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The Best Weeknight Chicken Tacos

Celebrate any night of the week with these quick tacos made with rotisserie chicken from the supermarket!

A lineup of festive chicken tacos with avocado, cilantro, and lime surrounded by fresh ingredients.

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Hellooo, beautiful people!! These chicken tacos are perfect for a weeknight dinner (Taco Tuesday, anyone?) because of how quickly they come together. I make them at least once a month, usually twice. Sometimes thrice. Mostly per my boyfriend’s request.

I love to buy those whole rotisserie chickens from the supermarket and use it throughout the week for different meals. In addition to tacos, they’re great for adding to salads, quesadillas, omelets, sandwiches, and pasta when you’re wanting some extra protein, but don’t need to cook a whole breast. Great hack for all you time savers out there!

The main thing to remember when buying a rotisserie chicken is that, since it’s already been fully cooked, the more you cook it in addition to that, the drier it will get. You either want to eat it warm from the store, use it cold for sandwiches and salads, or just barely warm it through on a low heat setting—either in the microwave, oven, or on the stove.

Festive chicken tacos with avocado, cilantro, and lime surrounded by fresh ingredients.

For the tacos, I chop the chicken into small cubes and briefly sauté it in a pan with oil and the taco seasoning until it is just warmed through. This is mostly for flavor to coat all the chicken with the seasoning. And you don’t have to use this seasoning if you have a different flavor profile in mind that calls for a subtler chicken—like these Asian chicken tacos with broccoli and kale slaw. Dealers choice.

But, I highly suggest you try out my homemade taco seasoning at some point. I have perfected it over the years to basically taste the same as the prepackaged taco seasoning you buy at the supermarket, but slightly spicier. It’s a combination of cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, cayenne, and this chicken seasoning I discovered a couple years ago. It’s a blend of spices like paprika, garlic, onion, white pepper, black pepper, cumin, etc. It really complements the other flavors and makes the chicken flavor a bit richer. It’s not 100% necessary, but if you don’t use it, I suggest adding some paprika, onion powder, and salt in its place. If you’re interested in trying it, I added a bottle (which lasts forever btw) to my Amazon Storefront. There’s a bunch of other goodies from my favorite kitchen appliances and gadgets to books and beauty products. OH MY!

A festive chicken taco with avocado, cilantro, and lime surrounded by fresh ingredients.

As I mentioned earlier, we eat a lot of tacos in my house. The best part about that is how versatile they can be. My boyfriend prefers them the exact same way every time—beans, chicken, salsa, lettuce, cheese. I on the other hand, like to switch it up. Sometimes I’ll go more street style with just chicken, cilantro, onion, and maybe hot sauce. And then other times I prefer it fully loaded. Like the one above.

Every once in a while, I’ll swap the tortillas with tortilla chips and throw it in a bowl to make a salad. Taco salad has the perfect balance of flavor with the salty chips, creamy beans and rich avocado, tangy lime, spicy salsa, and cool, crunch of the lettuce. That is a home run dish, my people.

As always, feel free to get creative and make these your own!

Enjoy.

The Best Weeknight Chicken Tacos

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chicken tacos
Author: Lauren Regnier

Ingredients

For the tacos

  • 1 whole rotisserie chicken
  • small tortillas
  • taco seasoning recipe below
  • 1 can refried beans
  • lettuce shredded
  • avocado
  • salsa of choice
  • Cotija cheese
  • fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

For the taco seasoning

  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • ¼-½ tsp cayenne pepper optional
  • 2 tsp Chef Merito Chicken Seasoning optional
  • A few dashes paprika if not using chicken seasoning
  • A few dashes onion powder if not using chicken seasoning
  • salt, to taste if not using chicken seasoning

Instructions

For the taco seasoning

  • Add all ingredients to a small jar and shake really well to combine. Set aside.

For the tacos

  • Remove the meat from the chicken and chop it up into small pieces. I like to use the breast meat for tacos and save the dark meat—wings, legs, and drumsticks—to eat later (or while I cook, like a savage).
  • Warm the refried beans in a pan.
  • Heat olive oil in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add chicken and a little seasoning at a time (you'll have extra left over) and toss to coat. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Turn heat to low and sauté until just warmed through. Make sure not to overcook it, or the chicken will become very dry.
  • Prepare your toppings—lettuce, avocado, lime, cheese, salsa, or whatever else you're feeling. Warm the tortillas in the oven at 200° F for a few minutes or pop them right on the flame of your stovetop for some char.
  • Build your tacos with beans, chicken, salsa, lettuce, avocado, cheese, and fresh lime and serve.

Notes

  • You can purchase Chef Merito Chicken Seasoning here
  • If not using the chicken seasoning—substitute a few dashes paprika, onion powder, and salt, to taste.
  • Omit or decrease amount of cayenne pepper for less spicy version.

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