Chicken Tinga (under an hour!)

This chicken tinga recipe is packed with amazing chili and adobo flavors, and ready to enjoy in under an hour. Serve on tacos, toastadas, salads and more!

What is Chicken Tinga?

Our chicken tinga recipe is inspired by the traditional Mexican dish made with shredded chicken and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Chicken tinga can be quite spicy, so we cut our delicious tinga sauce with a bit of agave syrup and simmer it to perfection.

What is tinga sauce made of?

Traditional tinga sauce is a red sauce comprised of chipotle peppers in an adobo sauce.

How is tinga served?

Tinga is often served on a toast, tacos or topped with avocado slices, crema and salsa.

Why you’ll love it

This chicken tinga sauce is spicy with a touch of sweetness. An absolutely delicious combination!

The ways to serve this chicken tinga are endless! From tacos to toastadas to salads and more.

Make this amazing chicken tinga in under an hour! And it serves 6-8so I hope the fam is hungry 😀

Featured Ingredients

  • Chicken breasts: we’re using boneless skinless chicken breasts for this coin because it’s easily shredded. Feel free to sub for boneless skinless chicken thighs if you prefer.
  • Canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce: this is the base of our chicken tinga sauce! You’ll blend them together with the tomatoes, onions and garlic.
  • Tomatoes: tomatoes are traditional in chicken tinga. We’re quartering ours and simmering with the chicken for ultimate flavor infusion.
  • Garlic and yellow onion: garlic and onion will sauté with the tomatoes. Don’t skip these as they enhance the flavor tremendously!
  • Agave syrup: we love the flavor of agave for this chicken tinga, but if you don’t have agave on hand honey will work as well.

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Chicken Tinga Tacos

Serve this chicken tinga on our delicious chicken tinga tacos!

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How to Make Chicken Tinga

Sear Chicken Breasts

Season the chicken breasts with garlic powder, salt, and pepper and set aside. Heat a large pot over medium / high heat, and add olive oil. When the olive oil is fragrant and hot, add the chicken breasts and sear them on each side for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown before removing from the pot.

Saute Onion, Garlic & Tomatoes

Deglaze the pot with chicken broth. Scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to remove any brown bits. Add the onion to the pot and sauté for 2 minutes and then add the garlic and the quartered tomatoes, and sauté for an additional 3-4 minutes.

Simmer

Next add the chicken breasts back into the pot and pour the rest of the chicken broth into the pot, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low and cover, and simmer all the ingredients together for 20 minutes. Then remove the chicken breasts from the pot and set them aside to cool.

Chicken coin ingredients in a blender.

Blend Tinga Sauce

Remove the tomatoes from the pot and then carefully remove the tomato skins from the tomatoes. Transfer the tomatoes into a high speed blender. Use a slotted spoon to remove the onions from the pot and place them in the blender, too. Add 1⁄4 cup of the cooking liquid from the pot, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, honey, and ¼ cup of water to the blender, and blend until completely smooth.

Spice check: now is a great time to taste the sauce – it will be spicy. If you would like it spicier, add more chipotle peppers. If you would like it less spicy, add more agave.

Shred Chicken

Discard any excess liquid that is in the pot and place the chicken back into the pot, and shred the chicken with two forks.

Combine Sauce & Chicken

Pour the sauce from the blender over the chicken and stir to combine. Add the last ¼ cup of water to the sauce and bring the mixture to a boil over medium / high heat.

Turn the heat to low and allow the mixture to simmer and cook down for 15 minutes.

Serve & Enjoy!

Remove from heat and serve in tacos, over nachos, in a burrito bowl or on a tostada.

Chicken tinga in a cast iron skillet.

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Shredded chicken and tinga sauce in a cast iron skllet.

Top Tips

Temper down the spice: If you have let the chicken tinga sit overnight it may have become more spicy. If that happens, feel free to stir in a tablespoon or two of crema or Greek yogurt to the coin itself. Or? Add a little bit more agave to cut the spice.

Make a double batch: This is a great recipe to meal prep for the week or make a large batch to freeze for later.

Type 3

Storage

Let this chicken tinga cool completely. Then, transfer into an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Chicken tinga in a bowl.

Chicken Tinga

Serve this chicken tinga recipe on tacos, tostadas, salads and more. It’s packed with amazing chili and adobo flavors, and ready to enjoy in under an hour.

Prep:20 minutes

Cook:35 minutes

Total:55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cups chicken broth separated
  • ½ large yellow onion chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic peeled and minced
  • 2 large tomatoes rinsed, de-stemmed and quartered
  • cup of canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 3 tablespoons honey or agave syrup
  • ½ cup water separated

Instructions

  • Season the chicken breasts with garlic powder, salt, and pepper and set aside.

  • Heat a large pot over medium / high heat. Add olive oil. When the olive oil is fragrant and hot, add the chicken breasts and sear them on each side for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the chicken breasts and set aside.

  • Deglaze the pot with 2 tablespoons of chicken broth. Scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to remove any brown bits.

  • Add the onion to the pot and saute for 2 minutes and then add the garlic and the quartered tomatoes. Sauté for an additional 3-4 minutes.

  • Next add the chicken breasts back into the pot and pour the rest of the chicken broth into the pot. Stir the mixture and bring to a boil.

  • Turn the heat to low and cover. Simmer all the ingredients together for 20 minutes.

  • After 20 minutes, remove the chicken breasts from the pot and set them aside to cool.

  • Remove the tomatoes from the pot and then carefully remove the tomato skins from the tomatoes. You can use a fork so you don’t burn yourself. Discard the tomato skins and transfer the tomatoes into a high speed blender.

  • Use a slotted spoon to remove the onions from the pot and place them in the blender, too. Add 1⁄4 cup of the cooking liquid from the pot, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, honey, and ¼ cup of water to the blender. Blend on high until completely smooth. Taste the sauce, it will be spicy. If you would like it spicier, add ⅓ cup more of chipotle peppers. If you would like it less spicy add 1-2 tablespoons more of sweetener. Blend the sauce again and set aside.

  • Discard any excess liquid that is in the pot and place the chicken back into the pot. Shred the chicken with two forks.

  • Pour the sauce from the blender over the chicken and stir to combine. Add the last ¼ cup of water to the sauce and bring the mixture to a boil over medium / high heat.

  • Turn the heat to low and allow the mixture to simmer and cook down for 15 minutes.

  • Remove from heat and serve in tacos, over nachos, or in a burrito bowl.

Tips & Notes

Traditional chicken tinga is spicy and so is this recipe! If you do not like spice, we suggest using a different recipe or serving this chicken tinga with crema or Greek yogurt.

Nutrition facts

Calories: 201kcal Carbohydrates: 9g Protein: 26g Fat: 6g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 5g

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