Baked Crispy Chicken Tacos

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Crispy Chicken Tacos = Game Day tacos! 🙌🏼 Toss shredded chicken in a simple homemade taco seasoning, then stuff into corn tortillas with cheese & cook in the oven until the baked chicken tacos are perfectly golden & super crispy – taco perfection! Classic toppings like guacamole, queso, & salsa are crispy chicken tacos recipe non-negotiables, so load up your game day snack table with plenty of options. An easy & cheesy crowd-pleaser!

A 35-minute dinner with bonus taco variations included.

Baked chicken tacos arranged atop a parchment paper lined baking sheet are topped with Good Foods Chunky Guacamole, pickled red onions, shredded lettuce, and Good Foods Plant Based Queso Style Dip. The tacos are garnished with fresh chopped cilantro and lime wedges. The baking sheet pan is surrounded by a container of Good Foods Plant Based Queso Style Dip, fresh cilantro, and a glass jar filled with pickled red onions. A gray and white striped linen napkin rests underneath the baking sheet pan.

Oven Baked Chicken Tacos, a Game Day Snack That Always Wins!

If you’ve been around PWWB a while, you know we’re pretty obsessed with tacos around here…but crispy tacos are our newest obsession. Baking tacos in the oven yields the best golden-crisp result. It’s kind of like tacos meets nachos meets quesadillas – seriously, what’s not to love about that?! 🤩

Earlier this year I cracked the code on deliciously crispy black bean tacos & I’ve been dreaming up more variations ever since. These baked chicken tacos are a new fave! They’re super easy to make. Simply season shredded chicken with a handful of staple spices & stuff it into corn tortillas with cheese. As the tacos bake, they get seriously golden & crispy. It’s so good.

Plus, this baked chicken taco recipe is really simple, making it ideal for quick weeknight dinners or serving a game day crowd on the weekend. All you have to do is set them up alongside a spread of taco toppings & it’s the ultimate build-your-own crispy chicken taco situation.

My go-to for taco toppings that are high on convenience & quality? Good Foods! Not only are they based in my home state of Wisconsin, but their dips are also always fresh, flavorful, & convenient, meaning less meal prep & more football! 🏈🙌🏼

Good Foods Plant Based Queso Style Dip is a longtime favorite here at the PWWB House, & their Chunky Guacamole is the best packaged guacamole I’ve ever had. It’s made with simple ingredients like 100% fresh Hass avocados so it tastes great & requires no prep time. Plus, it’s available in a variety of sizes to accommodate any game day gathering, big or small!

Crispy Chicken Taco Recipe Highlights

You’ll love these baked chicken tacos! They’re…

CHEESY & CRISPY. These cheesy chicken tacos turn both golden-brown & melty-gooey in the oven for a seriously epic combination of textures.

EASY PEASY. This baked chicken taco recipe uses shredded chicken for ease & the oven does all the work. You’ll be ready to serve them in 35 minutes or less!

A GAME-DAY CROWD-PLEASER. Pair crispy chicken tacos with an epic spread of toppings so everyone can build their own ideal bite. Super fun & always a win!

Who knew tacos could get any better!? ♡ Read on to learn more about how to make Crispy Chicken Tacos, or jump straight to the recipe & get cooking!

Key Ingredients

Note: Full ingredients list & measurements provided in the Recipe Card, below.

One of the things I love most about this baked chicken tacos recipe is how easy it is to throw together. You need about 10 ingredients, the vast majority of which are simple staples you likely already have in your kitchen:

  • Shredded chicken breast – Feel free to buy rotisserie chicken or quickly cook your own. This recipe is also a great way to use up leftovers you might already have on hand. Check the Recipe Notes, below, for more tips!
  • Spices – A simple spice blend of chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, smoked paprika, & cayenne pepper gives plain shredded chicken tons of flavor.
  • Tortillas – I prefer using corn rather than flour tortillas for baked chicken tacos. Look for thin, soft tortillas that aren’t too dry or crumbly, making them much less likely to crack as they bake.
  • Cheese – Use whatever melty cheese you love. I’m obsessed with pepper jack’s spicy kick, but chihuahua, colby jack, & cheddar cheese are all great options.
  • Your fave toppings – The best part! Lay out a spread of Good Foods Chunky Guacamole, Good Foods Queso Style Dip, sour cream or cashew crema, pickled red onions, shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, or your fave salsa like Good Foods Avocado Salsa. Mix & match to top your tacos!

Easy Game Day Taco Meal Prep

This baked chicken taco recipe comes together quickly, but you can save even more time with a bit of meal prep. An especially helpful approach when the game is on & you don’t want to get stuck in the kitchen!

