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Spiced Lemon Chicken Tacos

Spiced Lemon Chicken Tacos with salad on a wooden board with homemade taco cause in the background

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Spiced Lemon Chicken Tacos

If you want authentic chicken tacos for dinner, this Spiced Lemon Chicken Tacos recipe will hit the spot.

With cumin, paprika, and tart lemon juice, this recipe makes the yummiest spicy lemon sauce with just the right amount of southern Tex-Mex inspiration.

If you’re like me, after dinner, you’re going to want a sweet treat! Try my Vegan Vanilla Pudding recipe or these classic Red Velvet Cookies.

Why You’ll Love Spiced Lemon Chicken Tacos 

I’ve always loved the freshness of lemon. While traditional tacos are delicious, these lemon chicken tacos have a unique zesty flavor that everyone will love, but they still preserve enough Tex-Mex flavor to be familiar.

This recipe uses chicken breast and common kitchen spices you likely have in your pantry. And for a refreshing change, you can serve these with a light salad or coleslaw instead of the usual taco toppings, if you wish.

Helpful Equipment To Make Authentic Mexican Chicken Tacos

To make these tacos with spicy lemon sauce, here’s what you’ll need!

Recipe Ingredients

  • 500g of chicken breast
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 1/2 cup of grated cheese (of your choice)
  • 2 teaspoons of paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of onion powder
  • 1/2 cup of lemon juice
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 beetroot
  • 1 green apple
  • Homemade Taco Sauce (or store bought)
  • 10 x Soft shell taco
ingredient list for Spiced Lemon Chicken Tacos

How To Make Spiced Lemon Chicken Tacos

Here’s how to make these healthy chicken tacos.

Cut your chicken breast into thin strips. Place them in a large mixing bowl. 

Measure out the paprika, cumin, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, and lemon juice in a small mixing bowl. Stir to fully combine.

Pour the mixture over the chicken. Toss until the chicken is completely covered in the spicy lemon sauce. Cover with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for 2 hours.

Then, prepare your homemade coleslaw salad. Finely slice or chop the carrots, beetroot, and apple into long, thin pieces. Mix together in a bowl, cover, and place in the fridge until ready to use.

When you’re ready to cook your tacos, prepare a saute pan with one tablespoon of cooking oil and place it over medium heat.

Pour the chicken and all the sauce into a saute pan. Cook for 12-15 minutes or until your chicken is cooked.
Assemble your tacos with chicken, coleslaw, cheese, and taco sauce. Serve and enjoy!

Marinated Spiced Lemon Chicken

Prep Time

The chicken in this recipe takes 10 minutes to prep.

The slaw also takes 10 minutes to prep.

The refrigeration time is 2 hours.

Are Lemon Chicken Tacos Good for Me?

These spicy chicken tacos are a great option for taco night, especially if you need to watch your diet.

Of course, every diet is different, so you need to make a decision that is right for you when it comes to your meal choices, but this recipe uses chicken breast, a low-fat white meat.

It also uses a fresh vegetable slaw and taco sauce instead of sour cream. 

Variations

Of course one of the best things about tacos is how everyone can customize them perfectly for their own tastes. Here’s how you can change up this recipe:

  • Add rice. Cilantro lime rice is a perfect choice to make these tacos more filling while retaining their freshness.
  • Try different varieties of cheese. Cheddar always works, but on tacos, I love cotija, a classic Mexican cheese. Feta cheese will also provide a salty kick.
  • Add creme fraiche. This sour-cream-like topping will give your tacos a light and creamy flavor.
  • Use pico de gallo. You can add a scoop of this dry salsa or use it in place of the coleslaw.
  • Use shredded chicken. You can shred your chicken after cooking it if you prefer. Cook it in larger chunks instead of strips. Reserve all the sauce from the pan and add it to the shredded chicken.
  • Add some rocket or lettuce to add a little extra crunch and greenery to your tacos.
Spiced Lemon Chicken Tacos with salad on a wooden board with homemade taco cause in the background

Tips & Tricks and Recipe Notes

  • Prepare your coleslaw about 2 hours in advance of eating it so the flavors have time to meld together.
  • Leave your chicken in the fridge overnight. The longer you allow the chicken to sit, the more intense the flavors will become.
  • Make sure your pan is very hot when you add your chicken. This will give it a good sear on the outside, make it juicier, and help bring out the seasonings in the sauce.

