Baked Chicken Tacos


A big dish of baked chicken tacos seems like the perfect way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, a yearly celebration that is held on May 5. This traditional Mexican holiday was created to commemorate the 1862 victory of the Mexican army over French adversaries at the Battle of Puebla. Cinco de Mayo is sometimes mistaken for Mexico’s Independence Day—the most important national holiday in Mexico—which is celebrated on September 16.

More popular in the United States than Mexico, Cinco de Mayo has become associated with the celebration of Mexican American culture. Celebrations began in California, where they have been observed annually since 1863. The day gained nationwide popularity beyond those of Mexican American heritage in the 1980’s due to advertising campaigns by beer, wine, and tequila companies. In Mexico, the commemoration of the battle continues to be mostly ceremonial, such as through military parades or battle reenactments.

Nowadays, Cinco De Mayo is celebrated officially in every continent and in over 40 different countries, including Canada.

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Baked Chicken Tacos
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Cuisine Mexican
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Rating: 5
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  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.
  2. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a medium skillet. Add onion to skillet & cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the onion is translucent & fragrant.
  3. Stir in the chicken, taco seasoning, tomatoes (fully drained), and green chiles (fully drained). Stir to combine fully. Reduce to simmer & allow to cook for 5-8 minutes.
  4. Place the taco shells in the baking dish, standing up. Bake the taco shells for 5 minutes by themselves to allow them to crisp up. Remove from the oven. Spoon 1 tablespoon ( or more) of beans into the bottom of each taco shell. Top with the chicken mixture, almost to the top of each shell. Sprinkle each shell generously with shredded cheese.
  5. Bake for 7-10 minutes, or until cheese is fully melted & the edges of the shells are browned. Remove from the oven. Add toppings of choice.
Recipe Notes
  • Shredded lettuce or arugula
  • Salsa
  • Sour Cream
  • Jalapenos
  • Cilantro

Taco Salad in Edible Tortilla Bowls

Summer time is salad time! Taco Salad  is the full meal deal, infinitely customizable, inviting experimentation and creativity. Being so versatile, it can be enjoyed in almost any setting.

This Texas-Mexican inspired salad was very popular in the late 1960’s. It’s name comes from the Texas-Mexican Railway. Pioneers brought Anglo influences to Texas, where the Texas-born Mexicans lived. As a result, the ingredients from their different cultures blended together.           Tex-Mex combines elements of Anglo, Spanish and Mexican.

The taco salad is unique in that it can be served in an edible tortilla bowl. I recall in the food industry, this meal had huge visual appeal for the customer. How could you resist ordering one after seeing it’s impressive presentation? The ingredients in a taco salad can vary according to preference and can be made to fit into any type of cuisine with different seasonings and modifications.

Typically the taco salad includes lettuce, beans, tomatoes, green onion, meat, cheese and sour cream. Other condiments might include guacamole, salsa, garlic and cumin.

The salad featured in today’s blog picture is the beef version but I have included similar recipes for chicken and vegetarian ideas as well. Tortilla bowls are easily made by baking them in the oven. No need to add those calories by deep frying them. I love the full meal salad idea — be it a Chef’s salad, Cobb, Taco you name it! I hope you will enjoy one to this summer.


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Taco Salad

Taco Salad doesn't have to be 'old school' and boring --- customizing it to your personal tastes makes a huge difference.

Tortilla Bowls
  1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Warm tortillas slightly until pliable. Spray or butter both sides of tortilla lightly, then drape over oven proof bowls, pinching sides to form bowl shape. Bake 5-7 minutes, watching carefully as not to burn. Remove from oven & cool on wire rack.

Beef Taco Meat
  1. In a skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion & cook until softened, about 5 minutes.Stir in chili powder & garlic & cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add ground beef & cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until almost cooked through but still slightly pink, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce, broth, vinegar & sugar; simmer until slightly thickened but still saucy, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat & season with salt & pepper.

Chicken Taco Meat
  1. Place chicken breasts between 2 sheets of plastic wrap & pound to flatten to uniform thickness, about 1/2-inch. In a small dish, combine spices. Sprinkle over chicken breasts. In a skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken breasts to pan & cook until juices run clear & the center is no longer pink. Remove from pan & allow to rest 5 minutes. Slice into bite size strips.

Salad Dressing
  1. In a small bowl, whisk dressing ingredients.

  2. To assemble salads: In a large bowl, combine romaine, beans, green onions, cilantro, olives, jalapeno peppers. Toss with salad dressing. Place tortilla bowls on serving plates. Divide salad among bowls. Top with taco meat choice; sprinkle with tomatoes & cheese. Top with avocado slices if desired.

Recipe Notes
  • Sour cream & salsa are also nice as extra condiments or in place of the salad dressing.
  • If you prefer a Vegetarian Taco Salad, just eliminate the meat part, equally as good.
  • Be adventurous, customize to your preference so you get the most enjoyment out of 'your' salad.