  1. Shred the chicken. Whether you’re using leftover chicken, rotisserie chicken, or freshly roasted chicken you’ve cooked yourself, shred the meat with 2 forks or try my favorite trick: using the paddle attachment on your stand mixer.
  2. Stir up the taco seasoning blend up to a week ahead of time & store it on your spice rack – simple!
  3. Shred the cheese. I highly recommend shredding your cheese fresh. Store-bought pre-shredded cheese often has a caking agent on it that prevents the cheese from melting well. Buy a block & shred it yourself – it only takes a few minutes of your time & makes a big difference in the crispy tacos!

How to Make Crispy Chicken Tacos

Crispy chicken taco prep is also super easy. Once everything is prepped, assembly is a breeze – just stuff & bake! It only takes about 30 minutes & the oven does most of the work.

Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.

1

Season the chicken. Seasoning mild shredded chicken with a simple taco spice blend ensures each bite is super flavorful. Simply add chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, & smoked paprika to a bowl with the chicken & toss to combine. Store-bought shortcut! If you prefer using store-bought taco seasoning, go for it – you need 2 heaping tablespoons.

2

Assemble the chicken tacos. Quickly warm the tortillas in the microwave, then place them on a lightly greased baking sheet, flipping to coat each side in the oil. Fill each tortilla with a bit of cheese, some chicken, & more cheese on top, then fold in half to create a taco & arrange in a single layer. Why? Warming the tortillas makes them more pliable & prevents cracking, while a little oil gives each taco its signature crispiness!

3

Bake the crispy chicken tacos. Bake with really high heat, 450 degrees F, for about 10 minutes, then flip & return to the oven for 10 minutes more. Why? ⇢ Flipping ensures that both sides of the baked chicken tacos get evenly crispy & beautifully golden brown.

Easy Baked Taco Variations

While I’m pretty obsessed with these crispy chicken tacos, you can stuff your tacos with pretty much any meat or veggies for a delicious result. Feel free to stray from the shredded chicken in this recipe & have fun with your fillings.

A few ideas to get you started:

Serving Suggestions & Taco Topping Inspiration

The best part about serving baked tacos is creating a spread of toppings to mix, match, & enjoy. IMHO, there’s no such thing as too many taco toppings, so pick whatever you love most!

A few of my fave toppings for crispy chicken tacos:

  • Good Foods Chunky Guacamole – Made with 100% fresh Hass avocados, it’s SO fresh, flavorful, & always delicious. We’re serious avocado lovers & Good Foods makes our fave guac – it’s a fridge staple at our house!
  • Plant Based Queso Style Dip – Another Good Foods gem! This dairy-free queso is made with cauliflower & almonds, & it’s super creamy & satisfying. I love that it’s a veggie-forward take on a classic that everyone around the snack table can enjoy.
  • Quick pico or salsa – Jarred salsa works great! I love the brightness of salsa verde pairs with these tacos – try Good Foods Avocado Salsa for an even creamier option! If you’re up for it, you can always whip up a quick pico de gallo with fresh tomatoes, onion, cilantro & lime juice.
  • Sour cream – Creamy & cooling – a great complement to the spicy chicken tacos. Try my vegan cashew crema, a sauce made with cashews & citrus, for a similar effect without added dairy.
  • Quick AF pickled red onions are always in my fridge. They add great color & a pop of bright flavor.
  • Shredded lettuce – For a cooling crunch & a bit of crisp freshness.
  • Finishing touches – A squeeze of lime juice & chopped fresh cilantro are always welcomed!

Leftovers

These crispy chicken tacos are best enjoyed fresh from the oven. Though you can reheat the leftovers on the stovetop, I recommend only baking up as many tacos as you need to serve immediately. Save any leftover filling & seasoning for later. They come together so quickly that you can simply cook up a fresh batch when the craving strikes!

I can’t wait for you to try this Crispy Chicken Tacos recipe. They’re so easy to throw together & so fun to serve – we’re completely obsessed & I think you are going to be too!

If you do give it a try, be sure to let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. I LOVE hearing about & seeing your PWWB creations! ♡ Happy cooking!

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Crispy chicken tacos arranged atop a parchment paper lined baking sheet are topped with Good Foods Chunky Guacamole, pickled red onions, shredded lettuce, and Good Foods Plant Based Queso Style Dip. The tacos are garnished with fresh chopped cilantro and lime wedges. The baking sheet pan is surrounded by a container of Good Foods Chunky Guacamole, fresh cilantro, and a bowl of shredded lettuce. A gray and white striped linen napkin rests underneath the sheet pan.

