Mexican Chicken Tinga

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Do you love chicken tacos? Here’s an easy chicken tinga taco recipe.

This chicken tinga recipe is a variation from Chef Rick Bayless, who is my go-to for Mexican cuisine (sopa de lima, anyone?) because he shares really easy but awesome Mexican recipes and he seems like he’d be the nicest guy ever.

Chicken tinga originated in Puebla, Mexico. Puebla, like Oaxaca, is one of the mecca’s for Mexican cuisine.

Mexican food is diverse, reflecting its geography and history so food in the Yucatan on the east coast is very different than food in the west coast.

EASY RECIPE: Chocobananos

In Puebla, Poblano food is an expression of indigenous cuisine affected by the Spanish settlement, specifically Spanish nuns.

Some of Puebla’s most famous dishes, including mole poblano and chiles en nogada were created in a convent.

The traditional chicken tinga recipe is shredded chicken in a tomato chipotle sauce cooked in a clay pot.

It’s basically a stew, which makes it extremely versatile.

It’s served traditionally on a tostada (fried tortilla) but it is also a great taco filling. It’s often used on Mexican antojitos.

An easy Mexican chicken tinga recipe that is so quick to make and everyone will love.

What Kind of Tomatoes to Use

For this recipe I used the fire roasted diced tomatoes. They are more expensive than regular diced tomatoes at the grocery store.

But opening up the can you can actually see charred bits of tomato and straight from the can the tomatoes taste great, which isn’t always the case – especially for no-name tomatoes.

Sikil Pak

I really liked the charred flavour and think it would be great in pasta dishes like spaghetti puttanesca as it gives the tomato a nice depth of flavour.

It was a great addition to this recipe to complement the smoky adobo peppers.

An easy Mexican chicken tinga recipe that is so quick to make and everyone will love.

Chicken Tinga Substitutions

While we have access to many Mexican ingredients in Toronto.

I know that’s not the case from coast to coast but this recipe is easily adaptable. It won’t be as authentic but it can still taste great.

Queso fresco, which literally means fresh cheese is amazing. But can be difficult and/or expensive to get in some towns, so look for feta that isn’t too salty.

I love corn tortillas. They have such a different flavour from flour tortillas.

If you can get them buy a pack and freeze the remainder. 

However, if you can’t find corn tortillas go with flour.

If you don’t have a dutch oven a casserole dish will do, or try it in the slow cooker.

Mexican chicken tinga on a flour tortilla

Mexican Chicken Tinga

Yield: 4-6 people
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

An easy shredded chicken taco


  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs cut in to 1-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable or olive oil
  • 4 oz fresh Mexican chorizo sausage removed from casing
  • 1/2 medium white onion diced
  • 1 cup Muir Glen Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes undrained
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup queso fresco crumbled
  • 2 avocados halved, pitted, diced, optional
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro for garnish chopped
  • 2 limes cut into wedges
  • 1 package warm corn tortillas


  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  2. Pat chicken dry with paper towels.
  3. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high. Once oil is hot, add chicken in a single layer (work in batches if necessary).
  4. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is browned, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from pan.
  5. Add chorizo to pan; cook and stir to break up pieces until browned, about 6 minutes.
  6. Return all chicken to the pan. Top meat with onion, tomatoes, chicken broth, chipotle, Worcestershire and salt.
  7. Cover pan and place in oven. Cook, stirring gently once or twice, until chicken has cooked, about 2 hours.
  8. Scoop mixture into a large serving bowl. Sprinkle with cheese, avocado and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges and warm tortillas for making tacos.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 Amount Per Serving: Calories: 430Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 124mgSodium: 846mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 6gSugar: 3gProtein: 29g

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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Love Mexican food? Check out:

How to Make Posole – with a bonus video
Mexican Ceviche
Sopa de Lima
he Michelada
Cochinita pibil: Mexican pulled pork
Pico d
e gallo
Birria: Mexican Stew

Pin it: Mexican Chicken Tacos

Join the Conversation

  1. I am a foodie and I love what you have shared. Thank you and keep posting.

  2. Brenda Penton says:

    Butternut squash lasagna sounds amazing!! Loaded baked potato casserole is one of my favourites to serve for guests.

  3. Xplorato says:

    Love this recipe, it looks like the “something new”: i was looking for to add to my recipe book 🙂 i must try this out soon

  4. That looks amazing! Anything combining tomato + chili + cilantro sounds good to me. I’m based in Spain at the moment and queso fresco is in every supermarket, but I’ve never actually cooked with it. This might be something to test it with!

  5. This looks great. You can make it for me when I come to visit this summer. Along with a multitude of others.

  6. Love a good Mexican dish!

  7. janet @ the taste space says:

    Great to see Muir Glen is available in Canada. They are lovely tomatoes. For guests, we like to use the grill for kebabs and salads since the prep can be done in advance.

  8. I’d like to make this one for sure!

  9. Your recipe looks fantastic!! Because we have 2 kids and often are entertaining families who also have kids we keep it pretty casual. One dish that I love to make is Tacos – and I think these fire roasted tomatoes would be fantastic in it! It is so nice to have a good brand recommendation. I always have several cans on hand for soups, stews, tacos, pasta, lasagna, etc. Look foward to finding them on the shelves hear in Canada.

  10. We’ve just left Mexico and these look really authentic and delicious.

  11. daniela perez grovas says:

    Quick spelling correcting. It is PoZole, with ´´Z´´ 😉

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      It’s such a controversial spelling as some regions use posole, others pozole and others pozolli. Although I often wish I had initially chosen pozole as so many people don’t understand I wasn’t making an uneducated error.

  12. Ushmana P . rai says:

    I had never heard of a dish called chicken tinga before and thanks to you, I am trying this on my own this weekday for dinner!
    The chicken looks so juicy and salivating in the pictures!
    I do have a query though, Is it okay if I use any other cheese for queso fresco or does it make the taste different? Wanting your feedback!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      You could use any fresh, salty cheese to replace the queso fresco.

  13. Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes might be little expensive, but they do give a rich flavored taste on foods especially the spicy dishes. Anyways, the recipe is perfect for Mexican food lovers. On more thing If I use beef instead of chicken it will be called Beef Tinga then?Just kidding.
    Love this unique recipe.

  14. Hi Ayngelina, I wonder if you have worked out an Instant Pot recipe for your Chicken Tinga? I plan to make this dish but would love to do it in my Instant Pot.

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