Chicken Tacos are the perfect EASY weeknight dinner. These OVEN BAKED chicken tacos have lots of flavor and none of the stress. The ultimate recipe for serving a crowd. This is the most popular recipe on The Cookie Rookie, being pinned over 2 million times and viewed over 6 million times. Make the best tacos ever for dinner tonight!
Best Chicken Tacos You’ll Ever Have
This Spicy Baked Chicken Tacos Recipe is the ultimate easy recipe. Chicken Tacos are great for serving a crowd, taking to a potluck, chowing down on for a tailgating party, and of course, Cinco de Mayo!
Baked tacos can be made in any flavor combination! You can make these as Baked Breakfast Tacos, BBQ Chicken Tacos, and so much more! The possibilities are endless and I love that.
These are one of the easiest and tastiest dinners, plus they’re made in under 30 minutes. It’s one of our favorites to make at our house. Do you see all that melty cheese? What’s not to love!
If you’re not making these easy chicken tacos for Taco Tuesday, what are you doing with your life? Your family will thank you!
This is one of the most popular recipes on The Cookie Rookie! I’ve published a lot of posts on this site (over 1000 to be exact), but this Spicy Oven Baked Chicken Tacos recipe is the #1 recipe by a landslide. There’s something about this recipe that people just go crazy for!
How to Make Chicken Tacos (Step by Step)
Be sure to see the recipe card below for full ingredients & instructions!
Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray.
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a medium skillet.
Add onion to skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the onion is translucent and fragrant.
Stir in the chicken, taco seasoning, tomatoes (FULLY DRAINED), and green chiles (FULLY DRAINED) *see note. Stir to combine fully. Reduce to simmer and allow to cook for 5-8 minutes.
Place the taco shells in the baking dish, standing up. I was able to fit 10 taco shells in the dish by adding 2 on each side.
Bake the taco shells for 5 minutes by themselves to allow them to crisp up. Remove from the oven.
Spoon 1 tablespoon of beans into the bottom of each taco shell. Top with the chicken mixture, almost to the top of each shell.
Sprinkle each shell generously with shredded cheese, the more the better!
Bake for 7-10 minutes or until cheese is fully melted and the edges of the shells are browned.
Remove from the oven and top with your favorite items such as jalapenos, sour cream, cilantro, and salsa.
I make these baked tacos so often at our house, and they’re one of the recipes Pat asks for the most. When he comes home and sees these babies are ready to go, he’s a happy camper. You can make them with so many different flavor combos. Be creative and enjoy!
Don’t forget to top these with a LOT of cheese! That’s the only way to make them. We aren’t playing around when it comes to melted cheese!
Chicken Taco Topping Ideas:
Salsa (pico de gallo, salsa verde, blender salsa)
You can serve these for so many different occasions, including weeknight dinners at home or big get-togethers.
These are the perfect easy appetizer or meal for New Years Eve, the Super Bowl, Cinco de Mayo, Summer BBQs, Taco Night and more. Why spend all your time in the kitchen when you can have these baked chicken tacos ready for a crowd in around 30 minutes?
And I can’t recommend these as a weeknight dinner recipe enough. The family NEVER gets tired of these tacos!
Side Dishes for Mexican Night
Almost every time we make these baked spicy chicken tacos, we serve them with my Easy Cheesy Tex Mex Rice and simple black beans with cotija cheese.
If we really want to indulge, we will make some White Queso and Tequila Lime Chicken Nachos! That’s for parties like the Super Bowl where calories have been shown to actually not count.
Pair this with:
Best Guacamole Recipe
Skinny Mexican Street Corn
Bean and Cheese Taquitos
Layered Bean Dip
Foil Packet Nachos
Tips for the Best Chicken Tacos (& Crispy Shells!)
When making baked tacos, one of the issues people seem to run into is soggy taco shells. Something nobody wants! I take good tacos seriously, so I’ve worked to troubleshoot this problem so you can have the crispiest shells when you make these tacos!
