Switching up taco night with these Crispy Cheese Chicken Tacos with Avocado Cilantro Sauce. Ground chicken (or beef) seasoned with smoky chipotle chilies and enchilada sauce and stuffed into tortillas. The tortillas are then pan-fried in a layer of jalapeños and cheese until the cheese on the outside becomes crispy all around. Unique and so delicious. They’re crunchy on the outside, cheesy and spicy inside. Serve with the most delicious creamy avocado Verde sauce. Fun yummy tacos any night of the week!
I came prepared for Cinco de Mayo this year with tacos all around! I’ve always found Cinco de Mayo to be such a fun low-key, laid-back holiday. It’s a great excuse to enjoy a Mexican-inspired fiesta mid-week that’s made complete with tacos and a round of margaritas.
And let’s all be honest, Cinco de Mayo really is so much fun.
Sure, I have a ton of taco recipes on the site, but something new is always good. When I made these tacos a couple of weeks ago, I literally could not wait to share them. These tacos are delicious, fun, unique, and different.
I took inspiration from the burrito recipe I shared a couple of months ago. Do you remember the one I wrapped up in a layer of cheese?
I figured I could probably do the same with a taco! When I had the idea, how could I not give it a try? I came up with a filling, decided on a sauce, and then started making tacos. And wow, these tacos actually turned out better than the burritos. It’s that layer of crispy cheese. So delicious when wrapped around a saucy taco. And the sauce? While it completes the meal. You can’t skip the sauce!
The details on these tacos
The tacos themselves are really pretty simple, but definitely not basic. I’m loving using enchilada sauce in my recipes these days. To keep the ingredient list short I made the taco meat with a combination of dry chipotle chili powder and then saucy red enchilada sauce. If you enjoy a chicken tinga taco, you will love these.
For the meat, more times than not I’ll use ground beef or chicken. My brothers love ground beef, but they enjoy the chicken too. I recommend using what your family prefers, both are equally great.
Before you start cooking the tacos, make the avocado sauce. You can’t have tacos without a good sauce, this has become a new favorite in our house.
It’s a mix of avocado, blended with salsa verde, cilantro, and just a touch of yogurt or sour cream for an added layer of richness and creaminess. It’s perfect and a great creamy sauce to serve with crispy tacos like these.
This next part is a little unconventional, but don’t stress, I promise it’s not fancy and easier than you think. I always assemble the tacos first, stuffing them with the meat and a sprinkle of cheese.
Then, grab your favorite blend of Mexican cheeses, just be sure to use a combination of cheeses that melt well. I use pepper jack, Monterey jack, and cheddar. Take your skillet and add a few jalapeño slices. Now sprinkle the cheese over top of the slices. For my fam, the jalapeños are key – you guys know we love a little heat!
Place a taco over the cheese and cook until the cheese gets crispy. When the cheese starts melting, you can flop the crispy cheese around the taco using a spatula. I took some photos for visuals and will have a story on Instagram too!
Serve these warm, just off the skillet with lots of that avocado sauce on the side. So darn delicious. Everyone couldn’t get over how delicious these tacos are…and fun too! They’re pretty hard to beat.
Creighton wasn’t in town the week I made these, but he’s here this week. So I’ll be making these for dinner tomorrow for sure!
Not a fancy, done-up taco, just some really delicious food. These tacos are one of those dinners that everyone loves! And that layer of crispy cheese is kind of a shocker – but in the very best way!
Looking for other Mexican recipes? Here are my favorites:
Easy Skillet Chicken Tinga Enchiladas
Crispy Cheese Poblano Avocado Burrito
One Skillet White Chicken Chili Bake
Crockpot Crispy Chicken Tinga Tacos with Avocado Jalapeño Crema
Sheet Pan Chipotle Salmon Tacos with Pineapple Jalapeño Salsa
Crispy Cauliflower Tinga Tacos with Honey Lime Avocado Crema
Lastly, if you make these Crispy Cheese Chicken Tacos with Avocado Cilantro Sauce 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 Cheese Chicken Tacos with Avocado Cilantro Sauce
Calories Per Serving: 737 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound ground chicken, beef, or turkey
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- 2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 cup red enchilada sauce
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese
- 12 flour or corn tortillas
- 1-2 jalapeños, sliced
Avocado Cilantro Sauce
- 1 avocado
- 1/3 cup salsa verde
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro
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- 1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the meat and onion. Cook, breaking up the meat as it cooks, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the chipotle chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and salt. Add the enchilada sauce. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the sauce has thickened slightly around the meat, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. 2. To make the avocado sauce. Combine all ingredients in a blender, blend until creamy. Season with salt.3. To make the tacos. Layer the meat and a sprinkle of cheese to one side of the tortilla. Try not to over stuff the tacos. Fold the tortilla over the ingredients. Repeat with remaining tortillas and ingredients.4. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Arrange 2-3 jalapeño slices in a line in the skillet. Sprinkle over 1/3 cup cheese in 3-4 inch circle/square. Place 1 taco to 1 side of the cheese round. Cook 3-5 minutes. When the cheese starts to crisp on the bottom, use a spatula to gently wrap the taco up in the cheese. Continue to cook 3-4 minutes, until crisped all over.5. Serve warm with avocado sauce and any amount of desired toppings, whatever you love!
