Shredded Mexican Chicken just made taco Tuesday so much more delicious! An array of seasonings like chili powder, smoked paprika, cayenne and more mix together to create the most mouthwatering flavor that perfectly compliments the tender shredded white meat chicken. The tomatoes in the mix also create the best consistency!

A skillet filled with mexican chicken is garnished with limes and cilantro.

Shredded Mexican Chicken

There’s about a million ways you can enjoy this Shredded Mexican Chicken! You can toss it into a taco, roll it up in a burrito, slap in on a quesadilla, serve it over chips as a nacho topping, or whatever else your heart desires. No matter how you choose to serve this flavor-packed Mexican chicken, you’ll be so glad you did. It’s both flavorful and hearty – a perfect option for dinner!

The seasonings in the mix is what really makes this Mexican-inspired chicken so absolutely mouthwatering. A bouquet of spices come together to make this chicken unforgettably good. Those spices include chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, cayenne, dried oregano, and just a sprinkle of coarse salt. You can add more or less of a certain powder if you’d like. It’s your kitchen, you get to make the rules.

Three chicken breasts are placed on a white plate.

How to Make Shredded Mexican Chicken

Your kitchen is going to smell SO appetizing as the seasoned chicken cooks in that salsa mixture! This is a recipe that’ll entice everyone in the house to wander into the kitchen asking “that smells good… what’s for dinner?”

  1. Make the spice blend. Combine all of the spices in a small bowl.
  2. Rub the chicken. Evenly rub the spice blend over the chicken breasts.
  3. Sear the chicken. Heat some olive oil over medium high heat in a skillet. Cook the chicken on both sides until golden.
  4. Finish cooking the chicken. Cover the chicken with the tomatoes, chilies, salsa, and lime juice. Cover with a lid and reduce the heat to medium low. Let the chicken cook undisturbed for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Shred the chicken. This is the fun part! Transfer the cooked chicken to a cutting board and shred it with two forks.
  6. Enjoy! Return the shredded chicken back to the skillet and stir it in with the salsa mixture. Let it warm back up for about 5 minutes before serving with your favorite garnishes.
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Three chicken breasts are placed in a skillet.

Is Shredded Mexican Chicken spicy?

That actually all depends on you! With just half a teaspoon of cayenne powder in the mix, I don’t personally find this chicken to be overly spicy at all. However, if you’re sensitive to spice or making this meal for picky eaters, you may want to omit the cayenne pepper entirely.

It also matters what kind of salsa you stir into the mix. I use mild salsa, which really doesn’t lend any heat to the chicken at all. Craving more spice? Double (or possibly even triple) the amount of cayenne in the spice blend and use a spicy salsa. You can always garnish your chicken with fresh or pickled jalapeños to add even more heat if desired.

How to Store Shredded Mexican Chicken

In an airtight container in the fridge, your leftovers will stay fresh for up to 3 days. This Mexican chicken reheats very well in the microwave!

Lime slices and cilantro garnish a skillet filled with shredded chicken.

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A skillet filled with mexican chicken is garnished with limes and cilantro.

Get the Recipe: Shredded Mexican Chicken Recipe

Easy Shredded Mexican Chicken is loaded with southwestern spices and is perfect or weeknight dinners. Top a bowl of rice, stuff a burrito, quesadilla or taco for a simple, flavor packed meal.
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  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 14.4 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 4 ounce can diced green chilies
  • 1/4 cup mild salsa
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • Fresh chopped cilantro, optional.


  • 1 skillet


  • In a small bowl, whisk together the chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, cumin, cayennes and oregano.
  • Rub the mixture over each of the chicken breasts, to coat.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until shimmering.
  • Add the chicken to the skillet and cook for 4-5 minutes until golden. Flip the chicken and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes until a golden crust has formed.
  • Add the tomatoes, chilies, salsa and lime juice to the pan then cover with a lid.
  • Turn the heat to medium low and cook the chicken for an additional 15-20 minutes until cooked through.
  • Once the chicken is done, turn the heat off and transfer the chicken to a cutting board.
  • Shred the chicken using two forks and then return to the pan.
  • Stir the shredded chicken into the tomato mixture and cook for an additional 5 minutes on low.
  • Top with cilantro, if using, and serve over rice or with tortillas.


Mexican Shredded Chicken can be made up to 5 days in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Calories: 193kcal, Carbohydrates: 7g, Protein: 25g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 72mg, Sodium: 806mg, Potassium: 649mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 1003IU, Vitamin C: 12mg, Calcium: 45mg, Iron: 2mg