I always bake the shells for 5 minutes on their own before stuffing them with all the delicious toppings and cooking all the way. This way they have the chance to really crisp up on their own before you get started.
I also make sure refried beans are the bottom layer, creating a bit of a barrier between the chicken mixture and the shell. The shells are bound to be less crispy on the bottom than they are at the top, and that’s just part of what happens when you bake them, but they SHOULD NOT break or be soggy.
The other truly important step is FULLY DRAINING the tomatoes and green chiles before adding into the chicken mixture. I recommend first draining, then letting sit over a bowl in a strainer for about 5 minutes to make sure they drain all the way.
These tips will all help to keep the shells crispy, so important!
Oh okay, so you’re my people! My fave pairings are either a Classic Skinny Margarita or our Sparkling Strawberry Margarita Punch. You can also go with a great Mexican beer and be in business.
Every great chicken taco recipe needs a great drink, especially if you’re entertaining a crowd, but that doesn’t mean you have to make something fancy. Have fun with the cocktail pairings and you’ll be a star in no time!
Want more fun cocktails to chase down these Chicken Tacos? We’ve got you covered!
Peach Frozen Margaritas
Grapefruit Salty Dogs
Pink Summer Shandy
White Wine Margaritas
Margaritas and Tacos
There’s nothing better to pair with this easy chicken tacos than an amazing Margarita! We have compiled all our favorite Margarita Recipes in the ULTIMATE MARGARITA GUIDE. From classic to unique to flavored to frozen, we have you covered! Be sure to check it out today.
This recipe for Baked Chicken Tacos is the MOST popular recipe on The Cookie Rookie and I hope you love it as much as we do! It’s a family favorite and a reader favorite, so what are you waiting for?
More Chicken Mexican Recipes we Love
Enchilada Stuffed Chicken
Mexican Chicken Salad
Cheesy Chicken Chowder
Tequila Lime Chicken Nachos
Creamy Chicken Enchiladas
Queso Smothered Chicken Fajitas
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Chicken Enchilada Dip
King Ranch Chicken Casserole
Chicken Quesadillas for a Crowd
If you make this recipe be sure to upload a photo in the comment section below or leave a rating. Enjoy!
Grace Parisi of Food & Wine rounds out one of our all-time favorite dishes with this extra crispy buttermilk chicken. A buttermilk marinade with a hint of chili ensures juicy meat, while a flour dredger dusted with garlic and onion powder delivers a crispy and delicious crust with every bite.
Wine or Beer
Sparkling wine and fried chicken work well together. Try Prosecco from northern Italy, which has a soft fruitiness, like the citrusy NV Mionetto Brut. Or drink a crisp pilsner like the pleasantly bitter Victory Prima Pils or the more delicate Pilsner Urquell.
Additional: 30 mins Total: 1 hr Prep: 30 mins Servings: 16 Yield: 16 egg halves
These are a great 4th of July appetizer! They’re a bit finicky to make, but the colorful demos are so much fun and worth checking out. Spicy horseradish and smoked Spanish paprika add flavor to these deviled eggs. This recipe is easy to expand upon; just make sure to go easy on the amount of salt and your preferred season.
3 drops red gel food coloring
⅔ cup water, or as needed
2 drops blue gel food coloring
8 hard-cooked eggs, peeled
2 ½ tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon hot prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
⅛ teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 pinch fresh-ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon smoked hot paprika
1 teaspoon snipped fresh chives (Optional)
Combine red food coloring and 1/3 cup water in a ramekin or small bowl; do the same with the blue food coloring in a separate ramekin.
Gently insert 3 or 4 toothpicks about 1/4-inch deep through the center of an egg and balance it so that one end is dipped in one of the dyes. (Don’t pierce the eggs too much, or they’ll break after you halve them). Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes, depending upon how strong you like the colors. Dip the other end of the egg in the other dye so the eggs have red, white, and blue bands. Dye the rest of the eggs and let dry on paper towels.
