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.

Easy 20 Minute Chicken TacosWe 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.Easy 20 Minute Chicken 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.Easy 20 Minute Chicken Tacos

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

4.79 from 106 votes

Easy 20 Minute Chicken Tacos

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.
Prep5 minutes
Cook15 minutes
Total20 minutes
Servings 8 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)



To customize tacos, feel free to add sliced avocados or guacamole, chopped tomatoes, corn, shredded cheese
To make cilantro sauce: combine 1/4 cup mayo or sour cream, 1/4 cup greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 2 tablespoons minced cilantro, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir to combine. 


Serving: 1taco, Calories: 112kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 53mg, Sodium: 214mg, Potassium: 195mg, Fiber: 0g, Sugar: 0g, Vitamin A: 485IU, Vitamin C: 3.1mg, Calcium: 12mg, Iron: 0.7mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chicken, grilled,, quick, recipe, spicy, tacos
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Easy 20 Minute Chicken TacosEasy 20 Minute Chicken Tacos

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  1. Great recipe, I used Cacique Crema Agria Mexicana for the sauce, saved a few steps.

    1. I use chicken breast with this recipe all the time and it tastes great. Chicken thigh is just a bit fattier, so it bonus flavour and juiciness to the recipe.

  2. Love the recipe and I make it all the time. But now an ad is sitting on top of the ingredients and won’t close. I want to cry. I’m a busy tired mom and just need to make dinner and can’t.

  3. We’ve made this probs my 10 times now. It is easily in our top favorite meals. It never disappoints. So so good!! You HAVE to make the crema to go with it, it’s what makes this taco!! Every time I post we’ve made this on my Instagram and Facebook I get people asking for the recipe and I always share!

  4. Is this an American sight? In Australia, Chilli powder is straight Chilli. In America, they apparently mean something entirely different.

    1. Yeah, it’s a blend like a curry. Something like: ⅛ cup sweet paprika, ½ teaspoon dried ground Ancho chiles, 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder, ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 ½ teaspoons onion powder, 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano, 1 teaspoon ground cumin

      1. There are two items called “chili powder” in the US. Grocery store chili powder is a blend as Brian describes above. In chili growing country, there is also chlli powder which is powdered dried peppers of a specific variety, such as Ancho or Arbol, or Guajillo, or even chipotle which isn’t a variety but is smoked Jalapeño chili.

        In New Mexico where chilies are a major agricultural business, Hispanic cooks don’t use grocery store chili powder, they use different varieties of varietal chili powder as each has its own distinctive taste and heat. They also use dried chilies often utilizing two or three different varieties in the same dish.

        In August the famous “Hatch” chilies are harvested in their green stage and then are roasted over open flame rotisserie chili roasters. people buy them by the bushel and stand watching as they are roasts. The chilies are then sacked up, hot, in plastic bags for “chili heads,” like me, to take home and freeze. By the time one gets home with them the skins are essentially steamed off of them and we pack them up in zip lock bags and pop them in the freezer. We have fresh roasted chili all winter to satisfy our need for chili.

        We love it!

  5. 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!

  6. 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

  7. Any suggestions on how to make the cilantro sauce diary free?

    1. you can use Daiya Greek Yogurt or Silk Unsweetened Plain Coconut Yogurt, which can be found at Walmart

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

    1. 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.

  10. 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!

  11. 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.

  12. 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

    1. The tortillas are not included in the nutrition information……just the recipe

  13. 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.

    1. This is a great idea! I have leftover rice to use!!