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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.

Skillet filled with shredded Mexican style chicken.

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?

Easy Shredded Mexican Chicken

5 from 183 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 8
Author: Serene
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.
Skillet filled with shredded Mexican style chicken.

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

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this? Leave a comment below!

Recipe first published March 15, 2019. Updated February 11, 2022 with new images and information. Recipe is unchanged.

Photography by the talented @KJandCompany.co


Welcome to my kitchen!

Welcome to the Houes of Yumm!! My name is Serene. I’m the food photographer, recipe developer, and official taste tester around these parts.

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37 Comments

  1. Made this last week. The ingredients were outstanding – just the right balance! However, the chicken was just not tender. I am making it again tomorrow and will be cooking it in a crock pot (aka slow cooker) to make sure it is juicy with the same awesome flavor

    1. I soak my chicken in buttermilk (you can make your own using vinegar and milk) then strain it and season it. Makes a HUGE difference in chicken tenderness!

  2. Best shredded chicken we’ve EVER had. I’m saving this spice combination for my beef tacos also. Delicious!

    1. I’ve been using this recipe several times a month for several years. My girlfriend basically requires this to survive now. The chicken always comes out great and tastes better than most restaurant chicken. Thank you for sharing it. Obviously, we love it!

  3. You may want to check your nutrition facts…I have 1 serving (if there are 8 servings in recipe) coming to 141.75 calories per serving. Just a heads up. I almost skipped over this because of the cals. but decided to take a better look. excellent shredded chicken recipe!!

  4. I just used water instead of stock. It was a split chicken breast so it had bones and cartilage so It made its own chicken stock plus all the yummy spices. Then I simmered the stock after I shredded the chicken and added some homemade enchilada base (the blended peppers onions spices and tomatoes) and it became instant enchilada sauce. This went into a Dutch oven with layers of corn tortillas and chicken sauce and cheese and then cooked until bubbling. Delish!!

  5. I’ve started using chicken thighs, and instead of shredding you can cut the chicken into chunks after it’s finished.
    It taste exactly like Chipotle’s chicken but better. 

  6. I don’t understand the nutrition. 1 gram has 309 calories and 37 carbs??? Where are the carbs coming from? A gram has 309 calories?

  7. I make this often.  Everyone loves it!  It’s easy, delicious.  Surprisingly good!  So satisfying each time i make it. Tender and the blend of spices is way better than any pre-packaged mix.  
    Great for enchiladas, tacos, burritos, bowls.  I usually double the recipe and  then keep using the chicken in different dishes for a few days.  It freezes well also.