Grilled Chicken Tacos, Ranch Style

Chicken Fajita tacos

A marinade of lime juice and pureed tomatoes give chicken breasts a festive flavor and with a rub with paprika before grilling you’ve got a great start for a flavorful and simple taco meal.

A warm steamy corn tortilla, topped with shredded chicken, crunchy ribbons of sweet onions, red and orange bell pepper and fresh red cabbage, all drizzled with a finishing sauce of sour cream, jalapeno salsa, a squeeze of fresh lime gives you a flavorful and fresh chicken taco.  A perfect side dish for these tacos would be this Mexican Green Rice  or refried beans.  In this article you’ll also find a sure fire method to perfectly heat soft and pliable corn tortillas.

This recipe is a combination of three ideas.

1.  First of all, a finishing sauce created by Chris over at “Nibble Me This”  caught my eye. Chris simply combined sour cream and a fajita marinade to create a sauce to drizzle over his fajitas. I took this cue and combined  1/2 cup sour cream with 5 tablespoons of my favorite canned jalapeno salsa and created this finishing sauce for chicken tacos. You’ll find that canned jalapeno salsa on the Mexican food isle at your local grocery. At least my Safeway in Highlands Ranch carries it.  The spicy salsa thins the sour cream and create a flavorful drizzle for any Mexican dish.

2.  This month’s Food and Wine Magazine has a great article on taco trucks which includes some tantalizing photos and unique taco combinations. A brining technique for grilled chicken tacos looked easy and interesting, so I used this method before firing up the Weber.  After grilled, the chicken had a tangy lime flavor and grilling with skin on and bone in, a moist end result.

3.  My refrigerator was incredibly inspiring for this recipe. Yup, needed to use up some of that expensive produce sitting in the vegetable bin.

Hence, my (Highlands) Ranch Grilled Chicken Tacos were born. The marinade for the chicken produced a flavorful outcome.  Let’s ake a look:

Highlands Ranch Grilled Chicken Tacos

For the Chicken:

  • 2 bone-in, skin on chicken breasts
  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 1/2 C. fresh lime juice
  • 1 C. water
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 T. sweet paprika
  • vegetable oil

Combine tomatoes, lime juice, water and salt in a blender and puree.  Place chicken breasts in a Ziploc bag along with the puree and marinate/brine overnight or for at least 8 hours.  Remove chicken from bag, pat dry, rub with oil and then paprika.  Grill until done. When chicken is cool enough to handle. Remove the meat the cut into chunks for the tacos.

In the meantime prepare the toppings for your tacos:

  • Red cabbage, thin sliced
  • Red aed and yellow bell peppers, thin sliced
  • Sweet onion, thin sliced
  • Mexican Queso crumbling cheese and chopped cilantro for topping

Finishing Sauce:

  • 1/2 C. sour cream
  • 5 T. Jalapeno Salsa (canned)

Mix Well

Warming Corn Tortillas:

Rick Bayless instructs this method for heating corn tortillas:  On a clean kitchen towel sprinkle 3 T. water. Place a stack of corn tortillas on the towel and fold the towel around the tortillas. Place into a large Ziploc bag, folding the top of the bag. Do not seal. Cook in microwave 4 minutes at 50% power and then let rest two minutes.

To plate:  Thinly slice grilled chicken breasts. Place fillings and chicken slices onto warm tortillas, drizzle with the finishing sauce. Provide a wedge of lime to squeeze over tacos. Serve with a side of refried beans or Mexican Rice.

Grilled Chicken Tacos, Ranch Style…It’s What’s For Dinner!

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  1. says

    I love a good chicken taco, and these look wonderful! I like it that the chicken can be in the marinade while I’m at work… I’ve been looking at quick things I can pull together in the evenings lately.

  2. says

    You say grilled and I’m in…so ready for the warmer weather and grilling every day; these look terrific.

    A couple of months ago, you had a chili recipe I made with a lime crema finish; betting that would be good too on these…just a subtle addition to sour cream makes such a huge difference.

  3. says

    You were able to fire up your grill? It seemed like everytime I read the paper you were being slammed with a snow storm. It has been raining down here a lot.

    I need to update my limoncello.

  4. Vickie says

    There’s a lot of wonderful in this post! The tacos with the marinated chicken, steamed tortillas and finishing sauce look and sound so so good!
    I am completely hooked on the taco trucks – it’s the first thing I go for when I get to California. I’m going to be reading the F&W article to see what I can learn – hoping there’s a clue or two about the rice. Finally, THOSE BOWLS! You are singing my song with those little cuties. You shouldn’t wave such cute-ness in front of a raging bowlaholic. 😀 Very nice post – love it!

    • says

      We don’t have taco trucks here in Denver, darnit! Let me know if there’s a clue about the rice. Sounds like something special. I knew you’d love those bowls. I have 4, one has a small chip.

  5. dan says

    Num. I’m squeezing a little extra lime on them.

    Wine for this: Folie A Deux, Menage A Trois. About twelve bucks, mostly Zin, jammy and a bit spicy.

  6. says

    The possibilities are endless for the finishing sauces, I love that idea. I always have a refrigerator full of sour cream…the good kind, Tillamook from Oregon! All sour cream is not created equal!

    • says

      I didn’t realize Tillamook made sour cream. I bet it’s as wonderful as their ice cream. I loved our visit to Tillamook during our first trip to Oregon.

  7. says

    I am glad that I just ate before reading this. Great tacos. I’m so glad that you had the chance to dig the grill out from under the snow:) Thanks for the shout out, too.

    • says

      We’ve not had snow here, but just a few miles west and higher up in the hills it’s still winter. You’re welcome for the shout out and thanks for the idea for the finishing sauce.

  8. says

    Boo hoo! My grilling days are over unless I get asked to a BBQ someplace! There are some disadvantages to apartment living!

    But I can improvise for your tacos! I really like the finishing sauce…things like this can make or break a dish! How about a touch of lime juice too?

    • says

      You can absolutely improvise. Just roast that chicken in the oven. And yes, ;ime juice is just what the doctor ordered! Thanks for stopping by Barb and for your comment.


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