Grilled chicken tacos are an absolute favorite in my house. They are light and fresh and the flavors just burst in your mouth. Adding that grilled flavor adds a whole new taste to the chicken.
I use garlic aioli in this recipe and it really helps make the dish. I am going to give you step-by-step instructions to make the best-grilled chicken tacos.
Video: Grilled Chicken Tacos
1. Prepare chicken
I like to use a whole chicken for this recipe. I use one breast and two thighs. I have a video on how to cut up a whole chicken if you need some help. Otherwise, feel free to buy chicken already cut up.
One of the main reasons I like to use a whole chicken is so that I can grill the chicken with the skin on and get that crisp skin when I grill it. Also, this allows for me to use dark and light meat in the tacos.
Butterfly the breast to reduce cooking time and allow for the skin to crisp up better. Drizzle olive oil over the chicken on both sides making sure to coat them generously. Sprinkle salt and pepper over both sides.
2. Preheat the grill
Now that your chicken is ready to get grilled preheat. Preheat heat it to 400°F. Having your grill already heated before you add your chicken to the grill is key to getting that nice crispy skin that we want.
3. Prep the grilled taco ingredients
While the grill is preheating it is time to get all of your ingredients prepped and ready to go onto the tacos.
1/2 a red onion finely diced to add in a little crunch and zing.
Chop about a cup of lettuce, the crispier the better.
Deseed and then dice one tomato
Grated Cheddar Cheese
Grate a cup of cheddar cheese. Aged cheddar adds that sharpness.
Cut lime into wedges making slits to help with squeezing.
4. Grill chicken
Time to grill up the chicken. When you place your chicken breast and thighs onto the grill you want to make sure to put the skin side down on the grates to get it nice and crispy.
Give it about 5-7 minutes and check the chicken. When the skin easily pulls away from the grates then it is ready to be flipped. If the skin is sticking and won’t let go then wait another minute or two.
Grill the other side for another 5-7 minutes and check the temperature. The breasts are going to take a little longer than the thighs because they are thicker.
Using a thermometer to check the temperature you want, make sure that the temperature reaches at least 160°F before removing it from the grill. Chicken needs to be 165°F for it to be safe to eat but while it rests it will come up to temperature.
Watch my entire video on grilled chicken tacos.
5. Grill Tortillas
Grilling the tortillas only takes 2-3 minutes so while the chicken is resting is a good time to get those grilled up. Lay them down on the grates and close the lid for just a minute.
Then open it back up and flip them again. All you are looking to do is heat them and get s few grill marks on them. Don’t walk away from them because they will burn quickly.
6. Cut up chicken
Now that your chicken has rested and soaked up all of its juices it is time to cut it up. Dice of both the chicken breast and the thighs. You want your pieces to be about 1/2 inch each.
Mix together the light meat from the breast and the dark meat from the thighs so that each taco and every bite gets a little of both.
7. Build the taco masterpiece
Ok here comes the best part! Now we are going to assemble the tacos. Start by laying one tortilla down and spreading a teaspoon of garlic aioli down the middle.
Place 1/3 of a cup of the diced chicken in the middle over the aioli. Then go ahead and dress it by sprinkling some diced red onions, chopped lettuce, tomatoes, and cheddar cheese.
Grilled Chicken Tacos (Easy Recipe)
- 1 lb Chicken
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup diced red onions
- 1 cup chopped lettuce
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- 2 tbsp garlic aioli
- 1 lime
- 6 flour tortillas
- 1 cup grated aged cheddar cheese
Prepare the chicken
- Lather the chicken with olive oil, sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.
- Preheat grill to 450°F
Prepare the ingredients
- Dice up half of a red onion finely, 1 cup of crispy lettuce, and 1 whole tomato.
- Grate 1 cup of aged cheddar cheese
- Cut a lime into 6 wedges.
Grill the chicken
- Place the chicken onto the preheated grill grates with the skin side down. This will crisp up the skin nicely.
- After about 5-7 minutes check the chicken and see if it is ready to be flipped. If the skin is stuck to the grates then you will want to wait another minute or so. When the skin releases from the grates then it is ready to be flipped.
- Grill the other side for about 5 minutes and then check the temperature. Once the chicken is 160°F you can remove it from the grill. The breast will take a little bit longer than the thighs.
- Let the chicken rest for at least 5 minutes and allow for the temperature to come up to 165°F.
- While the chicken is resting grill your flour tortillas. These only take a minute or two on each side. All you want to do is warm them up.
- Once your chicken has rested go ahead and cut it up into 1 – 1 1/2 inch pieces.
Build the tacos
- Lather garlic aioli down the center of the tortilla and then add about 1/2 cup of your diced chicken.
- Top with lettuce, tomatoes, diced red onions, cheddar cheese, and lime juice freshly squeezed from one wedge.
- Sink your teeth into the taco and enjoy all of the fresh flavors.