Chicken Tinga (That Only Requires One-Pot!) - Dr. Axe

One-Pot Chicken Tinga

Chicken tinga recipe - Dr. Axe

Looking for the perfect chicken filling for tacos or tostados? Chicken tinga is a Mexican pulled chicken dish that is packed with flavor as well as nutrients. This classic tinga recipe is low in ingredients and cooking time but high in smokey goodness thanks to a chipotle pepper laden tinga sauce.

My mouth is literally watering as I write this. If you’ve never had Mexican shredded chicken before, then you’re really in for a treat with this chicken tinga recipe. Looking for a recipe that only requires using (and cleaning) one pot? This chicken tinga recipe also has you covered.

Chicken tinga ingredients - Dr. Axe

What Is Chicken Tinga?

Chicken tinga [pronounced teen-GA] is a very popular and common dish in Mexico. It’s said to come from the state of Puebla, Mexico to be exact. In general, chicken tinga typically consists of shredded chicken in a sauce consisting of chipotle chili peppers, red and green tomatoes and strips of onion. Most often chicken tinga is served on tortillas. (1)

A chicken tinga recipe is the most classic version, but there are beef tinga recipes as well. What so many people love about chicken tinga is that it’s a recipe that includes a rich, smokey, spicy sauce. So if you’re in the mood for chicken tacos or tostadas, you can use this chicken tinga recipe and you won’t need any additional salsa on top.

Chicken tinga step 1 - Dr. Axe

Nutrition Facts

This chicken tinga one-pot recipe contains about the following per serving: (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)


  • 103 calories
  • 8 grams protein
  • 3.7 grams fat
  • 13 grams carbohydrates
  • 3 grams fiber
  • 8.7 grams sugar
  • 660.7 milligrams sodium
  • 1361 international units vitamin A (27 percent DV)
  • 14 milligrams vitamin C (23 percent DV)
  • 1.9 milligrams iron (11 percent DV)
  • 66 milligrams calcium (6.6 percent DV)

What are some of the ingredients giving this simple recipe so many key nutrients? First of all, there’s the chicken, which is loaded with protein as well as iron. Of course, I always recommend avoiding factory farmed meats and opting for organic chicken. There’s also tomatoes, which are high in immune-boosting vitamin C and chipotle peppers, which are also high in vitamin C and very high in beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A found in fruits and vegetables. Overall, this recipe is very well-balanced. It’s also not high in calories, but it’s definitely loaded with vibrant flavor.

Chicken tinga step 2 - Dr. Axe

How to Make Chicken Tinga

If you’re looking for a complicated, time-consuming recipe, chicken tinga is far from it. How to make tinga, either chicken or beef, is very easy and straightforward. For this chicken tinga recipe, you’ll just need to have your chicken cooked as well as shredded and your onions sliced. Now you’re ready to make this delicious Mexican dish.

Chicken tinga step 3 - Dr. Axe

Simply combine all of your ingredients — the shredded chicken, sliced onion, fire-roasted tomatoes, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chicken stock and bay leaves — in one pot.

Chicken tinga step 4 - Dr. Axe

Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.

Chicken tinga step 5 - Dr. Axe

Once all of the ingredients have melded together nicely for a good 20 minutes, you are ready to serve up your chicken tinga.

Chicken tinga step 6 - Dr. Axe

You can put the chicken tinga into tacos or you can make chicken tinga tostadas.

Chicken tinga step 7 - Dr. Axe

I personally love to serve this recipe up in warmed paleo tortilla shells.

Chicken tinga step 8 - Dr. Axe

Feel free to use whatever toppings you like. Some of my favorite chicken tinga toppings include plain goat yogurt, goat feta, cilantro, green onions, pickled onions and fresh squeezed lime juice.

Chicken tinga recipe - Dr. Axe

This recipe serves approximately 6–8 people, so it’s perfect for a group dinner or for entertaining. Enjoy!

Chicken tinga recipe - Dr. Axe

Total Time

30 minutes



Diet Type


  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 1 yellow onion
  • One 28-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • One 12-ounce can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • Salt to taste, optional*
  • Toppings:
  • Plain goat yogurt
  • Cilantro
  • Goat feta
  • Lime
  • Green onions
  • Pickled onions


  1. Add all the ingredients to a pot and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.
  2. Add to tortillas and top with plain goat yogurt, cilantro, goat feta, lime, green onions and pickled onions.

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  1. Mireille on

    But cooked chicken and then still cooking another 20 minutes with the other ingredients will make the chicken dry? Especially chicken breasts? Why not add raw chicken in at the first step? See you tomorrow! Into smaller strips?

  2. crystal on

    This is probably an elementary question but

    When using the crock pot recipe, what temp do you set for that 5-6 hour time frame?

  3. Kristen on

    This is delicious. Next time I make it, I will use only one can of peppers in adobe sauce. The peppers are delicious but too spicey for us, so by using only one can and removing the whole peppers before serving we still get the flavor.

    • Kristen on

      Addendum: Also, I added a green bell paper, which gave a little sweetness to the mixture, but not too much. Again, very good. Thanks for the recipe, Dr. Axe.

  4. Sheree on

    Just made these for dinner! My husbands response “the best chicken tacos he’s ever had” and he is the taco expert. And I have to agree, they are delicious and so easy.

  5. Kristen on

    I have not been able to find a clean version (without corn oil, etc, etc) of Chipotle peppers in Adobe sauce without making my own, of course! I live in AZ so you would think I would have many options. Been to Trader Joes, Sprouts and Natural Grocers. Any suggestions or brand recommendations?

    • Julie on

      If you find any, or a recipe will you post? I’d love some too! I lived in AZ and never found one there and I don’t find any in Nevada either!

  6. Kate on

    I would be careful with the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce – very spicy and a large amount for the recipe given.

    • Dee on

      I was going to say the same thing! Put in 1-2 peppers and taste before adding more. I am SO making this! Its going to be great!

  7. Holly on

    This look delicious!! Do you think this would be a good crockpot recipe, starting with uncooked chicken, and letting the ingredients cook for 6-8 hours, shredding the chicken at the end?

    • mariusz on

      i would totally do it this way, and have done it! the simplest version of chicken tacos i’ve done was like this: line the bottom of a slow cooker with thickly sliced green or red peppers and onions, place some chicken breasts on top, dump a packet of taco seasoning on top and top it all with a jar of salsa, set it for 5-6 hrs.

      • mariusz on

        @ Dee, good advice! this was in my semi-unhealthy days, now i would make my own taco seasoning from quality ingredients.

    • Sylvia on

      I do make this dish in my crock pot and it comes
      Out delicious. I do not use the whole can of chipotle because it would be very, very spicy, sometimes the peppers are
      More spicy than others so best to start with a little bit, also I blend the chipotle before adding it to the pot, this way no o e finds a whole pepper on their plate.


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