Last month, I told you about The Family Dinner Cookbook and how it inspired me to create new traditions to make dinnertime more special and fun for my family. One idea from the book that I’ve already put into action is Taco Tuesdays. So far, it’s been a hit: the kids wake up on Tuesdays all “Yay, it’s taco night!” and I love it because tacos are quick and easy to make. We’ve tried all sorts of different tacos (definitely try these fish tacos) but these chicken tacos are the kids’ favorite. They’re a healthier spin on traditional beef tacos — and they’re just as good, if not better.
To make them, begin by chopping your vegetables. You can do this in a food processor if you like; just be sure not to purée them.
Normally, I don’t believe in hiding vegetables but in this case I dice them very small so my kids don’t notice them (or at least they can’t pick them out). I figure what they don’t know won’t hurt them, and one night where I’m not nagging them to eat their vegetables is good for all of us.
Heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the vegetables.
Cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, until soft.
Add ground chicken and spices use a wooden spoon to break chicken into small pieces.
Turn the heat to high and use a wooden spoon to break the chicken into small clumps; cook until the chicken is partially cooked, about 5 minutes.
Add the tomato sauce, then turn the heat down to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally and breaking chicken into smaller clumps, for 10-15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Sprinkle with fresh chopped cilantro, then taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Meanwhile, heat the shells in the oven. To serve, spoon the chicken inside the shells and top with shredded lettuce and cheese.
My Recipe Videos
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped
- 2 bell peppers (any color), finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 pounds ground chicken (not extra-lean all breast meat)
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1-3/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce (1 cup)
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (see note)
- 12 hard taco shells
- 2 cups shredded lettuce or purple cabbage, optional for topping
- 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend, optional for topping
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Heat the olive oil in large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and just starting to brown, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Add the chicken, paprika, ancho chili powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne (if using), and salt. Increase the heat to high; use a wooden spoon to stir and break the chicken into small clumps. Cook until the chicken is partially cooked, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato sauce, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally and breaking chicken into smaller clumps, until chicken is cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh chopped cilantro. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Meanwhile, remove the taco shells from the package and lay sideways on baking sheet. Pull the stack apart, overlapping the edges slightly. Bake for 6-7 minutes, or until crisp. Spoon the chicken into the shells and serve with toppings.
- Note: To save time, you can chop the bell peppers and onions in a food processor; just be sure not to purée them. You can also use 1 teaspoon ground coriander in place of the fresh cilantro; add it along with the other spices.
- Serving size: 2 tacos
- Calories: 460
- Fat: 27g
- Saturated fat: 6g
- Carbohydrates: 26g
- Sugar: 5g
- Fiber: 4g
- Protein: 30g
- Sodium: 1086mg
- Cholesterol: 130mg
This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.