Baked Crispy Chicken Tacos

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Jess Larson
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4-6 1x
  • Category: Tacos, Burritos & Enchiladas Recipes
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Mexican & Tex-Mex, American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

We’re pretty obsessed with tacos here at PWWB, but our love for these Baked Crispy Chicken Tacos is completely next-level. They’re so quick & easy to prepare, but they’re seriously so satisfying. 

Spice up some good ol’ shredded chicken with a simple homemade taco seasoning, then fold it into tortillas with a little bit of cheese. When you bake them in the oven with high heat, the spices become fragrant, the cheese melts, & the tortillas get super crispy. It’s the perfect vessel for a bunch of toppings, so the result is kind of a cross between tacos, taquitos, nachos, & quesadillas…seriously, what’s not to love about that?! 

Since they’re so quick & easy to prepare, these tacos are great for a weeknight meal or whenever you need an epic snack for a crowd. Simply set the baked tacos up alongside a spread of taco fixings for the ultimate build-your-own crispy chicken taco situation! The crowd will go wild

Refer to the blog post, above, for some meal prep tips & some easy recipe variations with different proteins or accommodate a vegan or vegetarian diet. ♡ Happy cooking!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 12 ounces shredded chicken breast (3/4 pound or approx. 2 heaping cups, see Recipe Notes below)
  • 1 heaping teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 heaping teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 heaping teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 heaping teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 heaping teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 heaping teaspoon smoked paprika
  • optional: up to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 810 corn tortillas (see Recipe Notes)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 ounces pepper jack cheese, freshly shredded (approx. 3 cups shredded)
  • kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season
  • for serving, as desired: Good Foods Chunky Guacamole, Good Foods Plant Based Queso Style Dip, sour cream or cashew crema, pickled red onions, shredded lettuce, finely chopped cilantro, pico de gallo or salsa of choice like Good Foods Avocado Salsa, lime wedges, etc.

Instructions

  1. Prep: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F, ensuring a rack is positioned in the center of the oven. Gather & prep ingredients according to the Ingredients List, above.Baked crispy chicken taco ingredients arranged on a creamy white textured surface: shredded chicken breast, chili powder, ground cumin garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, corn tortillas, olive oil, pepper jack cheese, Good Foods Chunky Guacamole, Good Foods Plant Based Queso Style Dip, pickled red onions, and shredded lettuce.
  2. Season the chicken: To a large bowl, add the shredded chicken. Season with the chili powder, ground cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper (if using), 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, & ground black pepper as desired. Set aside for taco assembly.How to make crispy chicken tacos, step 1: Season the chicken. Shredded chicken breast & spices fill a large glass mixing bowl that sits atop a creamy white textured surface. A silver spoon rests inside of the bowl for mixing.
  3. Warm the tortillas: Wrap the corn tortillas in a damp paper towel. Microwave 30 seconds to steam the tortillas, making them pliable enough for taco assembly. Remove from the microwave & set aside for taco assembly.Corn tortillas wrapped in a damp paper towel rest atop a small white ceramic plate that sits atop a creamy white textured surface.
  4. Assemble the chicken tacos: Brush the olive oil across the surface of a large rimmed baking sheet. Place the warmed tortillas on the baking sheet, flipping them one or two times to get a nice light coating of oil on both sides. Assemble the tacos by sprinkling a little cheese on half of tortilla, nestling the shredded chicken over top, & sprinkling the remaining cheese over the chicken. Fold the tortillas, creating a taco around the chicken & cheese filling.Assembled & partially assembled crispy chicken tacos rest atop a metal baking sheet pan that sits atop a creamy white textured surface. Surrounding the sheet pan is fresh cilantro, a bowl filled with seasoned shredded chicken breast, a ceramic bowl filled with shredded pepper jack cheese, a small pinch bowl filled with olive oil with a small pastry brush inside, and a small plateful of steamed corn tortillas atop a damp paper towel.
  5. Bake the crispy chicken tacos: Transfer the sheet pan to the oven & bake the tacos 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven. Working quickly & carefully, use a spatula to flip the tacos. Return to the oven & bake 8-10 minutes longer, until golden & crisp. Remove from the oven & allow to cool 2-3 minutes – the baked chicken tacos will get even crispier as they cool.Six baked crispy chicken tacos rest atop a metal baking sheet pan. The sheet pan sits atop a creamy white textured surface. A gray and white striped linen napkin is tucked underneath the sheet pan.
  6. Serve the baked crispy chicken tacos warm, finishing with a generous dollop of Good Foods Chunky Guacamole, a drizzling of Good Foods Plant Based Queso Style Dip, & whatever other toppings your taco-lovin’ heart desires – shredded lettuce, pico de gallo or Good Foods Avocado Salsa, chopped cilantro, etc. Enjoy!Crispy chicken tacos arranged atop a parchment paper lined baking sheet are topped with Good Foods Chunky Guacamole, pickled red onions, shredded lettuce, and Good Foods Plant Based Queso Style Dip. The tacos are garnished with fresh chopped cilantro and lime wedges. The baking sheet pan is surrounded by a container of Good Foods Chunky Guacamole, fresh cilantro, a bowl of shredded lettuce, and a container of Good Foods Plant Based Queso Style Dip.

