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Tacos de Chaya

Tacos de Chaya (Yucatán)

Tacos de Chaya spotlight the nutritional powerhouse known as chaya, a leafy green native to the Yucatán Peninsula. Offering a blend of earthy flavors and abundant health benefits, these tacos are perfect for those looking to indulge in a nutritious yet delicious meal.

Tacos de Chaya are a type of tacos that incorporate chaya leaves as a key ingredient. Chaya is a leafy green vegetable native to Mexico and Central America. It’s known for its nutritional value and is often compared to spinach or kale.

In Tacos de Chaya, the chaya leaves are typically cooked, often by boiling or sautéing, and then used as a filling for tacos. The cooked chaya is combined with other ingredients such as onions, tomatoes, garlic, and sometimes other vegetables or seasonings to create a flavorful filling for the tacos.

These tacos might be served with traditional taco accompaniments like salsa, guacamole, or additional toppings based on personal preferences. Tacos de Chaya offer a unique twist by incorporating this nutritious leafy green into a classic Mexican dish, providing a different flavor and texture profile compared to more common taco fillings.

Key Takeaways

  • Who This Meal Appeals To: Health enthusiasts, vegetarians, and those interested in exploring regional Mexican ingredients.
  • Estimated Duration: Prep time: 15 minutes, Cooking time: 10 minutes.
  • Nutrition Facts: Approximately 150-200 calories per serving, rich in vitamins A, C, and calcium.

About this Recipe

Chaya, often referred to as “Mayan spinach,” is a leafy green that’s highly nutritious but less known outside of its native region. In Tacos de Chaya, these leaves are typically sautéed with garlic and other spices before being tucked into tortillas, resulting in a simple yet nourishing meal.

Equipment Required

  • Skillet or frying pan
  • Mixing bowls
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Spatula


  • Corn tortillas: 12 pieces
  • Chaya leaves: 4 cups, chopped (remove stems)
  • Garlic cloves: 2, minced
  • Onion: 1 small, finely chopped
  • Salt: 1/2 teaspoon
  • Pepper: 1/4 teaspoon
  • Olive oil: 2 tablespoons
  • Optional garnishes: crumbled queso fresco, chopped cilantro, lime wedges


  1. Prep Chaya: Wash the chaya leaves thoroughly and chop them, removing any tough stems.
  2. Sauté Aromatics: Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add minced garlic and chopped onion, sautéing until translucent.
  3. Cook Chaya: Add the chopped chaya leaves to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté until wilted, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Warm Tortillas: Heat the corn tortillas on a griddle or skillet until they become pliable.
  5. Assemble Tacos: Spoon a generous amount of the sautéed chaya onto each tortilla.
  6. Garnish and Serve: Add optional garnishes like crumbled queso fresco, chopped cilantro, or a squeeze of lime.

Side Dishes

  • Black bean salad
  • Fresh mango salsa
  • Avocado slices or guacamole

Storage Options

  • Store leftover sautéed chaya in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
  • Reheat gently on the stove before assembling new tacos.

Ingredient Substitutes

  • Spinach or Swiss chard can be used if chaya is not available.
  • Vegan cheese can replace queso fresco for a vegan option.

Alternatives to this Meal

  • Tacos de Espinacas: Tacos filled with sautéed spinach.
  • Tacos de Calabacitas: Tacos featuring sautéed zucchini and corn.
  • Tacos de Champiñones: Tacos filled with sautéed mushrooms.


Tacos de Chaya offer a nourishing, earthy twist on the traditional taco. The chaya leaves provide a range of nutrients, making these tacos both delicious and beneficial for your health. Whether you’re a vegetarian or just looking to incorporate more greens into your diet, these tacos are a wholesome choice. Happy cooking!