
  • Hot Sauce. You can use your favorite brand of hot sauce to spice things up.
  • Cheese. Cotija Cheese, queso fresco, mozzarella or anything you love will be great.
  • Slaw. Fresh Cabbage slaw is fresh and light.

Substitutes

  • Chicken breasts. Feel free to use boneless skinless chicken breasts in this recipe. Just be careful that you do not overcook them. Chicken breasts dry out much faster than chicken thighs.
  • Lemons. While fresh lime juice is preferred, lemon juice can be used if that is all you have.
  • Vegetable Oil. You can substitute vegetable oil for the olive oil in the marinade.
  • Flour tortillas. Corn tortillas taste most authentic with street tacos but you can certainly use flour tortillas based on preference.
  • Cumin, garlic and kosher salt. Try other seasoning blend in the marinade.
  • Regular size tortillas. If you plan to use a lot of toppings, you might want to use regular size tortillas. This will hold everything.
  • Spicy. If you like spicy food, add crushed red pepper flakes or cayenned red pepper to the marinade mixture.

How to know when chicken is done?

The most accurate way to ensure chicken is fully cooked is to use a meat thermometer. Insert a digital meat thermometer into the thickest portion of the meat.

Chicken should be 165 degrees when safe to eat.

Tips for making Chicken Street Tacos:

  • Marinate at least an hour. The chicken needs to marinade at least an hour to ensure the chicken is flavorful.
  • Preheat the grill. The grill should be hot when you place the chicken on it. This will give it nice char marks.
  • Prepare the grill grates. Rub oil on the grates so the chicken does not stick while grilling.
  • Chicken thighs are best. They don’t dry out and turn out juicy every time.
  • Let the meat rest. Once you remove from the grill, wait at least 5 minutes for the meat to rest. This will lock in the juices that give it so much flavor.
  • Heat the tortillas. Place them on the grill to warm them. You can also use a griddle if you prefer. Just don’t skip this step as they are best enjoyed warm.
  • Leftovers. Turn leftovers into another tasty meal. This chicken is delicious in a taco salad or used to make nachos or a rice bowl. No one will guess they are eating leftovers and your family will love it.

Baking option:

If the weather does not allow for grilling, the chicken can be baked. This option is great if you just prefer to use the oven. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Marinade the chicken as normal. Place on a sheet pan and bake for 30 minutes. Serve and enjoy.

Does Beef Taco seasoning work on chicken?

Yes, this can easily be used on chicken. We have an easy recipe for homemade taco seasoning that we love if you prefer to use this instead of the other seasonings.

Grilled chicken tacos on a plate.

Make ahead instructions:

Save time and make the marinade up to a day in advance. Place the chicken in the marinade when ready. This is a big help during busy weeks and saves a step.

How to store:

Refrigerate the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.  Wait to assemble the tacos until ready to eat.

This chicken can also be frozen up to 3 months. Just make sure to store inside an airtight freezer bag or container.

Another option is to freeze the raw chicken in the marinade. Then thaw and cook.

Grilled chicken tacos on a plate.

Print Grilled Chicken Taco Recipe:

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Grilled Chicken Tacos

5 from 2 votes
Grilled Chicken Tacos take minutes to prepare and each bite is packed with authentic flavor. The marinated chicken is topped with fresh avocado, onion and cilantro.
Prep Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Let Rest 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 4
Cuisine Mexican
Course Main Course
Calories 866

Ingredients

For the Chicken:

For the Serving:

  • 24 Mini Corn Tortillas street taco size
  • 1 Large Avocado chopped
  • 1 Small Red Onion diced
  • ¼ cup Fresh Cilantro chopped
  • 3 Limes cut into wedges

Instructions

  • In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, chili powder, paprika, salt, pepper and chopped cilantro.
  • Add in the chicken and marinade for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
  • Preheat a grill over medium high heat (350 degrees Fahrenheit) and rub the grill grates with oil.
  • Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill the chicken for 3-4 minutes per side until the chicken reaches an internal temperature for 165 degrees F.
  • Remove the chicken from the grill and let it rest for 5 minutes.  Dice the chicken into small pieces.
  • Place the tortillas on the grill and grill for 1-2 minutes per side to warm them through and are browned.
  • When serving, double up the tortillas and top each set with the diced chicken, avocado, red onion, chopped cilantro and fresh lime wedges.

Recipe Notes

Refrigerate the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 866kcal, Carbohydrates 87g, Protein 39g, Fat 44g, Saturated Fat 10g, Polyunsaturated Fat 10g, Monounsaturated Fat 20g, Trans Fat 0.1g, Cholesterol 167mg, Sodium 807mg, Potassium 1058mg, Fiber 17g, Sugar 4g, Vitamin A 998IU, Vitamin C 32mg, Calcium 188mg, Iron 4mg

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Grilled chicken tacos on a plate.

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Grilled Chicken Tacos take minutes to make and is packed with authentic flavor. The chicken is topped with fresh avocado, onion and cilantro. The flavor from the grill and the marinade is delicious. Everyone can choose their favorite taco toppings and it is a great meal in minutes! #eatingonadime #grilledchickentacos #chickentacos

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Eating on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you cook delicious meals without busting your budget. Together we are going to cook real food… for real families!

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