Extra crispy and super easy Baked Chicken Tacos are a the BEST for feeding a hungry family or crowd quickly. Use any shredded chicken, a jar of salsa, and your family’s favorite toppings to create a platter of crunchy, flavorful tacos everyone will be excited to dig into. In just 25 quick minutes you can make a huge platter of oven baked tacos to serve for dinner, an appetizer, or as a fun party food.
Baked Chicken Tacos – The EASY Way!
Hungry kids are asking what is for dinner and you just want to get something tasty on the table that will make everyone happy, I know the feeling! Well, these tacos are IT!
Super easy, baked shredded chicken tacos are 100% tasty and SO easy to make. As a matter of fact, this is one of the most requested recipes from my kids. The filling is delicious and when you combine that with the melty cheese and extra crunchy shell, these are nearly irresistible!
Oven baking them makes them super crunchy and delicious. Plus it takes practically no time whip up a bunch all at once! It does not matter how many you are feeding, this recipe will keep them all happy without a single bit of stress. Toss together shredded chicken breast, crunchy shells, gooey cheese and whatever toppings you love, and oven baked tacos are served. EASY!
Why I LOVE this recipe!
- Everyone loves tacos – Whether it is for a party full of people or just your hungry family, these will work for everyone.
- So Fast! – 10 minutes to prep, 10 minutes in the oven, and a few minutes to load them up with toppings. That is about as fast as it gets!
- Easy to adjust – This recipe serves 5 as is, but is SO EASY to double, triple, or even cut in half. Bonus – it will hardly take you any extra time to make more.
- Extra crispy deliciousness – Popping pre-cooked chicken and crispy shells in the oven makes this meal quick, and also creates a really amazing flavor. They come out tasting so fresh and deliciously crunchy.
- EASY to customize! – I’ve listed what we like to top our baked shredded chicken tacos with, but you can absolutely change it up with your family’s favorite toppings.
What to Serve with Oven Baked Chicken Tacos
This baked chicken taco recipe has all the flavors of traditional Mexican spices, and will pair really well with Mexican inspired side dishes. You can choose healthier ones to keep it light, or serve it with rice or beans to stretch it into a more filling meal.
Side Dish Ideas
- Mexican Crock Pot Refried Beans
- Crock Pot Black Beans
- Easy Mexican Rice– this is a classic!
- Mexican Roasted Vegetables – Great for a healthy side dish!
- Mexican Corn Salad
- Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice
- Mexican Street Corn Casserole – one of my most popular sides of all time
- Easy Mexican Cornbread – Reader favorite!
You can choose one or add a few sides to make a wholesome, well rounded dinner.
This baked chicken taco recipe is as simple as promised! Just 25 minutes for a family friendly meal.
In this section I am going to go through a few tips and tricks I use when making this recipe to get the absolute best and most delicious results.
Make sure to scroll to the bottom for the FULL recipe card.
Ingredients + Substitutions
- Shredded Chicken Breast – One major benefit to these crispy oven baked tacos is that you can use ANY shredded or leftover chicken. Just make sure it is a neutral flavor so it pairs well with the seasonings.
You can use pulled rotisserie chicken, a few breasts that were boiled or baked, leftover fried tenders, or even the box of pre-shredded chicken from the grocery store.
- Salsa – When it comes to salsa, use a one you know your family will like. It can be mild, medium, or spicy, but I do recommend choosing one that is thick and chunky. If you choose a looser, liquid style salsa it can cause sogginess in the shells.
- Taco Seasoning – Use any blend you love. We love my homemade taco seasoning, but I also use the pre-measured packets too.
- Crunchy Taco Shells – You can make these baked hard shell tacos with any brand and any size shell you like. We like to use the bigger ones, and 10 shells will feed 5 people. But, you can definitely just use more of the smaller size. As is, this recipe will adapt to fill 14-16 smaller shells.
- Shredded Cheese – Shredded cheddar, a Mexican blend, or even a spicier shredded pepper jack can all be used with tasty results.