How to Store 

You can store both the lemon chicken and the coleslaw in the fridge. The coleslaw may only last a day as the apple will begin to brown, so I suggest making a bit of fresh slaw to enjoy with your leftovers. Your chicken will be good in the fridge for up to 3 days.

You can also freeze this chicken to use again in the future. Keep it covered in an airtight container. Let it thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.

You can reheat the chicken and sauce in a pan over medium heat until hot throughout.

Spiced Lemon Chicken Tacos with salad on a wooden board with homemade taco cause in the background

FAQs

How long can I marinate chicken?

You can marinate this chicken for up to 24 hours. The longer you leave it, the more intense the flavors will be.

However, the lemon helps tenderize the chicken. If left on the chicken for too long, it will degrade the fibers. So anywhere from 2 to 24 hours is sufficient.

How do you shred chicken?

You can shred your chicken with two forks. But I prefer to use a hand mixer. Place your chicken in a mixing bowl (or pot) and press your hand mixer into the meat.

Turn your hand mixer to medium speed. In about 10 seconds, your chicken will be fully shredded.

How can I cook chicken that’s tender?

If you want really tender chicken, there are a few things you can do. First, use a meat tenderizer (hammer) to pound the chicken.

This breaks down the fibers and makes them more tender, but it also makes the chicken a consistent thickness for more consistent cooking.

You can also make sure you don’t overcook your chicken. And of course, marinate your chicken so it’s moist and flavorful.

Spiced Lemon Chicken Tacos on a wooden board with homemade taco cause in the background

Conclusion

Time to elevate taco night with this mouth-watering lemon chicken tacos recipe. It only takes a few minutes to make a zesty and flavorful spicy lemon sauce and homemade fresh slaw.

Dress these up or keep it simple; either way, your taco night is about to get way better!

Print
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Spiced Lemon Chicken Tacos with salad on a wooden board with homemade taco cause in the background

Spiced Lemon Chicken Tacos


  • Author: Sam
  • Total Time: 2 hours 22 minutes
  • Yield: 5 1x

Description

If you want authentic chicken tacos for dinner, this Spiced Lemon Chicken Tacos recipe will hit the spot.

With cumin, paprika, and tart lemon juice, this recipe makes the yummiest spicy lemon sauce with just the right amount of southern Tex-Mex inspiration.

If you’re like me, after dinner, you’re going to want a sweet treat! Try my Vegan Vanilla Pudding recipe or these classic Red Velvet Cookies.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 500g of chicken breast
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 1/2 cup of grated cheese (of your choice)
  • 2 teaspoons of paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of onion powder
  • 1/2 cup of lemon juice
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 beetroot
  • 1 green apple
  • Homemade Taco Sauce or store bought taco sauce
  • 10 x Soft shell tacos

Instructions

  1. Cut the chicken breast into strips
  2. Put the chicken strips into a mixing bowl. Pour in the paprika, cumin, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder and lemon juice.
  3. Mix all together, wrap in plastic/glass wrap and place in the fridge for 2 hours. If you want a more intense flavour, place in the fridge overnight.
  4. Prepare your homemade coleslaw salad filling by finely chopping (or use a mandolin slicer) the carrots, beetroot and apple into long thin pieces.
  5. Mix together in a bowl and set aside (or in the fridge) until ready to use.
  6. When you’re ready to eat, prepare a pan with a tablespoon of oil on a medium heat.
  7. Pour your chicken and the left over sauce in the blow into the pan and cook for 12-15 minutes or until chicken is cooked.
  8. Assemble your tacos on a plate, add chicken,  coleslaw, cheese and sauce.
  9. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • Store leftovers in the fridge for 2 days.
  • The chicken can be placed in the freezer for up to 3 months in an airtight bag of container.
  • Prep Time: 10
  • chill time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 12
  • Category: Dinner, Lunch, Tacos
  • Method: Stove
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: Mexican, taco, chicken taco, chicken taco recipe

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