This easy shredded chicken tacos recipe with avocado, vegan chilli and Mexican pickles makes a fantastic filling lunch or light dinner that’s a cinch to make and can be assembled quickly. Pop a fried egg on top for a breakfast taco and make extra shredded chicken from poached chicken and keep in the fridge for salads and sandwiches.
Our shredded chicken tacos recipe with smashed avocado, vegan chilli and Mexican pickled onions and pickled cabbage made us a delicious lunch a couple of days ago. It was so good, it’s a recipe I’m going to put on repeat and one that I couldn’t resist sharing with you.
The beauty of this shredded chicken tacos recipe is that it’s a recipe born from leftovers. That means you can plan to make the recipes that made the dishes and condiments that gave us this delicious filling lunch or light dinner – or breakfast, if you pop a fried egg or poached egg on top.
Plan ahead and prepare the shredded chicken and chilli in advance and it also means no cooking – aside from warming up the tortillas in a pan. But before I tell you about this easy shredded chicken tacos recipe with avocado, vegan chilli and Mexican pickles, we have a favour to ask.
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Shredded Chicken Tacos Recipe with Avocado, Vegan Chilli and Mexican Pickles
We usually prefer brown chicken meat to white meat, which can quickly dry out if you’re not careful. Yet somehow we found ourselves with a freezer full of chicken breasts, as I was planning to test recipes for Cambodian chicken rice during our last lockdown and didn’t get around it.
As we’ve been craving the cuisines of faraway places – and dreaming of travelling to those places – we’ve been cooking food from everywhere from Myanmar and Morocco to Cape Malay and Mexico. (Okay, so Myanmar isn’t so far away from us, but the country is, heartbreakingly, in political turmoil right now.)
Mexican food, Mexican-American and Tex-Mex have most definitely been on repeat, partly due to nostalgia – our first overseas trip eons ago was to Mexico and the USA – and partly because Mexican food is just so damn delicious.
While we adore Asian breakfasts and especially Southeast Asian breakfasts – we will never tire of slurping bowls of kuy teav or nom banh chok, tucking into a plate of pork and rice or dipping kaya toast into half-boiled eggs – Mexican breakfasts have a special place in our hearts and stomachs.
Which explains why we seem to always have some tortillas in the refrigerator (wheat flour tortillas, as sadly we can’t get corn tortillas here), jars of Mexican pickles on the fridge shelves, and making breakfast tacos has become something of a regular event.
It’s also not unusual to find a container of poached chicken breasts or shredded chicken in the fridge. Terence makes perfect poached chicken, which we use for our Mexican chicken tinga tacos, and he uses for his shredded chicken breakfast burritos, which he’ll share tomorrow for this week’s edition of Weekend Eggs.
While we often have some of Terence’s chilli con carne leftovers in the fridge, which we’ll use to make quesadillas or my ultimate nachos (with sides of guacamole and red tomato salsa), this week I had some leftover vegetarian chilli – which is really a vegan chilli if you skip the sour cream and cream.
And that’s how this easy shredded chicken tacos recipe with avocado, vegan chilli and Mexican pickles came about – and if you have a fridge that’s anything like our’s, then there’s no cooking apart from warming up the tortillas in a pan.
If you don’t, the vegan chilli is one of the quickest chillies you can make, and it’s a cinch to poach and shred chicken, so I only have a few tips to making this shredded chicken taco recipe.
Tips to Making this Shredded Chicken Tacos Recipe with Avocado, Vegan Chilli and Mexican Pickles
Just a few tips to making this easy shredded chicken tacos recipe with avocado, vegan chilli and Mexican pickles, as it’s super easy to make if you have leftover chilli con carne or vegan chilli in the fridge.
If you don’t and you don’t want to make a pot of chilli – although my vegan/vegetarian chilli recipe is very easy and comes together quickly (link to the recipe above) – you could use a can of refried beans.
As you’ll see in our shredded chicken tacos recipe below, I used mashed avocado, however, you could use avocado slices or cubes of avocado or even make some homemade guacamole (link above).
If you haven’t made our Mexican refrigerator pickles yet (recipes on links above), you could make those, or you could use jalapenos if you have a jar in the fridge or even dill pickles or gherkins.
You can warm the soft flour tortillas over a dry griddle pan. We like the tortillas a little brown, but don’t over-do them as you still want them soft not crunchy.
If you’re making these shredded chicken tacos for family or friends, serve them with an array of hot sauces and garnishes such as fresh coriander, Mexican cotija (or another similar crumbly white cheese if you can’t get hold of cotija), and lime quarters.
Shredded Chicken Tacos Recipe with Avocado, Vegan Chilli and Mexican Pickles
- 1 lime quartered
- Salsa or hot sauces of your choice
- Mexican cotija cheese or crumbly white cheese such as feta
- If you don’t have any shredded chicken in the fridge, first poach the chicken in a saucepan or pot with a lid by covering the chicken breast with room temperature water, and adding any aromatics you like, such as garlic, bay leaves and peppercorns.
- Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer, cover the pot with a lid, then check the chicken breast for doneness at around 8 minutes. Do this by poking an instant-read thermometer in the thickest part of the breast; when it’s at 74°C, the chicken breast is done.
- Transfer the poached chicken to a cutting board to allow it to cool, then shred the chicken breast into bite-sized pieces by simply using your fingers to pull the chicken apart into strips following the natural grain of the chicken.
- If you don’t have any chilli con carne on hand, while the chicken is poaching and cooling, you could make our quick and easy vegetarian chilli (link to recipe) or use a can of refried beans, which can be heated in a pan to be spread onto the tortillas.
- While the chilli or refried beans are heating, warm the soft flour tortillas on a dry griddle pan or your favourite fry pan, then transfer them to plates.
- Assemble your tacos: spoon the mashed avocado onto the two tortillas, spreading it the length of each tortilla; do the same with the chilli con carne, vegan chilli or refried beans; lay the shredded chicken pieces on top; and, lastly, garnish with Mexican pickles, fresh chillies or jalapenos, and fresh coriander leaves.
- Serve with a selection of Mexican hot sauces, salsa, cotija cheese, and lime quarters.
Please do let us know in the comments if you make our easy shredded chicken tacos recipe with avocado, vegan chilli and Mexican pickles as we’d love to know how it turns out for you.