Shredded Chicken Taco Topping Ideas
You can keep the toppings super simple and traditional and these will be great. Or, make an easy salsa or guacamole to add in extra veggies and make your oven baked tacos extra delicious.
- Shredded Lettuce
- Chopped onions
- Sour Cream
- Fresh guacamole
- Pico de Gallo
- Sautéed peppers and onions
- Chipotle Corn Salsa
- Black Bean and Corn Salsa
- Use flat bottomed shells – If I can find them I LOVE making my baked chicken tacos with the flat-bottomed shells. They are super easy to fill and stand up in the pan better which keeps things neater.
BUT if you are only able to find rounded bottom shells, they will also work. You will just want to line them up in the pan together so they stay upright as you fill them.
- Drain off extra liquid – Nobody wants a soggy taco. That fresh, crispy crunch of the shell is what makes these oven baked chicken tacos so delicious! To achieve that make sure you drain the salsa of the extra liquid before you add it to the chicken. We want all the tomato and pepper goodness, without the watery liquid.
- Make them how YOU like them – Customize, customize, customize, can I say that enough? I wrote this recipe how my family likes them, but if yours are fans of double meat or cheese, then load them up! You can absolutely add more filling and use whatever toppings will keep your family happily munching away.
- Make more or less – This is one of my go-to party foods because it is simple to scale up. In my 9×13 baking dish I can make 10 large tacos, or about 15 smaller ones, and feed my family. But it is so easy to use a baking sheet, two casserole dishes, or whatever larger pan you have to double (or triple) the recipe. If you need to scale down, just use an 8×8 pan instead.
Recipe Short Cuts
If you need to make this recipe, but are extra short on time, here are a few ideas that can help make this recipe even faster!
- Use pre-chopping toppings – Buy bags of shredded lettuce and cheese and use pre-made guacamole and Pico de Gallo to make these the ultimate convenience at-home dinner
- Shred your chicken ahead – Shred the chicken up to 5 days in advance so you can assemble these baked chicken breast tacos in a snap another night.
- Mix your chicken ahead too! – Add your drained salsa right into the storage bowl of shredded chicken and it will keep in the fridge for 3 days.
If you love this recipe as much as we do and want some quick ways to change it up for variety, these little tips will do the trick!
- Baked Buffalo Chicken Tacos– Make the recipe as directed, but instead of salsa and taco seasoning, mix the shredded chicken with your favorite buffalo sauce. You can even use regular hot sauce by mixing it with butter like I do for my baked buffalo chicken tenders.
- Baked BBQ Chicken Tacos– Make your baked chicken tacos according to the recipe, but swap in an easy homemade BBQ sauce, or your favorite bottled brand, instead of using the salsa and taco seasoning.
- Soft Baked Chicken Tacos– Swap in taco-sized flour tortilla shells and then follow the rest of the recipe as is. Fill them with chicken and arrange them snugly in the baking dish to keep them upright.
More Taco Inspired Recipes
If you enjoyed this recipe, I really hope you will take a moment to grab a few more easy recipes for another busy night!
You can check out all of my easy dinner recipes here, or see a few of our readers favorite recipes below.
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Baked Shredded Chicken Tacos
- 3 cups shredded chicken breast (or pulled rotisserie chicken)
- 1 cup salsa
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
- 10 crispy taco shells (or more depending on size)
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese or Mexican blend
- shredded lettuce
- pico de gallo
- corn salsa
- sour cream
- Preheat oven to 375˚F.
- Combine the shredded chicken, salsa, and taco seasoning until evenly mixed.
- Stand the taco shells upright tightly in a 9×13 baking dish. Fill each shell with taco meat and top with cheese.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the chicken is heated through.
- Remove the tacos and stuff with preferred toppings, or allow each person to top their tacos in any way they like!
Scaling the recipe:
- To make less tacos, use the same method, but place shells in an 8×8 baking dish.
- To make more tacos, use 2 9×13 baking dishes, or 1 half sheet pan.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)
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