Grilled Chicken Street Tacos

March 11, 2017

Mexican Street Tacos are one of my favorite foods! This version includes marinated grilled chicken thighs and creamy avocados. They’re brimming with bright flavors and they’re so easy to make. I frequently serve these tacos to guests and they always get compliments!

chicken street tacos with avocado

Mexican Street Tacos with Flavorful Grilled Chicken

I love this chicken taco recipe not only because they taste amazing, but also because it’s one of those easy to throw together recipes and you can also get a head start it a few hours in advance with the marinating.

If you want to go all out, you can serve them with carne asada tacos as well. I love getting each kind when I get them on the street in Mexico or in restaurants, so one of these days I’m going to feel ambitious and make all three at once (chicken, carne asada and carnitas).

I guess that will just have to be the menu for my next party. That sounds like a great plan especially considering it’s finally starting to warm up again.

Chicken Street Taco Ingredients

These Mexican chicken street tacos require very few ingredients. Most of the ingredients on the list below are spices that I’m sure you already have on hand.

  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • Fresh Lime Juice
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic
  • Ground Cumin
  • Ancho Chili Powder
  • Chopped Fresh Cilantro
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Toppings (onion, cilantro, etc.)

Six chicken thighs in a bowl after grilling, for street tacos.

How to Make Street Tacos

  • Make the chicken taco marinade by stirring together lime juice, olive oil, garlic, cumin chili powder, cilantro, S&P.
  • Pour marinade over chicken in a bag. Let marinate in fridge 1 – 6 hours.
  • Cook on hot preheated grill, about 5 minutes per side.
  • Let rest briefly, then dice into cubes.
  • Layer into to warmed tortillas and top as desired.

Can I Bake the Chicken Instead?

You can bake the chicken instead of grilling. Bake at 425ºF for 30 minutes on a sheet pan (or until cooked through and crisp on the edges).

How Do I Know When the Chicken is Done?

You’ll know when the chicken is finished cooking when the inside is no longer pink. Or, you can prick the chicken with a knife to check whether or not the juices run clear.

Diced chicken pieces on a cutting board for street tacos

Tips for Making Grilled Chicken Tacos

  • Be sure to allow at least one hour for marinating otherwise the chicken won’t have enough time to absorb flavor.
  • Use hot heat to grill and let them char a bit. It gives them a crispy edge and adds great flavor!
  • For best results, stick with thighs here. The thighs are juicier, have better flavor and brown better. People who don’t normally like chicken thighs love this recipe. I make them for guests all the time.

chicken street tacos on individual pewter plates set over a rustic green surface.

Extra Street Taco Topping Ideas

Typically, street tacos are topped with onion, cilantro and lime but you can’t go wrong with extra toppings. Try:

Close up image of street tacos showing grilled chicken, onions and cilantro layered over mini corn tortillas.

What to Serve With Street Tacos:

More Easy Taco Recipes You’ll Love:

Grilled Chicken Street Tacos

5 from 14 votes

One of the best taco recipes out there! Chicken thighs are soaked in a bright well seasoned marinade and grilled to perfection (you'll be fighting over those little charred crispy pieces). 

These chicken street tacos are so flavorful and so easy to make. I frequently serve these chicken tacos to guests and they always get compliments!

Servings: 4
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs trimmed boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/4 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For serving

  • 12 mini corn taco shells, warmed (double up if desired)
  • 1 large avocado,* cored and sliced
  • 1 small red or yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • Lime wedges, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Add chicken to a gallon size resealable bag. In a small bowl whisk together lime juice, olive oil, garlic, cumin chili powder, cilantro, 1 tsp salt and 3/4 tsp pepper.

  2. Pour mixture over chicken in bag then seal bag while releasing an trapped air. Rub marinade over chicken. Transfer to refrigerator and allow to marinate at least 1 hour and up to 6 hours
  3. Preheat a grill over medium-high heat (it should come to 425 - 450 degrees). 

  4. Remove chicken from marinade and grill until chicken has cooked through , turning once halfway through grilling, about 5 - 6 minutes per side (thickest center should register 165 and thighs should be slightly charred). 

  5. Transfer to a plate, cover with foil and let rest 5 minutes.
  6. Dice grilled chicken into cubes. Sprinkle chicken over 1 or 2 tortillas per taco then add an avocado slice, diced chicken, onions and cilantro. 

  7. Serve warm, spritzing each taco with lime juice and drizzling with hot sauce.

Recipe Notes

  • *Try homemade guacamole for another delicious option.
  • Stick with chicken thighs for best results. They're more tender and juicier, they brown better and they have better flavor.
  • Recipe source: Cooking Classy
Nutrition Facts
Grilled Chicken Street Tacos
Amount Per Serving
Calories 463 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Fat 21g32%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 161mg54%
Sodium 192mg8%
Potassium 800mg23%
Carbohydrates 32g11%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 37g74%
Vitamin A 380IU8%
Vitamin C 12mg15%
Calcium 84mg8%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Street Tacos
Author: Jaclyn

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58 Comments

  • Nanette

    This is a fantastic marinade! The first time, I used chicken breasts & marinated them for about 5 hrs. Cooked them on my grill pan & then shredded them for tortillas. Am using thighs tonight. Thank you so much for a wonderful recipe.

  • Jeannie G

    I rarely leave comments/reviews on any website, but I am doing so here to thank you for this recipe. Everyone I have served this to has enjoyed it so much that they always get seconds, and sometimes even thirds. My family now asks for this recipe even for special celebrations. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe. I truly appreciate it!!

  • Sarah Simpson

    This chicken had the BEST flavor! We loved it for street tacos and ate leftovers for days on nachos and by the bowl full! And the kids loved it too! Definitely saving this recipe. It will be a new staple!

  • Marie stone

    I don’t have a grill but I do have a indoor castiron grill I use often, I marinated 4 hours and topped taco with lettuce, tomato, red onion, cheese and lime juice, I grilled the corn tortilla shells about 30 sec or so on each side, they was amazing and my family loved then…will make again often, yummo