Tender chicken, tossed with the perfect blend of Mexican spices and served on a warm tortilla with fresh salsa and cool, homemade ranch.
We eat tacos nearly once a week at my house. We hold our Taco Tuesdays near and dear. There’s just no beating the convenience, the tastiness, or the crowd-pleasing factor of ground beef smileys (that’s a Friends reference, y’all).
But can I share a secret? I’m not a huge beef lover. I love tacos, and I enjoy a well-made hamburger every once in a while, but chicken is my jam. For months, each time I made regular tacos, I’d long for chicken.
I don’t really know why it took me so long to get around to making these. Mostly, I think, it was because I imagined the process would be laborious and not quite worth the effort. Part of the reason beef tacos are so popular is because they’re so easy. I thought making them with chicken would suck all the convenience out of the situation.
Turns out I was wrong. The chicken took even less hands-on time to prepare than ground beef or turkey. The quick salsa came together quickly and was the perfect snack to munch on while finishing the meal. And since I’ve been putting this homemade buttermilk ranch dressing on everything since I discovered it a couple months back, I decided to use it here, too.
The result is moist, flavorful chicken, shredded and with your favorite taco fixings. The salsa and ranch recipes are ones I’ve shared before here on the blog, but I’m including the recipes here for convenience’s sake. You can top your tacos with whatever you prefer, but I can’t recommend this recipe highly enough.
Easy Weeknight Chicken Tacos
adapted from How Sweet Eats
For the Tacos
2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs (breasts work, too, but thighs are better)
2 tbs. olive oil
2 packets or 4 tbs. your favorite taco seasoning (I use this)
salt and pepper
taco toppings (lettuce, avocado, tomatoes, etc.)
For the Salsa
10 oz. grape tomatoes
1 red onion
2 tbs. chopped jalapeños
1 clove minced garlic
juice of one lime
salt and pepper to taste
For the Ranch
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1/2 c. buttermilk (add more if you prefer your ranch to be runnier)
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. dried parsley flakes
2 tsp. dried chives
1 1/2 tsp. dried dill
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Salt and pepper both sides of chicken. In an oven-safe pan (I love my cast iron) cook chicken thighs for 2-3 minutes on each side, just until beginning to brown. Cover the pan- I use foil- and put it in the oven for 18-21 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
While chicken is cooking, dice the grape tomatoes and red onion. Toss with the other salsa ingredients and set aside (or eat as you cook; I won’t blame you if you can’t resist it). Whisk all the ranch dressing ingredients together and put in the fridge until ready to serve.
When chicken is cooked, remove it from the pan and shred it with the taco seasoning. I do this in my KitchenAid mixer and it takes about two minutes. Do not discard juices left in the pan; return the shredded chicken to the pan and toss with the leftover liquid.
Serve chicken on warm tortillas with fresh salsa and homemade ranch. If you have leftover chicken, I suggest making nachos.
Know someone who loves delicious and easy weeknight meals? Share this recipe on Facebook.
(this post contains affiliate links; to learn more, read my disclosure policy)