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Tacos de Tinga

Tacos de Tinga is a type of taco that is made with shredded chicken that has been cooked in a tomato and chipotle sauce. The chicken is typically seasoned with various spices, such as cumin, oregano, and garlic, and then simmered in the sauce until it is tender and flavorful. Once the chicken is cooked, it is shredded and served in warm tortillas, along with various toppings, such as chopped onion, cilantro, and lime wedges. Tacos de Tinga can be made with various types of meat, such as beef or pork, and can be seasoned with a variety of spices and herbs, depending on personal preference. Tacos de Tinga is a popular dish in Mexican cuisine and is often served at special occasions and celebrations.

Key Takeaways

  • Who this meal appeals to: Lovers of smoky flavors, those who appreciate a good spicy kick, and anyone keen to experience a classic Mexican dish.
  • Estimated duration: 50 minutes.
  • Nutrition facts: High in protein from the chicken and rich in lycopene from the tomatoes.

About this Recipe

Originating from the state of Puebla, Tacos de Tinga have become widely popular for their tantalizing flavors and hearty fillings. The combination of chicken, onions, tomatoes, and chipotle peppers creates a smoky and spicy dish that’s both comforting and invigorating.

Equipment Required

  • Large skillet or pot.
  • Sharp knife and cutting board.
  • Tortilla warmer or cloth towel.


  • Chicken breasts: 2 (about 1 pound), cooked and shredded.
  • Corn tortillas: 8 pieces.
  • Onion: 1 large, thinly sliced.
  • Garlic cloves: 2, minced.
  • Tomatoes: 4 large, finely chopped or blended.
  • Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce: 2-3, chopped (adjust based on heat preference).
  • Olive oil: 2 tablespoons.
  • Salt: to taste.
  • Fresh cilantro: A handful, chopped.
  • Lime: 1, cut into wedges.
  • Cotija cheese (optional): Crumbled, for topping.


  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and sauté until they become translucent and slightly caramelized.
  2. Stir in the minced garlic, cooking until aromatic.
  3. Introduce the blended or finely chopped tomatoes and chipotle peppers to the skillet. Mix well.
  4. Add the shredded chicken to the sauce, ensuring it’s well-coated. Season with salt. Let the mixture simmer for about 20-25 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld and the sauce to thicken.
  5. While the tinga is simmering, warm the corn tortillas until they become soft and pliable.
  6. Spoon the tinga mixture onto each tortilla. Garnish with fresh cilantro and, if desired, sprinkle with crumbled Cotija cheese.
  7. Serve immediately, accompanied by lime wedges for an added zesty touch.

Side Dishes

  • Mexican Red Rice: Fluffy rice cooked in tomato sauce with peas and carrots.
  • Refried Beans: Creamy pinto beans mashed and seasoned.
  • Avocado Salad: Chunks of avocado mixed with tomato, onion, and a sprinkle of lime.

Storage Options

Store leftover tinga in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Tortillas should be kept separately in a cool, dry location.

Ingredient Substitutes

  • Chicken: Turkey or pork can be used as alternatives for a different protein base.
  • Corn tortillas: Flour tortillas can be a suitable replacement.

Alternatives to this Meal

  • Tacos de Chilorio: Featuring shredded pork in a chili pepper sauce.
  • Tacos de Barbacoa: Highlighting slow-cooked beef with a blend of spices.

A number of taco recipes can be found on this page.


Tacos de Tinga capture the heart and soul of traditional Mexican flavors, offering a mix of smoky and spicy notes. The gentle sweetness of tomatoes, the earthy richness of the meat, and the fiery touch of chipotle combine to create a taco experience that’s truly unforgettable. Whether you’re dining with family or sharing with friends, Tacos de Tinga promise a meal filled with warmth, flavor, and cherished memories. ¡Buen provecho!