Quick 20 minute grilled chicken tacos topped with pico de gallo and creamy cilantro sauce. These spicy tacos are perfect for weeknight dinners and are sure to please the entire family.
We have tacos at least once a week because of how easy they are to make and how flavorful they are. The spicy meat, fresh zesty toppings, and sauces make tacos the ultimate dinner. These spicy grilled chicken tacos with pico de gallo and creamy cilantro sauce are our absolute favorite tacos. The combo of flavors dances on the taste buds and will keep you coming back for more. The entire family loves them and they can be prepared and served or you can serve them as a taco bar and have everyone customize their own tacos.
All good tacos begin with a batch of freshly cooked chicken. These tacos are made with my favorite grilled taco chicken. I like to use boneless skinless chicken thighs rather than breasts because they are always tender and won’t dry out. Chicken breasts will also work for the tacos but be sure not to over-cook them or they will dry out.
The secret to making tacos is simplicity. Traditional street tacos are served on corn tortillas and topped with just chopped onion, tomato, cilantro, salsa and a squeeze of fresh lime. No cheese, avocado, sour cream or any of that other stuff. But who are we kidding? I honestly NEED my favorite sour-cream cilantro sauce on my tacos. The creaminess of the sauce compliments the spicy chicken and zesty pico perfectly. You can top the tacos off with your favorite salsa, sour-cream or my quick creamy cilantro sauce (recipe in notes).
You can have these yummy tacos with just the pico and sour-cream or cilantro sauce, or you can load them up American style and add chopped romaine lettuce, avocado or guacamole, or cheese. Don’t forget a squeeze of fresh lime and enjoy these tasty grilled chicken tacos any way you like!
Easy 20 Minute Chicken Tacos
- 1 pound chicken thighs, boneless skinless or chicken breasts
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon lime juice optional
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika optional
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder or onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 8 small corn or flour tortillas
Pico de Gallo
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 cup finely chopped tomato
- 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
- 1 finely chopped jalapeño deseeded
- 1 tsp lime juice
- pinch salt and pepper to taste
- Add the chicken, garlic, olive oil, lime, and spices, to a large bowl or zip-seal bag and stir or shake to combine.
- Heat a large pan to medium-high heat. Cook chicken 6-7 minutes per side or until it is no longer pink and the internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Remove from heat and cool for at least 5 minutes. Slice or chop into small cubes.
- While the chicken is cooking, combine the chopped tomato, jalapeno, onion, cilantro, and lime juice in a small bowl. Char tortillas on the stovetop over the flame until lightly charred (this step is optional).
- Assemble tacos by placing about 1/4 cup of chicken into each tortilla. Top with a few tablespoons of the onion-tomato mixture and a drizzle of cilantro sauce (*optional, see recipe in notes).
This is an absolutely amazing recipe! I’ve been making this for months and it’s always a family favorite. I have seasoned the chicken and frozen it or just left it in the refrigerator overnight. I have also cooked the chicken in the Air Fryer. Thank you so much for this recipe!
SAVREET ROMANA says
These were amazing, so quick and easy I tweaked it a bit for 6 people, but it was amazing cant wait to try more recipes. Add an extra jalapeño added 3 and a half. I would definitely recommend trying this
Any suggestions on how to make the cilantro sauce diary free?
I would use mayo!
you can use Daiya Greek Yogurt or Silk Unsweetened Plain Coconut Yogurt, which can be found at Walmart
My husband is a chef who has been making and eating tacos for years … I made these one night and he took one bite and said “These are the best tacos I have ever had”. lol! That was QUITE the compliment!
Made this recipe a few times and my family loves them. Was just wandering if it would be ok to cook in oven. Wanted to make large batch and thought it would be easier to just bake in the oven.
I haven’t tried making these in the oven. Do you mean grilling the chicken in the oven? if so I would roast it on a sheet pan at high heat until cooked through.
This chicken is SO quick & easy! Next time, I am doubling the recipe and saving the chicken to use in different meals throughout the week! This is one I will definitely be making again and again!
