Cheesy, Crispy Buffalo Chicken Tacos Are the Definition of Craveable!
Tacos and buffalo-anything are 2 dinnertime hits here at the PWWB House. Combine them into Crispy Buffalo Chicken Tacos and you have one seriously craveable dish!
This recipe is entirely hands-off, baking the tacos on a sheet pan in a hot oven to make them extra-crispy. While the corn tortillas crisp up, the buffalo chicken filling stays juicy and tangy and the cheese melts to gooey perfection.
(Bonus: when the filling leaks out the edges, there’s even more cheesy-crispiness to savor. 🤤)
The result is like an epic cross between a taco and a quesadilla.
Load ‘em up for a crazy-fun weeknight dinner or game day spread!
3 Tried and True Tricks for Obsession-Worthy Crispy Tacos
The beauty of baked tacos is the contrast of crispy, craveable edges, and a gooey cheesy filling. It’s simply the best!
This recipe for buffalo chicken tacos uses my tried and true method for crispy baked tacos. It’s the same approach as my viral Crispy Black Bean Tacos, which are loved by thousands of PWWB readers. Easy, hands-off prep with obsession-worthy results!
In my experience, there are 3 tricks that make all the difference when making this style of crispy baked tacos…
- Use a hot oven. Baking the tacos in super high heat (450 degrees F!) helps the tortillas sizzle up so they’re always crisp, never soggy.
- Coat the tortillas in oil. Lightly coating the corn tortillas in olive oil helps them crisp up as they bake on the hot sheet pan.
- Embrace the cheesy cracks. Your tacos may crack a bit as they bake. Don’t sweat it – this makes the crispy buffalo chicken tacos even better! When the cheesiness seeps through onto the sheet pan, it adds another layer of savory crispiness. Nothing not to love about that!
How to Make Buffalo Chicken Tacos in the Oven
Baking the buffalo chicken tacos only takes 20 minutes and will feel familiar if you’ve ever made my classic Baked Chicken Tacos. Simply stuff the tortillas with tangy buffalo chicken and cheese, then let the oven take over!
Steam the tortillas. I prefer corn tortillas for baked tacos (to prevent splitting, look for thinner ones that don’t appear dry or crumbly). Wrap your tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds. Why? ⇢ The wet paper towels create steam and add moisture back into store-bought tortillas. This makes them more pliable and helps prevent cracking or breaking.
Prep the buffalo chicken filling. This buffalo chicken taco filling is a simple combination of shredded chicken and tangy, spicy buffalo sauce. Feel free to use rotisserie chicken or quickly whip up a batch of Poached Chicken Breasts. I always make my 5-Minute Homemade Buffalo Sauce and amp it up with a few extra spices like garlic powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Store-bought sauce works too though!
Assemble the tacos. Lightly coat the warm tortillas in olive oil on the baking sheet. Then add a sprinkle of cheese and some buffalo chicken mixture on one half of each tortilla, folding to create a taco around the filling. Tip! ⇢ Gently folding the tacos helps prevent them from cracking. No need to force it – the tortillas will fall as they bake, naturally sealing in the filling.
Bake! Cook the buffalo chicken tacos in the oven for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through so both sides are evenly crisp. Tip! ⇢ When the tacos come out of the oven, let them rest for a few minutes. This allows their gooey center to cool and gives the tacos an extra crispy finish.
Serving Suggestions and Taco Toppings
A buffalo chicken taco spread is a fun weeknight dinner and a great build-your-own setup for serving friends. A big benefit of baked sheet pan tacos is you can make a big batch all at once. Perfect for entertaining or feeding a crowd on game day!
The best part about any taco is the toppings, so load up on whatever you love!
Some of my favorite toppings for crispy buffalo chicken tacos include…
- Blue cheese or ranch dressing – The best creamy, cooling pairing for all things buffalo! Use store-bought or try my 5-Minute Greek Yogurt Ranch. It’s the ultimate ranch dip – creamy, tangy, herbaceous – and comes together quickly with just 5 ingredients.
- A big batch of guacamole or mashed avocado with lime (my go-to lazy girl topping! 💁🏻♀️).
- Shredded lettuce and/or diced tomatoes for cooling freshness.
- Super quick pickled red onions.
- Chopped cilantro for bright, herbaceous flavor.
I can’t wait for you to try this Crispy Buffalo Chicken Tacos recipe! It’s so easy to make and stuffed with some of the best tangy, cheesy, savory flavors out there – just don’t forget the toppings!
If you do give it a try, be sure to let us know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo and tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. We LOVE seeing your PWWB creations! ♡ Happy cooking!Print
Tacos and buffalo-anything are 2 dinnertime hits here at the PWWB House, so there was something that just felt ~right~ about combining them for these Crispy Buffalo Chicken Tacos. (Once you try them, I’m pretty sure you’ll agree!)
Simply stuff corn tortillas with your favorite melty cheese and tangy-spicy shredded buffalo chicken. I’ve noted my favorite homemade shredded chicken and buffalo sauce recipes below, but store-bought works just fine too!
And since they’re baked on a sheet pan, you can make a big batch all at once, which is great for an easy weeknight meal or serving a game day crowd. Just pile on the toppings and dig in! ♡ Happy cooking!
- 8–10 corn tortillas (see Recipe Notes)
- 12 ounces shredded chicken breast (approx. 2 heaping cups)
- ½ cup buffalo sauce, store-bought or homemade
- heaping ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- heaping ½ teaspoon paprika
- optional: up to ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- kosher salt and ground black pepper, to season
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 ounces freshly shredded pepper jack cheese (approx. 2 cups)
- for serving, as desired: additional buffalo sauce, bleu cheese or ranch dressing, guacamole or mashed avocado, pickled red onions, shredded lettuce, finely chopped cilantro, lime wedges, etc.
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F, ensuring a rack is positioned in the center of the oven. 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.
- Mix the buffalo chicken: To a large bowl, add the shredded chicken, buffalo sauce, garlic powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper (if using). Mix to combine well. Taste and season with kosher salt and ground black pepper as desired.
- Assemble the buffalo 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. Sprinkle a little cheese on half of a tortilla and nestle the shredded buffalo chicken over top. Repeat with remaining tortillas, sprinkling any remaining cheese over the buffalo chicken. Fold the tortillas in half, creating a taco around the buffalo chicken & cheese filling.
- Bake the crispy buffalo chicken tacos: Transfer the sheet pan to the oven & bake 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and use a spatula to carefully flip the tacos. Return to the oven and bake 8-10 minutes longer, until the buffalo chicken tacos are golden and crisp. Remove from the oven & allow to cool 2-3 minutes – the tacos will get even crispier as they cool.
- Serve the crispy buffalo chicken tacos warm, alongside with whatever toppings your taco-lovin’ heart desires. I love drizzling a little extra buffalo sauce over the tacos and dipping them into bleu cheese or ranch dressing. Guacamole, shredded lettuce, cilantro, and pickled red onions are always delicious, too. Enjoy!
Jess’ Tips and Tricks:
- Quick note on tortillas: In my experience making this style taco, the tortillas sometime split or crack in the oven. I personally don’t mind when the tacos break open because you get even more crispy bits of cheese(!), but a few precautions can help. First, it’s best to use 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! Second, don’t be too forceful in folding the tortillas over the buffalo chicken filling when you assemble the tacos – they’ll naturally fall over the filling as they bake. If have toothpicks on hand, you can also pin the tortillas in place.
Storage and Reheating: These buffalo chicken 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.