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5-Ingredient Shredded Chicken Tacos

5-Ingredient Shredded Chicken Tacos are a favorite weeknight dinner. They’re quick and easy to make, and this recipe is perfectly portioned to serve 2 people (and easily doubled or tripled if you want to feed the whole family).

Low angle shot of 4 shredded chicken tacos in soft corn tortillas on a rectangular white plate. There is a pile of shredded lettuce and some sliced radishes on the plate.

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Corn tortillas are filled with juicy shredded chicken simmered with salsa and corn. Top the tacos with shredded cheese and add any extras you like—sour cream, guacamole, beans, shredded lettuce or cabbage, diced red onions, sliced jalapenos, or a spritz of lime juice.

This recipe is from my new book, which is available now as an ebook or for preoder in paperback (available June 9th). Buy 5-Ingredient Cooking for Two now!

graphic advertising the cookbook 5 ingredient cooking for 2 shows the book cover

What ingredients do you need for these chicken tacos?

This is a 5-ingredient recipe, so you know the ingredient list is short. Here’s everything you need:

  • Shredded, cooked chicken—you can use rotisserie chicken or any leftover roasted or cooked chicken.
  • Salsa
  • Corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
  • Corn tortillas
  • Shredded cheese

What kind of chicken do you use?

You can use whatever cooked chicken you have—whether it is a supermarket rotisserie chicken, leftover roasted or baked chicken, or chicken you’ve poached or roasted just for this purpose.

If I don’t have leftover cooked chicken on hand, I will put a couple of chicken breasts in my Instant Pot with a cup of chicken broth and some seasonings (salt, chili powder, garlic, etc.) and pressure cook for about 10 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally, then remove the chicken from the pot and let it cool.

Shred the meat using two forks, or use a hand-held or stand mixer to do the job.

How to make these shredded chicken tacos

This recipe comes from my book 5-Ingredient Cooking for Two, so you know it’s easy. Here’s how to do it:

  1. In a saucepan or skillet, combine the shredded chicken, corn, and salsa and heat, stirring occasionally, over medium-high heat until the mixture is heated through.
  2. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
  3. Heat the tortillas. I like to do this right on the flame on my gas stovetop. If you don’t have a gas stove, you can heat the tortillas in a skillet, on a grill, or by wrapping them in a stack in a damp towel and heating in the microwave for about 1 minute.
  4. Fill the tortillas with the shredded chicken mixture, top with cheese, and serve immediately with whatever other toppings you want to add.
Image is of the book cover for 5 Ingredient Cooking for 2 by Robin Donovan. The title is at the top in text and there is an image of chicken and potatoes on a plate with fresh rosemary and black pepper.

Favorite toppings

You can get as creative as you like when topping your shredded chicken tacos. Since everyone in my family has different faves, I like to put out a bunch of toppings and set things up DIY taco bar style. Here are some of our favorite toppings:

  • Sour cream
  • Guacamole
  • Diced avocado
  • Salsa or hot sauce (my son and I both have to add Tapatio to our tacos, no matter what other sauces or salsas they have)
  • Pico de gallo
  • Diced red onion
  • Cilantro
  • Lime juice
  • Sliced scallions
  • Black beans or pinto beans
  • Shredded romaine lettuce or cabbage
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Pickled red onions

What to serve to with chicken tacos to make it a meal?

We often serve refried beans or seasoned pinto beans or black beans and a simple salad of lettuce and tomatoes with vinaigrette dressing.

Mexican rice and cilantro lime rice are also great accompaniments.

But the truth is, with a bunch of vegetable toppings, these tacos really are a great all-in-one meal.

Can you make this dish ahead of time and freeze it?

You can make the chicken ahead and freeze it. Just prepare the chicken through the step of mixing it with the salsa and corn. Transfer the mixture to a freezer-safe resealable plastic bag and freeze it for up to 3 months.

To use the chicken, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat it either in a saucepan or skillet or in the microwave.

overhead shot of 4 shredded chicken tacos with shredded cheese, lettuce, and sliced radishes on a rectangular white plate.
Yield: Serves 2

5-Ingredient Shredded Chicken Tacos for Two

Low angle shot of 4 shredded chicken tacos in soft corn tortillas on a rectangular white plate. There is a pile of shredded lettuce and some sliced radishes on the plate.

There’s nothing better than a quick taco dinner. If you’ve got cooked chicken in the refrigerator, this dinner can be on the table in under 10 minutes. You can always pick up a rotisserie chicken on the way home, or grill a couple of chicken breasts either on an outdoor grill or grill pan.


Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 6 ounces shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen (thawed) corn kernels
  • 1cup salsa (mild, medium, or hot to taste)
  • 4 to 6 corn tortillas
  • ½ cup shredded Mexican cheese blend


  1. In a saucepan, combine the chicken, corn, and salsa and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for a minute or 2 until heated through.
  2. Heat the tortillas either on a griddle or skillet or directly over the flame of a gas stovetop.
  3. Divide the chicken mixture evenly among the tortillas and top with the cheese. Serve immediately.


Top with sour cream, guacamole or diced avocado, diced red onions, chopped cilantro, and/or hot sauce if you like.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 482Total Fat 21gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 107mgSodium 1110mgCarbohydrates 41gFiber 7gSugar 6gProtein 33g

Nutrient values are estimates only. Variations may occur due to product availability and manner of food preparation. Nutrition may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, freshness of ingredients, and other factors.


Follow Me: @allwaysdelicious and tag #allwaysdelicious

pinterest pin for 5-ingredient shredded chicken tacos. top image shows 4 chicken tacos on a rectangular white plate with lettuce and radishes. text says 5-ingredient shredded chicken tacos www.alwaysdelicious.com. bottom image shows 4 chicken tacos on a rectangular white plate with lettuce and radishes.
By on May 30th, 2020

About Robin Donovan

Hi, I’m Robin! I am a full-time food blogger, recipe developer, and cookbook author. I spend my days cooking, writing about, and photographing food.

I’m the author of more than 40 cookbooks, including Ramen for Beginners, 5 Ingredient Cooking for Two, Sushi at Home, The Baking Cookbook for Teens, and the bestselling Campfire Cuisine.

My food writing has also been featured in major print and online pubications including Cooking Light, Fitness, San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, and other popular publications.

More about Robin

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