Crispy Chipotle BBQ Chicken Tacos with Creamy Charred Corn Salsa and a little bit of homemade avocado “crema” too. Shredded chicken in a spicy chipotle beer BBQ sauce stuffed into crispy tortillas with melted sharp cheddar cheese. These easy to make tacos are the best saucy summer tacos. Serve each taco with a creamy avocado crema and charred corn salsa. The perfect summertime twist on a classic taco that everyone will love!
So here’s the thing, vacation and time off is truly a wonderful thing, but the day after returning? It’s not usually my favorite. I know some people will say they feel all refreshed and ready to jump back into things. But when I got home from Alaska Saturday night, I was tired.
Granted it was really Sunday morning when I got home because we didn’t actually get in until about 1 am, which meant bedtime was more like 3 am. Point? Sunday was brutal and I spent the day catching up on things I’d missed and digging through my inbox.
But the one silver lining of returning home? Back to homemade meals! Look, it’s nice to not have to cook on vacation. But the truth is I really love cooking, and the first recipe I made was these tacos.
And they did not disappoint.
Honestly, they just sounded good. Summery, spicy, BBQ chicken and charred corn are two summer favorites. Usually I make them separately, and usually on the grill. But I was craving a crispy cheesy taco like the ones Dad used to make when we were growing up.
I combined two favorites into one and the outcome was delicious!
These tacos start off with the chicken. Instead of using overly sugary store-bought BBQ sauce, I decided to just do my own, but don’t worry, it’s easy!
Toss the chicken together with some smoky paprika, chipotle chili powder, garlic, cayenne, and salt. Cook everything together in a pot, then just add ketchup, honey, and a splash of you very favorite beer.
And that’s the chicken. Simply simmer it until you can easily shred it, then toss the shredded chicken with the sauce. It takes a few minutes for the chicken and sauce to cook up, but the homemade sauce is 100% worth it.
Spicy, sweet, smoky, and extra saucy!
While the chicken is cooking, make the creamy crema and charred corn salsa. You want to start with the crema since you’ll need it to complete the salsa. It’s simply avocado pureed with lime juice and sea salt. Basic, but also perfect.
For the salsa, I wanted to use charred corn, but I wanted it to be creamier, kind of like a Mexican corn salad. Instead of using mayo, I used the crema to make the salsa creamy.
You’ll have juicy sweet corn with creamy crema and it’s such a great combo! I tossed in fresh jalapeño, lots of cilantro, and some chives too!
Instead of using store-bought taco shells, I like to take corn tortillas and stuff them with the chicken and cheese. I throw them into the oven to bake until the tortillas are crispy.
Finish the tacos with the crema and spicy corn salsa. Everything is so delicious…from the saucy chicken, to the melted crispy cheese, to the crema and salsa. Definitely not your average taco!
These tacos remind me of summers as a kid in Cleveland. A mix of dad’s tacos and BBQ chicken…and I kind of love that.
Looking for other summer tacos? Here are a few of my go-to’s.
Lastly, if you make these Crispy Chipotle BBQ Chicken Tacos, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Crispy Chipotle BBQ Chicken Tacos with Creamy Charred Corn Salsa
Calories Per Serving: 525 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken tenders or cubed thighs
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1/3 cup honey
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 3/4 cup your favorite beer, or use chicken broth
- 8-12 corn tortillas
- 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese
Salsa + Crema
- 2 large avocados, halved
- juice from 2 limes
- 2 cups grilled or roasted corn
- 1 jalapeño, seeded, if desired, and chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- 1. In a large pot, combine the olive oil, chicken, chili powder, paprika, cayenne, thyme, and salt. Set over medium-high heat and cook until the spices are fragrant, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, then add the ketchup, honey, dijon, and beer. Stir to combine and bring the sauce to a simmer. 2. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. If the sauce gets too thick, add additional beer to thin. Once the chicken is cooked, shred with two forks. Preheat the oven to 425° F. 3. Meanwhile, make the crema. Combine the avocado and lime juice in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Season with salt. 4. To make the salsa. In a bowl, combine the corn, jalapeño, cilantro, chives, and 1-2 spoonfuls of the avocado crema. Season with salt. 5. Warm the tortillas for 30 seconds in the microwave, until pliable. On a baking sheet, rub the tortillas with olive oil. Lay each flat and then layer evenly with cheese and bbq chicken. Fold the other half of the tortilla over the filling, gently pushing to adhere (see above photo). Transfer to the oven and bake for 5-8 minutes, then flip and cook another 5 minutes more, or until the cheese has melted and the tortillas are crisp. 6. Serve the tacos with a dollop of the avocado crema, the corn salsa, lime, and fresh cilantro. Enjoy!