This flavorful, easy shredded Mexican chicken comes together in 30 minutes, start to finish and is perfect for filling tacos, burritos, taquitos, or loading up on nachos or even into a salad.

All about this Shredded Mexican Chicken…

Tender and flavorful shredded chicken that is perfect for adding to all your favorite Mexican and Tex Mex dishes. This chicken is perfect for loading into tortillas for tacos, burritos and enchiladas. It can also be used on top of nachos or a salad. Some reasons why this chicken is the best shredded chicken out there:

  • Cooking Method: a combination of searing the chicken and then poaching ensures we get all the best flavor and also retain all the moisture of the meat during cooking to give us ultra tender shredded chicken in the end.
  • Quick and Easy: only 30 minutes is needed to make this chicken on the stovetop, making it perfect for a busy weeknight.
  • Flavorful: using a combination of spices and poaching in chicken broth gives wonderful flavor to this chicken.

Ingredients Needed:

Ingredients needed to make shredded Mexican chicken laid on the counter.

Notes on some ingredients:

  • Chicken: this recipe can be made using breasts or thighs. Just be sure to use boneless, skinless since it will be shredded.
  • Chicken broth: this is used for poaching the chicken, if you don’t have any broth on hand you can use water.
  • Oil: extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil are great options.

How to Make (step-by-step):

How to make shredded chicken, showing combining the chicken taco seasoning, then coating the chicken.
  • Step 1: Prepare the chicken taco seasoning.
  • Step 2: Coat the chicken with the seasoning, press it into the chicken with your hands.
  • Step 3: Cook in a hot skillet with just a small amount of oil to sear both sides. Pour in some chicken broth, cover the skillet with a lid and let the chicken cook until it reaches 165 degrees and is easily shredded.
  • Step 4: Return the chicken to the pan and stir in the remaining seasoned broth from cooking. This gives more flavor throughout the chicken.
Seasoned chicken added to a skillet, then being poached with broth and shredded.
Up close view of shredded Mexican style chicken.

Expert Tips:

  • Temperature: Always check the internal temperature of your chicken to ensure that it reaches 165℉. Use an instant read thermometer to make this an easy task.
  • Shredding: Shredding chicken is easier when it’s warm, so be sure to shred the chicken as soon as it’s done cooking.
  • Coat the cooked chicken: Toss the shredded chicken back into the pan to fully coat it in the spices and juices from cooking. This ensures that the chicken is nicely flavored and retains as much moisture as possible.

FAQ’s:

What kind of chicken is best for shredding?

This recipe works great for both chicken breasts and chicken thighs. Thighs will give you some dark meat, while breasts are light meat. Typically thighs do produce a more tender shredded chicken. However, this recipe poaches the chicken, which helps the breasts to retain moisture, and still be incredibly tender!

How do you shred chicken really fine?

You can easily shred chicken using two forks to pull the chicken apart. You could also place the chicken into a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, and use the stand mixer, or a hand mixer on low speed to break apart the chicken.

How to store shredded chicken?

This chicken is great for meal prep, it stores wonderfully in the refrigerator or freezer. Simply store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

30 minute chicken tacos made with easy shredded Mexican chicken.

What are some things I can make with this Shredded Mexican Chicken?

Skillet filled with shredded Mexican style chicken.

Easy Shredded Mexican Chicken

5 from 52 votes
Quick and easy this tender, flavorful shredded Mexican style chicken comes together in 30 minutes! Thanks to using a cooking method that includes searing and poaching this chicken is moist and tender. All seasoned with a blend of spices and herbs that make this chicken perfect for loading into tacos, burritos or using on nachos.

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1 cup chicken broth

Instructions

  • In a small bowl combine all of the ingredients to make the chicken taco seasoning. Stir to combine.
  • Coat the chicken on both sides with the chicken taco seasoning.
  • Drizzle the olive oil and heat in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the chicken and let it cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side. Pour in the chicken stock. Cover the skillet and let the chicken cook in the broth for about 15-20 minutes, until the chicken registers 165 degrees internally and is cooked through.
  • Remove the chicken from the skillet, shred using a fork, then return to the skillet. Stir to coat the chicken in the remaining sauce in the skillet. Let sit and keep warm on low heat for about 3-5 minutes, to get good flavor throughout the chicken.

Video

Notes

  • Chicken: this recipe can be made using breasts or thighs. Just be sure to use boneless, skinless since it will be shredded.
  • Chicken broth: this is used for poaching the chicken, if you don’t have any broth on hand you can use water.
  • Oil: extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil are great options.
  • Storage: store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 151kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 73mg, Sodium: 684mg, Potassium: 467mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 247IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 13mg, Iron: 1mg
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Recipe first published March 15, 2019. Updated February 11, 2022 with new images and information. Recipe is unchanged.

Photography by the talented @KJandCompany.co