Chicken Street Tacos, Dinner in Minutes from Leftovers

Cooked chicken taco recipe

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This delicious street taco recipe is delicious proof that dinner in minutes is possible when you cook with the leftovers planned! And, since I use corn tortillas, street tacos are gluten-free.

Today, I made my Mexican street taco with slow-cooker chicken from the Southwest. The beauty is that they can be made with ANY chicken leftover. Whether it’s intentional leftovers you planned or just some unexpectedly left out of a meal.

My leftovers were intentionally planned, so I could create this boldly tasty street taco food and barbecued chicken pizza to die for, this week.

Cooking once, to eat many times, makes a lot of sense for time AND budget. Eating one of my DELISH Chicken Street Tacos will make you a believer!

What are street tacos?

I love ALL tacos! Seriously, I never met a taco I couldn’t be friends with. 😋 But, of all the varieties, I have to say that the simple, flavored bomb of a Mexican street taco is my favorite.

Mexican street tacos have nothing to hide behind. They don’t have a ton of side dishes and sauces. You CAN add them. But in a traditional street taco, it’s a beautifully charred corn tortilla; tender and juicy meat; A pinch of cilantro and maybe some fresh cheese.

And then… That glorious fresh lemon juice sprinkled mostly to add a little zipper. Lime is a sour note to merge with all the spicy and salty elements and brings those flavors to a craving harmony. Taco cielo, my friends. Simple. Cue. Perfection.

Now you just need to learn how to make a slushie to serve with these delicious street tacos and your kids will think you have them for dinner, anyway!

Where did street tacos get their name?

Mexican street tacos are something you would literally buy from cart vendors on the sidewalks and streets of the city. So the name makes a lot of sense.

You can still buy them from street vendors, but, nowadays, there are many more options. Including making your own at home.

Hold the small chicken tacos in one hand and eat them while walking down the street. They are a portable meal that allows you to eat without making a mess. Street tacos contain tons of flavor in just a few delicious bites.

Street taco recipes have gained popularity, over the past decade or so, and now you’ll find them in many drive-thrus restaurants and even restaurants. No wonder! They are quick and easy. Well done, these mini tacos are absolutely delicious!



For my favorite street taco, chicken, you only need six ingredients. And if you have done it as I taught you, the kitchen is already done! Check out this simple alignment.

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Slow cooker Southwest Chicken stored in a refrigerator container to prepare meals throughout the week

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src=”” alt=”corn tortillas for chicken street tacos” /> <img

src=”” alt=”red onions for street chicken tacos” />cilantro para tacos callejeros de pollo

queso fresco para tacos callejeros de pollo
<img src="" alt="lime with a lime cut in front for street chicken tacos

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  • Precooked chicken (roast chicken or one of my recipes cooked in batches [see below]
  • )

  • Small corn tortillas (6″ or less) I always buy gluten-free.
  • Red onion
  • Cilantro
  • Queso Fresco Fresh
  • Lime
  • Meat Options

for Street Taco Recipes I love

chicken street tacos

! But, chicken isn’t the only option when making a good street taco.

For example, my slow pot pork carnitas are a huge hit, full of flavor, home run when curled up in street tacos


Beef is another great option for a delicious street taco. Brown homemade seasoning-flavored ground beef for tacos or the spiciest seasoning in the Southwest for a delicious memorable street taco meal. In the beef category, grilled flank steak, flat iron steak or carne asada are also stuffed with tender and tasty street tacos.

Some people enjoy fish or shrimp in street tacos. Variety is the spice of life, right? Customize your street tacos to include what your family likes best.

Whichever meat you decide to use, having it precooked as an intentional leftover will save you tons of time when putting dinner on the table.

Throughout the

posts and recipes on this blog, I have advised and trained you to take the time you already spend cooking a meal and maximize it, making intentional leftovers. When you duplicate a

recipe you’re already making, it doesn’t take any more time in the kitchen. And, in the end, you have food for two, three or even more meals, already prepared. You actually save yourself time the rest of the week or even the month.

This easy and delicious recipe from Chicken Street Taco is me practicing what I preach! I cooked Slow Cooker Southwest Chicken last week. We enjoyed the food and I froze the leftovers.

Now, tonight… Dinner in minutes, no drive-thru. I saved time, money and improved the health of our family meal compared to any type of takeaway!

Frequently asked questions about leftovers

Perfect baked Chciken breasts prepared for storage in a fridge or freezer. Bags of chicken breasts in slices, chopped and whole in freezer bags with hermetic closure.Chicken prepared for the freezer in freezing bags with hermetic closure.

All you need are the labels. Be sure to buy bags designed for the freezer and not just zippered bags when freezing chicken leftovers. Silicone zippered freeze bags [affiliate link] are another popular freezer alternative that helps prevent frostbite.

