Deeply seasoned chicken, a balanced mango avocado salsa and creamy chipotle lime sauce come together to make these easy blackened chicken tacos. This meal is full of flavor and so simple to throw together. Tacos for dinner is always a good idea.

two corn tortillas with creamy sauce, lettuce, sliced blackened chicken, mango avocado salsa and crumbled cotija cheese

Erica’s ramblings on the recipe:

Well hello my friends, let’s make some tacos.

I always say that tacos are my favorite meal because they can be anything and everything. The versatility, the satisfaction, the balance, mmm I just love them. Plus tacos are quick and easy making them perfect for busy weeknights.

I think everyone needs a good “back pocket chicken taco” ya know what I mean? A classic, staple chicken taco that features juicy chicken, some sort of slaw/pico sitch and a creamy dreamy sauce.

closeup vew of sliced blackened chicken breast

So that’s exactly what we’re doing today. Blending together some savory spices to make an amazing blackened seasoning mix, slicing our chicken breast thin so that it’s perfectly tender and juicy and whipping up an unconventional pico de gallo that is creamy, sweet, crunchy and just a little spicy.

This mango salsa was a big hit with my two-year-old, she kept asking for more and more. She also loved the assembled taco. For my more selective eater, I served the tortilla as a quesadilla with cheese, mango pico and shredded lettuce (with ranch) as the side dishes. Serving a meal ‘deconstructed’ is a great way to increase acceptance for more selective eaters. It is a super easy meal to make kid-friendly and the whole family loved it!

Easy chicken tacos for the win, let’s get these on next week’s meal plan STAT.

plate with two blackened chicken tacos, slice of lime, bowl of mango avocado salsa, bowl of creamy chipotle sauce

What is “blackened seasoning”?

Although the term ‘blackened’ seems slightly terrifying in relation to food, blackened seasoning is simply a blend of herbs and spices like paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and oregano used to coat fish, meat or poultry before cooking to create a charred, flavorful crust.

What you’ll need to make blackened chicken tacos:

picture of ingredients needed to make blackened chicken tacos

Blackened seasoning mix: we use a simple blend of spices you probably already have on hand. Smoked paprika, dried oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper and cayenne come together to make an amazingly flavorful seasoning blend. You can find premade blackened seasoning mixes at the grocery store, but it’s also easy to make at home!

Chicken breast: I like to get the organic chicken breast from Costco. We slice the chicken breast in half lengthwise to help it cook up quick and evenly.

Mango: the pop of sweetness is a wonderful contrast to the slightly spicy seasoned chicken.

Avocado: creamy and full of heart-healthy fats, avocado is also a refreshing contrast for these chicken tacos.

Radishes: you might think this one is a little left field, but radishes are the perfect crunch this pico needs!

Jalapeño: finely minced jalapeno provides a subtle level of heat.

Cilantro: you can’t have tacos without fresh cilantro right!? Unless of course, you’re a cilantro hater.

Lime: a bright pop of lime gives some acidity and freshness to the mango avocado mix.

Honey and olive oil: these two provide cohesiveness for the pico de gallo.

Tortillas: use your favorite tortillas- flour tortillas, corn tortillas or a blend. I like to use the La Tortilla Factory handmade-style blend tortillas that are primarily corn but with some flour to help them be more flexible and durable. I’ve seen these in most grocery stores in the tortilla section!

Lettuce: Romaine lettuce, butter lettuce, green leaf lettuce, green cabbage or purple cabbage all work great. Find these in the produce section of the grocery store, either whole heads or pre-shredded.

Chipotle lime sauce: whip up this easy chipotle lime sauce because every taco needs SAUCE. It a simple mixture of Greek yogurt (or sour cream), mayo, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and fresh lime juice!

How to make blackened chicken tacos:

Halve chicken breasts lengthwise so that you have thin sliced chicken breast. There are generally two chicken breasts in my packs so I end up with four thin fillets.

small plate with blackened seasoning spices on it

Mix together all of the seasonings. Place chicken in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle on the seasonings. Use tongs or your hands to make sure the chicken is thoroughly seasoned on all sides.

plate with chicken breast and olive oil and smaller plate with spice mix

Heat a grill or a cast iron grill pan over medium-high heat and brush the grates with oil. Grill the chicken for 3-4 minutes per side until the chicken is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. It should be dark golden brown with dark grill marks and a nice crust.

side by side photos of raw chicken breast sprinkled with seasoning and rubbed with seasoning

Alternatively, you can cook chicken in a hot skillet (like a cast iron skillet or stainless steel) with a swish of high-heat cooking oil like avocado oil or in the air fryer (see recipe notes for directions!) Let chicken rest five minutes and slice into thin strips.

side by side photos of grilled chicken and sliced grilled chicken

Toss together the ingredients for the mango avocado salsa.

side by side photos of mango avocado salsa mixed and unmixed

Whisk together the creamy chipotle sauce in a small bowl.

side by side picture of taco accompaniments: mango avocado salsa and creamy chipotle sauce

Warm the tortillas. Spread a dollop of creamy chipotle sauce on each. Pile in lettuce, blackened chicken and mango pico. Drizzle with more sauce, a squeeze of lime, cotija cheese and a few extra cilantro leaves.

