BBQ Chicken Tacos

BBQ Chicken Tacos

Tacos are on a hardcore dinner rotation around my house. I always keep all the ingredients in the pantry and ground turkey in the freezer for those nights when I just don’t feel like cooking. I’ve made tacos so many times, I can do it with my eyes closed. I always know they’re going to be delicious and I get no complaints from Chris whenever I whip them up. They were probably my #1 most-requested meal as a kid and I pride myself on the fact that I make them exactly like my mom now.

But sometimes it’s good to switch things up a bit. And when I saw Kerstin from Cake, Batter, and Bowl’s BBQ Chicken Tacos, I literally drooled. I mean, BBQ chicken along with all the fixings? I immediately wrote a grocery list (and stole some smoked paprika and Mexican oregano from my dad). If you don’t have all these spices, don’t worry! Just improvise with whatever you do have. You can invent your own rub and BBQ sauce! You could even buy a pre-made rub and BBQ sauce and I swear I won’t tell anyone. But try this recipe, if you can.

BBQ Chicken Tacos:


• 1 T ancho chile powder
• 1 T Mexican oregano
• 1/2 T backed brown sugar
• 1/2 T smoked paprika
• 1 t cayenne pepper
• 1 t salt
• 1-1.25 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breasts

BBQ Sauce:

• 3/4 C ketchup
• 1/2 C apple cider
• 1/4 C apple cider vinegar (or regular vinegar)
• 1 T brown mustard
• 1 t Worcestershire sauce
• 1 T espresso powder

For Assembly:

• 1 T canola oil
• 1 large red onion, cut into strips
• 8 corn tortillas, warmed
• 6 oz. queso fresco, crumbled     

(pre-heat oven to 350 degrees)


First, get the spice rub ready for the chicken. Mix together the ancho chile powder, oregano, brown sugar, paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt in a small dish.


Rub the chicken breasts evenly with the spice mix and place in a greased 13×9 inch pan.


Bake chicken at 350 degrees for 22 to 25 minutes, until it’s cooked through and no longer pink in center.


Cool the chicken for 10 minutes, cut into small chunks, and place in a large bowl.


While the chicken is cooking, you can get started on the BBQ sauce. Place ketchup, apple cider vinegar (I only had regular vinegar and that was fine), mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and espresso powder in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat.


Cook for 5-7 minutes, until it’s thickened.


Mix the BBQ sauce with the chicken.


Heat canola oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat and saute onion strips for about 7 minutes, until tender.


Crumble up the queso fresco. I have to say this is not my most favorite cheese. It’s way too mild for me; I love a nice, sharp cheese! But then, a sharp cheese wouldn’t have been great on this because it would over-power the BBQ flavor. And the BBQ flavor was way too good to be overpowered.


Sadly, my Spanish has seriously deteriorated from college and instead of purchasing corn tortillas, I purchased corn arepas. And didn’t realize until I opened them that they’re much thicker than a tortilla. Guess I need to brush up on my Espanol en la cocina, eh?

So, the arepas didn’t quite fold as well as a typical tortilla would.


But overall, everything was absolutely delicious. I’d actually really like to bottle up this BBQ sauce and put it on pretty much everything (OK, everything that I’m not already spreading peppermint frosting on). Next time I make these tacos, I might actually make more BBQ sauce to top them with. I’ve always been the “More BBQ sauce on the side” kinda girl.


This was a pretty awesome alternative to the typical taco night. The chicken was super tender and I absolutely love the taste of browned up onion strips!


Another topping I might add in next time? Avocados. I think that would give the perfect green touch and bring all the flavors together. Plus, what isn’t avocado good on?


And if I kept some of that spice rub ready to go and some BBQ sauce in my fridge, I could easily whip this up on a busy weeknight. This could become a regular in my kitchen!

And margaritas. This dish totally needs a margarita on the side.

Stay tuned for Friday when I’ll have another holiday dessert for you! This one may or may not contain peppermint…

Le Creuset Winner!

And now for the big moment you’ve all been waiting for! The winner of the beautiful Le Creuset 4.5 quart round french oven. Drum roll, please! After a random drawing, the winner is: Bianca from Confessions of a Chocoholic! Congrats! Bianca actually lives in the Boston-area, but I haven’t had the chance to meet her yet. I’m pretty excited to see what delicious chocolate concoctions Bianca whips up in her new Le Creuset.

Do you have a taco night at your house? What’s your favorite kind?


28 Responses to "BBQ Chicken Tacos"

  1. My bf always requests tacos- for his 35th birthday, he wantes tacos instead of going out to eat! They never get old around our house, either.

