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Weeknight-style Crockpot Crispy Chicken Tinga Tacos with Avocado Jalapeño Crema. Chicken seasoned up with smoky chipotle peppers and enchilada sauce, then mixed with cheese, stuffed into tortillas, and oven-baked. Each tinga taco is crunchy on the outside, but spicy and cheesy inside. Serve with a creamy, salty, honey-lime avocado crema sauce, and a mix of your favorite toppings. These come together easily and are so delicious. The perfect crispy taco that everyone loves!

Crockpot Crispy Chicken Tinga Tacos with Avocado Jalapeño Crema | halfbakedharvest.com

It’s definitely no secret that we love Mexican food, especially tacos. Honestly, anything Mexican is a go for my family. Spicy, cheese, lots of flavors, avocado, and cilantro. These are some of our favorite flavors/foods. 

I have told the childhood taco story here one too many times, so we’ll skip that today. But if you’re new, basically I grew up on my dad’s crispy, cheesy hard shell tacos. 

His were very basic, but to this day my brothers still request them. Hard not to love any kind of taco, you know? 

But today we have chicken tinga tacos, one of my very favorite flavors. If you’re not familiar with Chicken Tinga, it’s a Mexican dish consisting of shredded chicken in a tomato-based chipotle sauce with sliced onions. Like a lot of popular Mexican dishes, it’s pretty simple. The flavors from the chipotle peppers are KEY and what’s most traditional with any Tinga dish.

I’ve done a few variations now, but this is probably the most traditional. Well kind of, I use a shortcut in the sauce to save a little time!

Crockpot Crispy Chicken Tinga Tacos with Avocado Jalapeño Crema | halfbakedharvest.com

The quick details

They are easy you guys. I want to start out by saying you can make these in either the crockpot, instant pot, or on the stove. We all love options when it comes to dinner, so use whichever method suits you best! They will all give you the same outcome. 

For the crockpot, just add all the ingredients for the chicken right into the crockpot. So the onions, chipotle, enchilada sauce, and the seasonings. Let it all slow cook, then shred the meat. Done. 

The very same with the instant pot, except the cooking time is much, much shorter (just 8 minutes). 

And for the stove-top, there is slightly more involved, but it’s still easy. Just cook the chicken in a skillet until seared. Add the onion, then everything else. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through. Then shred the chicken and that’s that. 

Crockpot Crispy Chicken Tinga Tacos with Avocado Jalapeño Crema | halfbakedharvest.com

For the crispy shells

Instead of using store-bought taco shells, I like to take corn tortillas and stuff them with the chicken tinga and cheese. I throw them into the oven to bake until the tortillas are crispy.

This method is my favorite and I use it every time I make tacos for my family. We love the crispy oven “fried” shells and melty cheese. It’s the best when some of the cheese melts out onto the pan and gets crispy too. Delicious. 

Crockpot Crispy Chicken Tinga Tacos with Avocado Jalapeño Crema | halfbakedharvest.com

And finally the crema

Do you all remember the creamy jalapeño sauce I made with my Cuban quesadillas? Well, that sauce uses pickled jalapeños. Ever since making those I’ve been using pickled jalapeños in everything. 

For this crema, I whipped avocado in a food processor with the jalapeños and lots of cilantro. I added garlic and a little honey to balance the heat, and then some sea salt. 

It is so creamy, and the pickled jalapeños make it so delicious. Spicy, but not SPICY.  Serve up the crema on each taco, then add whatever other toppings you love most. I always recommend a pineapple salsa or mango salsa. I love a good fruity salsa.

Crockpot Crispy Chicken Tinga Tacos with Avocado Jalapeño Crema | halfbakedharvest.com

Looking for more simple, Mexican recipes? Here are a few favorites:

Slow Cooker Chipotle Chicken Tortilla Soup with Salty Lime Chips

Cauliflower Al Pastor Quesadillas with Lime Smashed Avocado

Mushroom Al Pastor Tacos with Garlic Lime Special Sauce

Healthier Homemade Crunchwrap Supreme

Crispy Chipotle Chicken Tacos with Cilantro Lime Ranch

Lastly, if you make these Crockpot Crispy Chicken Tinga Tacos with Avocado Jalapeño Crema, 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!

