Spicy Adobo Chicken Tacos

The Secret To Moist, Flavorful Chicken Is All In The Marinade.

These spicy chicken tacos are the ultimate easy, weeknight recipe! I love to marinate this with all the spices ahead of time so it only takes 10 minutes to put together before dinner time. These are also alternatively great for both meal prep and entertaining large crowds.

No matter how many new recipes I come up with, there’s certain recipes by family and friends will request over and over again. These adobo chicken tacos are hands down the most requested one. I’ve served these at family dinner, my sister’s graduation party and for various other occasions. The marinade packs a punch of flavor with very budget friendly ingredients!

What Makes Them So Flavorful?

The marinade! Every good marinade has three components : fat, acid and flavor. In this recipe, the fat comes from the coconut milk, acid from the lemon and flavor from the spices. Marinating chicken for 4-5 hours infuses flavor deep into the chicken, rather than just coating flavor on the outside. Along with creating a really flavorful final product, the marinade tenderizes the chicken by breaking down the proteins. This improves the texture of the chicken by keeping it juicy as it cooks.

Taco Bar Style

In my family, we always serve this taco bar style. I’ll place 4-5 main bowls on the dining table with different taco toppings. My favorites are Chunky Guacamole, Sauteed Veggies (thinly sliced onion, peppers and zucchini), Refried black beans and a Salsa Fresca like pico de gallo. We’ll also have 1-2 taco sauces available like an avocado crema or creamy salsa verde. This is a really fun way to spice up meal time and get everyone involved in assembling their tacos!

What Goes In The Marinade?

Love this quick and easy chicken marinade? Check out my Halal Cart Style Chicken marinade!

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Spicy Adobo Chicken Tacos

  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 12 Tacos 1x


These spicy, flavourful chipotle chicken tacos are made with an amazing marinade that will take you straight to flavortown! Pair it with my creamy jalapeño sauce and you’re good to go.


  • 2 pounds Chicken Thighs, boneless, skinless
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 12 Small Yellow Corn Taco Tortillas


  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 34 tbsp Adobo Sauce (remove the peppers from a jar of Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce and reserve in a small bowl)
  • 2 Chipotle Peppers from above, minced
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup nonfat Greek Yogurt (or coconut milk)

Creamy Jalapeno Sauce

  • 1/4 cup light mayo
  • 1/4 cup pickled jalapeños, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp pickling liquid from the jalapeños
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • pinch of salt


  1. Marinate the Chicken : To a bowl, add the chicken and all the marinade ingredients. Make sure you check how many pounds of chicken you’re using and marinate accordingly. This recipe is for 2 pounds, so if you’re using 4 pounds, double the spices. Cover and leave in the refrigerator for 4 hours to overnight. (overnight is worth it!)
  2. Pan-Cook the Chicken : Heat up a seasoned skillet or grill. Add the oil and chicken to the pan. Cook the chicken for 6-7 minutes on each side. Turn off the pan and remove the chicken from the pan. Add 1/4 cup water to the pan and chop the chicken up into cubes or strips. Add the chopped-up chicken back to the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes. Let all the flavor in the pan coat the chicken well.
  3. Make the Jalapeno Sauce : Mix all the ingredients under “Creamy Jalapeno Sauce”
  4. Assembly : To heat up the tortillas, wrap them with a wet paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds. Then fill with chicken, some grilled veggies, salsa and the creamy jalapeno sauce.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Marination Time: 4+ hours
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: 12 Tacos

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  1. I made this for my gluten-free mom and she was amazed. And so was I. Worked really well with cilantro-lime rice, beans, lettuce, and salsa. Would recommend for people who don’t have a lot of time too, as making the chicken took only about 20 minutes

  2. This was a perfect dinner recipe for my family! I marinated the chicken for an hour because I didn’t have time but it was still great,

  3. Evangeline says:

    This recipe is amazing!! The marinade makes the chicken so tender and flavorful, and it’s easy to make. My boyfriend and I always look forward to eating this meal!

    1. So glad to hear that!! It’s one of my favorites too!

  4. This is our favorite hispanic dish to make in our Indian household. Definitely a great option for a satisfying family dinner that can be easily customized for individual tastes.