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These juicy, tender Chicken Street Tacos are perfect for your next taco Tuesday or Cinco de Mayo party. Chicken is marinated in a garlicky, citrus marinade, then grilled to juicy perfection.

Serve these chicken street tacos with a pico de gallo and thinly shredded red cabbage slaw for vibrant colors and crunch, or pair with your favorite taco toppings, like Restaurant Style Salsa and Guacamole.

Corn tortillas with chicken, pico de gallo and limes.
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Why I Love This Recipe

When it comes to summer appetizers, these chicken street tacos are at the top of my list!

  • Easy to Customize – Once you’ve got the chicken and tortillas, the rest of the toppings are endless!
  • Flavorful Marinade – A simple marinade of garlic, lime and cilantro packs a real punch and gives the chicken a ton of flavor.
  • Feed a Few or a Crowd – I love making this street taco recipe for big parties and get-togethers because it makes a great snack but can be easily made into a meal.

What Are Street Tacos?

Mexican street tacos are mini tacos often sold off of street carts in Mexico. While they always include a protein like chicken, steak or pork, they can include various toppings, the most common is a simple mixture of cilantro and onions, with a squeeze of lime juice.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Shown below are the ingredients and common toppings I use for chicken street tacos. You can customize the toppings however you like.

  • Chicken Breast – I use boneless skinless chicken breasts for street tacos and grill them over medium-high heat, but you can also use boneless chicken thighs. It will be marinated and grilled so it’s nice and juicy.
  • Mexican Chicken Marinade – Cilantro, Garlic, Lime juice, Olive oil. You can also add other spices like chili powder, cumin, paprika, and oregano.
  • Pico de Gallo (for topping) – Roma tomatoes, cilantro, yellow onion, jalapeno (seeds and membranes removed), lime juice.
  • Cabbage Slaw (for topping) – Red cabbage (shredded), sour cream, lime juice, cilantro.
  • Guacamole – Already prepared; I usually find this in the produce section of the grocery store. Of course, you can make a quick guac with mashed avocado, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper.
  • Corn Tortillas – I prefer the white corn tortillas for this taco recipe, because they are a little softer. You want the street taco size, although you can use any size you like. Flour tortillas can be used, but they don’t stay soft and are usually much larger.

How To Make Chicken Street Tacos

See the recipe card below for full, detailed instructions

There are a few simple steps, but nothing complicated. You can prepare the toppings a few hours in advance, or shortly before serving.

chicken marinating in a plastic bag with lime and cilantro.

Marinate the chicken. Place chicken breasts in a resealable plastic bag and lightly pound them so they’re of even thickness. Add lime juice, oil, cilantro, and garlic to the bag and marinate in the fridge for 1-4 hours.

Red cabbage with creamy dressing in a clear glass bowl.

Make the toppings. Before you start grilling the chicken, prepare the toppings, like the pico de gallo and cabbage slaw (if using) and chop any other toppings.

grill pan with chicken breast

Grill the chicken. If you don’t have access to an outdoor grill, you can use a grill pan or cast iron skillet on the stovetop. Set out the chicken to come to room temperature while you preheat the grill to medium heat (350-400℉), then grill the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165℉.

Chopped chicken and a whole chicken breast on a cutting board with a large knife.

Cut up chicken and assemble tacos. Dice chicken into chunks and serve in warmed tortillas, topped with slaw and pico.

Recipe FAQs

Can I use chicken tenders?

Chicken tenderloins work really well, too. First, trim away the white tendon with kitchen shears. These should marinade for just one hour and cook in 6-9 minutes total. Chicken tenders are less expensive than breasts and more forgiving (if you accidentally overcook them a bit, they’ll still be tender).

Can I bake the chicken instead?

To bake instead of grill, preheat the oven to 400. Place the chicken on a foil-lined sheet pan. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F and the juices run clear.

What are the best tortillas for street tacos?

You can usually find street taco sized tortillas in corn or flour at most grocery stores. Corn tortillas are traditional, but you can use flour if you prefer.

Why do street tacos have two tortillas?

Because they are so small, the tortillas have a tendency to break. Having two tortillas makes them a little more sturdy. Some also believe it’s so you can make another taco when the topping inevitably spill out.

