Chicken Street Tacos Recipe

Get ready to tantalize your taste buds with this delicious, homemade street style chicken tacos recipe. The flavorful grilled chicken tucked into soft corn tortillas and topped with fresh pico de gallo and a sprinkle of cilantro will transport you to the vibrant streets of Mexico. This recipe is easy to make and brings a delightful kick of flavors to your regular dinner routine.

Chicken Street Tacos Recipe

The ingredients for this recipe are typically quite common in most households. However, if you don't usually cook Mexican food, you may need to pick up some corn tortillas and pico de gallo from the supermarket. The fresh cilantro, cumin, and oregano used in this recipe can also be found in the herbs and spices aisle. The chicken thighs can be either boneless or with bone - both work equally well, it's just a matter of preference.

Ingredients for Street Style Chicken Tacos

Chicken thighs: This is the main ingredient, it's juicy and flavorful.

Cumin: A spice with a warm, earthy flavor.

Oregano: A herb that adds a slight sweetness and peppery kick.

Lime juice: Gives a refreshing tanginess.

Orange juice: Adds a sweet citrus flavor.

Garlic: For a robust flavor.

Olive oil: For cooking the chicken.

Corn tortillas: The base for your tacos.

Cilantro: For a fresh, herbal topping.

Pico de gallo: A fresh salsa made from chopped tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and lime juice.

One reader, Anthia Beckwith says:

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I recently tried the street style chicken tacos recipe and it was a game-changer! The marinade gave the chicken a burst of flavor, and the combination of cilantro and pico de gallo added a refreshing touch. It's now my go-to recipe for a quick and delicious meal. Highly recommended!

Anthia Beckwith

Key Techniques for Preparing Street Style Chicken Tacos

How to marinate the chicken: Combine the chicken, cumin, oregano, lime juice, orange juice, garlic, and olive oil in a bowl. Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours to infuse the flavors.

How to grill the chicken: Grill the marinated chicken over medium heat until there is no pink remaining, approximately 4 minutes per side. This will ensure the chicken is fully cooked and has a delicious charred flavor.

How to rest the chicken: Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the grill and allow it to rest for 3 minutes. This resting period helps the juices redistribute, resulting in tender and juicy meat.

How to warm the tortillas: Warm the tortillas in the microwave for a few seconds or on a skillet until they are soft and pliable. This step enhances the flavor and texture of the tortillas, making them perfect for assembling the tacos.

How to assemble the tacos: Place the chopped chicken on the warmed tortillas and add toppings such as cilantro and pico de gallo as desired. This step brings all the components together to create delicious street-style chicken tacos.

Ever seen one of those ready-made Costco street tacos kits? Well, I’m here to tell you that a homemade version of it is a thousand times better. The best chicken tacos are enjoyed when they’re still warm and fresh from the grill, skillet, or even instant pot! That’s why I suggest making your own Mexican chicken tacos at home by following this easy chicken street tacos recipe. It has all the delicious components of a street taco starting from the warm and soft corn tortillas and ending with the savory grilled marinated chicken and taco toppings.

So, what are street tacos? If you’ve never had Mexican street tacos before, these are simple soft tacos that are smaller in size and typically served on grilled corn tortillas. They’re considered authentic, real tacos, just slightly different from the crunchy tacos served in a Mexican restaurant. These street tacos are supposed to be a quick meal for “street travelers” who want a simple yet satisfying meal.

This dish is also known as pollo asado tacos or pollo tacos in Spanish which means roasted or grilled chicken tacos. There’s not much difference in recipe. However, sometimes, other people would include more powdered seasonings for the chicken taco marinade such as smoked paprika, garlic powder, or even chopped chipotle chiles.

There is also a shredded chicken tacos recipe variation that I also tried making before. Instead of chopped chicken, I used a hand mixer to shred the chicken faster and more consistently. Another variation is called carne asada tacos which uses grilled meat like flank steak instead of chicken. I’ve yet to make this dish, but I’m definitely adding it to my list of taco ideas to try. That’s why I love making this Mexican chicken taco recipe at home because I can always customize it, especially with the toppings.

With my homemade street taco recipe, I didn’t make the marinated grilled chicken too spicy. My version is a combination of citrusy and savory with just the right amount of heat. I prefer a bit of tang on my tacos to match the fresh pico de gallo salsa topping that I always add. Lastly, for the taco shells, I recommend using corn tortillas since they’re lighter in flavor and heat up nicely!

How To Make How To Make Chicken Street Tacos

Satisfy your taco cravings with these grilled chicken street tacos made with flavorful marinated chicken and toppings tucked into one decadent soft corn tortilla.