  2. We love BBQ Chicken everything! These look delicious.

  3. Erica says:

    ah! So yummy. Tacos, quesadillas…..anything Mexican is always a winner in our house. I love this dinner because its SO easy for me to make a veg & meat version. I will have to try the bbq chicken for the man. You have me writing tacos on our menu for next week 🙂

  4. Yayyy! Can’t wait to meet you too!!

  5. Kelly says:

    I have to admit, I don’t make tacos very often in my house. But these look delicious. Kiersten always does have delicious sounding recipes. And ah yes, arepas are so much thicker. When I’ve made them (It was all the way back in the day, I had to dig around to find the post here: and boy is the formatting and the photo ugly…glad to see I’ve improved) I’ve always sliced them in half more like an english muffin. It’s been a long time since I’ve had one. Now I’m craving it.

  6. I drooled when I saw Kerstin’s post too! Your tacos look fabulous and I loved the picture of the spices in the bowl. I can almost smell them from here!

    Congrats Bianca!

  7. Lauren says:

    I have Kerstin’s recipe bookmarked as well… the tacos look fantastic! I completely agree with you that avocado makes everything better ;). I make a recipe for chicken & avocado tacos from Cooking Light every now and then, which my hubs loves. He also loves BBQ anything, so I am definitely going to make these tacos sometime soon.

  8. Shannon says:

    ooh, these looks awesome. and i already have some queso fresco in my fridge 🙂 it’s a sign! maybe i’ll have time this weekend? i hope!

  9. Monique says:

    i dont have a taco night… but clearly i need one!
    the things i always have on hand these days: Butter, flour, sugar.
    I love the image of the spices- soo pretty!
    and who can resist a spicy succulent taco!!!

  10. Joanne says:

    Tacos absolutely never fail to make me happy. I could have taco night every night! I love the bbq chicken twist in these. Good stuff.

  11. Sharlene says:

    Oh goodness do those look good! BBQ chicken anything is always on our hit list!

  12. Victoria says:

    I don’t have taco night, but I should! I love Mexican food, and I love variations like this that aren’t so traditional, but super tasty!

  13. Kelly says:

    yum these do look delicious- i might have to search the blog for your original chicken tacos recipe, I like easy haha

  14. Susan says:

    Love chicken fajitas so I know I would love these. The chicken looks wonderful. A margarita on the side is perfect 😉

  15. This is my husband’s dream meal I think haha I’ll have to make it for him sometime 🙂 when he’s being nice haha

  16. I need to start having go-to recipes for nights when I don’t feel like cooking because we end up just going out or I eat random stuff out of the fridge. Tacos usually ARE easy. Do you typically defrost the turkey in the microwave… or do you know ahead of time that you’ll want to be a bit lazy that night? 😉

  17. The chicken sounds so flavorful with that excellent spice mix, delicious tacos for sure!

  18. Sues says:

    Elina- It’s easy for me since I work from home! Usually when mid-afternoon hits, I know if I’m going to want to be lazy or will be working late and I take the turkey out. But I’ve done it in the microwave, too, and that’s fine!

  19. emily says:

    i had tacos tonight, but yours look infinitely better! i agree, avocado does make everything more delicious. i did have some guac on my tacos tonight. 🙂

  20. wgfoodie says:

    What a fantastic idea to spicing up taco night! We try to do taco night at least once a night. I’ll be adding this to the menu next time indulge in taco night. I’m thinking next week sounds good… 🙂

  21. I love tacos – Rafe and I eat them all the time. I love this as a change from the usual beef/cheddar/salsa combo!

  22. Bridget says:

    omg, yummmmmmmmm! Brian would go nuts if I made these! Definintely going to try this one out!

  23. joan says:

    A few times a week! These look great.

  24. Kerstin says:

    Yay, so glad you enjoyed these! And I love your idea to add some chopped avocado on top next time – yum 🙂

  25. Coleen Sosa says:

    A few times a week! These look great.

  26. The chicken sounds so flavorful with that excellent spice mix, delicious tacos for sure!

  27. I’m always looking for new ways to jazz up chicken. Love these as tacos or might even turn the recipe into a unique taco salad.

  28. Alicia says:

    Let me just say, I followed this recipe to the letter, which in Montgomery, AL was not easy! I am in love!! I celebrated National Taco Day yesterday with this and it was AMAZING! I did add avocado slices with lime on my second one and it was sooo yummy! Thanks for my new fave taco! 😀

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