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With a batch of Mexican shredded chicken, dinner is yours for conquering. Use this juicy, flavorful chicken as a building block for tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and other Tex-Mex favorites!

Overhead view of Mexican shredded chicken in bowl

Why You’ll Love This Easy Mexican Shredded Chicken Recipe

  • Shredded Chicken, But With FLAVOR. While I love basic Shredded Chicken, sometimes you want your shredded chicken to have a little more pep in its step; a little more zip in its hip if you will. (Okay, that’s not a saying. I know.) Mexican shredded chicken is IT. This Mexican shredded chicken will make your dinners delish!
  • Use It for All the Things. What can’t you do with Mexican shredded chicken? Whether you wrap it in a giant warm tortilla for a burrito rivaling the best of Chipotle, spoon it over tortilla chips for DIY nachos, or roll it into enchiladas, the possibilities are endless.
  • Easy on Every Level. The ingredient list? Mostly pantry staples! The cooking? Quick! The overall process? A cinch! Like my Crockpot Mexican Chicken, this recipe will become a favorite whenever you need easy Tex-Mex style chicken.
  • Budget-Friendly. Mexican shredded chicken is made with affordable ingredients and it’s easy to scale up for meal prep dinners all week long or to make a build-your-own-taco bar for a party.
Mexican shredded chicken tacos

How to Make Mexican Shredded Chicken

The Ingredients

  • Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts or Thighs. Chicken breasts will result in a leaner shredded chicken, while thighs will give you a juicier outcome.
  • Seasonings. Chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, chipotle chile powder, and the requisite black pepper and salt.
  • Broth. You can use low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth; they’ll keep the chicken moist and juicy.

The Directions

Three chicken breasts covered with wax paper on a cutting board
  1. Pound the Chicken. This ensures it cooks evenly and you don’t have sad, dry ends. If using thighs, you can skip this step.
Seasoned chicken breasts on wood cutting board
  1. Season. Combine all the seasoning ingredients and sprinkle them over both sides of the chicken.
Seasoned chicken breasts added to skillet
  1. Cook. Add the chicken to a skillet with the oil and cook for about 4 minutes.
Whole seasoned chicken breasts cooked in skillet
  1. Flip. Reduce the heat and cook the other side until the chicken registers 165 degrees F.
Mexican shredded chicken in glass bowl with forks
  1. Shred. Use forks, your hands, or a mixer to shred the chicken.
Mexican shredded chicken in skillet with broth
  1. Finish. Return the Mexican shredded chicken to the skillet with the broth; partially cover and simmer over low for 5 minutes, then ENJOY!
Mexican shredded chicken in bowl with fork

All the Ways to Use This Mexican Shredded Chicken

  • Tacos. Keep it easy with Shredded Chicken Tacos! Add the shredded chicken to warm tortillas with guacamole or salsa, diced onions, tomatoes, and cilantro. (Or make ‘em gringo style with sour cream, lettuce, and cheese. There’s no shame in your taco game!)
  • Burritos. Roll it up with rice, beans, cheese, and all your favorite burrito toppings. Who needs Chipotle?!
  • Nachos. Layer tortilla chips on a sheet pan with shredded Mexican cheese or pepper jack and Instant Pot Black Beans, Crock Pot Pinto Beans, or Instant Pot Refried Beans. Bake at 400 degrees F until the cheese is melty and top with the warm chicken and your fave taco toppings.
  • Quesadillas. Layer on slices of avocado, Monterey Jack cheese, and sautéed onions for an easy dinner.
  • Enchiladas. Use the shredded chicken in my Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas.
  • Salads. Swap the ground meat for Mexican shredded chicken in my Taco Salad Recipe.
  • Burrito Bowls. Combine the shredded chicken with Instant Pot Brown Rice, black beans, corn, salsa, and everything else you like to pile into your Burrito Bowls.
Taco with Mexican shredded chicken, tomato, and avocado

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Cover the Chicken When You Pound It. This little trick doesn’t just keep things neat and tidy, it also keeps things sanitary. Microscopic chicken bits flying all over your kitchen is no bueno!
  • Don’t Overcook the Chicken. Keeping an eye on the internal temperature of the chicken is crucial. If you use chicken breasts, overcooking can make your shredded chicken tough, which isn’t what you want for this juicy shredded Mexican chicken. Using a meat thermometer is essential.
  • Shred While Warm. You want the chicken to cool enough so you can handle it, but don’t let it cool completely. It’s easier to shred chicken when it’s still warm. 
  • Keep It Moist. Store the shredded chicken with the broth from the pan and then reheat it with the broth too. This helps keep it moist and tender.

Mexican Shredded Chicken

5 from 3 votes
In less than 30 minutes, this easy Mexican shredded chicken is done and ready to tuck into tacos, burritos, and more. So juicy and flavorful!

Prep: 17 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 27 minutes

Servings: 3 -4 servings

Ingredients
  


Instructions
 

  • Place the chicken on a cutting board, cover with plastic to keep things tidy, and with a meat mallet or rolling pin, gently pound it into an even thickness.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, salt, black pepper, and chipotle chile powder. Sprinkle over both sides of the chicken breasts.
  • In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, carefully lower the chicken into the skillet presentation (top) -side down, working away from you so you aren’t spattered. Cook on the first side undisturbed for 4 minutes.
  • Flip the chicken and reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue cooking until the chicken registers 165°F at the thickest part, about 4 to 8 minutes more depending upon the size of your chicken.
  • Transfer the chicken to a plate or bowl. With two forks (or a hand mixer in a mixing bowl or your fingers if you let it cool), shred it to you desired thickness.
  • Return the chicken to the skillet. Add the broth and stir to combine. Partially cover the skillet and let simmer gently on low heat for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to marry. Use for tacos, burritos, a burrito bowl, nachos, or any of your favorite Mexican chicken recipes!

Notes

  • TO STORE: Store the shredded chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze it for up to 3 months.
  • TO REHEAT: If you’ve frozen the chicken, thaw it in the refrigerator first. Reheat gently over medium-low heat with a bit of broth or water added. You can use the microwave, but I think the stovetop is ideal.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 3)Calories: 314kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 49gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.03gCholesterol: 145mgPotassium: 918mgFiber: 1gSugar: 0.2gVitamin A: 519IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 26mgIron: 1mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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6 Comments

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  1. My husband LOVED this recipe. We prepare meals and eat chicken every other day. We needed something new in rotation and this was perfect. Loved that the recipe uses ingredients I usually have on hand! Will use the filling for taco salads, soft tacos and nachos.5 stars

  2. YUM! Made this delicious Mexican Shredded Chicken tonight to fill soft tacos. Also added shredded cabbage and corn kernels. So tasty and super simple to make. Thank you, Erin.5 stars

  3. I’m making this as I am posting this review! Looks and smells amazing and was super easy to make. I’m doing it as chicken tacos with my homemade mango, corn and black bean salsa. Sister will be my food critic tonight!5 stars