Easy Baked Crispy Chicken Tacos

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Try Baked Crispy Chicken Tacos for a simple meal that’s loaded with bold flavors and textures. This Mexican-inspired dish features shredded chicken, refried beans, veggies, and melty cheese all stuffed inside corn tortillas.

390 CAL 36g CARBS 13g FAT 31g PROTEIN

Baked Crispy Chicken Tacos are a quick and easy recipe that comes together in 30 minutes or less. It’s the ideal dinner for busy weeknights, last-minute game day plans, or Taco Tuesday fiestas! Plus, there is no better way to use up leftovers.

We like to think of these tacos as a crispy twist on Chicken Street Tacos or Chicken Tinga Tacos. The filling is creamy, lightly spiced, and gooey from the melted cheese, but the tortilla is perfectly crunchy.

You can’t go wrong with toppings like fresh pico de gallo, guacamole, Pickled Red Onions, shredded lettuce, salsa, and cool sour cream.

Transform this meal into a feast by serving it with a side of Refried Beans, Mexican rice, or Mexican Quinoa!

Why You’ll Love Crispy Chicken Tacos

  • Simple: What’s not to love about a meal that’s ready in 30 minutes or less? If you use store-bought rotisserie chicken, all you have to do is mix the ingredients, fill the tortillas, and bake them!
  • Flavor-packed: The combination of melted cheese, tender chicken, golden-brown corn tortillas, and vibrant garnishes is enough to make anyone come back for seconds.
  • Healthy: Compared to deep fried taquitos or tacos dorados, Baked Crispy Chicken Tacos are a much healthier option.
  • Family-friendly: This recipe is made with mild spice and is easily customizable. Everyone can prepare them just how they prefer.

Chicken tacos in crispy corn tortillas topped with cilantro, pico de gallo, lettuce, and sour cream.

Ingredients and Substitutions

Here is everything you need to make these tasty baked chicken tacos. 

  • Chicken: You can poach or bake chicken breasts, then shred them. Or, save time by purchasing a rotisserie chicken! If you don’t have any of those options available, opt for some cooked lean ground chicken. Or if you are lucky enough to have leftover chicken tinga or chicken birria, use that.
  • Refried beans: Any type of canned or homemade refried beans you prefer will do the trick. We love pinto or black beans for a mild and creamy flavor, but any refried beans are delicious as well!
  • Shredded Mexican cheese: Use a store-bought shredded Mexican cheese blend or any meltable Mexican cheese. Our favorites are queso Oaxaca, Chihuahua, or Asadero.
  • Bell peppers: Feel free to use red, orange, yellow, or green bell peppers! If you prefer extra spice, add jalapeños, serranos, or even habaneros!
  • Tomatoes: Roma tomatoes are our top choice here. They contain less liquid than other varieties, so they won’t water down your filling. You can also just swap in extra peppers.
  • Taco seasoning: Store-bought or homemade taco seasoning both work well. The benefit of making your own is that you can adjust the heat and flavors to suit your taste.
  • Greek yogurt: Adds a cool, refreshing element. If you don’t have Greek yogurt on hand, sour cream is a great replacement.
  • Corn tortillas: Opt for high-quality store-bought corn tortillas, or try making your own for an extra tender texture and fresh flavors.
  • Toppings: What is a taco without garnishes?! We love options like pico de gallo, avocado, sour cream, guacamole, pickled onions, salsa, and shredded lettuce.

How to Make Baked Crispy Chicken Tacos

1. Mix the filling

Start off by preheating your oven to 425 degrees. In the meantime, stir together the chicken, refried beans, cheese, bell peppers, tomatoes, taco seasoning, and Greek yogurt in a bowl. Looking for a different filling? Try these Tacos Dorados.

2. Heat the tortillas

Wrap the corn tortillas in a damp paper towel, then microwave them for 45-60 seconds to soften. Alternatively, heat a cast-iron skillet or comal to medium-high. Heat the tortillas on each side for 30 seconds, then wrap them in a towel while you heat the others.

Both methods bring moisture back into the tortillas, preventing them from cracking. Usually, I heat 6 at a time to ensure they won’t crack, If they do crack, they need to be heated a bit longer.

3. Fill the tacos

Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray, or brush it with olive oil. Scoop the filling onto one side of a tortilla. You should have enough filling for about 1-2 rounded tablespoons on each tortilla, depending on the size.

Fold the tortilla in half and press down to seal, then repeat with the remaining tortillas. Place them in a single layer on the baking sheet. Spray the tacos with cooking spray or brush them with more olive oil.

4. Bake the tacos

Bake the tacos for 16-20 minutes, flipping them after 8-10 minutes when the bottom side looks nicely browned and crispy.

Baked crispy chicken taco being held up by a wooden spatula.

