How to Make These Delicious Tacos Step-by-Step

This recipe for Marinated Chicken Tacos will walk you through a simple and easy way to make chicken tacos that are both flavorful and filling. With just a few ingredients, you can whip up a delicious meal the whole family will love. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a beginner, this step-by-step recipe will make you look like a pro.

Marinated Chicken Tacos Recipe

How to Make Marinated Chicken Tacos

Step 1: Marinate the Chicken

Marinating the chicken is an essential step to make a perfect chicken taco. It enhances the flavors and makes the chicken juicy and tender.

But how long should you marinate the chicken breast for?

While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, the best practice is to marinate chicken breast for at least 30 minutes to an hour. The longer you marinate, the more flavor the chicken will absorb.

However, marinating the chicken for too long can result in a mushy texture that might spoil the overall taste of the tacos.

So, it’s best to keep an eye on the clock and strike a balance between flavor and texture. Experiment with different marinades and marinating times to find your ideal combination for the perfect chicken taco recipe.

In a large mixing bowl, combine

  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil*

Mix well, then add 1 pound of diced chicken breast. Toss the chicken until it’s well-coated with the marinade. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour. (For more info on how long to marinate meats, the USDA has a guide here.)

*Oil will help prevent the chicken from sticking during cooking. When selecting oil, consider using healthier options like olive oil, or avocado oil. However, it’s also important to note that over-marinating chicken in oil can lead to smoke in the pan, so a little goes a long way. As a general rule of thumb, a tablespoon or two of oil should suffice for a standard chicken marinade recipe.

Step 2: Cook the Chicken

After the chicken has marinated, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the pan and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Turn off the heat and set the chicken aside.

Step 3: Prepare the Toppings

While the chicken is cooking, prepare your toppings. Slice 1 avocado and set it aside. Finely chop 1/4 cup of onion, chop 1/4 cup of cilantro, and dice 1 large tomato. Finally, crumble 1/2 cup of queso fresco (Mexican cheese) and set it aside.

Step 4: Prepare the Tortillas

When it comes to cooking corn tortillas for tacos, there are two main methods: frying or warming. My preference for marinated chicken tacos is fried, but that’s not a hard and fast rule.

While both techniques ultimately result in a warm and delicious tortilla, the choice between them depends on personal preference and the type of taco being made.

Frying a tortilla results in a crispy and slightly greasy texture, perfect for tacos such as carnitas or carne asada.

On the other hand, simply warming a tortilla in a dry skillet or on a comal results in a softer and more pliable texture, ideal for tacos such as al pastor or barbacoa.

Ultimately, the best method to cook corn tortillas for tacos comes down to individual taste and the desired texture for the particular type of taco being made.

1. Frying the tortillas

For those who have never attempted to fry corn tortillas for tacos, the process can seem daunting. But fear not, it’s actually quite simple.

The best way to fry corn tortillas for tacos is to use a small amount of oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat.

Once the pan is hot, add the tortillas one at a time and cook for about 30 seconds on each side, or until they are slightly crisp and golden. Be sure to drain them on a paper towel and sprinkle with a bit of salt while they are still hot.

Not only will they hold their shape better than store-bought hard shells, but the homemade tortillas will also have a wonderful flavor and texture that will make your tacos truly unforgettable.

2. Warming the tortillas

Heat a skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Place a tortilla on the skillet and heat it up for about 15 to 20 seconds on each side or until it’s warm and slightly charred. Repeat this for each tortilla, then stack them on a plate and cover them with a clean towel to keep them warm.

Step 5: Assembling Your Marinated Chicken Tacos

Now it’s the fun part – assembling the tacos! Take a warmed tortilla and fill it with the cooked chicken, chopped onions, diced tomato, and perhaps sliced avocado. Top it all with crumbled queso fresco. Repeat with the remaining tortillas until you’ve used up all the chicken and toppings.


  • Substitute queso fresco with cheddar
  • Add sliced avocado on the side
  • Top with a sprinkling of chopped cliantro
  • A dab of sour cream is always a tasty option
  • Drizzle fresh lime juice on top
  • Try our homemade salsa!

Serve and Eat!

Making delicious chicken tacos isn’t as hard as it may seem. With just a few ingredients, you can have a flavorful and filling meal that the whole family will enjoy.

This simple, step-by-step recipe will guide you through the process so you can make tacos like a pro. So, the next time you’re in the mood for tacos, try your hand at this recipe!