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 8 minutes
Marinade Time: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 23 minutes



  • 1lbchicken thighs,boneless, skinless
  • 1tspground cumin
  • 1tsporegano
  • 2tbspfresh lime juice
  • ¼cuporange juice
  • 2garlic cloves,minced
  • salt,to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper,to taste
  • 3tbspolive oil
  • tspancho chili powder,optional

For Serving:

  • corn tortillas
  • fresh cilantro,chopped
  • pico de gallo
  • sour cream
  • hot sauce


  1. Combine chicken, cumin, oregano, lime juice, orange juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a bowl. If desired, add ancho chili powder for heat.

  2. Marinate at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours.

  3. Grill chicken over medium heat until no pink remains for about 4 minutes per side.

  4. Once cooked, remove the chicken and let it rest for 3 minutes. Chop into ½ cubes.

  5. Meanwhile, warm tortillas in the microwave or on a skillet. Top tortillas with chicken and toppings as desired.

Recipe Notes



  • Calories: 238.81kcal
  • Protein: 12.87g
  • Cholesterol: 74.09mg

Helpful Technique for Perfecting Street Style Chicken Tacos

When marinating the chicken, ensure that all pieces are fully submerged in the marinade for optimal flavor. If the marinade doesn't cover the chicken completely, you can occasionally turn the chicken pieces to ensure even distribution of flavors. Also, marinating the chicken in a zip-top bag can make this process easier and less messy. Remember, the longer you marinate, the more flavorful your chicken will be, but don't exceed 24 hours as the acids in the marinade can start to break down the chicken and make it mushy.

Time-Saving Tips for Making This Recipe

Marinate efficiently: To save time, use a resealable plastic bag for marinating the chicken. This allows for even distribution of the marinade and easy cleanup.

Prep in advance: Prepare the marinade and marinate the chicken the night before. This allows the flavors to develop and saves time on the day of cooking.

Use pre-made toppings: Opt for pre-made pico de gallo and store-bought tortillas to cut down on prep time without sacrificing flavor.

Batch cooking: Consider grilling extra chicken to use for future meals, saving time on cooking and cleanup.

Organize ingredients: Before starting, gather all the ingredients and equipment needed for the recipe to streamline the cooking process.

Multi-task: While the chicken is marinating, use that time to prepare the toppings and set the table for a seamless meal prep experience.

Substitute Ingredients For Chicken Street Tacos Recipe

  • chicken thighs - Substitute with pork shoulder: Pork shoulder has a similar rich and juicy texture that works well for tacos.

  • cumin - Substitute with chili powder: Chili powder can add a smoky and slightly spicy flavor similar to cumin.

  • oregano - Substitute with thyme: Thyme can provide a similar earthy and aromatic flavor to the dish.

  • lime juice - Substitute with lemon juice: Lemon juice can offer a similar tangy acidity to brighten up the flavors.

  • orange juice - Substitute with pineapple juice: Pineapple juice can provide a sweet and tangy flavor similar to orange juice.

  • garlic cloves - Substitute with shallots: Shallots can offer a mild, sweet, and aromatic flavor similar to garlic.

  • corn tortillas - Substitute with flour tortillas: Flour tortillas can provide a softer and chewier texture for the tacos.

  • cilantro - Substitute with parsley: Parsley can offer a fresh and slightly peppery flavor similar to cilantro.

  • pico de gallo - Substitute with salsa verde: Salsa verde can provide a tangy and slightly spicy flavor similar to pico de gallo.

Presentation Ideas for Serving Chicken Tacos

  1. Elevate the marination process: Marinate the chicken thighs with a blend of cumin, oregano, lime juice, orange juice, garlic cloves, and olive oil for at least 4 hours. This will infuse the meat with rich, complex flavors.

  2. Grill to perfection: Grill the marinated chicken thighs over medium heat until they are perfectly cooked, with a beautiful char on the outside and juicy tenderness on the inside. This will enhance the smoky aroma and add depth to the dish.

  3. Artful plating: Carefully arrange the chopped chicken cubes on warm corn tortillas, ensuring an even distribution of the succulent meat. This attention to detail will showcase your precision and dedication to the craft.

  4. Garnish with finesse: Sprinkle freshly chopped cilantro over the tacos, adding a burst of vibrant color and a refreshing herbal note. Top with zesty pico de gallo to provide a bright, tangy contrast to the savory chicken.