Crystal J says
This was delicious! My family made all kinds of yum noises while eating tonight, lol. My son said it reminded him of a really good quality Taco Bell Chalupa, which is a huge compliment coming from him.
Aww! our little ones love these tacos too 🙂
Jason james says
Lies 1 tortilla has way more carbs and kcal then that u ppl believe 1 taco has jus over 100 kcals and 2g of carbs
The tortillas are not included in the nutrition information……just the recipe
Reena Bansal says
This recipe was very delicious and easy to make, My family loved it. The spices came together beautifully and the smell ”amazing”
I used coconut oil instead of canola and also included some leftover rice and red beans along with shredded queso cheese. Thank you, you have outdone yourself once again.
Stephanie Potter says
This is a great idea! I have leftover rice to use!!
Would the creamy cilantro sauce go with roasted jalapeños salsa?
Yes, that sounds delicious!
Jo Ann Singer says
We love these tacos. I make them once a week. I love the combo of the chicken with the puck and the cilantro sauce. It’s hot here in SoCal now so I make the pico and cilantro cream earlier in the day when I put the chicken in the marinade. Can’t say enough good things about this recipe. Perfect level of spice and so much flavor!
so delicious! thank you for this recipe 🙂 the flavor were so simple and so fresh, what a flavour punch!!! My partner couldn’t stop eating them!!! highly recommend 🙂
i am marinating chicken now! i accidently got bone in thighs, so i was thinking about grilling them! do you think that would be good?
Cindy Sellers says
This is positively delicious. Will certainly make this again. Family loved it too. Use the homemade pico and the sauce recipe included. They work together and make fabulous tacos
Cindy B says
I used chicken breast. I pounded it, so it I could tear into smaller pieces before stir frying. I doubled the garlic and added cumin. It was a real hit as we were hungry and in a hurry. We did not make the Pico, but I will next time. Adding sour cream was great.
Daniela B. says
Thank you for this great recipe. I made it for Cinco de Mayo. It was yummy! #proudmexican
Fairlee Anderson says
Is this recipe super spicy? I’m kind of a wimp when it comes to spice.
If I wanted to tone down the spice, what would I cut down on in the ingredients?
No, they should not be super spicy 🙂
Janice Tolbert says
excellent taste , the flavors give me great pleasure. thank you
Make these all the time. So good!
Faith Bustos says
Hi. Wondering what tortilla did you use that the carb would be 2 grams only? I am doing keto and i saw this recipe. Wanted to try it.
The chicken was awesome! It tastes like it had been marinating for hours. I used garlic paste instead of cloves of garlic and it seems to have added body to the sauce. The puck was very fresh and together they are a well balanced combination.
Delicious and easy, I’ll definitely be making this again
Billy C. says
Love these! My family requests them frequently.
These were so yummy!! Made just as directed includimg the pico and sauce, except used reD onion in pico. So good and fresh!
Does the calorie count and carb count include the tortilla shells or no?
Yes, the nutritional data includes the tortillas!
What type of tortilla did you use with such a low carb number?
I used small flour tortillas.
Stephen Cook says
No way this carb count included the tortillas. Just the pico alone would have at least 2 g of carbs
The macros are per serving not for the entire recipe. The recipe makes about 8 tacos.
What if the chicken is already cooked?
John Bottega says
These are ABSOLUTELY yummie My DAUGHter is vegetarian so i made another batch with chick peas instead of chicken, just as yummie
Easy as to make,great recipe
The vegetarian version sounds delicious! so happy your daughter enjoyed it 🙂
Cristina Catalano-Dockins says
Made this last night for a famished teen and the husband….oh. my. gawd! so, yummy! so, easy! so delicious!! normally we do not like chicken tacos at home, they always seem to lack depth of favor….but this recipe was the best!
I made homemade refried beans in the electric pressure cooker and rice…and had the very best chicken taco bowls e-v-e-r!
thank you for posting this recipe!
