This authentic 30-Minute Mexican Chicken Tinga recipe is a delicious way to make chicken! Use it for tacos, burrito bowls, salads, and more!
One of my favorite things to order at a Mexican restaurant is Chicken Tinga! I love the saucy tomato stewed chicken with the hint of smoky chipotle peppers. Typically Chicken Tinga is used as a filling for enchiladas, tacos, burritos, and more. I also love it as a salad topper or burrito bowl topper.
We’ve tested this recipe a bunch of different ways. This is definitely our favorite version that we have come up with. It’s SO good!
Once we had finished the photos we promptly dug in and basically inhaled the entire recipe. It’s that good. Perfectly authentic tasting and reminds me of one of our favorite Mexican restaurants back East.
You just need 4 simple ingredients plus a handful of spices and some oil!
- Roma tomatoes
- White onion
- Avocado oil
- Canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
How to cook Chicken Tinga
- You’ll start by cooking the onion and garlic with the avocado oil. You don’t want to brown the onion so you’ll cook it over medium heat until soft and translucent, about 4-5 minutes. You’ll then remove the onion and garlic to a plate but leave the oil in the skillet.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, chipotle chiles, oregano, and salt to the skillet and bring to a low simmer. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the cover and continue to cook another 5 minutes until the tomatoes are very soft.
- At this point, you have two options. You can use an immersion blender to puree the sauce. Or you can carefully transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.
- Next, add the onions and garlic back to the skillet along with the tomato sauce and the pulled chicken. Stir and serve!
How to serve Chicken Tinga
You can serve Chicken Tinga a million different ways or in your favorite Mexican recipe:
- in chicken tacos for Taco Tuesday! (use keto tortillas, or corn or flour tortillas if not keto)
- tucked into a casserole
- stuffed into roasted poblanos
- in a burrito bowl
- on top of a Mexican inspired salad
- with Keto Mexican Cauliflower Rice
Can I use canned tomatoes?
You can. However, we have tested this recipe multiple times using both fresh and canned tomatoes. Fresh tomatoes win by a million, hands down!
Can I use rotisserie chicken?
You can! We typically use our Instant Pot to quickly make super tender shredded chicken.
What chipotle chiles should I use?
This is the brand we use. We typically try to avoid canola oil but this is the cleanest canned variety without artificial flavors, preservatives, and wheat flour.
What is a chipotle pepper?
Did you know that a chipotle pepper is actually just a smoked and dried jalapeno? How cool is that?
Can I use a slow cooker or Instant Pot?
We typically use an Instant Pot to cook the chicken breasts. However, we don’t recommend making this recipe entirely in the slow cooker or IP. We find that it gets too watery. It also doesn’t have as deep as a flavor as when you make it on the stovetop.
Can you freeze this Chicken Tinga recipe?
Yes! We love freezing the Chicken Tinga in freezer-safe containers for easy meals. We use Stasher Bags.
To reheat, simply add the chicken to a skillet over medium heat and heat until saucy and warmed through.
One serving of Chicken Tinga is 5g net carbs and 351 calories. As always, you can find all of the nutritional information at the bottom of the recipe card.
- 1 lb cooked shredded chicken
- ¼ cup avocado oil
- 1/2 medium white onion thinly sliced
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 4 cups diced Roma tomatoes 585g
- 3 tablespoons chipotle in adobo sauce
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- Place a large 10.5” cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the oil to the pot along with the onion and garlic clove. Cook 4-5 minutes until soft but not browned.
- Add the tomatoes, chipotle chilies, salt, and oregano to the pot and bring to a low simmer. Cover and cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally until the tomatoes are very soft. Use an immersion blender to blend the sauce or transfer to a blender and blend until smooth then transfer back to the skillet.
- Stir in the chicken and cook for 4-5 minutes.