Firey hot with a hint of sweet honey chicken tacos, top with a cilantro-lime slaw to cool things down a bit and add a delicious crunch!
Hello, friends! Happy Cinco De Mayo! also known as Cinco de drinko to Americans living close to the border with zero ties to Mexico other than vacations (insert raised hand emoji.)
We eat Mexican food weekly, but I always love a good excuse to go all out on Mexican food! We’re making my easy slow cooker carnitas today, but I wanted to share what we had for dinner the last couple of nights over here for those of you who like it fiery hot. Yes, I can and will eat Mexican food all week if at all possible.
So two nights ago, I turned my honey chipotle chicken into tacos! Now, my honey-chipotle sauce used on the chicken is one of my most popular recipes, and the most popular comment is, “this sauce is FIRE.” That’s probably because it is exactly that, FIRE hot. Luckily, you can adjust the amount of chipotle you use to adjust the amount of heat this recipe brings, but the other night I did the FULL FIRE version with the whole can of chipotle in adobo sauce. Then, I needed to cool these tacos down to be edible for Mr. Hungry and the rest of my family that can’t handle the heat. I did that with a deliciously cool and refreshing cool creamy sour cream-based cilantro-lime slaw.
The honey chipotle chicken paired with the cool, crunchy slaw was the perfect combination in these tacos resulting in a burst of satisfying flavor in every bite. Then, I topped the tacos with a bit of cotija cheese, green onion, cilantro, and red onion to take it up just a notch higher. And no one complained about the fire hot chicken, which was a bonus for me since I love the sweet heat. The ingredient list looks a BEAST with so many flavors, but don’t be intimidated. It’s really all just usual everyday ingredients—many of which you probably have in your fridge or pantry anyways, especially for the sauce.
How to Make Honey Chipotle Chicken Tacos
These tacos come together in four parts.
First, you make the honey-chipotle sauce. This takes about five seconds by combining all the ingredients in a food processor or blender.
Then you use the sauce to make the honey-chipotle chicken. I do this by searing the chicken in an oven-safe skillet on both sides first, then adding the sauce to the pan and baking it the rest of the way.
While the chicken is baking, you make the cilantro lime slaw. And once your chicken is diced, you can start building your tacos! I told you, the recipe ingredients and instructions look more intense than they actually are. You have some downtime while the chicken bakes to clean up, make your slaw, and assemble your taco bar!
Swaps and Substitutions
Honey-Chipotle Sauce: For swaps and substitutions on the honey-chipotle sauce, please see this post.
Honey-Chipotle Chicken: I cooked this recipe differently from my initial honey chipotle chicken because I planned to dice the chicken. Instead of chicken thighs, I used chicken breast and the whole batch of sauce instead of a half batch. But, for more swaps and substitutions, you can check out this post.
Cilantro Lime Slaw: I used dairy-free sour cream, which came out great! You could probably skip the mayo and use all sour cream if you wanted to. I like the texture and creaminess that the mayo imparts to the sauce. You could also use tri-color or purple cabbage instead of green!
Tacos: Feel free to swap around different taco toppings. I LOVE cotija cheese, but you could also use shredded cheese, pepper jack, or whatever else. Also, feel free to add diced tomatoes or pico de Gallo.
How to Store and Freeze:
Store leftovers separately (the honey-chipotle chicken separate from the cilantro lime slaw) in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. Freeze chicken in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Defrost in the microwave or under refrigeration and reheat to 165F.
You may consider trying my easy chipotle chicken marinade if you want to freeze something prepared but not cooked.
More Honey Chipotle Recipes:
- Honey-Chipotle Sauce
- Honey-Chipotle Chicken Skillet
- Honey-Chipotle Salmon
- Honey-Chipotle Chicken Wings
Honey Chipotle Chicken Tacos with Cilantro Lime Slaw
1 Batch Honey Chipotle Sauce
Cilantro Lime Slaw
- 12 corn tortillas
- 1/3 cup cotija cheese
- 1/3 cup cilantro, diced
- 1/3 cup green onion, sliced
- 1/3 cup diced red onion optional
- Make the honey-chipotle sauce first. Then, place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, 1/2 cup honey, 1/4 cup coconut aminos, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, 2 tbsp coconut sugar
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Add oil to a cast iron or an oven-safe skillet on medium-high heat.1.5-2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast, 1-2 tbsp avocado oil
- Add the chicken to the skillet and sear on one side until golden brown. Flip chicken over, and repeat on the other side.
- Pour the sauce over the top using a brush or spoon to cover each chicken piece fully.
- Place the skillet in the oven for 40 minutes, flipping halfway through, and take it out when it reaches 165F.
- Take the chicken out of the oven and chop it up (I did this directly in the cast iron skillet), tossing it with the remaining sauce.
Make Cilantro Lime Slaw
- Combine sour cream, mayo, lime, garlic, and cilantro- add salt and pepper to taste. I didn't add very much of either, just a few sprinkles. Combine the sauce with the slaw. Optional to reserve a little to use as an extra topping.
- Fill each taco with 2-3 tablespoons of chicken and 2-3 tablespoons of cilantro lime slaw. Top with cheese, green onions, red onions, and cilantro.