Crispy Baked Salsa Chicken Tacos.
Crunchy baked chicken tacos are on tap for dinner tonight!
These little hand-held crispy bites of creamy salsa chicken are so delicious. Topped with a quick pico de gallo, some cotija cheese and pickled onions, they are definitely one of my favorite weeknight meals. You won’t believe how easily they come together!
This is another one of those recipes that I was almost too embarrassed to share because it’s just so simple. The taco filling is so easy. You can prep the pickled onions and pico ahead of time. You can bake a big sheet pan of these so they are done for your family at once.
Wins all around!
These baked chicken tacos are kind of a hybrid between my weeknight chicken tacos and crispy baked quesadillas. Those are two well-loved recipes here on the blog, so you may have even caught on. Plus, I just shared the Everyday Dinners Bonus Cookbook and there is a reeeeeally delish baked taquito recipe in there… hence the birth of crispy baked chicken tacos.
The weeknight chicken tacos are so easy to throw together – you actually mix the spices in after you cook the chicken.
And the crispy baked quesadillas are so versatile, allowing you to use whatever fillings you have on hand, and baking until the outsides are crispy and crunchy.
For these tacos, I love to use a rotisserie chicken or leftover shredded chicken. They are perfect for that! A super quick weeknight meal that can come together seamlessly if you have a few things planned. Brush the baking sheet and tortillas with olive oil. That results in extra crunch.
Who can say no?
Going the shredded chicken route, I like to add in spices for some extra oomph, along with salsa and sour cream (or plain greek yogurt!). You can use any kind of salsa you love – I suggest using your favorite that you dip chips in. And try not to get too much salsa “juice” – keep it mostly to the good, chunky stuff.
The chicken mixture doesn’t look super appetizing. But! Mix it with some shredded cheddar (if you’re going the pre-shredded route, I only recommend tillamook! Otherwise grate your own – there is no comparison.) and the filing gets so melty and warm. When baked in the tortillas, it’s wonderful. I want to eat it with chips alone.
Of course, my favorite part of this whole thing is the bit of cheese that bubbles out of the tortillas and onto the sheet pan, creating that delicious, almost-burnt cheese crisp on the edge. Oh my word. It is so.freaking.good. It almost tastes like that part is purposely built into the recipe, that’s how good it is.
Just like making taquitos at home, you want to warm your tortillas for 30 to 60 seconds so they fold nicely and don’t tear. I usually warm mine for the full minute – I find that there is no tearing that way. And don’t overfill them. This helps keep them in their baked taco shell too!
Pretty sure I’ve died and gone to heaven with all that crunch.
Baked Creamy Salsa Chicken Tacos
Baked Creamy Salsa Chicken Tacos
- 1 1/2 cups cooked, shredded chicken, (from a rotisserie chicken, or leftover shredded chicken)
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 3 tablespoons your favorite salsa
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- kosher salt and pepper
- 12 4-inch corn tortillas, warmed
- 1 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
- pickled onions, for topping
- cotija cheese, for topping
- sour cream, for serving
- cilantro, for serving
- lime wedges, or serving
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
- ½ sweet onion, diced
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
- ½ lime, juiced
- kosher salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Brush or spray a baking sheet with olive oil so it’s coated for the tortillas.
- In a bowl, combine the chicken, sour cream, salsa, cumin, paprika, garlic powder and a pinch of salt and pepper until combined.
- Slightly warm your tortillas so they don’t break. I do this either in the oven for 1 to 2 minutes, in the microwave for 45 to 60 seconds – you just want them more pliable so they roll. You can keep them in between damp paper towels, so they stay pliable without breaking. I warm about 4 at a time, and then build 4 tacos, then warm 4 more, and so on. Just try to move quickly and carefully so they don’t break!
- Fill each tortilla with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the creamy salsa chicken. Top with the shredded cheddar. Fold over the tortilla and place it on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas and place them on the sheet. Spray or brush the outsides of the tortillas with olive oil.
- Bake the tacos for 12 to 15 minutes, or until they are crispy and golden brown.
- Serve the tacos immediately with the quick pico, pickled onions, sour cream, cotija cheese, cilantro and lime wedges for spritzing.
- Stir together ingredients with a big pinch of salt and pepper until combined. You can make this a day ahead of time and store it in the fridge!
Did you make this recipe?
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Texture lovers unite.
17 Comments on “Crispy Baked Salsa Chicken Tacos.”
Those look amazing! Random question…what kind of baking sheets do you use? I need new ones so bad!
I could eat mexican food every day! Made these the other day:
As many quesadillas as I have made in my life, never have I ever used or known about this method! A game changer for me. Used leftover steak actually, and it was a WINNER😊
Im going to give this a try hope i dont burn the house down tho looool
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Never tried this but it sounds really good. I always had a problem with my tortillas breaking when making enchiladas, but now i lightly spread butter on one side and warm them up in a pan, works so good they can get could and still no problem.
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Thank you for posting this recipe. Wanted to do this for awhile without stove top frying.
The best recipe ever. All that crunch and cheese. It was to die for. It was my first time making this creamy salsa chicken tacos, and it was awesome!
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Hello! Just wanted to pop in here and say THESE FREEZE REALLY WELL!! I made them and once they were cool I froze them on a baking sheet, and then wrapped them in pairs back to back ( so they formed a circle) in foil and popped them in the freezer. Now when I want chicken tacos I can take the foil pack out of the freezer, pop it in the toaster oven, and in a few minutes I have a warm, toasty, cheesy, crunchy chicken taco. Game changer!
Soooooooooooo good. I found this made 8 tacos rather than 12, but maybe we had a slightly larger tortilla? Either way, this recipe is a winner that I will now be making all the time. :) Crispy and delicious!
So easy and delicious! I omitted the cheese and sour cream for me (I’m dairy free) but made both ways they got rave reviews! Thanks for an easy and tasty recipe!
Just made these. I’m still sitting at the table and they were so delicious I felt compelled to review. AMAZING! 10 out of 10 would make again!
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