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Chicken Tinga

Chicken Tinga is a classic Mexican dish featuring shredded chicken in a savory tomato based sauce. The sauce is packed with flavor from chipotle peppers, onion, garlic and spices.

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Chicken Tinga Recipe

If you have never had chicken tinga you are in for a treat! This flavor packed shredded chicken is the ultimate recipe for tacos, burrito bowls, nachos and tostadas.

When it comes to taco night in our house we love having a variety of different flavors and recipes! Chicken tacos are always a crowd pleaser and chicken tinga just so happens to be one of the easiest taco fillings to make!

What is Chicken Tinga?

Chicken Tinga is a traditional Mexican shredded chicken in a tomato based sauce. The sauce is packed with flavor from chipotle peppers in adobo, onion, garlic, cumin, oregano, chili powder, and chili flakes.

Not only is chicken tinga incredibly delicious, it is so easy to make! The chicken is simmered stove top with lots of seasonings and then shredded. The sauce is simply tomatoes, some of the cooking broth and the aromatics blended together. Then the sauce and chicken are simmered together and you are ready to enjoy your chicken tinga tacos or tostadas!

What to Serve with Chicken Tinga

What is in Chicken Tinga?

  • Chicken Breast – boneless skinless chicken breast is simmered stove top in a savory broth and then shredded into bite sized pieces. You can use bone in chicken breast and adjust the cooking time accordingly and then shred the chicken.
  • Tomatoes – the sauce is tomato based and you can use any variety of fresh tomato. You can use canned tomatoes but I do recommend fresh tomatoes.
  • Onion & Garlic – cooked in the sauce.
  • Chipotle Peppers in Adobo – these flavor packed peppers add a rich smokey flavor to the sauce and also a bit of spice!
  • Spices
    • Cumin
    • Mexican Oregano (or Oregano)
    • Chili Powder
    • Chili Flakes
    • Salt

How to Make Chicken Tinga

Full Printable Recipe at Bottom of Page

1 Cut the tomatoes into large wedges and place in a blender. Set aside.

2 In a large pot add the chicken, onion, chipotle peppers in adobo, garlic, salt, oregano, cumin, chili powder and chili flakes. Add enough water to cover the chicken (about 2-3 cups depending on the size of your pot). On medium heat bring the pot to a boil.

3 Use a spoon or skimmer to remove any fat that cooks out of the chicken. Simmer for about 13-15 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F.

4 Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside on a cutting board or in a bowl.

5 Transfer 2 cups of the broth from the pot to the blender.

6 Use a slotted spoon or strainer to remove all of the onions, garlic, and chipotle peppers in adobo from the broth and transfer to the blender.

7 Purée the sauce until smooth.

8 Use two forks to shred the chicken into bite sized pieces and transfer to a large skillet or frying pan. Leave the chicken slightly chunky as it will break down when cooked in the sauce.

9 Pour the tomato sauce over the chicken and bring to a simmer on medium heat. Simmer for about 8-10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and reduced. Season to taste with salt.

10 You can serve the chicken tinga as tacos, burritos, burrito bowls or for nachos. Enjoy!

Tips for the Best Chicken Tinga

  • Chicken – for the quickest recipe use boneless skinless chicken breast. It will cook quicker than bone in and you don’t have to worry about removing the bones while shredding. If using bone in chicken breast adjust the cooking time accordingly and be sure to remove all skin and bones when shredding the chicken.
  • Sauce – you can serve the chicken tinga as saucy as you like! When simmering the shredded chicken in the tomato sauce you can leave it extra saucy if you prefer, or simmer it until it is almost fully reduced and thickened. I like my chicken tinga on the saucier side!
  • Spice Level – you can control the spice level by using only 1/2 a can of chipotle peppers in adobo.

FAQs Chicken Tinga

How to reheat Chicken Tinga?

Reheat stove top in a small pot or frying pan on medium-low heat for about 4-5 minutes, or until warmed through. Reheat in the microwave in a microwave safe bowl for 2 minutes, or until warmed through..

How to store Chicken Tinga?

Store in an airt ight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days, or freeze in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months if using fresh not previously frozen chicken.

Can I make Chicken Tinga ahead?

Yes! This recipe is perfect for make ahead and meal prep. Follow the recipe and store the cooled chicken tinga in an air tight container in the fridge. Reheat stove top or in the microwave. The chicken gets even more flavorful the next day! You can also freeze (if using fresh not previously frozen chicken) and thaw in the fridge overnight. Then reheat and serve.

Can I freeze Chicken Tinga?

Yes! Chicken tinga can be frozen if you made the recipe with fresh, not previously frozen chicken. Follow the recipe as usual and allow the chicken tinga to cool. Transfer to freezer safe containers or bags and freeze for up to 3 months.

Is Chicken Tinga healthy?

Yes! Chicken tinga is a high protein healthy meal. There is no oil in this recipe.

Dairy Free Chicken Tinga

This recipe is dairy free.

Gluten Free Chicken Tinga

This recipe is gluten free.

More Taco Recipes You Will Love!

Enjoy!

– Sab

chicken tinga garnished with cilantro in a brown bowl

Chicken Tinga

Chicken Tinga is a classic Mexican dish featuring shredded chicken in a savory tomato based sauce. The sauce is packed with flavor from chipotle peppers, onion, garlic and spices. Perfect for tacos, tostadas, nacho and burritos!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 – 8 Servings
Calories 191 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 8 medium tomatoes, roma or variety of choice
  • 3-4 medium chicken breast, boneless skinless, approximately 2 pounds
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 can chipotle peppers in Adobo, 6-7 ounce can
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon Mexican oregano, or regular dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 2-3 cups water

Instructions
 

  • Cut the tomatoes into large wedges and place in a blender. Set aside.
  • In a large pot add the chicken, onion, chipotle peppers in adobo, garlic, salt, oregano, cumin, chili powder and chili flakes. Add enough water to cover the chicken (about 2-3 cups depending on the size of your pot). On medium heat bring the pot to a boil.
  • Use a spoon or skimmer to remove any fat that cooks out of the chicken. Simmer for about 13-15 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F.
  • Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside on a cutting board or in a bowl.
  • Transfer 2 cups of the broth from the pot to the blender.
  • Use a slotted spoon or strainer to remove all of the onions, garlic, and chipotle peppers in adobo from the broth and transfer to the blender.
  • Purée the sauce until smooth.
  • Use two forks to shred the chicken into bite sized pieces and transfer to a large skillet or frying pan. Leave the chicken slightly chunky as it will break down when cooked in the sauce.
  • Pour the tomato sauce over the chicken and bring to a simmer on medium heat. Simmer for about 8-10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and reduced. Season to taste with salt.
  • You can serve the chicken tinga as tacos, burritos, burrito bowls or on nachos. Enjoy!
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NUTRITION

Calories: 191kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 27gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 76mgSodium: 539mgPotassium: 771mgFiber: 5gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 1114IUVitamin C: 20mgCalcium: 32mgIron: 2mg
This nutrition information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. See our full nutrition disclosure here.

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