Chicken Tacos are the perfect EASY weeknight dinner. These OVEN BAKED chicken tacos have lots of flavor and none of the stress. The ultimate recipe for serving a crowd. This is the most popular recipe on The Cookie Rookie, being pinned over 2 million times and viewed over 6 million times. Make the best tacos ever for dinner tonight!

overhead view of a baking dish of tacos
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Best Chicken Tacos You’ll Ever Have

This Spicy Baked Chicken Tacos Recipe is the ultimate easy recipe. Chicken Tacos are great for serving a crowd, taking to a potluck, chowing down on for a tailgating party, and of course, Cinco de Mayo!

Baked tacos can be made in any flavor combination! You can make these as Baked Breakfast Tacos, BBQ Chicken Tacos, and so much more! The possibilities are endless and I love that.

These are one of the easiest and tastiest dinners, plus they’re made in under 30 minutes. It’s one of our favorites to make at our house. Do you see all that melty cheese? What’s not to love!

If you’re not making these easy chicken tacos for Taco Tuesday, what are you doing with your life? Your family will thank you!

This is one of the most popular recipes on The Cookie Rookie! I’ve published a lot of posts on this site (over 1000 to be exact), but this Spicy Oven Baked Chicken Tacos recipe is the #1 recipe by a landslide. There’s something about this recipe that people just go crazy for!

close up on tacos
how to make chicken tacos step by step process shots

How to Make Chicken Tacos (Step by Step)

Be sure to see the recipe card below for full ingredients & instructions!

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray.
  2. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a medium skillet.
  3. Add onion to skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the onion is translucent and fragrant.
  4. Stir in the chicken, taco seasoning, tomatoes (FULLY DRAINED), and green chiles (FULLY  DRAINED) *see note. Stir to combine fully. Reduce to simmer and allow to cook for 5-8 minutes.
  5. Place the taco shells in the baking dish, standing up. I was able to fit 10 taco shells in the dish by adding 2 on each side.
  6. Bake the taco shells for 5 minutes by themselves to allow them to crisp up. Remove from the oven.
  7. Spoon 1 tablespoon of beans into the bottom of each taco shell. Top with the chicken mixture, almost to the top of each shell.
  8. Sprinkle each shell generously with shredded cheese, the more the better!
  9. Bake for 7-10 minutes or until cheese is fully melted and the edges of the shells are browned.
  10. Remove from the oven and top with your favorite items such as jalapenos, sour cream, cilantro, and salsa.
tacos filled with cheese, chicken, and other toppings
picture of picking up taco in dish

Baked Tacos

I make these baked tacos so often at our house, and they’re one of the recipes Pat asks for the most. When he comes home and sees these babies are ready to go, he’s a happy camper. You can make them with so many different flavor combos. Be creative and enjoy!

Don’t forget to top these with a LOT of cheese! That’s the only way to make them. We aren’t playing around when it comes to melted cheese!

Chicken Taco Topping Ideas:

  • Sliced jalapenos
  • Sour cream
  • Salsa (pico de gallo, salsa verde, blender salsa)
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Guacamole
  • Cotija cheese
  • Red onions
  • Caramelized Onions
hand picking up taco from a baking dish

Serving Suggestions

You can serve these for so many different occasions, including weeknight dinners at home or big get-togethers.

These are the perfect easy appetizer or meal for New Years Eve, the Super Bowl, Cinco de Mayo, Summer BBQs, Taco Night and more. Why spend all your time in the kitchen when you can have these baked chicken tacos ready for a crowd in around 30 minutes?

And I can’t recommend these as a weeknight dinner recipe enough. The family NEVER gets tired of these tacos!

Side Dishes for Mexican Night

Almost every time we make these baked spicy chicken tacos, we serve them with my Easy Cheesy Tex Mex Rice and simple black beans with cotija cheese.

If we really want to indulge, we will make some White Queso and Tequila Lime Chicken Nachos! That’s for parties like the Super Bowl where calories have been shown to actually not count.

Pair this with:

tacos stuffed with toppings and ingredients

Tips for the Best Chicken Tacos (& Crispy Shells!)

When making baked tacos, one of the issues people seem to run into is soggy taco shells. Something nobody wants! I take good tacos seriously, so I’ve worked to troubleshoot this problem so you can have the crispiest shells when you make these tacos!