Slice colored eggs in half lengthwise and set the whites aside on a serving platter. Push the yolks through a sieve into a bowl or use a potato ricer.
Mix mayonnaise, horseradish, rice vinegar, salt, and pepper into the yolks and stir until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning. Transfer filling into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip.
Pipe filling into each egg white half. Place smoked paprika in a fine mesh strainer; hold the strainer over each egg half and tap gently to dust with paprika. Sprinkle deviled eggs with chives. Chill until ready to serve.
It took me about half an hour to dye the eggs, but you could speed up the process if you want to use multiple dishes and use more food coloring.
I sometimes add a pinch of pimentón to the filling as well as sprinkling it on top for a garnish.
I use my pressure cooker for steaming the eggs; it’s my favorite method, because it makes them easy to peel. I chill them for about 10 minutes in the ice bath. Get the recipe for Pressure Cooker Hard-Boiled Eggs.
Per Serving: 55 calories; protein 3.2g; carbohydrates 0.5g; fat 4.4g; cholesterol 106.8mg; sodium 64.7mg.
Golden-brown chicken chops are always a family favorite—nothing beats a rich, creamy sauce dipped in every bite. This recipe is sure to become a weeknight favorite.
Level:Easy Total:35 min Prep:10 min Cook:25 min Yield:4 servings
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet. Dredge 2 chicken cutlets in flour, shake off any excess and place in the skillet. Cook until golden, about 1 1/2 minutes per side; transfer to a baking dish. Repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the other 2 chicken cutlets. Cover the dish loosely with foil; place in the oven while you prepare the vegetables.
2. Add the butter to the hot skillet, then add the scallions and mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms brown, about 4 minutes. Pour in the broth and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon. Cook until the liquid is reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the cream and boil until the sauce thickens slightly, 3 to 4 more minutes. Stir in the snap peas and heat through; season with salt and pepper. Serve the chicken topped with the creamy vegetables.
Saucy one pan French Onion Chicken with juicy pan-seared chicken smothered in caramelized onion gravy and three kinds of melty Italian cheese. This 30 minute meal will be a staple in your house!
Sometimes a recipe needs refinement to get to the point of putting it in my recipe book, a little altering and adjustment here and there. Sometimes I test out a recipe and it comes out exactly as I’d hoped. No tweaks needed, no surprising flavors or textures, just spot-on recipe perfection.
And then there are times when I make a dish and with just one bite I am completely wowed and all of my expectations are exceeded. This is one of those times! I fully expected this French onion chicken would be delicious. I didn’t think for a minute I’d be fixing this for dinner three times in one week and reheating leftovers for lunch on the in-between days because it was that good.
Sometimes a home-run recipe just sneaks up on you like that.
Honest to goodness, this French onion chicken thing we’ve got going on here is straight-up life changing goodness. All those classic flavors of French onion soup, in a one pan skillet meal the whole family will beg you to fix again and again. And the recipe is so straight forward and simple you won’t mind one bit.
You start out by sauteing thinly sliced yellow onions in a bit of butter and beef broth til browned and very tender, just like you would with classic French onion soup. Then you move those onions over to a separate dish to keep warm while you brown the chicken in the same pan.
Move the onions back to the pan and add flour and beef broth to make the most delicious caramelized onion gravy EVERRRRR and then top your chicken with three kinds of Italian cheese. Bake for about 10 minutes and viola! The sauciest, tastiest 30-ish minute chicken dish you’ve ever made.
This is Fall comfort food at its finest. And I just want to point out that I even though this dish is inspired by soup, it is not a soup, unlike the past four recipes I’ve posted which are all actual real live soup. #soupbsessed #sorrynotsorry #longlivesoupseason
fresh thyme or parsley and cracked black pepper for topping – (optional)
Preheat oven to bake at 400 degrees OR broil on low. In a large oven-safe skillet (see note) over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add onions and 3 tablespoons beef broth and saute onions for 3-4 minutes until translucent. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally so the onions don’t burn, for about 15 minutes longer until browned and very tender. Use tongs or a fork to transfer to a bowl and cover to keep warm.
