Chicken Street Tacos

5 from 1 vote

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Chicken Street Tacos are a great Mexican dinner idea for taco night! Made with chicken thighs in a citrus spice marinade and grilled or baked. Gluten free.
Looking down on four Chicken Street Tacos on a plate surrounded by limes.

These Chicken Street Tacos are an easy Mexican recipe with lots of flavor! A perfect dinner idea for taco night. Gluten free and dairy free.

Looking down on four Chicken Street Tacos on a plate surrounded by limes.

Why You Will Love This Recipe

These Chicken Street Tacos (Tacos de Pollo) are packed with a lot of flavor in an easy recipe, perfect for taco night or a crowd!

They typically consist of small, soft corn tortillas filled with seasoned grilled or shredded chicken, topped with various garnishes and sauces. You can find some of our favorite toppings and sides below like escabeche (Mexican pickled vegetables – a classic!) and our super popular pinto beans with bacon and green chile!

Flavorful chicken is marinated in a citrus and spice blend and then finished on the grill (or baked!).

These chicken tacos will have you feeling like you just visited food trucks on Taco Tuesday!

Four Chicken Street Tacos in corn tortillas on a white plate.


Full quantities and recipe details can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

Let’s talk about what ingredients you need to make this chicken street tacos recipe!

Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs – you can also use boneless skinless chicken breasts

Orange Juice

Fresh Lime Juice

Chipotle in Adobo this will bring a little heat plus a smoky flavor. I love to buy the chipotle in a jar that already has the peppers chopped up – it is SO much easier to use plus you can just throw it back in the refrigerator without dealing with a partially used can!

Garlic Powder

Ground Cumin

Vegetable Oil – it is better to use vegetable oil (or grapeseed, avocado) when cooking at a high temperature. Olive oil will burn easily if too hot. It is best to not use olive oil above a medium heat.


Black Pepper

Soft Corn Tortillas – traditional for street tacos, but you can also use flour tortillas if preferred

Additional toppings as desired such as sour cream, red onion, escabeche (Mexican pickled vegetables), fresh cilantro, lime wedges, hot sauce, jalapeno, guacamole, salsa, cheese, etc!

Traditional Mexican street taco toppings are cotija cheese (a white, crumbly cheese), diced white onion, and fresh cilantro.

A close view inside a Chicken Street Taco.

Instruction Overview

The chicken used in street tacos is often seasoned with a blend of spices such as cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. We are swapping out some of these flavors for chipotle in adobo which brings a lot of flavor and a little smoky heat! It can be grilled, roasted, or cooked on a stovetop, and then shredded or diced for filling the tacos.

Combine the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl.

Mix the chicken marinade with the raw chicken and let marinate at least one hour, ideally over night or all day. The longer it sits, the more flavor it gets!

When you are ready to cook the chicken, preheat your grill and rub with a little oil.

Cook the marinated chicken for approximately 4-5 minutes per side until cooked through and the internal temperature is 175F. Let the chicken rest. (I like to use a meat thermometer to be sure it is cooked through).

Baking instructions: Bake at 400F for about 30 minutes.

Warm tortillas on both sides in a skillet over medium heat until just developing color on each side. This is an easy trick to elevate your tacos!

Chop the cooked chicken (which is more traditional) or shred it and add some to your warm corn tortillas.

It is common for street tacos to be served with two layers of corn tortillas for one taco. This is to help provide structural support to the taco and also a good ratio of filling to tortilla. If desired, cook up more tortillas to serve them this way!

Serve the chicken tacos with a squeeze of lime and your favorite toppings and sides!

Common garnishes for chicken street tacos include finely chopped onions, cilantro, diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and crumbled cheese such as queso fresco or cotija. Sliced radishes, avocado slices or guacamole, and lime wedges are also popular additions. Try some of our favorite sides and toppings below!

Looking down closely on four Chicken Street Tacos on a white plate.

Modifications and Substitutions

This chicken marinade tastes better the longer you leave it! Overnight or the morning of will give you the best results.

Want to make it spicier? Add more chipotle in adobo or add some cayenne pepper to the marinade for the Mexican chicken street tacos.

What to Serve with Chicken Street Tacos

Here are some amazing side dishes that are perfect for your Mexican meal!


What makes a street taco a street taco?

A street taco is a soft corn tortilla filled with meat and typically cilantro, onion, and salsa. The toppings are much simpler than American tacos.

What kind of tortillas are used for street tacos?

Street tacos typically use small corn tortillas. Sometimes you will see flour tortillas used, but it is rare.

What is street taco cheese called?

Street tacos commonly use queso fresco or cotija cheese. You can find these cheeses in the Hispanic section of your grocery store. Feta cheese is a good substitute for cotija if needed.

Why do street tacos have 2 tortillas?

Sometimes street tacos are made with two corn tortillas on one taco. This is to provide structural support for the fillings and also a good ratio of tortilla to meat.

Four Chicken Street Tacos on a white plate on a counter surrounded by limes.
Pin looking down on Chicken Street Tacos with title at top.

More Taco Recipes

Taco Recipes

Whether Taco Tuesday or any day of the week, these taco recipes will bring excitement to dinner!

Looking down on four Chicken Street Tacos on a plate surrounded by limes.

Chicken Street Tacos

Chicken Street Tacos are a great Mexican dinner idea for taco night! Made with chicken thighs in a citrus spice marinade and grilled or baked. Gluten free.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate Save Recipe
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Chicken/Turkey, Dairy Free, Gluten Free
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Marinate Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 18 tacos (12 stuffed, 24 skinny)
Calories: 122kcal




  • Make the marinade by mixing all ingredients together in a large bowl.
    ⅓ cup orange juice, 2 ½ Tablespoons fresh lime juice, 2 Tablespoons chipotle in adobo, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder, 1 ½ teaspoons salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • Add the chicken and toss to coat.
    2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • Cover and marinate the chicken at least one hour, ideally overnight.

Grilling Instructions

  • Preheat your grill over medium heat (approximately 350℉). Rub with oil to coat the grates.
  • When hot, add the chicken. Cook for approximately 4-5 minutes per side until juices run clear, the chicken is cooked through, and has an internal temperature of 175℉.

Baking Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400℉.
  • Bake the chicken in a dish for 30 minutes until juices run clear, the chicken is cooked through, and has an internal temperature of 175℉.


  • When the chicken is done, let it rest.
  • Warm your tortillas in a large skillet over medium heat. Let them get a little brown (this is flavor!). As the tortillas are warmed, put them inside a clean dish towel to keep them warm.
  • When ready to serve, chop (traditional) or shred the chicken.
  • Place approximately
  • Serve with your favorite toppings and sides.


The quantity of tacos will vary greatly with how stuffed with meat you want them to be and your tortilla size. You can get anywhere from 6-12 tacos per pound of meat.


Serving: 1taco (without toppings or sides) | Calories: 122kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 251mg | Potassium: 191mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 26IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg
By on May 13th, 2024

About Kim

Kim has grown up with a passion for cooking good food! You can find her in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes, making dog treats, and eating Italian food!

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