@halfbakedharvest

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♬ She Share Story (for Vlog) – 山口夕依

Crockpot Crispy Chicken Tinga Tacos with Jalapeño Avocado Crema

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 457 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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Ingredients

Crema

Instructions

Crockpot

  • 1. In the bowl of your crockpot, combine the chicken, onion, enchilada sauce, chipotle, oregano, cumin, and salt. Cover and cook on LOW for 4-5 hours or on HIGH for 2-3 hours.
    2. When finished cooking, shred the meat and toss with the sauce. Preheat the oven to 425° F.
    3. Warm the tortillas for 30 seconds to 1 minute in the microwave, until pliable. On a baking sheet, rub the tortillas with olive oil. Lay each tortilla flat and then layer evenly with cheese and 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, or until the cheese has melted and the tortillas are crisp. 
    4. Meanwhile, make the Avocado Crema. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Season with salt.
    5. Serve the tacos topped with avocado, lettuce, limes, and any other desired toppings.

Instant Pot

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 425° F.
    2. In the bowl of your instant pot, combine the chicken, onion, enchilada sauce, chipotle, oregano, cumin, and salt. Seal the lid and cook on high pressure for 8 minutes. Once done cooking, release the steam. 
    3. Follow the directions as directed above for steps 2-5.

Stove-top

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 425° F.
    2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the chicken. Cook until 2-3 minutes, then flip and add the onion. Cook another 3-5 minutes, until fragrant. Add the enchilada sauce, chipotle, oregano, cumin, and salt, and 1/3 cup water. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the sauce has thickened and the chicken cooked through, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from the heat.
    3. Warm the tortillas for 30 seconds to 1 minute 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 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. 
    4. Meanwhile, make the Avocado Crema. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Season with salt.
    5. Serve the tacos topped with avocado, lettuce, limes, and any other desired toppings.
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Crockpot Crispy Chicken Tinga Tacos with Avocado Jalapeño Crema | halfbakedharvest.com

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Great recipe and will definitely make again. I through the tacos under the broiler for 2 minutes after the bake and they crisped up perfectly. Also used the leftover liquid from the chicken for a consommé that was great to dip the tacos into. I forgot the honey in the crema but it still turned out delicious. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Hi Noah,
      Happy Sunday!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it! xTieghan

  2. Loved this recipe!! I used boneless, skinless thighs and 1 cup red enchilada sauce with the other ingredients in crock pot. Whole Foods sells a corn/flour tortilla that is the perfect size for filling with the chicken, cheese, crema, red cabbage shredded and limed and Viola! A winner.

    1. Hey Karen,
      Awesome!! Thanks a bunch for trying this recipe, I love to hear that it was a hit! Have the best weekend!💐 xxTieghan

  3. I’m making the chicken in the crockpot a day earlier than my party, would you assemble the tacos and put them in the refrigerator until time to bake them or would you assemble the tacos, bake them and then reheat them in the oven just before serving?

    1. Hey Beth,
      I think it’s totally fine to prep the chicken in advance, but I would wait until the day of to assemble the tacos. You risk them getting soggy or drying out if prepping them or baking them in advance. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xx

  4. 5 stars
    I made this on the weekend for a friend’s birthday dinner and SOOOOO GOOD! Don’t skip on the crema, it is scrumptious! I also made the pineapple mango salsa from another HBH recipe as suggested. I had a couple of tacos left over that I brought home to my husband and they reheated really well and were a great late night snack 🙂

    1. Hey Jennifer,
      Thanks so much for your feedback! I love to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks for making it! xTieghan

  5. Does the crema keep for a couple of days? Would you suggest putting the avocado pit in it to help keep it fresh? Thanks! I love all your recipes and trying this one tonight!

    1. Hey Katherine,
      I probably wouldn’t keep it for more than 48 hours and yes keep the pit:) Please let me know if you give the recipe a try, I hope you love it! xTieghan

  6. I’m trying this recipe in the instant pot. I see in your video that you add water. How much water do you use?

    1. Hi Cassidy,
      No need to add any water, you can follow the recipe as instructed:) I hope the tacos turn out amazing for you, please let me know if you give them a try! xTieghan

  7. 5 stars
    Another keeper! The Crema was very delicious! I grabbed the wrong tortillas (flour) but they still turned out great (just not as crunchy)!

    1. Hey April,
      That’s great!! I love to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks so much for making it! xxT

      1. 1 star
        The corn tortillas just curled right up and all the filling just melted out in a soupy mess on the baking sheet. I had feeling this would happen as corn tortillas always roll up and aren’t as soft as a wheat one. Will never make this again. What a waste.

        1. Hi Tani,
          So very sorry to hear you had issues with the recipe. Corn tortillas can definitely be finicky. I really like to warm them and coat in oil before using them. Also, it’s key to not overstuff them when rolling. I hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any other questions:) xTieghan

    1. Hey Alanna,
      That’s great!! I love to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks so much for making it! xxT