While onions are cooking, prepare the chicken by drizzling with oil, then seasoning with salt and pepper (to taste) and Italian herbs. Once onions have finished cooking and are removed from the pan, cook chicken for 4-5 minutes on each side (don’t clean out the pan between the onions and chicken) until browned on both sides. (Chicken may not be fully cooked through yet, that is okay).
Transfer chicken to a plate and cover to keep warm and return the onions to the pan. Sprinkle flour over the onions and stir for 1 minute over medium-high heat. Add beef broth and continue to cook, stirring throughout, until mixture comes to a boil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Return chicken to pan and spoon some of the sauce over each piece of chicken.
Top chicken with one slice of provolone each, then one slice of swiss, then 1/4 of the parmesan cheese. Transfer skillet to your preheated oven and cook for about 10 minutes until chicken is cooked through completely and cheeses are melted.
Spoon some of the onions and gravy over the top of the chicken, garnish with thyme or parsley and cracked black pepper, and serve.
If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, any other oven-safe skillet will do OR you can transfer everything to a casserole dish or baking pan for the baking portion of the recipe.
This chicken sheet pan dinner recipe is an easy way to get dinner on the table without much fuss. Lemon parmesan roasted cauliflower and crispy chicken breast tastes great on its own or served over buttered pasta!
A few weeks ago, before the flames and smoke overtook California, I got to enjoy its beauty and fresh air in abundance. With baby Ira in tow, I joined Safeway on a tour of Earthbound Farm’s organic vegetable fields, culminating at their farm stand in Carmel-by-the-sea. We watched baby purple lettuces cut down row by row and treaded among the broccoli stalks in the bright golden sun. We plucked our own herbs, harvested rainbow carrots, and ate raspberries right off the vine. Then we used our treasures to toss together the most bountiful harvest salads. This is California. Northern California. In all its generous glory.
Over this past year and into next, I’m partnering with Safeway on a Farm to Fork blogger tour to learn about and show off some of their specialty Northern California-based vendors. I first made white wine braised artichokes followed by flourless chocolate chunk almond butter cookie bars. Now, inspired by our lunch at the farm stand featuring Earthbound Farm produce, La Tourangelle oils, and Foster Farms chicken, I’m serving up this lemon parmesan roasted cauliflower and chicken sheet pan dinner. You can get this quick and cozy dinner on the table in 1-2-3.
This sheet pan chicken and cauliflower is the epitome of California cuisine. Nestle crispy chicken on a bed of nutty oil-kissed roasted cauliflower, fresh herbs, bright lemon, and parmesan cheese. This dish all at once fresh, simple, and comforting. As I serve this up, I feel so thankful to California for its local high-quality organic produce and varied artisan-crafted offerings. For the soil, sunlight, and culture of care that fosters this food.
This week, though, with a somber cloud of black smoke dusting across California, it stings to recall that sunny sea-kissed land that drew people here in the first place. My heart is heavy for all those who lost their lives to the fires and to the fire evacuee victims – my family and my friends – who lost their homes and everything inside in an instant. I’m mourning for my relatives who lost their home, my hometown, and all of California. Before smoke, before the most devastating wildfires in state history blazed up and down Northern & Southern California, before my hometown community of Chico and the beautiful surrounding Paradise foothills were abruptly ripped apart leaving behind rubble, smoke, and deep painful scars, California gleamed bright, offering up majestic forests alongside its bountiful harvest.
That’s California. And it’s going to take so much love, compassion, generosity, and lots and lots of hard work to rebuild our golden state. If you’re looking for ways to contribute, direct donations to fire victims are a great place to start. Search “California Fires” on Go Fund Me, and you’ll find hundreds of families that need help rebuilding, including my aunt, uncle, and cousins who were among thousands who lost their home. No donation is too small, whether it’s a dollar or providing dinner for a family.
