Easy Chicken Tacos

These Easy Chicken Tacos can be made with leftover chicken to make an entirely new meal! Or you can use my zesty marinade and make shredded chicken tacos from scratch. Either version makes a flavorful, healthy chicken taco for any busy weeknight!

Easy Chicken Tacos on a cookie sheet

Easy Chicken Tacos

Leftover chicken tacos make for a budget-friendly, economical meal utilizing the leftovers from a previous meal that would otherwise sit in the fridge until they spoiled. The easy, homemade spicy mayo creates a customizable flavor in every bite.

Create even more flavor by using the optional marinade for a grilled chicken tacos recipe worthy of any barbecue. Make these grilled chicken tacos even more impressive by making your own tortillas. I have easy homemade recipes for Flour Tortillas and Corn Tortillas.

close up top view of a shredded chicken taco

Why You’ll Love Shredded Chicken Tacos

  • Convenient – Using leftover chicken for these grilled chicken tacos makes this meal convenient and economical on busy weeknights.
  • Easy – Simple ingredients with minimal prep make this grilled chicken tacos recipe a no-brainer even for beginners.
  • Delicious – The whole family (and all your guests!) will be asking for the recipe thanks to the spicy mayo and marinade flavors.
Top view of 4 grilled chicken tacos on a sheet pan with halves of avocados

How to Make Grilled Chicken Tacos

To Make Leftover Chicken Tacos

Shred or cube your leftover chicken. You can use leftover roasted chicken or whole chicken breasts.

Canadian CHicken

To Make Chicken from Scratch

Even making the chicken from scratch is simple for these easy chicken tacos! Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl. Add raw chicken to the bowl and fully coat.

Marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour, up to overnight. Grill for 8 minutes on each side or until the internal temperature reaches 165F.

TBK’s Pro Tip: Throw the chicken in an Instant Pot or slow cooker for easier prep, and this makes perfect shredded chicken tacos!

Prepare Toppings

Dice your red, yellow, and orange peppers, slice the avocado, and shred your purple cabbage.

Make the spicy mayo by mixing your favorite hot sauce with mayonnaise. You can drizzle your sauce with a spoon or pour it into a squeeze bottle.

If you haven’t already used the Zesty Slaw in a previous recipe for the week, make the slaw and place it in the fridge until it’s time to use.

If you’re making the tortillas from scratch, make them now.

4 open face leftover chicken tacos

Assemble the Chicken Tacos

Simply lay open your tortilla and layer your chicken, toppings, and sauce. That’s it! Leftover chicken tacos can’t be any easier to make.

Grilled Chicken Tacos Recipe FAQs

Do You Have to Use the Homemade Slaw Recipe?

Definitely not! Since the spirit of this recipe is using up leftovers, and slaw and tacos go hand-in-hand, I included it in these easy chicken tacos. You’re welcome to use store-bought coleslaw if you’d like, or you can omit it completely if you prefer your tacos without it.

close up of leftover chicken tacos recipe and dressing

Do I Have to Use Chicken Breasts?

Nope! You can cut up a roasted (or rotisserie) chicken or use chicken thighs for this recipe if you’d like.

How Long Is Leftover Chicken Good For?

It’s best to eat leftover chicken within 3-4 days, so this recipe is best made a day or two after your original chicken meal!

Hand holding an easy chicken taco

More Budget Chicken Recipes

Easy Greek Chicken 

Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

Healthy Chicken Stir Fry

Easy Chicken Tacos recipe
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4.80 from 5 votes

Easy Chicken Tacos

These easy chicken tacos are so darn simple and SO GOOD! You can either cook up some marinated chicken or use leftovers with this healthy budget chicken dinner. Use grilled chicken or shredded from the Instant Pot or Slow Cooker/Crockpot!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword chicken tacos, easy chicken tacos
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 594kcal


  • 12 tortillas homemade or storebought
  • 2 – 3 cups leftover zesty coleslaw
  • 4 cooked chicken breasts shredded or cubed
  • 1 red pepper diced
  • 1 orange pepper diced
  • 1 yellow pepper diced
  • 2 avocados sliced
  • 1/2 purple cabbage shredded
  • Optional topping: spicy mayo and chopped cilantro

Spicy Mayo

  • 1/4 cup hot sauce I use Valentina
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise

Optional chicken marinade

  • for when chicken is raw and you’re cooking ahead of time
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 tsp  chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional cayenne powder for a little kick


  • Since all the ingredients are already cooked and prepped, putting together these chicken tacos is so easy!
  • Lay out your tortilla.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients in whatever order you want. I did slaw, chicken, vegetables, a small slice of avocado, and drizzled with the spicy mayo.
  • That's it!

Spicy Mayo

  • Combine both the mayo and hot sauce together. Use a spoon to drizzle over your tacos, or place it in a squeeze bottle.

Chicken Marinade

  • Put the marinade ingredients together in a bowl.
  • Add chicken and marinade for at least an hour.
  • Grill for 8 minutes on each side, or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165.


Weight Watchers Freestyle: 7 per taco when using coleslaw and sauce and a corn tortilla for 2 SmartPoints – Mission Corn Tortillas are only 1 SmartPoint each and a good recommendation to make.

21 Day Fix Recipe Counts

Full recipe: 3 1/2 green, 4 red, 6 yellow, 4 blue.
Per serving: 1/2 green, 2/3 red, 1 yellow, 2/3 blue.
Counts for entire cole slaw recipe 8 green, 1 purple, 8 orange (not included).


Serving: 12tacos | Calories: 594kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 101mg | Sodium: 886mg | Potassium: 1089mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 2248IU | Vitamin C: 149mg | Calcium: 173mg | Iron: 5mg
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Grilled chicken tacos recipe makes easy chicken tacos

21 comments on “Easy Chicken Tacos”

  1. 5 stars
    Those look super tasty! I love dishes like this because they’re perfect for using up leftovers, too.

  2. I want to try that chicken marinade and grill this weekend. Thanks for sharing

  3. 4 stars
    OH that spicy mayo sounds so delicious! I would love to try that on tacos!

  4. I’m liking the sound of these. We like have a taco night every other week and this might be a good change of pace.

  5. This basically looks amazing!! I love the pops of color and I bet they taste so good!!!!

  6. 5 stars
    I love that you used leftovers for this! It’s really a beautiful dish, for sure. LOVE that you used slaw on them, too!

  7. We typically have leftover chicken, so this would be a perfect way to use it. Quick, easy, delicious, and no waste!

  8. These tacos look like they would taste incredible. I absolutely love chicken tacos more than beef so I need these!

  9. 5 stars
    Tacos have become a favorite in our home lately and especially great because my husband volunteers to make them! I love how easy it is to make them from leftovers!

  10. THese look so good. I love just about any kind of taco and chicken tacos are definitely some of my favorite.

  11. We make something very similar with the leftovers from a Sam’s Club rotisserie chicken! It is so good and no additional spices needed!

  12. Yum! This looks so tasty. I love making easy chicken recipes and my family loves eating them!

  13. These look really good. I don’t think I’ve tried chicken tacos before. I don’t know why, because these sound amazing. I’ll be giving these a try the next time we make tacos.

  14. I love chicken tacos. They’re so easy. I’ve never use your marinade though so I’m going to try it.

  15. Chicken tacos are the best! These look super yummy. I’l have to try them this weekend.

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