Notes

  • Ingredient Notes:
    • Option #1: Store-bought shredded chicken: Rotisserie chicken is a great quick & easy store-bought shortcut for these baked tacos. Simply shred it up & use as directed.
    • Option #2: Homemade shredded chicken: I’m partial to quickly cooking up a couple of chicken breasts. It’s super simple. generously season 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts with 1 teaspoon kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired. Heat 2 tablespoons oil or butter in an oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken 2-3 minutes per side, until golden brown, then transfer to a 375 degree F oven. Roast 12-15 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest portion of the chicken registers an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
  • Corn tortillas: To help ensure your crispy chicken tacos do not crack as they bake, look for corn tortillas that are a little thinner & do not appear dry or crumbly. I’ve had good success using the Mission Corn Tortillas labeled “super soft” – yellow or white corn is fine, use whatever you love!
  • Storage & Reheating: These crispy chicken tacos are best served fresh out of the oven, though leftovers will keep, stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days. For crispiest results, reheat for 5-10 minutes in a 250 degree F oven or on the stovetop (quesadilla-style) until warmed through.
  • 15-Minute Meal Prep: These crispy chicken tacos come together really quickly once you’ve got all the components prepped & ready to go. To make this an even faster weeknight dinner, eliminate all active prep time by prepping a few things in advance:
    • Shred 12 ounces chicken breast. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days (<5 minutes active prep).
    • Mix the taco seasoning. To a small airtight container, combine all listed spices plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired. Cover & shake to combine. Store on your spice rack for up to 1 week (<5 minutes active prep).
    • Shred 12 ounces cheese. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days (<5 minutes active prep).

Recipe and Food Styling by Jess Larson, Plays Well With Butter | Photography by Rachel Cook, Half Acre House.

Follow along with Plays Well With Butter on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and Pinterest for more unfussy recipes that pack a big punch of flavor!

Hi there, I'm Jess!

If there’s 1 thing to know about me, it’s this: I am head-over-heels in love with food. I’m on a mission to make weeknight cooking flavorful, fast, & fun for other foodies, & PWWB is where I share foolproof recipes that deliver major flavor with minimal effort. Other true loves: pretty shoes, puppies, Grey’s Anatomy, & my cozy kitchen in Minneapolis, MN.

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Comments

  1. 11.7.23
    Isabel said:

    These were a bit bland for my husband, he said they only worked with the toppings. I agree, but it was such an easy set up, perfect for a busy night that I think it’s a keeper. We did guac pickled onions and refried beans. I give it 4/5 stars.

    • 11.7.23
      Emma @ Plays Well With Butter said:

      Hi Isabel, we always recommend adjusting seasonings as needed according to your taste – and we definitely recommend ALL the toppings!! Glad to hear you still enjoyed the recipe! 🙂

  2. 7.17.23
    Kelly said:

    We loved this recipe for an easy weeknight dinner as we usually have shredded chicken on hand. The toppings are a must and really make them!






    • 7.18.23
      Emma @ Plays Well With Butter said:

      So happy to hear you loved the tacos, Kelly! Easy weeknight dinners are our favorite 🙂

  3. 2.13.23
    Anna said:

    Love the flavor and texture of these tacos!






    • 2.14.23
      Erin @ Plays Well With Butter said:

      Thank you!! The crispy texture truly makes it 🙂 & thank you so much for dropping comments & rating it means so much!!

  4. 11.2.22
    GS said:

    Hi. Made these and they were great, just upped the seasoning a teeny bit. I used white corn tortillas and they seemed to break up and stuck when I tried to flip them. Not sure if not enough oil or if it was because they were white tortillas? Anyway will definitely make them again!!!

    • 11.2.22
      Erin @ Plays Well With Butter said:

      Hi there! We’re so glad you loved these tacos 🙌🏼 – finding a taco that works best can be tricky! While yellow or white corn tortillas should work, we’ve found that corn tortillas that are a little thinner & do not appear dry or crumbly work best. We’ve had success with the Mission Corn Tortillas labeled “super soft”. This information is saved in the recipe notes in case you want to reference next time you make them! 🙂