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4 January 2019

Chicken Tinga is a recipe for juicy shredded chicken slowly simmered in a zesty tomato-chipotle sauce. Serve it as tacos, tostadas, burritos, or tortas. Very easy to prepare.

Let’s make some chicken tinga today, my friends. You’re going to LOVE this recipe.

Chicken Tinga is a classic Mexican dish of shredded chicken that cooks low and slow in a tomato-chipotle sauce that has been seasoned with just a bit of spiciness. The resulting chicken is smoky and spicy and everyone loves it.

It’s a versatile dish, too, as you can serve it up however you’d like. Use it to fill warmed corn or flour tortillas for tacos. Spoon it over crispy tortillas for easy chipotle tostadas.

Fancy a burrito? Or a Mexican torta? Chicken Tinga has you covered.

It also freezes wonderfully, so make extra and keep in the freezer for quick and easy lunch or dinner meals throughout the week.

Chicken Tinga in a pan, ready to serve

Let’s talk about how we make it, shall we? It’s super easy, which I love.

How to Make Chicken Tinga – the Recipe Method

First, heat some oil in a large pan to medium heat and add chopped onions and jalapeno peppers. Cook them down about 5 minutes.

Season some chicken thighs with salt and pepper, then add them to the pan. Give them a nice sear on each side, a couple minute each. Chicken breasts work here as well, too.

Chicken thighs searing in a pan to make our chicken tinga

Process the tomato sauce and chipotles in adobo sauce in a food processor, like so.

Tomato-chipotle sauce for chicken tinga

Next, pour the mixture into the pan, covering the chicken.

Chicken thighs simmering in our tomato-chipotle sauce for chicken tinga

Stir in the seasonings.

Bring the mixture to a quick boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and easily pulls apart.

Remove the chicken and shred it with a couple of forks.

Return the chicken to the pan and simmer in the sauce another 5 minutes.

Chicken Tinga in a pan with lime slices

Looks delicious, doesn’t it?

Serving Up Chicken Tinga

As mentioned, chicken tinga is super versatile. You can serve it up pretty much any way you’d like.

Consider it for tacos, burritos, topping tostadas, chicken tortas, even over rice with other fixings for a satisfying burrito bowl.

Try Some of My Other Popular Chicken Dishes

Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

4.75 from 4 votes
Chicken Tinga - Recipe (Spicy Chipotle Shredded Chicken)
Chicken Tinga (Spicy Chipotle Shredded Chicken) - Recipe
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 
Chicken Tinga is a recipe for juicy shredded chicken slowly simmered in a zesty tomato-chipotle sauce. Serve it as tacos, tostadas, burritos, or tortas. Very easy to prepare.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: chicken, chipotle, recipe, spicy
Servings: 8
Calories: 175 kcal
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper chopped
  • 2 pounds skinless chicken thighs chicken breast is good, too
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 16 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 7 ounce can chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large pan to medium heat and add the onions and jalapeno peppers. Cook them down about 5 minutes.
  2. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper, then add them to the pan. Give them a nice sear on each side, a couple minute each.
  3. Process the tomato sauce and chipotles in adobo sauce in a food processor, then pour the mixture into the pan, covering the chicken.
  4. Stir in the seasonings.
  5. Bring to a quick boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and easily pulls apart.
  6. Remove the chicken and shred it with a couple of forks.
  7. Return the chicken to the pan and simmer in the sauce another 5 minutes.
  8. Serve with tortillas or on torta buns and all your favorite fixings.
Recipe Notes

Heat Factor: Mild-Medium. Chipotles have a bit of spiciness. I add in extra jalapenos to up that heat factor, and finish with spicy chili flakes as well. Feel free to use hotter peppers and flakes, or a nice hot sauce to finish.

Nutrition Facts
Chicken Tinga (Spicy Chipotle Shredded Chicken) - Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 175 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 9%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 107mg 36%
Sodium 415mg 17%
Potassium 510mg 15%
Total Carbohydrates 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 3g
Protein 23g 46%
Vitamin A 11.7%
Vitamin C 9.4%
Calcium 2.9%
Iron 10.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Chicken Tinga (Spicy Chipotle Shredded Chicken) - Chicken Tinga is a recipe for juicy shredded chicken slowly simmered in a zesty tomato-chipotle sauce. Serve it as tacos, tostadas, burritos, or tortas. Very easy to prepare. #MexicanCuisine #ChickenDinner #Spicy

4 comments


  1. Hi Mike
    I cooked this the other day exactly as you have described here. My friends loved it 🙂
    Thank you so much for the lovely recipe.
    It was delicious and easy to cook
    Happy new year to you and your family 😀

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness


      That’s GREAT, Corrie. Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it.

  2. John Shotsky


    Might want to check that sodium….I get about 490 per serving, less than 4000 for the whole recipe…
    I will be cooking this, probably today…

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness


      Thank you, John. You are correct. My software miscalculated the chipotles in adobo sauce. I hope you enjoy it.

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