TIPS!

  • I always bake the shells for 5 minutes on their own before stuffing them with all the delicious toppings and cooking all the way. This way they have the chance to really crisp up on their own before you get started.
  • I also make sure refried beans are the bottom layer, creating a bit of a barrier between the chicken mixture and the shell. The shells are bound to be less crispy on the bottom than they are at the top, and that’s just part of what happens when you bake them, but they SHOULD NOT break or be soggy.
  • The other truly important step is FULLY DRAINING the tomatoes and green chiles before adding into the chicken mixture. I recommend first draining, then letting sit over a bowl in a strainer for about 5 minutes to make sure they drain all the way.
  • These tips will all help to keep the shells crispy, so important!

Cocktail Pairings

Oh okay, so you’re my people! My fave pairings are either a Classic Skinny Margarita or our Sparkling Strawberry Margarita Punch. You can also go with a great Mexican beer and be in business.

Every great chicken taco recipe needs a great drink, especially if you’re entertaining a crowd, but that doesn’t mean you have to make something fancy. Have fun with the cocktail pairings and you’ll be a star in no time!

Margaritas and Tacos

There’s nothing better to pair with this easy chicken tacos than an amazing Margarita! We have compiled all our favorite Margarita Recipes in the ULTIMATE MARGARITA GUIDE. From classic to unique to flavored to frozen, we have you covered! Be sure to check it out today.

finished tacos garnished on a cutting board

This recipe for Baked Chicken Tacos is the MOST popular recipe on The Cookie Rookie and I hope you love it as much as we do! It’s a family favorite and a reader favorite, so what are you waiting for?

Baked Chicken Tacos Recipe

4.49 from 1186 votesAuthor: Becky Hardin – The Cookie Rookie Prep: 15 minutes Cook: 10 minutes Total: 25 minutes

SUPER EASY Oven Baked Spicy Chicken Tacos make a weekly appearance on our table. All the flavor and none of the stress. ALL THAT MELTED CHEESE! Perfect Chicken Tacos recipe for a crowd on Family Mexican Night!

How to make the best baked chicken tacos for a crowd! Lots of tacos made in one baking dish for family dinners, Cinco de Mayo, and more.

Ingredients

  • ▢1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ▢1/2 pound cooked chicken shredded (I used cooked Rotisserie chicken)
  • ▢1 ounce Taco Seasoning click for homemade recipe!
  • ▢1/2 cup onion diced
  • ▢1 can diced tomato 14.5 ounce, fully drained
  • ▢1 can Chopped Green Chiles 4.5 ounce, fully drained
  • ▢10 Stand and Stuff Taco Shells I used Old El Paso
  • ▢8 ounces Refried Beans 1/2 can
  • ▢2 cups Mexican Blend Cheese shredded
  • ▢Toppings such as Old El Paso sliced Jalapenos, sour cream, salsa, chopped cilantro, shredded lettuce, or any of your favorite taco toppings!

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400F. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray.
  • Heat olive oil over medium heat in a medium skillet.
  • Add onion to skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the onion is translucent and fragrant.
  • Stir in the chicken, taco seasoning, tomatoes (FULLY DRAINED), and green chiles (FULLY  DRAINED) *see note. Stir to combine fully. Reduce to simmer and allow to cook for 5-8 minutes.
  • Place the taco shells in the baking dish, standing up. I was able to fit 10 taco shells in the dish by adding 2 on each side.
  • Bake the taco shells for 5 minutes by themselves to allow them to crisp up. Remove from the oven.
  • Spoon 1 tablespoon of beans into the bottom of each taco shell. Top with the chicken mixture, almost to the top of each shell.
  • Sprinkle each shell generously with shredded cheese, the more the better!
  • Bake for 7-10 minutes or until cheese is fully melted and the edges of the shells are browned.
  • Remove from the oven and top with your favorite items such as jalapenos, sour cream, cilantro, and salsa.
  • Enjoy!

 Becky’s tips

  • Be sure to drain the tomatoes completely, this will help the taco shells to not get soggy while baking!
  • If you prefer your tacos not spicy, just omit the green chilis and use regular Old El Paso Taco Seasoning. Just as delicious! 

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