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Shredded Chicken Tacos with Creamy Cilantro Sauce

You will love this easy shredded chicken tacos recipe with tender chicken and a bright and creamy cilantro sauce. These easy chicken tacos can be made quickly and well in advance! Jump to the Shredded Chicken Tacos Recipe or read on to see our tips for making them.

These easy shredded chicken tacos are full of flavor thanks to well seasoned chicken and a bright and creamy cilantro sauce.

Making Quick and Easy Shredded Chicken Tacos

These shredded chicken tacos are a mix up of two favorite recipes on the blog. First, we make tender shredded chicken by gently simmering chicken with onion, garlic, cumin and a bay leaf (you can do this on the stove or use a slow cooker for the chicken — see notes below). Then we fill tortillas with the chicken and drizzle our creamy cilantro sauce on top. We use the same sauce to top our highly rated roasted veggie tacos.

These pulled chicken tacos are perfect for busy nights. You can even make the chicken and sauce in advance.

This easy shredded chicken tacos recipe is full of flavor thanks to well seasoned chicken and a bright and creamy cilantro sauce.
  • The shredded chicken will keep in the fridge up to 3 days and in the freezer up to a month.
  • The sauce will keep in the refrigerator for about a week and is delicious spooned onto salads, rice bowls, and eggs.

Since everything can be waiting for you in the fridge or freezer, you can get from hungry to dinner in no time. Both the chicken and sauce are also excellent when added to rice (try our cilantro lime rice) or veggie bowls.

This easy shredded chicken tacos recipe is full of flavor thanks to well seasoned chicken and a bright and creamy cilantro sauce.

Serve these chicken tacos with tortillas or try adding everything to our Sesame Garlic Flatbreads. You can also turn them into rice bowls!

More Easy Dinner Recipes

For more easy dinner recipes, take a look at these recipes:

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, review it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #inspiredtaste on Instagram. Happy cooking!

Shredded Chicken Tacos with Creamy Cilantro Sauce

  • PREP
  • COOK

These easy shredded chicken tacos are a mix up of two of our favorite recipes — tender shredded chicken and creamy cilantro sauce. You can make both the chicken and the sauce in advance. The chicken will keep in the fridge up to 3 days and in the freezer up to a month. The sauce keeps in the refrigerator for about a week and is delicious spooned onto salads, rice bowls, and eggs.

Makes 4 servings or about 2 cups shredded chicken

You Will Need

Shredded Chicken

1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken thighs (or combination of thighs and breast)

1 medium onion, peeled and sliced

4 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly crushed

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


Creamy Cilantro Sauce

1/2 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/2 jalapeño, seeds and membrane removed

1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves and tender stems

Salt to taste

For Tacos

12 small corn or flour tortillas

1 medium tomato, chopped

Cheese such as queso fresco for serving

1 lime, cut into wedges


  • Make Shredded Chicken
  • Combine chicken, onion, garlic, bay leaf, salt, cumin and pepper in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add just enough water to cover the chicken. Turn heat to high, bring to a boil then remove any foam or scum that floats to the top.

    Adjust the heat so that the water simmers very gently around the chicken. Cook until chicken is very tender, about 30 minutes.

    Transfer chicken to a cutting board, and then when it is cool enough to handle, use two forks or your fingers to shred the meat.

    After removing the chicken, boil the liquid remaining in the saucepan until it has reduced by one-third, or until its flavor has concentrated.

    Spoon about 1 cup of the concentrated cooking liquid over the shredded chicken and toss to coat. Use within 2 to 3 days or freeze.

    • Make Cilantro Sauce
    • Add sour cream, lime juice, jalapeño, cilantro, and a pinch of salt to a blender. Blend until smooth. Taste then add more lime juice or salt if needed. Refrigerate up to a week.

      • Assemble Tacos
      • Wrap tortillas, in two stacks, with aluminum foil. Place into the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until warm.

        Fill each warmed tortilla with chicken and tomatoes. Top with cheese and a drizzle of the cilantro sauce. Serve with extra sauce and lime wedges on the side.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Double Batch of Chicken: To make a double batch, increase the chicken to 3 pounds then add more water to the pot. The onion, garlic, and spices do not need to change.
  • Skin-On Chicken: We have made this recipe using boneless, skinless chicken thighs and chicken thighs with skin still attached. Both work very well. If you use chicken with skin, just remove and discard the skin before you shred the chicken. You may also find that you need to skim some of the fat from the cooking broth before spooning it over the chicken.
  • Leftover Cooking Liquid: You will have cooking liquid leftover. It is quite delicious on its own as a light soup. You can also use it as broth for other recipes. Or, if you’re keeping the chicken more than a day, add a spoonful or two to add a little moisture.
  • Slow cooker shredded chicken: add all the ingredients to the slow cooker then cook on LOW until the chicken is cooked and tender, 3 to 4 hours. Shred the chicken and transfer the broth to a saucepan. Simmer the broth until reduced by a third then spoon over the chicken.
  • Vegan Substitute for Sauce: Instead of the sour cream based sauce, try this Dreamy Tahini Sauce recipe. It has tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and parsley. It would be delicious drizzled over the tacos.
  • Nutrition Facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutrition Per Serving: Serving Size 3 small tacos / Calories 313 / Protein 23 g / Carbohydrate 22 g / Dietary Fiber 3 g / Total Sugars 4 g / Total Fat 15 g / Saturated Fat 6 g / Cholesterol 121 mg / Sodium 801 mg
AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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2 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Dana June 27, 2018, 10:35 am

    Used this recipe as a guideline with some twists for the sake of time. I cut the chicken in strips, seasoned with cumin, salt, and pepper, then pan fried after the onions/garlic. Substituted with yogurt and tamed jalapenos (jarred). My husband who normally doesn’t like Mexican had compliments for the meal. The sauce is the kicker–very refreshing!

  • Jessica Anne Tolentino February 8, 2018, 2:29 pm

    thanks for sharing this recipe – this is such a refreshing take on tacos ? the sauce is really awesome!


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