Spicy Chicken Tacos with Corn should be on the menu for the next Taco Tuesday. These healthy tacos made with chicken breast, corn, and chipotle peppers are packed with flavor and easy to make.
These Spicy Chicken Tacos are seriously tasty tacos packed with chicken breast, corn, and plenty of spice. They come together in under 20 minutes for a healthy, easy dinner. Serve them with some Crockpot Pinto Beans or some Cilantro Lime Quinoa.
I have a vault of taco recipes for almost anything you can think of from slow cooker tacos to fish tacos and more. But in my mind, since you can never have enough taco options, so why not add one more with this simple weeknight spicy chicken taco recipe?
This spin on a traditional chicken taco takes things up a notch with the addition of sweet corn, red onion, chipotle peppers, and plenty of lime juice. It has tons of flavor and a good amount of spice. We were licking our plates clean.
This chicken taco recipe uses a few tricks to keep things healthy and light. Instead of reaching for a premade taco seasoning (packed with preservatives) or preseasoned meats (packed with extra calories), this recipe uses a combination of onions, jalapenos, chipotle peppers, and spices to add tons of flavor.
It does pack a punch in terms of heat, but it's easy to adjust the level of spice in these tacos.
To balance the spice, I used fresh corn which adds a nice touch of sweetness and some crunch. But you could substitute any veggie. I have used zucchini, diced tomatoes, and even spinach successfully.
How to Make Spicy Chicken Tacos
Now when it comes to making tacos, I think a few things are critical.
- Tortillas: Corn tortillas are the best option for these tacos, but street-sized flour tortillas or low-carb tortillas will also work. If you have a gas range, then I recommend quickly cooking them directly on the flame for just a few seconds on each side. This adds a touch of char and takes the taco to the next level.
- Salsa: Instead of adding salsa on top like a traditional taco, this is more of a stewed taco where the chicken cooks in the salsa in the pan. The salsa is made right in the pan using chipotle peppers. Chipotle peppers are smoked jalapenos and add so much flavor to recipes. However they can be really spicy, so add them slowly until you get the spice level you want.
- Chicken: Chicken breast and chicken thighs are both good options for this recipe. Just make sure not to overcook the chicken. The first time it cooks, it is just to brown and sear the outside. It will finish cooking in the sauce.
- Protein choice: Although I opted for chicken breast, you can use chicken thighs as well. Ground turkey or beef will also work out really well in this recipe, as would some beans for a vegetarian option. Cauliflower also works.
- Spice level: This recipe has spice from both a fresh jalapeno and chipotle. If you want things less spicy, don't add the fresh jalapeno. Keep the chipotle since they add smokiness as well, but add it without the seeds for less spice. You can also leave out the chipotles and use a milder pepper like a poblano or serve this ranchero sauce on the side for anyone who wants spice.
- Choosing tortillas: This recipe is just for the filling. I recommend using corn tortillas that you lightly char on the stove. For a lower-carb option, you can use a low-carb tortilla or lettuce wraps.
- Vegetables: Experiment with different veggies. Swap in carrots, zucchini, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, or butternut squash for the corn.
- Choose cool toppings: To balance out the spice, consider serving these with something creamy like guacamole, fresh avocado slices, or sour cream. Greek yogurt is another good option for mellowing out the spice.
- Make salsa separately: If you have kids who don't like spice, make the salsa separately and add it on the side. That way everyone can build a taco that they will enjoy.
How to use Leftover Spicy Chicken Taco Filling
When you make this recipe, I always recommend making a double or even triple batch since the leftovers are so good. Here are some ways I like to use the leftovers:
- Quesadillas: Grabbing a flour or low-carb tortilla, some shredded mozzarella cheese, and this taco filling results in the most amazing quesadilla. You can even add some black beans to make it more filling.
- Scrambles: Believe it or not, these taste amazing in a morning scramble. We top ours with shredded cheese and diced avocado.
- Burritos: Wrap everything up with some canned pinto beans and brown rice/cauliflower rice for a tasty burrito.
- Burrito Bowls: Take some inspiration from Chipotle and make a burrito bowl at home with cilantro lime rice, beans, lettuce, pico de gallo, and cheese. Or make this easy Chicken Taco Bowl.
- Stuffed Peppers: Toss the leftovers with some quinoa and stuff everything into peppers for a Mexican twist on traditional stuffed peppers. Cook them in tomato sauce.
- Soup: Another creative way to use these leftovers is in soup. Just grab some store-bought tomato or black bean soup and add the leftover chicken. Top with avocado, queso fresco, and baked tortilla chips.
Side Dish Ideas
These tacos are great on their own but it's always fun to add some side dishes. Here are some favorites:
- Rice and beans: Put a twist on a classic combination of rice and beans using this Mexican Cauliflower Rice, Quick Refried Beans, or Charro Beans.
- Salad and slaw: Cool things down with this creamy Mexican coleslaw or Mexican chopped salad.
- Chips and salsa: There is nothing better than chips and salsa. Make or buy baked tortilla chips and serve them with guacamole, corn salsa, salsa verde, or pico de gallo.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most common questions about these chicken tacos.
These tacos already have plenty of spice so add cooling toppings like avocado, guacamole, sour cream, queso fresco, feta cheese, or shredded cheese. Shredded cabbage or lettuce is also delicious.
Store any leftover taco meat in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days.
Once the spicy chicken mixture is cooled, it can also be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let naturally defrost in the fridge overnight or gently reheat in a skillet over medium low heat.
Spicy Chicken Tacos with Corn
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- 1.33 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 red onion, sliced thin
- 1 jalapeño, stemmed, seeded, and roughly chopped
- 2 tsp. cumin
- 2 tsp. oregano
- 1 chipotle pepper adobo plus 1 tbsp. adobo sauce
- 1 cup chicken broth (fat free)
- 1.33 cups corn (fresh or frozen)
- 2 tbsp. lime juice
- 4 tbsp. cilantro
- 8 corn tortillas
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* 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.
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