taco assembly line: lettuce, queso fresco, mango avocado salsa, creamy chipotle sauce, corn tortillas, blackened chicken breast

Expert tips and variations:

  • Since the chicken is halved lengthwise the chicken cooks up super quickly. Cutting it this way help ensure juicy, moist chicken. Watch it closely so it doesn’t overcook!
  • The olive oil is to moisten the chicken so the spices adhere well. Use your fingers to press the spices into the chicken until well coated.
  • Feel free to add homemade salsa or hot sauce!
  • Replace the mango with pineapple for a juicy pineapple salsa recipe.
  • Other fun add-ins to the pico de gallo: red onion, cucumber, red bell pepper, tomatoes, corn kernels, lime zest
  • Serve the chicken and toppings over rice or quinoa for a taco rice bowl.
  • If you have a gas stovetop warm the tortillas over the gas flame for a charred effect.
two corn tortillas with creamy sauce, lettuce, sliced blackened chicken, mango avocado salsa and crumbled cotija cheese

FAQs

Are there other ways to use blackened chicken?

YES. So, so many. Blackened chicken sandwich, blackened chicken quesadilla, rice bowl with blackened chicken, blackened chicken taco salad, blackened chicken stuffed poblano peppers, options are endless!

Can I use a different cut of chicken?

This recipe works great with chicken tenderloins or boneless skinless chicken thighs.

Is this recipe gluten-free?

Depends on what type of tortilla you use! To make it gluten-free, use gluten-free tortillas, 100% corn tortillas or corn-based hard taco shells.

Are these tacos spicy?

On a scale from 1-5 I’d give this recipe about a 2-2.5. If you want to adjust the spice level you can do several things: 1) omit the cayenne from the seasoning blend 2) omit the jalapeno from the mango pico and 3) reduce the chipotle in adobo from the creamy sauce.

What should I serve with blackened chicken tacos?

Mexican rice, black beans or refried beans, a simple side salad and/or margaritas are all top of my list!

How should I store leftovers?

I recommend storing the components (chicken, mango pico, shredded lettuce, chipotle sauce) separately in airtight containers in the fridge for up to four days. Assemble the tacos when you’re ready to eat them!

plate with two blackened chicken tacos

If you love these blackened chicken tacos, check out my other stellar taco recipes!

Watch how to make blackened chicken tacos:

I hope you make these for your next taco night and enjoy the simplicity and fresh flavor!

hand holding a taco above a plate with another taco

If you try and like this recipe please don’t forget to leave a comment and star rating down below! If you love more lifestyle, behind the scenes and ‘eating in real life’ type of content come find me over on Instagram, @itsaflavorfullife, I love connecting with you all there!

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plate with two chicken tacos and mango avocado salsa

Blackened Chicken Tacos with Mango Avocado Salsa

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 6 reviews
  • Author: Erica
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 28 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Tacos
  • Method: Grill
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Description

These blackened chicken tacos are your new ‘back pocket’ classic chicken taco recipe. They are quick, simple and a perfect balance of seasoned, sweet, spicy, savory, creamy and fresh.


Ingredients

Units Scale

Chicken

Mango avocado salsa

  • 1 mango, cubed
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 5 radishes, cubed small
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/2 lime, juice of
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Assembly

  • 810 corn tortillas, warmed
  • Lettuce, shredded
  • Queso fresco or crumbled feta
  • Chipotle lime sauce

Instructions

Chicken: halve chicken breasts lengthwise so that you have thin, flat pieces of chicken. There are generally two chicken breasts in my packs so I end up with four thin fillets. Mix together all of the seasonings. Place chicken in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle on the seasonings. Use tongs or your hands to make sure the chicken is thoroughly seasoned on all sides. Heat a grill or a cast iron grill pan over medium-high heat and brush the grates with oil. Grill the chicken for 3-4 minutes per side until the chicken is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. It should be deeply colored with a slight crust from the blackening spices. Let chicken rest five minutes and slice into thin strips.

Mango avocado salsa: toss together first six ingredients. Add the olive oil, honey and salt and toss to combine.

Assembly: warm the tortillas. Spread a dollop of creamy chipotle sauce on each. Pile in lettuce, blackened chicken and mango pico. Drizzle with more sauce, crumbled cotija, squeeze of lime, a few extra cilantro leaves, choose your journey my friends.

Live it up, it’s taco time.


Notes

Air fryer instructions: prep the chicken as instructed. Preheat an air fryer to 400 degrees. Air-fry the chicken for four minutes per side or until internal temp reaches 165 degrees (mine only took 8 minutes, but depending on the thickness of chicken breast you may need a few extra minutes).

Refer to above blog post for expert tips, variation ideas and answers to frequently asked questions.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 tacos (nutrition facts calculated using corn tortillas)
  • Calories: 436
  • Sugar: 8.9 g
  • Sodium: 353.7 mg
  • Fat: 18 g
  • Carbohydrates: 38.6 g
  • Fiber: 7.5 g
  • Protein: 32 g
  • Cholesterol: 89.8 mg

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