Street Taco Toppings

There is some debate as to what makes a good taco topping, especially when you’re talking about mini tacos like these. Traditionally, these include only meat, onions, and cilantro. But you can also include some other fun toppings.

  • Pico de gallo: Dice tomatoes and onion, seed and dice jalapeno, roughly chop cilantro, and squeeze lime juice. Mix this all together in a medium bowl with some salt and pepper.
  • Cabbage slaw: Combine shredded cabbage, sour cream, lime juice, salt, and pepper.
  • Cheese: Shred some cheddar, jack, or crumble cotija cheese.
  • Other toppings: Shredded lettuce, sour cream, diced tomatoes, avocado, lime wedges.
Platter of chicken tacos with various toppings and dish of guacamole.

Serving Suggestions

While you could just assemble a bunch of tacos and set them out, where’s the fun in that? Try one of these suggestions!

  • Set out tacos on a platter with various toppings, like salsa and sour cream, or cilantro and onions. Guests can add their own desired toppings.
  • Create a Taco Bar – Set out tortillas, meat, pico, cabbage slaw, and other various toppings. Let guests or party-goers make their own tacos with all their favorite toppings.
  • As a Meal – You can include side dishes like Street Corn Salad, Mexican Rice, and Refried Beans when serving as a meal.

Storage

Store leftover chicken and pico de gallo in an airtight container or bag in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

Chicken can easily be reheated in a pan on the stove. Add a small splash of water, put a lid on, and then heat on medium until warmed through.

The cabbage slaw is best prepared and served the same day.

Expert Tips

  • When choosing chicken breast, find the smallest, most pink chicken breasts you can. Typically these will be organic, and will not have any saline solution/broth injected into them. 
  • This chicken is very versatile and can be used for tacos, burritos, taco salads, or as a main with a side of rice and veggies. 
  • Find limes that have a smoother skin and are slightly soft to the touch. These will produce more juice. Gently roll it around on the counter with a little pressure to break up the membranes inside the lime, giving you more available juice.
  • I highly recommend charring your tortillas on the grill or on the stovetop.
Close up of a flat corn tortilla with chicken and pico de gallo.

More Mexican-Inspired Recipes

Recipe

Grilled Chicken Street Tacos

5
Chicken Street Tacos are great as a snack or a meal! Marinated chicken grilled to juicy perfection and topped with your favorite toppings.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 12 (2 tacos each)

Ingredients
  

  • 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 limes juiced divided
  • 4 roma tomatoes seeded and finely diced
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion minced
  • 1 jalapeno minced, membrane and seeds removed
  • 2 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • Salt and pepper
  • Canola or vegetable oil for grilling and marinade
  • Prepared guacamole for serving
  • 24 street taco size white corn tortillas
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Instructions
 

  • Place chicken breast in a gallon size zip top bag. Pound to ½” thin with the smooth side of a meat mallet, or heavy rolling pin.
  • Roughly chop half of the cilantro. Very finely mince the other half. Set aside.
  • Add to the bag with the chicken: juice of 1 lime, the garlic, all of the finely minced cilantro, a pinch of salt and pepper, and a splash of oil. Work marinade into chicken. Marinade in the fridge for 1-6 hours.
  • Make the pico de gallo: Combine the tomatoes, half of the roughly chopped cilantro, juice of ½ the second lime, the yellow onion, jalapeno, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
  • Make the slaw: Combine the shredded cabbage, sour cream, half of the roughly chopped cilantro, juice of ½ the second lime, a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Remove chicken from the fridge and let it come up to room temperature. Preheat the grill (or indoor cast iron grill pan) to medium. Remove chicken from marinade and gently pat off excess moisture with clean paper towel. Grill for 3-5 min on the first side. Flip and grill for another 3-5 minutes, or until cooked through. An instant read thermometer should read 165℉. Remove chicken and let rest for 10 minutes.
  • Once rested, chop chicken into small chunks, serve right away with slaw, pico de gallo, and guacamole.
Keyword chicken street tacos, street tacos

Nutrition

Calories: 199kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 16gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 38mgSodium: 96mgPotassium: 421mgFiber: 4gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 438IUVitamin C: 17mgCalcium: 63mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer Kristin Maxwell of “Yellow Bliss Road” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. For accurate calorie counts and other nutritional values, we recommend running the ingredients through your preferred online nutritional calculator. Calories and other nutritional values can vary depending on which brands were used.

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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