Laura Averett says
Oh my goodness, I’m so glad I found your recipe! Just delicious. The chicken was so flavorful and tender, And the Pico de Gallo rocked with tomatoes my neighbor shared from his family’s garden. I doubled the recipe and used both boneless skinless thighs and breast tenders. I can see easily tripling it for when we have friends or family over. I like that it’s such a quick recipe, but it also seems very forgiving. I think my oldest daughter, who’s been wanting to learn new recipes and techniques, would have great success with this. Thanks for sharing, Sarah.
THESe were awesome! My son never eats tacos but loved the….He ate 4 of them!
my husband loved it. He asked that i make again. Thanks
Eric Noak says
I had leftover baked chicken,foud this post and… used a half cup of drained Rotel in the pico de gallo and,a mexican spice mix in the chicken. WOWOWOW!
And that CILANTRO sauce,OMG.
These tacos are amazing! Everyone in my family likes them, even my 3 picky BOYS. this is my 2nd time making them and they are just as good as I remember them being. 5 star rating.
WOW. These tacos are incredibly tasty! I LOVE the Simplicity of ingredients AND cooking steps involved. I’ve made THEse 3x already since last week! OUr happy family THANKs you Xd
P.s. fish tacos recipe?
Denise L says
Delicious & easy!
wHILE i DIDN’T MAKE THE pICO DE GALlo, THE RECIPE FOR CHICKEN TURNED OUT GREAT 🙂 i’LL DEFINITELY BE MAKING IT AGAIN!
Can you teach us how to make the creamy sauce !???
Its listed in recipe noTes 🙂
Heather Bowlin says
This was a super simple and delicious recipe!!! Even my picky eaters enjoyed it! I would say if making the creamy cilantro sauce to make sure you use salt sparingly. But it’s definitely a keeper in my recipe book!!!
Made these for a crowd and I just made them again tonight because there weren’t enough leftovers!
I normally dont put comment. But this recipe is super yummy. My all family enjoyed it
I have made these tacos twice and will again tonight. They are so good and my family LOVES them! Thank you!
You are welcome!! <3
Bryn Fitchett says
¡Me encanta esta receta! Fue tan fácil y rápido de hacer para mi cita de la noche. Jake y yo realmente disfrutamos el pollo. Los tacos estaban crujientes y tenían un gran sabor.
I normally scour the internet for hours looking for a recipe that’s just right for whatever I’m in the mood to eat… But today I was pressed for time and decided to give this recipe a try. Wow. I’m a self proclaimed taco snob, and these were ahhhhh-mazing. Definitely gave the street taco flavor, and I only made one adjustment to the cilantro sauce recipe (added a quarter smashed avocado to it). Bonus for this recipe being super simple and quick- my family loved them and my husband even saved the recipe to his phone favorites. Thanks so much for sharing!
Sheila Ramos says
Great recipe. The chicken was spicy but not overpowering and the sauce… heavenly! can’t wait to try more recipes.
I just have to do a follow up review on these tacos! They’re OUTSTANDING! My husband asks to have them for dinner at least once a week. layla thank you for this awesome and simply delicious RECIPe!
These tacos Were absolutely Amazing! The Pico de gallo was so good my 3 boys (who are very picky eaters) even loved it. Also, very good call on using chicken thighs instead of breast. We will definitely be making these tacos again very soon.
Just made this for dinner tonight…. AMAZING!!! I didn’t have the ingredients FOR the PICO but even without it THese tacos were outstanding. And the cilantro sauce…OMG!! We ATE every last drop of it! THIS is our new weekly taco! Thank you so much for this DELICIOUS RECIPE!
I was fully prepared to mess this up as I’m not the greatest cook. My hubby makes fajitas and tacos all the time and i was fully prepared for him to be a tough critic. They came out great and he LOVES them! My kids loved them. I can’t wait to try some more of your recipes Isabel!
Yay! so glad you met his expectations and the family enjoyed them! <3
tacos were amazing. It’s a keep. ThanK you
Cassidy Daniels says
What would be the calorie count if I were to use flour tortillas and just had the chicken, pico de gallo and low fat sour cream?
Although I would not be able to do custom calorie counts because the nutritional info is done by a 3rd party, I don’t think the calorie count would change much. I suggest using a calorie calculator app such as myfitnesspal to find the calories.