TIPS FOR CHICKEN CAULIFLOWER SHEET PAN DINNER
Sheet pan dinners are the great solution when you want to bring a meal to someone – whether they are grieving, just had a new baby, or are recovering from a disaster. It’s quick to make, serves many, and has the protein and vegetable in one. Eat it as is or serve it up over buttered pasta!
Cauliflower takes longer to roast than some other vegetables. To compensate for this, give the veggies a head start! Nestle in the chicken only after the cauliflower has had a chance to get some color.
WHAT KIND OF PAN TO USE FOR A SHEET PAN DINNER?
Short answer: any pan will do! Pick a pan that fits the ingredients you want to roast. Here I’ve used a metal 9×13 baking pan. I liked how the cauliflower looked all cozied up around the chicken. My cauliflower still fit in a single layer before adding the chicken, which is key for browning. If you want more of your cauliflower to get the dark roasted color, spread your ingredients out on a larger 10×15 or 13×18 half sheet pan.
Keep in mind that if you use a darker roasting pan, your veggies will brown quicker. Try moving your baking pan up a rack and adjusting the baking time accordingly.
SKIN-ON OR SKINLESS CHICKEN BREAST
I’m a big proponent of skin-on chicken breast. The crispy golden brown skin not only adds flavor, but it also serves to keep the chicken moist and to cook the chicken more evenly.
If you aren’t a fan of skin-on chicken breast, you can certainly use boneless skinless chicken breast. Make sure you season the breast well with salt and pepper. Skip the pan frying step and nestle the chicken into the cauliflower 4-5 minutes earlier. To infuse even more flavor, try placing thin lemon slices on top of the chicken.
Feeding people is one of the primary ways I tell them I love them. This parmesan roasted cauliflower and chicken sheet pan dinner is great for weeknights as a family, feeding company, or bringing a warm meal over to someone who needs it.
Get all the ingredients delivered to your doorstop using the Safeway home delivery offer at the bottom of this post.
Disclosure: Special thanks to Safewayfor providing the ingredients for this recipe and sponsoring this post! And thanks to you for supporting the companies that keep Snixy Kitchen cooking!
2 small heads cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets
¼ cup + 2 teaspoons avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil, divided
4 boneless skin-on chicken breasts
4 sprigs fresh thyme
½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Zest from 1 lemon
3 tablespoons toasted pine-nuts
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Kosher salt & pepper
For serving, optional:
12 ounces gluten-free (or regular) pasta such as spaghetti or fettuccine
½ tablespoon unsalted butter
½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoon freshly grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 425°F.
On a large 10×15 or 12×18 sheet pan or large 9×12 baking pan, toss the cauliflower with ¼ cup avocado oil and ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper. Spread the cauliflower out into an even layer, add the fresh thyme sprigs, and roast for 25 minutes on the bottom rack, tossing every 10 minutes to help the cauliflower evenly brown.
Meanwhile, if serving with pasta, bring a large pot of water to boil.
While the cauliflower roasts, heat a large skillet over medium heat (I use a cast-iron skillet). Rub the skins of the chicken with the 2 teaspoons avocado oil and sprinkle with a few pinches each of salt and pepper. Place the chicken skin-side down on the hot pan and cook until the skin is golden brown and crispy, 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a plate, skin-side up until the cauliflower is ready.
Pull the cauliflower out of the oven and toss with parmesan, butter, and lemon zest. Nestle the chicken into the cauliflower so it rests on the bottom of the pan with cauliflower all around. Return the pan to the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes longer until the chicken registers 165°F.
If serving with pasta, cook the pasta according to the instructions, then toss with butter, olive oil, lemon juice, and parmesan. Set aside for serving.
When the chicken is done, toss the cauliflower with lemon juice and sprinkle with pine nuts. Serve the chicken and cauliflower over pasta.
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