Chicken Tacos with Enchilada Sauce

One taco filled with chicken, cole slaw, cilantro, sliced jalapenos, and 3 sliced radishes. Ingredients in background.
Dress up chicken tacos with your favorite fixens. For chicken tacos with a strong enchilada flavor, I like sour cream cilantro sauce, cooling lime cole slaw, radishes, and a couple sliced jalapenos. BUT, You do You!

This easy and delicious chicken taco with enchilada sauce recipe is made with three basic ingredients: chicken thighs, tortillas, and a can of enchilada sauce. Of course, there are fixens for a taco so pick your favorite toppers. I've listed my favorite complimentary garnishes below.

Chicken thighs are so easy to cook with because they are forgiving. They can be cooked a long time which allows them to marinate and cook / sear in the sauce. They have fat that breaks down and integrates into the chicken making the thighs tender and flavorful.

Canned enchilada sauce comes in mild, medium, and hot. Be on the lookout for your preferred spice level.

Diced raw chicken thighs on a wood cutting board with a knife in the background.
Diced raw chicken thighs still-life. EWWWW! 🙂

The "sauce" is really not a sauce at all. By the time the chicken is done cooking there should be no sauce / liquid left, just concentrated flavor. Then, you hit it again with a cooling cilantro lime sour cream sauce if you like.

12
No need to heat up the pan first. Dump in the raw chicken and ⅔ can of enchilada sauce and start cooking.

Tacos are so versatile with ingredients: guacamole, salsa, tomatoes, cheese, sour cream, cilantro, pineapple, mango, lettuce, jalapenos, etc... Having said that, I love this with lime cole slaw and a cool cilantro sour cream sauce combo with a couple of radishes.

Red seared pieces of chicken in a black skillet. Sliced radishes, cilantro, and slaw in the background.
Cook off all of the enchilada sauce so the chicken really absorbs the concentrated flavors. Try to get a nice sear on some of the pieces. Non-stick skillets help with this.

Chicken breast can be substituted but reduce the amount of enchilada sauce by half as it will cook much quicker and the sauce will not reduce enough and you'll end up with runny tacos.

Don't like to cut up raw chicken? Cool, throw it in the pan whole and dice it after it's cooked.

One taco filled with chicken, cole slaw, cilantro, sliced jalapenos, and 3 sliced radishes. Ingredients in background and cole slaw on the side.

You'll be tempted to use the whole can of enchilada sauce but it may be too much and it won't reduce or will take forever to reduce and could end up drying out the chicken.  Save the sauce in a ziploc bag, date and label, and freeze it for later.  The leftover sauce could also be mixed with sour cream at a later date to make a nice sour cream sauce for a different kind of taco.

Not all enchilada sauce is gluten free, whole30, and paleo. Double check your brand if you are on a special diet.

One close up of a chicken taco on a flour tortila with 3 slices of radishes, cole slaw, chopped cilantro, and sliced jalapeno.

Serving Suggestion

Serve this simple chicken tacos with enchilada sauce recipe with a complimentary dish like:

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Check out these recipes if you like Mexican inspired dishes:

Things in My Kitchen

  • 12" nonstick pan - PFOA free, with lid, and oven safe to 350F.
  • Benriner mandolin - I have the old green, but am coveting the wide one. I've used a lot of mandolins and like this one the best but you still have to be careful!
Print

Chicken Tacos with Enchilada Sauce

One taco filled with chicken, cole slaw, cilantro, sliced jalapenos, and 3 sliced radishes. Ingredients in background.
  • Author: Beckie Hemmerling
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 5 (10 Tacos)
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Ingredients

  • 2 lb chicken thighs, fat removed and diced
  • 10 oz enchilada sauce (~ ⅔ of a 15 oz can)
  • 10 tortillas
  • 1 bunch radishes, sliced thin
  • lime cole slaw - optional
  • cilantro sour cream sauce - optional

Instructions

  • Place raw diced chicken in a 12" skillet and add 10 oz (~ 1 ¼ cup) canned enchilada sauce.
  • Place on medium - medium high heat and cook uncovered ~ 12-15 minutes (stirring occasionally) or until chicken is cooked through and liquid has cooked off.  If you're using a non-stick skillet, you may also get some nice crispy seared bits.
  • Add salt to taste.
  • Warm up your tortillas on the stovetop or in the microwave.
  • Make your favorite tacos with your favorite ingredients.  Happy eating! Beckie

Notes

  • You'll be tempted to use the whole can of enchilada sauce but it may be too much and it won't reduce or will take forever to reduce and could end up drying out the chicken.  Save the sauce in a ziploc bag, date and label, and freeze it for later.  The leftover sauce could also be mixed with sour cream at a later date to make a nice sour cream sauce for a different kind of taco.
  • Chicken breast can be substituted but reduce the amount of enchilada sauce by half as it will cook much quicker and the sauce will not reduce enough and you'll end up with runny tacos.
  • The "sauce" is really not a sauce at all.  By the time the chicken is done cooking there should be no liquid left, just concentrated flavor.

Keywords: Chicken, Chicken Thighs, Enchilada Sauce, Gluten Free, Paleo, Whole30, Low Carb, Keto, Tacos, Easy Dinners, Mexican

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