This was amazing!! The whole family loved it. I can see this becoming a regular at our Sunday Family Dinners! Thank you!!
Thanks so much Andrea!! I appreciate you making this recipe and sharing your feedback, so glad to hear the tacos were a hit! xT
I have Tieghan’s chipotle chicken tacos on heavy rotation and love the crispy cheese burrito as well. This is the best of both worlds!! The recipe worked perfectly for me but some suggestions for other folks based on the comments: (1) if cheese is sticking, it might just need to cook a couple more minutes or you might need to bump the heat a tad. Mine were deeply browned and delicious and did not stick at all, but I cooked the bejeezus out of them before flipping. (2) I usually do HBH’s homemade crispy corn tortillas for tacos but given the rolling and flipping involved in these, I had much better luck with small flour tortillas for this hbh taco in particular.
Happy Wednesday!! 🍉🍓 Thanks a bunch for testing out this recipe, I’m so glad to hear that it turned out well for you! xT
These were SOOOOO good ! Loved all the ingredients & sauce. I did add some taco seasoning in addition to the spices you recommended & we love heat so I used serranos in place if jalapeños. My problem was I had trouble turning the taco. I used pepper jack & manchego cheese, but maybe I let it get too crispy before turning over? Wondered if a bit of oil before putting the cheese down would have helped? No matter, we are still going to have these over & over again! Delishous!!
Happy Monday!! So glad to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks so much for making it! I would try putting some oil down next time! xx
This is definitely going in the dinner rotation! It was a hit! I had trouble with the cheese/tortilla sticking as another commenter mentioned -they looked a mess but tasted wonderful!!
Happy Sunday!! 🍉🍓🫐 I am thrilled to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks so much for making it and your comment! xT
Made these tonight and we all loved them! My boyfriend said it’s one of his favorite foods he’s ever had.
Lovely!! I appreciate you making this recipe and sharing your comment, so glad to hear it turned out well:) xx
These look awesome! if doing for a crowd, how do you recommend keeping them warm and crispy until you have enough to feed a crowd. Would they be ok in the oven on warm? I just don’t want them to go soggy while the rest are cooking? Thanks in advance!
These should be totally fine in the oven on low while you assemble all of them. Please let me know if you have any other questions! xT
Any tips or tricks on how not to break the corn tortilla in half when folding it over and how to keep it folded over?
Warm up the corn tortillas in the microwave for about 10-20 seconds. This should help make them more flexible. You can also heat them up in a skillet for a couple of minutes if you want to add some color to them.
You could try using a toothpick to hold the tacos together! I hope this helps, please let me know if you have any other questions! xx
I have a stainless steel pan….my cheese burned to the pan….do you need to use a nonstiick? Or maybe cast iron would work better? I really try to avoid the non stick stuff.
So sorry to hear about your cheese! I like to use cast iron, I find I have the best results with that. I hope this helps! xx
Another winner! Love the sauce!
Happy Wednesday!! Thanks a bunch for trying this recipe and sharing your feedback, love to hear that it was a winner!🌞 xx
Insane. Genius. Y’all. If you’ve never eaten caramelized cheese before, now is your chance. Like, wow. Delicious and not super hard to do! I did have to watch the video a few times (thanks for the video, Tieghan!), but quickly got the hang of it. The sauce is perfect too! Can’t wait to make them again!
Amazing!! So glad to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks so much for making it! xT
The cheese did not crisp up for me. I had a gooey burnt mess that did not fold over the taco shell. Any tips for perfecting the technique?
Thanks for giving this recipe a try, sorry to hear you had some issues. Did you checkout the video? What kind of pan did you use? Let me know how I can help! xT
Added to our roster, loved this recipe!
Awesome!!🌼 I love to hear that this recipe turned out well for you and appreciate you giving it a try! xT
This is so good. Made this for a Christmas lunch with friends and everyone loved it! Love your recipes….they are all amazing!
Happy Holidays!! Thanks so much for making this recipe, I love to hear that it turned out well for you!🎁🎅
Just made this for the first time and it was a hit. I made the chicken and tacos exactly as written but I have to admit to taking some liberties with the sauce in the name of saving a few minutes. It was flavorful, easy, quick, and a total crowd pleaser. Definitely one for the weeknight rotation.
Happy Sunday! I appreciate you making this recipe and sharing your feedback, so glad to hear it was delish! xx
Soo creative, loved the cheesy jalapeño crust, and the avocado sauce was one of the best things I’ve ever tasted!! Never have I had a crema like that with tacos before, I’m afraid I’m going to make it with everything now! Lol.
Happy Sunday! 🎃 So glad to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks a lot for making it and sharing your feedback! xx