A delicious crockpot chicken tinga tacos recipe that tastes like it came straight from a Mexican restaurant. So easy and only takes 5 minutes to prep. These tinga tacos are authentic and amazing!
Table of Contents
Mexican Chicken Tinga Tacos
These chicken tinga tacos are incredible and taste like they came straight from a Mexican restaurant. My inspiration for this recipe came from a trip I took to Nashville. We went on a walking food tour through the city and ate at 4 different taco shops in 4 hours. I ate some of the best tacos of my life that day.
On the tour, I had the most delicious chicken tinga tacos and knew I had to try and recreate the recipe at home to share with you. At another restaurant, I tried the most amazing feta crema sauce on a taco as well, so I thought I would take the two and make one amazing taco. And the combination did not disappoint…these chicken tinga tacos are amazing and SO easy to make. They are the perfect dinner to celebrate Taco Tuesday with!
Why This Recipe Works
- Simple to make: This recipe takes about 5 minutes to prep which is perfect for those busy days.
- Toss and go: Just set and forget this crockpot Mexican chicken recipe! A great option if you need to be out of the house all day at work!
- Flavorful: Simmering the chicken with onions, peppers and seasonings all days imparts such amazing flavor!
- Adjust the spice level: I used 3-4 chipotle peppers but you can less or more depending on your family’s preference.
What is Chicken Tinga?
Chicken tinga (also known as tinga de pollo in Spanish) is a Mexican recipe that consists of shredded chicken that’s topped in a tomato, chipotle pepper and onion sauce. Additional seasonings may be added to the sauce based on preference, such as garlic or taco seasoning.
Most of the ingredients you can keep on hand for when the mood strikes for chicken tinga tacos. It happens more often than you might think.
Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.
- Fire roasted tomatoes: One can is enough to impart a good amount of flavor.
- Onion: I like to dice it to make it easier to eat with the chicken.
- Chipotle peppers in adobe: These are sold in the can at most grocery stores and can pack a bit of heat. Use as much or little as you like.
- Garlic: A necessary flavor to help balance the smoky and spicy ingredients.
- Taco seasoning: I like to use this for ease, because it has all the spices I want in this dish.
- Chicken breasts: I find the breasts are easy to shred after cooking all day, but you can also use chicken thighs if you prefer.
- Crema sauce: Cream cheese, feta, and lemon juice are blended together to create a cooling sauce for the tacos. Add a little milk if too thick.
- Tortillas: You can use flour, if you prefer, but corn tortillas are more traditional. I like to warm them briefly in a skillet before serving.
More Delicious Toppings
- Avocado slices or guacamole
- Cotija cheese
- Lime juice
- Chopped onions
- White sweet corn
How to Make Chicken Tinga Tacos in the Crockpot
My favorite thing about this chicken tinga tacos recipe is that you only need 5 minutes and 5 ingredients to make it. So easy and delicious just like my crockpot chicken fajita recipe!
- Make sauce. Place the tomatoes, peppers, garlic, onion and seasonings in a blender and pulse about 5 times. The peppers and taco seasoning add just the right amount of heat.
- Cook. Pour the sauce over the chicken in the slow cooker and cook on low for about 4 to 6 hours (or on high for about 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours). Once the chicken simmers in the sauce, it will have a nice smoky chipotle flavor. Shred the chicken once tender, then place back in crockpot and cook an additional 15 to 30 minutes.
- Serve. Serve the chicken inside of tortillas with toppings like crema sauce, cilantro and red onion.
The feta crema sauce seriously takes the chicken tinga tacos from ordinary to extraordinary. It’s definitely worth trying, and only takes a couple extra minutes to make. Promise!
- Stir the cream cheese, feta and lemon juice in a bowl until smooth.
- Add milk to crema sauce as needed to thin it out.
Note: Place crema in a zip-top bag and then cut off the top to drizzle over the chicken tinga tacos. It’s a little thick, so you could also just add a big dollop to the center of the tacos. :)
5 star review
Thank you for this delicious recipe! I made it tonight for my family and EVERYONE was back for seconds! It’s such an easy weeknight meal but would also be a treat for a casual get together or a party! YUM YUM YUM!Susan
Chicken tinga (also known as tinga de pollo in Spanish) is a Mexican recipe that consists of shredded chicken that’s topped in a tomato, chipotle pepper and onion sauce. Additional seasonings may be added to the sauce based on preference, such as garlic or taco seasoning. I like to serve it as chicken tinga tacos, wrapped in soft corn tortillas and drizzled with crema sauce.
According to wikitionary, it is a Mexican dish made with shredded beef or chicken in a red chili sauce.
Chicken tinga tacos taste smoky with just a little bit of heat from the adobo chiles that is lightened by the cooling crema sauce.
Yes, but you will need to use 5-6 cups cooked shredded chicken such as leftover rotisserie chicken or Mexican chicken. Make sauce and then add it to a large skillet and simmer for around 10 minutes. Add your chicken and simmer for around 10 minutes more to thicken the sauce and reduce it a little.
The chicken tinga (without the tortillas and crema sauce) can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 3 days. Reheat gently and make tacos once warm.
Other Mexican Dishes You’ll Love
Crockpot Chicken Tinga Tacos Recipe
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can fire roasted tomatoes
- ½ onion , diced
- 3-4 chipotle peppers in adobe , plus more if you like heat
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon taco seasoning
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt , more to taste
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 4 ounces cream cheese , softened
- 3 Tablespoons feta cheese
- ½ lemon , juiced
- Whole milk , if needed
- Tortillas , for serving
Optional toppings: Diced onions, Chopped cilantro, Crumbed feta or cotija cheese, Lime slice
- In the base of a blender, add the tomatoes, onion, peppers, garlic, taco seasoning, and salt. Pulse 3 to 5 times, or until combined.
- In the bottom of a slow cooker, add the chicken. Pour the tomato mixture over the chicken.
- Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours, or until the chicken is cooked through. Using 2 forks, shred the chicken. Stir and cook an additional 15 to 30 minutes. Turn crockpot to warm until ready to serve.
- For the feta crema, stir the cream cheese, feta and lemon juice until smooth. Add milk to crema sauce as needed to thin it out.
- Place the chicken in a tortilla and top with feta crema and your favorite toppings to serve.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!