This chicken is stored in Rubbermaid Brilliance containers [affiliate link] for the fridge. I love that they are clear so I can immediately see what’s in them. They have airtight seals, are stackable for tidy storage, and come in many sizes.

I am careful when pre-preparing chicken to use a method that leaves it tender and juicy. Then I cut the chicken into thin slices and store it, along with its juices, in a storage container that fits the job.

Storing chicken leftovers properly means I don’t have dry, hard, fibrous shredded chicken. I’m left with wonderfully tender chicken chunks and slices that can be used in any easy, flavorful dinner recipe!

If you like shredded chicken, of course, go ahead and do some. Shredded chicken is not my personal preference, as I find that it tends to be drier. And I’m not a big fan of texture.

My favorite ways to create Southwest Chicken leftovers

is tasty, spicy, juicy and tender. It is created in the slow cooker, so practical work is minimal. It translates well to any leftover makeover recipe that benefits from a spicy kick. Think of all your favorite Mexican dishes, quick stir-fries, pizza, and more. Southwestern Chicken is gluten and dairy free and delicious at Street Tacos.

whole Southwest slow cooker in a serving bowl with coriander sprigs - ideal for street chicken tacos

Slow cooker chicken breasts are easy to prepare and delicious. They are seasoned with my best all-purpose seasoning and cooked in the slow cooker, to create juicy and tender slices for quick and easy meals. If a recipe calls for precooked chicken, slow cooking chicken breasts are perfect! Gluten free and dairy free. This is a super kid-friendly recipe that isn’t “spicy,” as my grandchildren used to say. It’s great when you need a softer street taco recipe for the little ones.

Slow cook chicken breasts ideal for street chicken tacos

The perfect baked chicken breasts are roasted on a tray in 20-25 minutes. They also use my best all-purpose seasoning for a delicious taste that can translate into any chicken recipe. If you didn’t think baked chicken breasts could be juicy and tender, you should try this delicious recipe. This is another soft, but tasty, kid-friendly chicken recipe that’s delicious when you make street tacos and so many other dishes.

Perfect baked chicken breasts on a white plate with kale and tomatoes - great for street chicken tacos and leftover chicken recipes

Easy Roast Chicken is my favorite recipe for roasting a whole chicken. The post shows you how to spatchcock (butterfly) the bird for faster and more uniform cooking. Easy roast chicken is tasty and herbaceous with only a handful of ingredients. Leftovers are perfect for all your favorite pre-cooked chicken recipes.

easy roast chicken - great for street chicken tacos and leftover chicken recipes

Rotisserie Chicken Let’s face it. Some nights are just a failure and you need quick and easy. A roast chicken from the market still makes its dinner quickly, without having to resort to takeaway. Even if you’re making street tacos for homemade “takeaway”!

How to Make Street Tacos

  1. Cook corn tortillas in a dry skillet over medium-high heat. 30 to 60 seconds per side is usually more than enough. You want some darker spots and some caramelization/charring around the edges.
  2. Place each cooked corn tortilla inside a folded kitchen towel to keep it warm and soft. Or you can use my preferred method. I don’t have an outdoor iron, but I love this taco rack [affiliate link] designed for one. I place each cooked corn tortilla in a place on the rack. They maintain their shape better and are much easier to fill. Also, because of the silicone handles, I can put the entire rack in the oven to reheat the shells if they get too cold before filling. Or I can heat an entire rack of six stuffed chicken street tacos.
  1. Add filler to each shell. I like to use a generous portion of juicy chicken. I probably add about 1/3 cup of sliced chicken pieces to each corn tortilla.
  2. Then I add simple sparks (1 teaspoon) of chopped red onion.
  3. After that, a

  4. pinch of crumbled fresh cheese, a few chopped coriander leaves and a slice of lime. I let everyone add their own lemon juice, so it’s perfect for their specific tastes.

That’s it! A classic Chicken Street Taco!

Make Them Your Own

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homemade avocado ranch dressing

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Southwest Dressing, Southwest Dip, Southwest Sauce in a white pitcher

There’s no street taco police

or rules that say you can’t get creative and customize your chicken street tacos to be about everything you love


If you like flour tortillas more than corn tortillas, go for it! And make the ingredients and side dishes on yourself!

Use parsley instead of cilantro. Add some homemade refried beans, black beans, charred corn, olives, pico de gallo, avocado or even lettuce and tomato. (Though we’re definitely wandering around old taco territory at this point. ha)

Try a few different sauces if you, or your little ones, are not fans of lemon juice. Use my Avocado Ranch salad dressing, instead. Or, grab my Southwest Dressing recipe and drizzle some for an extra spicy touch.

Enjoy, my friend! Eat chicken street tacos and have a wonderfully blessed week!

P.S. Make intentional leftovers! lol


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Most Delicious Mexican Recipes Culinary specialist with more than 10 years of experience in the restaurant industry.

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