  5. Balance and harmony: Ensure that each element on the plate harmonizes with the others, creating a visually stunning and appetizing presentation that reflects your culinary expertise and attention to detail.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making Tacos

  • Grill: A grill is a cooking appliance that uses direct heat from below to cook food. It is commonly used for grilling meats and vegetables.

  • Skillet: A skillet, also known as a frying pan, is a flat-bottomed pan used for frying, searing, and browning foods. It is a versatile kitchen tool.

  • Microwave: A microwave is a kitchen appliance that uses electromagnetic radiation to heat and cook food quickly. It is commonly used for reheating and defrosting.

Storage and Freezing Instructions for Chicken Tacos

  • To store leftover chicken tacos, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place them in an airtight container. They will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • If you have extra grilled chicken, store it separately from the tortillas and toppings in an airtight container in the fridge. It will stay fresh for up to 4 days.
  • To freeze the chicken, place the cooled, cooked chicken in a freezer-safe bag or container, removing as much air as possible. Label the container with the date and freeze for up to 2-3 months.
  • When ready to use the frozen chicken, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and reheat it in a skillet or microwave until warmed through.
  • It's not recommended to freeze the assembled tacos, as the tortillas and toppings may become soggy and lose their texture. However, you can freeze the individual components separately for easy meal prep.
  • If you have leftover corn tortillas, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store them in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
  • To reheat frozen tortillas, wrap them in a damp paper towel and microwave for 30-45 seconds, or until warm and pliable.

How To Reheat Leftover Chicken Tacos

  • To reheat leftover street style chicken tacos, start by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C). This temperature will ensure that the tacos are heated through without drying out the tortillas or making them too crispy.

  • Wrap the tacos loosely in aluminum foil, making sure not to seal them completely. This will allow the heat to circulate while preventing the tortillas from becoming soggy due to trapped moisture.

  • Place the wrapped tacos on a baking sheet and heat them in the preheated oven for about 10-15 minutes, or until they are heated through. The exact time may vary depending on the size and thickness of your tacos.

  • Alternatively, you can reheat the tacos in a skillet on the stovetop. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add a small amount of oil or butter to prevent sticking. Place the tacos in the skillet and cover with a lid. Heat for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until the tortillas are crispy and the filling is heated through.

  • If you have a microwave, you can also use it to reheat your tacos, although this method may result in slightly softer tortillas. Place the tacos on a microwave-safe plate and heat them on high power for 30-45 seconds, or until they are heated through. Be careful not to overheat them, as this can cause the tortillas to become tough and rubbery.

  • Regardless of the reheating method you choose, be sure to keep an eye on the tacos to avoid overcooking or burning them. Once heated through, remove the tacos from the heat source and let them cool slightly before serving.

  • To add some extra flavor and freshness to your reheated tacos, consider topping them with fresh cilantro, pico de gallo, or a squeeze of lime juice before serving. These toppings will help to brighten up the flavors and make your leftover tacos taste just as delicious as when they were first made.

Interesting Trivia About Chicken Tacos

Street style chicken tacos are a popular Mexican street food, known for their delicious and flavorful taste. They are often served with a variety of toppings such as cilantro and pico de gallo, adding a burst of freshness and color to the dish. These tacos are a great option for a quick and tasty meal, perfect for any occasion.

Is This Taco Recipe Budget-Friendly?

The cost-effectiveness of this street style chicken tacos recipe is quite favorable for a household. The ingredients, such as chicken thighs, cumin, oregano, and lime juice, are reasonably priced and readily available. The dish offers a delightful combination of flavors and textures, making it a satisfying and economical choice for a family meal. The approximate cost for a household of four people is around $15-$20, making it an affordable and budget-friendly option. Overall Verdict: 9/10

Are Street Style Chicken Tacos Healthy?

This street style chicken tacos recipe has both healthy and unhealthy aspects. Let's break it down:

Healthy elements:

  • Chicken thighs are a good source of protein
  • Lime and orange juice provide vitamin C
  • Garlic has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties
  • Olive oil is a healthy fat source
  • Cilantro is rich in antioxidants and vitamins
  • Pico de gallo is a fresh, low-calorie topping

Unhealthy aspects:

  • The recipe lacks vegetables, which are essential for a balanced meal
  • Corn tortillas are high in carbohydrates and may spike blood sugar levels
  • Depending on the cooking method, grilled chicken can form harmful compounds like heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Incorporate more vegetables into the tacos, such as grilled bell peppers, onions, or shredded lettuce
  • Use whole wheat or low-carb tortillas instead of corn tortillas to reduce the carbohydrate content and increase fiber intake
  • Marinate the chicken in a mixture of yogurt and spices, which can help reduce the formation of harmful compounds during grilling
  • Opt for baking or air frying the chicken instead of grilling to minimize the risk of HCAs and PAHs
  • Add a side salad or a serving of roasted vegetables to balance out the meal and increase nutrient density
  • Use Greek yogurt as a topping instead of sour cream to boost protein and reduce fat content

