5 ingredients or less, easy, mains

5 Ingredient Tacos

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Taco night has never been easier. This recipe is easy to make and only requires one pan. Perfect for a busy bee. With a few simple cooking tricks we can pull some really deep flavors out of a small list of ingredients.

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What kind of chicken should i use?

This recipe is derived from my mother’s salsa chicken recipe. She used chicken breast in her version because it was lower in calories and fat. Nowadays I cook with chicken thighs because they’re cheaper and more tender. Both are good so it really depends on what you prefer. Some people like breasts, some people like thighs, personally i’m a feet guy.

Getting to flavortown.

Form the crust

The first way we get more flavor is to sear a good crust on the chicken. The browning that occurs at high heat is called the maillard reaction and it adds a ton of flavor. You ever wonder why steak tastes so different from regular beef? It’s all in the crust baby.

Upgrade your toppings

Thinly sliced raw onions are a great topping because they add texture and  flavor. but if you want to up your allium game then I recommend pickling your onions! It’s a super easy and quick process but it makes a world of difference in flavor. Peep my pickled onions recipe here.

Taco assembly

This might just be personal preference but I like going cheese first instead of cheese on top. The cheese gets real melty when buried under the hot chicken, and it acts as a nice moisture barrier so the tortilla doesn’t get soggy.

6 Ingredient Tacos



Prep time


Cooking time




  • 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs

  • 1 cup store bought salsa of choice

  • 6-7 flour tortillas

  • Pepperjack cheese

  • ½ red onion

  • 1 tbsp salt

  • 1 tbsp black pepper

  • 1 tbsp neutral cooking oil

  • ¼ cup water


  • Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat a pan on medium-high heat and add cooking oil. When the oil is shimmering add the chicken. Cook on one side for 3-4 minutes or until a good crust has formed.
  • Flip all the chicken and lower the heat to medium low. Add the salsa to the pan along with enough water to go halfway up the chicken. Stir to combine. Bring the liquid up to a simmer. Crank the heat down to low and cover with lid. Let gently simmer covered for 45 minutes.
  • Shred the chicken with tongs. It should come apart very easily. If not, cook for longer.
  • Before assembly, heat tortillas by wrapping in a damp paper towel and microwaving for 30 seconds.
  • Assemble the taco. Cheese first, then chicken, and onions. Enjoy


  • Add any additional toppings you like! Cilantro is nice.

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