Shredded Chicken Tinga Tacos

This recipe was created by America’s Test Kitchen Kids. Gently cooking chicken thighs in a spiced tomato sauce turns them extra tender. We prefer chipotle chile powder in this recipe, but you can substitute ½ teaspoon of chili powder and a pinch of cayenne, if desired. For spicier tacos, use the full ¼ teaspoon of chipotle chile powder. You can use store-bought corn tortillas in this recipe or make your own DIY Corn Tortillas. Safety Considerations: This recipe uses a knife, the stovetop, and the microwave.

Serves: 4Prep: 10 minutesCook: 35 minutesTotal: 45 minutesDifficulty: Hard

Serves: 4


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped fine
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce, opened
  • 1 1⁄2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest plus 1 tablespoon juice, zested and squeezed from 1 lime
  • 9 (6-inch) corn tortillas


  • In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat for 1 minute (oil should be hot but not smoking). Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally with wooden spoon, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in garlic, salt, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, and chipotle chile powder and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Stir in tomato sauce, scraping up any browned bits on bottom of saucepan. Use tongs to add chicken to saucepan and stir to combine.
  • Bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to medium‑low, cover, and simmer until chicken is very tender, about 25 minutes. Turn off heat.
  • Use oven mitts to remove lid. Use clean tongs to transfer chicken to cutting board or large plate and let cool slightly. Use 2 forks to pull chicken apart and shred it into bite-size pieces.
  • Return shredded chicken to saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often with clean wooden spoon, until sauce thickens and clings to chicken, 10 to 15 minutes. Turn off heat. Stir in lime zest and juice.
  • Stack tortillas on microwave-safe plate and cover with damp dish towel. Heat in microwave until warm, about 1 minute. Divide chicken evenly among warmed tortillas. Serve.