Side Dish Ideas

Side dishes are where you can really make this recipe your own! Try some of these ideas to make a full spread:

Storage and Reheating Leftovers

If you enjoy leftovers, check out our best tips for storing crispy chicken tacos:

  • Fridge: Let the tacos cool completely, then transfer them to an airtight container. Refrigerate them for up to 3-4 days.
  • Freezer: For longer storage periods, add the cooled tacos to a freezer-safe bag or container. They will last in the freezer for about 3 months.
  • Reheating: When you’re ready for more chicken tacos, thaw them in the fridge overnight. You can warm them up in the microwave in 30-second bursts, but it’s best to heat them in the oven for the crispiest texture.

Variations and Recipe Ideas

It's so easy to customize this recipe and make it your own! Change up the protein, beans, veggies, or salsa for a totally new flavor combination. 

  • Change the protein: If chicken isn’t your thing, try pork (or leftover carnitas), beef, ground turkey, shrimp, or make it vegetarian with just beans. We also love it with leftover chicken from these chicken tinga tacos.
  • Different tortillas: Although I’m on team corn, chicken tacos are great with flour tortillas.
  • Other veggies: Experiment with different vegetables like jalapeños, onions, mushrooms, zucchini, or spinach.
  • Spicy: If you’re looking to really increase the heat, try adding serranos, habaneros, or arbol chiles to your mix.

Tips For Crispy Chicken Tacos

Follow these tips and tricks to ensure crispy, crunchy tacos every time. 

  • Heat the tortillas: To prevent corn tortillas from cracking, you really need to heat them before folding them. Don’t skip this crucial step!
  • Don’t overcrowd: Be careful not to overcrowd the baking pan when lining up the tacos. If they are overlapping too much, it will result in soft, soggy tacos.
  • Go easy on the oil: This recipe is meant to be a healthier option compared to fried tacos, so try not to go overboard with oil. If you add too much, the tacos tend to turn out soggy as well.
  • Serve with toppings: Mexican food (and tacos in particular) are all about the sauces and garnishes. Do yourself a favor and serve them with fresh toppings like avocado, cilantro, onion, and salsa.

Can I pan-fry these tacos instead of baking them?

Absolutely! If you want to pan-fry your tacos instead, heat a few tablespoons of oil in a pan. Fry each taco for about 2-3 minutes per side, or until golden brown and crispy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most common questions about making these chicken tacos.

Both chicken tacos and beef tacos can be part of a healthy and balanced diet. However, chicken is a leaner cut of meat and therefore contains less fat and calories. 

Yes, these Baked Crispy Chicken Tacos are gluten-free since they’re made with corn tortillas. In fact, many Mexican taco recipes are made with corn tortillas, making them perfect for those with gluten sensitivities. Just double-check that the toppings you choose are also free of gluten.

Crunchy chicken tacos with crispy tortillas filled with chicken, beans, and cheese.
The Recipe
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Easy Baked Crispy Chicken Tacos

390 CAL 36g CARBS 13g FAT 31g PROTEIN
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  • 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded (or 1 lb cooked lean ground chicken)
  • 1 cup canned refried beans
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese
  • 1/2 cup bell peppers, diced
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tbsp nonfat plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream, optional)
  • 8 corn tortillas (or 12 small, street-style tortillas)

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Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, stir together the chicken, refried beans, cheese, bell peppers, tomatoes, taco seasoning, and Greek yogurt.


Wrap the corn tortillas in a damp paper towel. Microwave for 45-60 seconds to soften. This helps prevent them from cracking. Make sure the tortillas are soft and pliable so they don't crack when they are filled.


Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray or brush with olive oil. Scoop the filling into one side of the taco ( about 1-2 rounded tablespoons depending on the size of the tortilla) and press down to seal. Repeat with the remaining tacos, placing them in a single layer on the baking sheet. Spray the tacos with cooking spray or brush them with oil.


Bake for 16-20 minutes, flipping the tacos after 8-10 minutes when the bottom side looks browned and crispy. Add toppings like shredded lettuce, onions, tomatoes, salsa, avocado, cheese, or sour cream.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 2
Amount Per Serving
Calories 390
Calories from Fat 8135
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g
Saturated Fat 7g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 84mg
Sodium 831mg
Total Carbohydrate 36g
Dietary Fiber 7g
Sugars 3g
Protein 31g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.


Toppings: pico de gallo, avocado, sour cream, guacamole, pickled onions, salsa, shredded lettuce,
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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
On Easy Baked Crispy Chicken Tacos
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April 3, 2023 - 16:04
Add a Rating:
These are so yummy. It was hard to limit myself to 2. I had enough filling to freeze and make again. I highly recommend!!
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February 8, 2023 - 08:31
I'm excited to try this! The video shows black beans and not refried beans... Which do you recommend?
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March 28, 2023 - 16:38
The recipe can be made with refried beans or black beans! They both turn out great.
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