The best easy chicken tacos recipe is right here! These simple grilled chicken tacos are made with just a handful of pantry and fridge staples and are the perfect answer to the never-ending question of what to make for dinner!
Why This Recipe Works
Why should you make this marinade for chicken tacos and corn salsa? So many good reasons!
Chicken — Yes, chicken. I did an unscientific poll the other day and I’d say about 90% of my fellow meat eaters enjoy chicken and almost always have some in the fridge/freezer. That’s reason enough to make these grilled chicken tacos, if you ask me!
So easy! — First off, the marinade has only 6 ingredients (and most of those are common spices). And you only really need to let the chicken marinate for 30 minutes but you can also do it up to 4 hours ahead of time, which leaves plenty of downtime to soak in those backyard blow up pools we’ve all been ordering.
Marinade — This chicken tacos marinade is key to getting juicy, tender, tasty chicken, bite after mouthwatering bite.
Corn Salsa — I like to counterbalance my flavors and tastes, and adding crunchy, sweet corn salsa on top of tender, tangy, slightly spicy chicken makes these tacos taste just perfect.
Here’s How You Make It
Let’s walk through how to make these super easy, crazy good chicken tacos, shall we?
Marinating the chicken
- First, pound the chicken to ½ inch thickness.
- Then, in a medium bowl, whisk together the marinade ingredients: oil, limes, cumin, chile powder, garlic powder, and onion powder.
- Add the chicken to the marinade, tossing to coat.
- Cover the bowl tightly and put in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes to 4 hours.
Preparing the salsa
- Rub the shucked corn all over with olive oil.
- Grill the corn over medium heat, turning with tongs every couple of minutes for about 10 minutes or until the corn chars slightly.
- Once the corn has cooled enough so you can handle it, use a sharp knife to slice the corn off of the cob.
- Stir the corn together with onions, cilantro, lime juice, and salt.
Grilling the chicken
- Take the chicken out of the marinade and put onto the grill over medium high heat for 6-8 minutes on each side or until the chicken is cooked through and juices run clear. (Discard leftover marinade, see below for stovetop cooking directions.)
- Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes, then dice.
- Serve in tortillas topped with the corn salsa and any other toppings you enjoy.
How to Cut Corn off The Cob
Cutting corn off the cob isn’t as hard as it sounds. Here are a few ways you can tackle the task.
- Hold the corn upright, perpendicular to the bottom center of a large, shallow bowl using just your fingertips. Slice downward, taking a few rows at a time off. Be careful not to cut too deep into the corn or you’ll be eating the cob too.
- Lay the corn facing away from you on a cutting board and slice parallel to the rows of kernels, all the way around.
- To get your corn up higher for easier slicing, use a bundt pan (put the bottom of the cob in the pan’s hole) or use a smaller bowl upside down in a larger bowl to balance the cob on for slicing.
Here are some of my favorite tips and tricks for taking these scrumptious chicken tacos to the next level.
- If you’d rather cook the chicken indoors on the stove, you can cook it over medium heat in a large skillet until cooked all the way through. Or, you can bake the chicken in a baking dish, uncovered, for 15-18 minutes at 375 degrees. No need to turn the chicken if baking it in the oven.
- Love to spice up your tacos? Me too! The best way is to add some heat to the corn salsa via diced jalapenos or red pepper flakes, but you could also add ½ or 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes to the chicken tacos marinade as well (or do both!).
- I love making this corn salsa with grilled corn, because I think that char flavor really adds a great flavor. But you don’t have to go through that step if you don’t want to. You can use canned and drained corn (pat dry) or frozen corn (thaw and pat dry) as well. Once it’s dried off a bit, place it in a single layer on a baking sheet and sprinkle with olive oil, using your fingers to coat the corn. Be careful not to use too much oil. Bake at 475 for 5-7 minutes, stirring 1-2 times while roasting. Keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t burn!
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Best Easy Chicken Tacos
- 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts - (about three medium chicken breasts, or you can use 1.5 pounds boneless chicken thighs)
- 8 6-inch flour tortillas
- cilantro, salsa, hot sauce, avocado or guacamole - for serving
- ⅓ cup oil
- juice of 3 limes
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder - or regular chile powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 ears corn on the cob
- 2 teaspoons oil
- juice of ½ lime
- 1 handful cilantro - chopped
- ¼ red onion - diced
- salt to taste
- Pound chicken to even 1/2 inch thickness.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients for the marinade. Add chicken, toss to coat. Cover bowl tightly and chill for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
- To prepare the corn salsa (this can be done while cooking chicken, or ahead of time), rub corn all over with oil. Grill over medium heat, turning every couple of minutes, for about 10 minutes or until corn begins to char slightly.
- Use a sharp knife to slice corn off of the cobs. Stir together with onions, cilantro, lime juice and salt.
- To cook the chicken, discard marinade, then grill over medium heat 6-8 minutes each side or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear. (Alternately you can cook the chicken on stovetop over medium heat, or bake in a baking dish uncovered for 15-18 minutes at 375 degrees.)
- Allow chicken to rest for 5 minutes, then dice. Serve in tortillas topped with corn salsa and other desired toppings. Enjoy!