Editor's Opinion on Street Style Chicken Tacos

The street style chicken tacos recipe is a delightful blend of flavors and textures. The marinade infuses the chicken with a zesty and aromatic profile, while grilling adds a smoky char. The combination of cumin, oregano, lime, and orange juice creates a vibrant and tangy essence that perfectly complements the tender chicken. Serving the succulent chicken on warm corn tortillas with fresh cilantro and pico de gallo adds a refreshing and authentic touch. This recipe is a fantastic choice for a casual gathering or a quick and satisfying weeknight meal. Enjoy the explosion of flavors in every bite!

Enhance Your Chicken Street Tacos Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Guacamole: Create a creamy and flavorful guacamole with ripe avocados, diced tomatoes, red onions, and a squeeze of lime juice. Perfect for adding a refreshing and creamy element to your street style chicken tacos.
Mexican Street Corn: Grill some corn on the cob and slather it with a mixture of mayonnaise, cotija cheese, chili powder, and a squeeze of lime. This tangy and savory side dish pairs perfectly with the bold flavors of the chicken tacos.
Churros: Finish off your street style chicken tacos with a sweet and crispy churro dessert. Sprinkle the churros with cinnamon sugar and serve them with a side of warm chocolate dipping sauce for a delicious and indulgent treat.

Similar Recipes to Try If You Love Street Style Chicken Tacos

Spicy Beef Tacos: These spicy beef tacos are a perfect way to add some heat to your taco night. The combination of spices and tender beef will have your taste buds dancing with every bite.
Mango Salsa Chicken: This mango salsa chicken recipe is a refreshing and tropical twist on traditional chicken tacos. The sweet and tangy flavors of the mango salsa pair perfectly with the grilled chicken for a delicious and light meal.
Vegetarian Black Bean Tacos: For a meatless option, try these vegetarian black bean tacos. The hearty black beans are seasoned to perfection and topped with all your favorite taco toppings for a satisfying and flavorful meal.
Pineapple Pork Tacos: Add a touch of sweetness to your taco night with these pineapple pork tacos. The juicy and tender pork is complemented by the tangy and sweet flavors of the pineapple for a unique and delicious taco experience.

Appetizer and Dessert Pairings for Street Style Chicken Tacos

Savory Stuffed Mushrooms: Delight your taste buds with these savory stuffed mushrooms, filled with a flavorful mixture of herbs, cheese, and breadcrumbs.
Crispy Zucchini Fritters: Indulge in these crispy zucchini fritters, made with fresh zucchini, herbs, and a hint of parmesan cheese for a delightful appetizer option.
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and creamy chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The smooth texture and decadent flavor will satisfy any sweet tooth.
Banana Split: Create a classic banana split with a twist by adding a scoop of caramel swirl ice cream, fresh strawberries, and a drizzle of hot fudge. Top it off with a sprinkle of chopped nuts for added crunch and flavor.

Why trust this Chicken Street Tacos Recipe:

This street style chicken tacos recipe is a must-try for any taco lover. The marinade, featuring lime juice and orange juice, infuses the chicken with zesty and tangy flavors. The use of cumin and oregano adds a warm and earthy depth to the dish. The grilling process ensures a juicy and flavorful result, while the addition of pico de gallo and cilantro provides a fresh and vibrant finish. Trust in the combination of these authentic ingredients to deliver a mouthwatering and satisfying taco experience.

Want to share your own twists on this Chicken Street Tacos Recipe or discuss tips and tricks with fellow home cooks? Head over to the Recipe Sharing section of our forum and join the conversation!
How long should I marinate the chicken for the best flavor?
I recommend marinating the chicken for at least 1 hour, but for the best flavor, marinate it for up to 4 hours.
Can I use chicken breast instead of chicken thighs?
Yes, you can use chicken breast if you prefer. It will work just as well in this recipe.
What can I use as toppings for the street style chicken tacos?
You can use a variety of toppings such as cilantro, pico de gallo, diced onions, avocado, or a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
Can I cook the chicken on a stovetop instead of grilling?
Absolutely! You can cook the marinated chicken on a stovetop over medium heat until it's no longer pink, about 4 minutes per side.
Can I make the marinade in advance?
Yes, you can prepare the marinade in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before using it.

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