Easy chicken tacos served with pineapple salsa will make any day feel like a fiesta! The healthy lean white meat is marinated in savory spices and herbs for maximum flavor.
It’s hard to resist mini handheld meals loaded with savory, crunchy and most of the time spicy fillings. I’m going to show you a quick, flavorful marinade for some amazing chicken tacos. PLUS, every good taco requires a refreshing topping to spice things up. I’ve got the freshest sweet pineapple salsa recipe to pile on.
Infusing tons of flavor into a juicy piece of chicken is simple! I do this with a dry spice blend. In my cabinet, I always have paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, chili powder, and oregano. These are the base flavors of the blackened spice, plus a little bit of fresh lime juice, honey, and olive oil.
The spice mixture gets rubbed all over the chicken and sits for 20 minutes then you’re ready to cook. Check out the layer of gorgeous red-hued spices encrusted on each slice of chicken. Yep, it tastes as good as it looks. If you’re a meal-prep-pro, cook a few extra pieces for new meals the next day.
I added this chicken to my kale caesar salad, and it was fantastic!
I like to do equal parts of fruit to diced tomato, then add enough lime to coat mixture and some fresh diced jalapeño for heat and cilantro for earthiness. That’s it! I make this fruit salsa while the chicken is marinating and then break out some crunchy chips to snack on.
I thinly sliced the chicken lengthwise because it cuts it across the grain, ensuring each bite is super tender instead of stringy and chewy. It is also the perfect length to fit inside a 6-inch round tortilla.
This means nothing falls out or leaves a big mess, just blackened chicken in each bite. If you haven’t already eaten all of the pineapple salsa with the chips, make sure to top generously on each taco.
Whoever invented Taco Tuesday is a genius! We switch up the flavor each week at our home with the tacos recipes listed below. Although, these blackened chicken tacos are happily going in the weekly rotation! What are your favorite taco fillings?
More Taco recipes
What are the benefits of Marinating Chicken?
Marinating chicken can help infuse flavor and juiciness. A marinade can be a mixture of ingredients such as water, fat, acid, salt, sweetener, spices and herbs. Once the marinating time is complete, the water-soluble compounds like salt, water, garlic, and onion flavors have entered the center of the meat, while insoluble compounds like spices, oil, and herbs stay on the surface. The oil helps to dissolve the seasoning and allows them to stick on the surface when cooking so you get a flavor hit with each bite. The acid from the lime juice will help weaken the muscle tissue on the surface to help tenderize. However, if left too long, the meat can become mushy so keep to the recommended time.
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Chicken Tacos with Pineapple Salsa
- 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
- 2 tablespoons lime juice, plus zest of 1 lime
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ¾ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon oregano, dried
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, ground
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 8 tortillas, flour or corn, 6-inch
- 1 cup pineapple, diced, ¼-inch
- 1 cup tomato, diced, ¼-inch
- ¼ cup red onion, finely diced
- 2 teaspoons jalapeño, minced
- 2 tablespoons lime juice, plus zest of 1 lime
- ½ cup cilantro, chopped
- Thinly slice or pound out the chicken to ½-inch thickness. Add it to a large resealable plastic bag.
- To make the marinade, in a small bowl whisk together the lime zest, lime juice, honey, cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, oregano, cayenne pepper, and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Pour into the large resealable plastic bag with the chicken.
- Coat the chicken evenly with the marinade. Press out as much air as possible and seal. Marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes or up to 1 hour (refrigerate after 1 hour), or marinate refrigerated overnight (1-day max).
- To make the pineapple salsa, in a medium bowl combine the pineapple, tomato, red onion, jalapeño, lime zest, lime juice, and cilantro. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil, once it begins to shimmer, add the chicken. Cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Flip the chicken over, lower the heat to medium. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (75ºC), about 4 to 6 minutes.
- Move chicken to a cutting board and allow it to rest for 5 minutes. Thinly slice chicken lengthwise into long strips.
- Heat a pan over medium heat, heat the tortillas on each side until warm and lightly browned.
- Fill tortillas with chicken, salsa and any additional toppings. Serve with lime wedges if desired.
- You can grill the chicken over medium heat setting, cooking for 5-6 minutes on each side, or until internal temperature reaches 165°F.
- Regular paprika can be substituted for smoked paprika.
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