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chicken tinga with avocado slices, cotija cheese, lime and red onion

Chicken Tinga Recipe

Chicken Tinga is a Mexican dish made with chicken breasts, lime, onion, chiles, chipotle peppers, tomatoes, chicken broth, and a few other ingredients.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican
Keyword Chicken Tinga, Chicken Tinga Recipe, Tinga de Pollo
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 253kcal
Author Catalina Castravet


Chicken Tinga:

  • 3 chicken breasts boneless and skinless
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 white onion peeled and sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 to 4 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce plus 1 tablespoon of the adobo sauce
  • 1 jalapeno chopped
  • 15 ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes or salsa
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste


  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • cotija cheese
  • lime wedges
  • pickled red onions
  • salsa
  • sliced avocado
  • chopped jalapenos


Brown the chicken:

  • Add a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and add a bit of oil. Once hot, brown the chicken on both sides, until golden-brow. About 3-4 minutes per side. Set aside.

Cook the Onion and Garlic:

  • Place a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  • Remove the Dutch oven from heat and transfer the onion mixture to a blender.

Blend the sauce:

  • Next, add the chipotles and adobo sauce, jalapeno, tomatoes, chicken stock, honey, brown sugar (if using), cumin, cilantro, lime juice, lime zest, and oregano to the blender.
  • Cover and purée until smooth.


  • Transfer the sauce back into the Dutch oven, add the chicken and bay leaf to the sauce. Cook on medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes, or until chicken is tender and easy to shred.

Shred the meat:

  • Remove and discard the bay leaf.
  • Using two forks, shred the meat and mix it into the sauce. Cook for 10 more minutes. Taste and adjust for spices.


  • Serve the chicken tinga warm, with taco tortilla, and your favorite toppings.
  • Refrigerate leftovers in a sealed container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.


Calories: 253kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 387mg | Potassium: 516mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 358IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 2mg