These chipotle chicken and bell pepper tacos are loaded with all things good- juicy, smoky-sweet chicken, colorful bell peppers, creamy guacamole and salty cotija cheese. And the best part? You can have them on the table in about an hour!
Perfect. Weeknight. Dinner.
Do you celebrate Taco Tuesday?
What’s not to love about Taco Tuesday? It’s flexible & fast & always feels a little bit like a party. And really, you can have Taco Tuesday any day of the week because it comes together quickly.
We have lots of variations of taco night at our house depending on what’s in the fridge/freezer/pantry and who’s going to be sitting around the table that night. The type of meat and sauces/salsas may change but we always have these bell peppers & onions, a choice of flour or corn tortillas and LOTS of guacamole.
Isn’t Chipotle a Restaurant?
Chipotles are dried, smoked jalapenos. Adobo is a smoky, sweet sauce. This recipe calls for chipotles in adobo, which you can find in short cans at the grocery store (check the international or Latin aisle). You won’t use the entire can for this recipe but you can store the remainder, covered, in the fridge for 1-2 months (I suggest transferring from the can to a glass jar or container). I find myself adding it to everything from salad dressings, to soups to eggs.
The first step to making these tacos is to make the chipotle dressing. You’ll use part of it as a marinade for the chicken and serve the remainder to drizzle over your finished tacos. I have to thank my daughter, Hannah, for introducing me to this chipotle dressing because it’s become a staple ingredient at our house. I almost always have a jar of it in my fridge because it’s that good!
Because GUACAMOLE :)!
Ok. I am a huge guacamole fan! The main ingredients for guacamole are ripe avocados, fresh cilantro, and lime juice- you can’t have guac without them. For my guacamole I also use finely diced red onion, garlic and green hot sauce. This version is simple and quick and you can feel free to spice it up with diced hot peppers, add some chipotles for smokiness, a little diced tomato or whatever else your heart desires. Check out this guacamole post for more on choosing avocados, storage and how-to!
Flatten Your Chicken Breasts
Why? Because they’ll absorb more marinade, cook faster and cook more evenly. Place them between two pieces of plastic wrap or in a large ziplock freezer bag and lightly pound from the center out until they’re an even thickness of about 1/2 inch. Don’t pound too hard or you’ll tear them. You can use a mallet, a rolling pin, or even the rounded side of a can from your pantry. I found this mallet on Amazon last year and love it’s rounded sides and the way the weight is distributed.
While The Chicken Marinates…
- While the chicken marinates you’ll make the guacamole, cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap against the surface to keep it from browning, and set it aside to let the flavors develop.
- Next, preheat the oven to 350 and wrap your tortillas in foil.
- Cut up the onion and bell peppers. Place tortillas in the oven and set timer for 10 minutes.
- Sauté onions in a little oil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly so they don’t burn. Add peppers and continue stirring until crisp tender, about 4 minutes more. Remove from skillet, set aside on platter and cover to keep warm.
- In the same skillet you cooked the peppers and onion in, add a drizzle of oil and cook chicken 3 minutes per side, only lifting once to turn so that it develops a nice color. You may need to do this in batches if the pieces are large. Sprinkle with a little kosher salt when they’re done (for great flavor use the lime version of this citrus salt if you have it). Remove to a cutting board and cover with foil while you cook the rest of the chicken.
- When timer goes off, turn off the oven but leave tortillas inside the oven to stay warm.
- Cut chicken across the grain into thin slices and place on a platter with vegetables. Serve with guacamole, chipotle dressing, cotija cheese, sour cream and lime wedges.
Chipotle Chicken & Bell Pepper Tacos
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
- 3 bell peppers (any combination of red, yellow & orange)
- 1 large red onion
- 8- 8" flour tortillas or 12- 6" white corn tortillas (or a combination)
- cotija cheese, sour cream, fresh lime wedges for serving
- 5 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 3 Tbsp honey
- 3/4 cup avocado or olive oil
- 2 canned chipotle chilis in adobo
- 1 Tbsp adobo sauce (from canned chipotle)
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- Make the chipotle marinade by combining all ingredients in a blender. You'll use 1/3 cup for the marinade and save the rest to serve along side.
- Pound chicken breasts between two sheets of plastic wrap or inside a large ziplock bag to an even 1/2 inch thickness. Place in a bag or glass dish with 1/3 cup of the marinade and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. (if doing this part ahead store in refrigerator up to one day)
- Wrap tortillas in foil and preheat your oven to 350 degrees f.
- Prepare guacamole (see complete recipe instructions here)
- Place foil wrapped tortillas in oven and set timer for 10 minutes.
- Slice peppers into 1/2 inch strips and slice onion into 1/4 inch slices. In large skillet heat 2 Tbsp oil over medium-high heat and add onion, stirring constantly 3 minutes. Add bell peppers to onions and continue stirring 4 minutes more, until they're crisp tender. season with a little kosher salt and cracked pepper. Transfer to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm.
- When timer goes off turn off the oven but leave the tortillas inside to stay warm while finishing up.
- In same skillet as peppers (don't wipe clean) add another Tbsp of oil and sauté chicken breasts without crowding (you may need to do this in batches if they're very large) 3 minutes per side, turning only one time so that they develop a nice golden color. When done, remove to a cutting board. (Tent with foil to keep warm while cooking the remainder if doing this in batches)
- Slice chicken into 1/2 inch strips across the grain and place on platter with vegetables.
- Serve chicken and vegetables with tortillas, guacamole, additional chipotle dressing, sour cream, cotija cheese, lime wedges and lots of napkins
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